Are You Embarrassed by D

While sitting in the hospital today using my glucometer I noticed people looking at me to see what I was doing. It didn't bother me one little bit. A few years back I would never have tested in front of people, I was even embarrassed at being called a diabetic, or a non-compliant one as I was known at the time. There was one time during a hospital stay they shoved a big sign above my bed with DIABETIC wrote on it, I was mortified. Thankfully they don't do this anymore. It's all very well for me now because I have accepted D, but it has not always been so.

As bravado as I am about D, sometimes I am embarrassed. Well, I don't know if 'embarrassed' is the right word. I just don't really want people who aren't really familiar with all of my D habits to notice. I don't people to make a big deal about it.

Like at work the other day.. I work evenings and everyone is cool about my D habits. They basically just ignore it like its completely normal (as it is for me and my family). They joke about it, they ask polite questions sometimes; they're all pretty cool.

Then, I worked day shift the other day. Everyone knows I am a T1 (we work in healthcare), but when I whipped out my meter, everyone crowded around. They asked what my glucose was (that drove me nuts! None of your business! I don't as how much you weigh! Please don't judge me!), and shoo-ed me off to lunch because they were all convinced I would die if I didn't eat at noon. I use a pump, and I am pretty flexible about meal times, but someone actually told me it was "unhealthy" the way that I wait to eat until I'm hungry.

I was very happy to get back to my shift and my department where most of my co-workers seem to "get it".

I'm glad your feelings about "D in public" have changed :) It makes things a lot easier. I still get frustrated explaining things to people sometimes though...

That's hilarious, the bit about WHAT'S YOUR BLOOD SUGAR. I get that an it drives me mad too. I remember being bullied a bit at school because of my D, so that wasn't great. I hope that doesn't go on anymore. I went to a workshop thingy a few months ago, loads of diabetics there learning about carbs and stuff. It was unreal. We all clicked with each other straight away, no need to explain anything. Felt really comfortable with them. It is great that I feel better now.

I feel embarrassed when people comment "I don't know how can give your self injections. I could never do that", like it's something that I like to do. I don't. I stopped telling people about it very early on after hearing that once or twice.

Just say to them " I'll stick my next injection in you, if you don't move out of my way ', that should do the trick. People can be such eejits sometimes. I've come across quite a few.

LOL! I will remember that next time.

My favorite was a kid in high school who said my insulin pump didn't match my clothes. I told him if he wanted to pay the $5,000+ to get me one that "matched" to go right ahead. Everyone else enjoyed fighting about who would get out of class by walking me to the health room if by bg went low. Didn't really need them there, but it was school policy.

I think we all have different comfort levels and different privacy levels, about everything, not just D, and that those levels might change with time too.

I can't say I was ever embarrassed about my D, but I didn't feel comfortable at first testing/injecting in public. I actually felt a bit annoyed at other people with D who said that meant I was ashamed of my D. It didn't mean that at all, it just meant I was self-conscious and also having done HepC education for years had some concerns about blood in public. Well all that has changed for me though I am still cautious about blood. One thing that facilitated the change was I met my first Type 1 friend -:::waving at dancer:::: We had lunch and as she tested and bolused I looked around and noticed that none of the people at adjoining tables were paying any attention at all. People today are much too self-absorbed to notice others (that's a whole other topic!) After that I started testing in public. I bolus using my meter/remote so that just looks like texting or whatever. I've even developed a form of "type 1 pride" that we've talked about on here before.

This is a tough question and I have a varied response depending on the circumstances. I will test and treat wherever I need to in order to stay healthy and could care less about peoples “feelings” regarding it. But, crowding around me to see my result is a bit much. I consider that result personal health information and I will share it with others if I choose to.

I know I should be more of an advocate for diabetes, but frankly it is a lot of work to deal with all the stigmas and misconceptions. I loathe situations where I tell someone I am diabetic and they tell me outright lies they believe are true or treat me differently.

I also work in a healthcare setting and I have the utmost respect for physicians or professionals that ask me questions about changing site and why I rotate, etc. I have lost major respect for healthcare professionals that pass on false information like telling me, “if I get my A1C even lower I will be cured.” (I pointed and lauged at this individual).

In a perfect world I would like individuals to get to know me for a week or two. In this time they will hopefully see me as a normal, healthy member of society. Then it will discretely come up that I am a T1 and I will break any preconcieved notions they may have and if they have questions they will ask with an open mind that can be molded correctly.

I have used my D in the past as an excuse to get out of class. I used to run high at school because I couldn't bear going low.

Type 1 pride, I missed that.

What a ridiculous thing to say about the hbA I mean. Then again I have seen some stupid reports in magazines about people curing D.

I've been a regular on here since I corrected my diagnosis to Type 1. Being on here is where I got the Type 1 pride!

I have never been embarrassed about my diabetes. I check my blood sugars in restaurants, I keep my insulin pump and tubing mostly visible, etc. Recently while buying beer, the liquor store worker asked what I had clipped on my waist. He asked if it was a cell phone. It was my insulin pump, of course. I told him I have diabetes.

He seemed almost apologetic about asking. Once he realized it was OK to ask, he asked me some more questions. He told me that his mother has diabetes and takes shots. I told him that I used to take 5+ shots a day and now I take none. Hopefully he passes on some info to his mother who perhaps doesn't know anything about insulin pumps.

Yeah it's funny how people always know someone who has D. At the airport recently my glucometer was giving bother at security. One of the officers called me over and started asking was it any good and how many injections I took, he was type 1 too.

Geez. A great big sign? The HIPAA people would have a FIT.

i whip out my meter like its nobody's business. This is a Disease, not a Disgrace. so as far as i am concerned, there is no self-consciousness at all.
HOWEVER, i have on more than too many occations been asked to "do THAT somewhere else." there are many things about other peoples behavior that drive me bonkers, but its just not my business and i always can just walk away. so if anyone has a problem watching me test, mess with my pump, or whatever else they cannot understand...well they should leave me to myself and just walk away.

when i am approached and am asked politly, out of sheer curiousity, what i am doing, i have absolutely no problem with explaining it to them (in non-D lingo)so that they can understand.

Great question, Josephine.

I was recently diagnosed in May as a T1 LADA and have gone through the myriad of emotions that are part of this diagnosis: the panic, fear, anger, depression. I felt both self-conscious and that something this serious was nobody else's business, so I tested and injected in private, in restrooms, at home only, quickly realizing this wasn't particularly practical. Then I read a post somewhere by a mom who was indignant about someone criticizing her for injecting her young diabetic child in public, and admonishing her to please do that in a restroom. Her feeling was that this was her "normal" and she was not going to be relegated to filthy public restrooms with her daughter or be shamed for not doing so. I thought, "good for you," and "you're right."

I'm not saying I thrust it under people's noses now, but it just becomes a routine whereby I'm often doing something else at the same time: on the phone, in a meeting, at dinner. Heck, I can even dose and inject while waiting for a light to turn green. I find my friends, family have become oblivious to it now. And most people don't notice it in public places, they're too absorbed in their own lives.

I am more measured as to who I will tell outside of my family, social and work circles, because of the lack of understanding or looks of bewilderment or pity. The best one was most recently from a pharmacist from whom I was picking up my insulin who said, "is this for you?...but you don't look diabetic..." Really? Is there a diabetic "look?" Last I checked, we looked like everyone else. Recently I was on a flight where the flight attendant kept on trying to push the bread rolls, cookies, and ice cream on me. After the third try, she said, what, are you on a diet? I finally politely told her "no, I'm diabetic." Her demeanor then switched to treating me like a fragile, sickly child. I know she meant to be kind, but I'm thinking inside "I'm in much better shape then you by any measure, but I have to do manually what your pancreas does by itself."

I know I'm only at the beginning of this journey and still have much to experience and learn. I have to say I'm grateful for stumbling across this site to connect with people who understand.


I work in a cubicle, and don't feel a need to go somewhere different to test or give a shot in my cube. I am a little more concerned about someone saying something about the blood from the finger stick, so I am pretty careful not to throw away the strip in the trash can. I just put the used strip in an empty container and take it home when it is full. I had an "incident" one time while injecting before lunch. A was just starting to push the plunger down, and I hear one of my co-workers sigh something like "Oh God" and looked up in time to see him shuffling away pretty fast. I spoke to him after I was done, and found out he was phobic about needles and shots. We laughed about it afterwards, he knew I was T1, but didn't know I shot up at my desk. He would always announce himself before coming inside my cube after that.