Bolus etiquette

Hello, friends…When I took injections, I would go in the bathroom to check BG and then to bolus before a meal. Since I am on the pump, I test BG on my lap and bolus at the table with my remote. I was recently told that it is disturbing to others that I do that at the table, and I was asked to do that elsewhere. Is this a fluke, or is it generally bad manners to do this at the table? I just hate the idea of having to go back to hiding in the bathroom, but I don’t want to impose on others.

It bothers my mother when I check my BG in public because she worries about what other think. I tell her diabetes is bothering me too but I must deal with it! :slight_smile: About checking at meals… I have a few friends that have phobias with needles, blood, etc. So of course, if I’m with them, I do check my BG in the bathroom or right before I arrive to dinner. Most of my friends and family would rather have my company there at the table while I discreetly take care of my BG and insulin bolus, than see me run off and hide. And that also means that sometimes they wait to start eating until I get back which imposes on them. I usually just ask whoever I’m with and kind of feel the situation out. And I figure that if it bothers other people in the restaurant, they can just get back to their own business and not worry about mine. :slight_smile: Good luck.

Thanks, Joanna…I can use the feedback!

I figure they can deal with the discomfort. It’s their problem. The way to rid ourselves of the stigma is to not hide. We aren’t doing anything we need to be ashamed of. They ought to live with this every minute of every day. This is our road and everyone’s wigging over a shot or a drop of blood is childish. They can turn away until they can deal with it. People need to really understand what the mechanics of diabetes care are. Impose. No one asked you if you’d like to have diabetes.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with checking bg at the table and bolusing. I used to hide and then I saw a mother giving her child an insulin injection at the table in a restaurant and I thought…why not. It was like a mother nourishing her child to keep the child alive. That is what we do. We give ourselves insulin to keep us alive. Personally, I don’t think it is sanitary to go into the bathroom and I avoid that as much as I can. We definitely shouldn’t hide. Sometimes I do it and people have no idea. I put it on my lap and test away. Good luck!!!

Thank you everyone for your comments!

Wow. I think that they should deal.

I would NEVER leave the table to bolus with a pump. That’s about the same as someone checking if they have a new text message (like a text message that saves your life).

If it is the beeping that annoys people, you can turn it on vibrate when you eat out. I always have my pump on vibrate anyway. I can’t think of any reason that it would be disturbing other than the beeping.

I never go to the bathroom because it’s not the cleanest place. I do it at the table but also use vibrate. And if that’s not enough, tell them to get over it and stop watching.

I’ve been on MDI since day one but never ducked into the restroom when dining out. It’s an opportunity to show people firsthand what I deal with every time I do what they take for granted (eating without thinking seriously of what they’re soon to consume).

And, like SFPete, it’s my way to ensure that I don’t participate in perpetuating the stigma.

I was very recently diagnosed with Type 1 (9/23/10) and use insulin pens. I eat out often and injecting at the table in a restaurant was what I would call my first awkward social moment with diabetes.

My husband asked that I shoot up in the bathroom and not to subject others to watching me do it at the table.
My mom wants me to shoot up at the table to bring an awareness to diabetes.

When I asked my diabetes educator/nutritionist (who is also a Type 1) what I should do, she told me to do what I want to do. If I want to shoot up at the table, do it. If I want to shoot up in the bathroom, do it. Do it where ever I am most comfortable doing it.

My husband and my mom both had valid concerns and opinions that I am sure I will run into and have to deal with frequently; but my educator reminded me that this is MY life and therefore it’s MY choice. Do what’s most comfortable for you.

With my family and my co-workers, I’ve offered to let them test their own blood sugars with my lancet and strips. This has allowed them to experience what I am going through, to understand that it’s not hurting me, and to understand the importance of glucose and insulin. Everyone who has tried it has become more accepting of my need to use insulin before a meal and are more comfortable letting me shoot up at the table.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

I agree with everyone else. My daughter is almost 5 and for 3.5 years I’ve given her shots or boluses wherever we’re at, no matter who is watching. I don’t want her to ever feel it’s something she has to hide or be shy about. I also figure I’m educating people in the process. The other day I had to check her BG on the subway train in NYC, but only she had a seat. I squatted on the floor and checked her with the meter on my lap until someone gave up a seat for me. I unplug her during gym class and wear her pump while she’s exercising and I feel the eyes of other mothers looking at me, but I don’t care. When little kids ask me what my daughter is wearing, I tell them it’s her super-cool pump and it gives her insulin…isn’t it great? I don’t want my daughter to feel shy at all about her pump…hope this works in the long run…I’ve certainly never walked this road before! :slight_smile: I also find it strange that with all the gadgets people wear and use everywhere they go, that they would find something that’s life-giving to you disturbing. I say test & bolus away! :slight_smile:

After diagnosis, I treated everything that I did as normal, from testing to drawing up insulin to injecting. Wherever I was, if I needed to take care of my diabetes (whether it was testing my BG or giving myself a shot), I did it. I still do the same now, although I’ve got a pump. I’m not offended if people start eating before I start eating (as I’m glancing over my plate and adding up numbers in my head), so why should they be offended that I am dialing up a dose?
And going somewhere else to test or to bolus!? Especially if you’re on a pump?! That’s just ridiculous. I hate to come off as rash, but anyone who asks me to not “offend someone” else by me taking proper care of myself can go–well, I have a few choice words for them that I’ll refrain from using, because that is utterly stupid. I think anyone who asks me to “go somewhere else and do that” is someone who I would not consider a friend at all. Worse yet when it’s someone to which you’re related. My diabetes isn’t “going anywhere” anytime soon, so frankly, neither am I (or my public testing/bolusing habits).

I MDI since 2006. I was nervous when I was first diagnosed to check my levels at the table. Now I dont mind it. I do however, do my shots either at home or in the bathroom at the restaurant. The other day I went out and were with 5 other people. I asked them if it was ok if I did my injection at the table so I dont have to move anyone out of their seat (we were in a booth). They didn’t mind and I was relieved. If I am out with my boyfriend, I will use the restroom as other patrons may not like to see it. But other than that, I do it at the table. And once I am on the pump, I will continue to give myself insulin at the table.

I was DX at age 8 and my mom used to just give my shots anywhere and everywhere. She didn’t care, so neither did I. Until we had a Terminex guy in our house and while she was giving me my morning shot she realized he wasn’t moving. She asked if needles bothered him and quickly turned me around so he couldn’t see it anymore before he passed out. It was like he was in a trance or something and couldn’t look away. He explained afterwords that he was deathly afraid of needles and had been known to pass out on occasion upon seeing them. After that we were a little more careful about doing it out in the open. While we never went into the restroom to do it in public, we were more caution of the people around who may be watching. We always thought that if you didn’t want to look, then don’t look. But this guy couldn’t NOT look at it.
I’ve never been ashamed of checking my sugars in public either. I’ve always done it where everyone can see it. Then when I was 17 I met a girl who I became friends with and blood really bothered her. If she was there I would put it on my lap and made sure she couldn’t see anything.

Now if I’m with a new group of people I ask if blood bothers them before I just whip it out and go for it. I’m pumping now and I always do that at the table. If the beeping bothers anyone they’ve never said anything and quite frankly if it does bother them, then they can get over it. Would they be bothered if I had to send an important text message to someone while at the table? Probably not. Pushing those buttons and beeping for a few seconds to save my life isn’t hurting anyone.

I use the bathroom at work but do it at the table when out in restaurants.

You guys are great! Thanks for all the feedback, which has been very helpful.

I really grow tired of these people that are all so delicate that they are so easily disturbed. I’m also sure these are the same people who think women should hide in the rest room to breastfeed a baby. Tell them to grow up and be glad they do have to do it .

I was able to test for blood sugar and inject with a penlet on my lap which is under a table or a booth. I am usually discreet. If they wanted to see what I’m doing, they would have to make an effort to peer over the table. If they want to know what I’m doing, I just tell them. Been on pump for two years and it does make it easier. Never had a problem.

You are not imposing by any means. I was 2 when diagnosed and am now 31. I do it at the table, in the restroom, at the bar. I don’t care. I can’t believe that someone would ask you to not do it in front of them. Especially now in the “politically correct” era we are in. If this is happening at work, you need to remind them of the Americans with disabilities act…I’m not one to pull a card but they can’t discriminate against you either.

Would you tell someone in a wheelchair with spasms all over his face to eat somewhere else because you can not stand this view? This is my usual reply to someone who has a problem with glucose tests or insulin shots. Would I go to the bathroom? No and never! People who pass out while seeing blood or needles should seek a therapy because even watching the news or movies must be a serious problem for them. It is not my responsibility to preserve their childish and naiv view of the world. This is our way of survival in good health and everything that needs to be done will be done. It simply hurts my dignity to be forced to keep that in private like some sort of sin.