Checking blood sugar in public

Has anyone encountered any issues with checking their blood sugar or their kids blood sugar in public.

There is a close family member who seems to take offence and says it bothers her and many others that I check my blood sugar with my glucometer and my son's blood sugar in public. She expects that we should go to the washroom to check our blood sugar except if we are low (of course, my son does not always know he is low unless he checks his sugar so how does that even make sense).

When in a restaurant, I discreetly check my blood sugar on my lap under the table but with my son I put his meter on the table and he checks it himself.

Personally, I will check my sugar whenever and wherever I want/need to despite whether or not it makes others uncomfortable. I find that in today's day and age this is unbelievable and this IS A FAMILY MEMBER on my husband's side of the family!!!

Since my father, brother, myself and my son are all Type 1 diabetics no one in my family would even say such a thing.

Just curious to other diabetics experiences.



I would probably look at it like it's their problem not yours. Personally I take offense when anyone even acts disturbed by it because this is just part of my life. My mother in law used to take offense and it annoyed me but if she was around I would just try to step into another room of the house.

I'll even test/inject at a traffic light in my car. People probably think I'm a druggie but oh well. :)

I keep my meter on top of my desk at work and check throughout the day. On several occasions I have had coworkers walk into my office mid-fingerstick or mid-injection. They look startled and I say "no problem, I'm used to this". Once a co-worker replied "well I'm not" and walked out. Their problem, not mine.

On the other hand, I've had coworkers who thought my meter was "really cool" because they thought it was a cell phone at first.

If I'm in a restaurant, I will be discrete and test in my lap but it's hard to draw insulin out of a vial discretely. And I refuse to do it in the bathroom.

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ugh! I'm sorry that you have to deal with this. Not only for yourself, but for your son. If the family member is so upset, maybe you could ask them to leave while you do it? Then maybe they'd see how impractical their request is :)

Side note - Have you seen this video: Seems like Kim is talking right at your situation.


Thanks Kate for sharing this video. I loved it!

I nor my daughter have an issue with it. We are both T1's. As a matter of fact I changed my Omnipod at the airport while on a layover. I did sit in the corner of the terminal though.

Never had an experience like that from anyone. Sorry you have to go through it. I agree with the others, their problem, not yours.

Thanks...I guess (ironically it is my mother in law) for her benefit I can try to go into another room.

At work, I would check under my desk as sometimes we had clients in the office as it was a open concept travel agency.

I also will inject in the car at a light or while my husband is driving...hmmmm high blood sugar vs people staring...high blood sugar wins out so I will give a shot anywhere I need to.

Thanks for listening :)

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I'm with you, Jodil. I check wherever & whenever I need to. I'm discrete, but in some situations there's only so discrete you can be. I also inject without hiding it. One of my teenage newphews got squeamish the first time he saw me inject. I gave him an empty syringe to try. Once he realized it was pain-free, it didn't bother him.

Quite insensitive of her to mention this. Know it's hurtful.I like Kate's suggestion. I'd also nicely tell her that it's hard for your son to hear how unsupportive his family is towards his disease because it's nothing he should be made to feel ashamed of.

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Never had anyone complain, some of my friends are weak and look away. I say TOUGH SH*#&*@( to that person in your life. This is hard enough to handle, especially if your son is younger. I do it on purpose sometimes just to increase awareness and push people to ask questions. Keep it up, health is more important than anyone's comfort, not to mention, public bathrooms are NASTY, you go eat there and I'll check my sugars at the table right? CHEERS


Reminds me of when I was a kid and I'd go to the mall with my grandma. We might see someone in a wheelchair... and her inevitable comment was "Why can't they be in a hospital where we don't have to see that.".

Of course that same grandma never understood why I was still using insulin. I'd been taking it for years, what's my problem, wasn't I cured yet?

Different generations, and probably even different people in the same generation, view disabilities and enabling technologies in vastly different ways. For some, it's the enabling technology (e.g. bg meter, or wheelchair) that is the offensive part. It makes no sense to me, but it's true.

I don't excuse myself to check my blood sugar. So far, no one has voiced any discomfort over testing in public. I used to take my shots in public before I started pumping too. I have changed my Omnipod in a secluded corner of Starbucks when we were traveling also. It's normal to do that stuff for you own health and your son's. I feel that if the sight of blood or needles makes someone uncomfortable, they can look away. Around my own family, I tend to have an audience because I'm the only Type 1 in my family and it's pretty new to everyone so they're curious.

I agree with some of the other comments, it's their problem and not yours. As long as you aren't shoving your testing in that person's face they can just look away. There's no reason that you or your son should be shamed into leaving the room when you're with family. Taking care of yourself is never anything to be ashamed of.

I often check in public - at a restaurant, in exercise class or at work. I usually ask at the table if it is okay with everyone if I check my sugar and take my injection - no one has ever said no!

Upon diagnosis I decided to adopt the "Eat to Your Meter" system. So on a typical day I would test 5 times at work. Having never seen anyone test before, initially I went to an unused conference room, for fear it would bother some of my coworkers. It soon became apparent that it bothered no one, so I was soon testing at my desk, sometimes in mid conversation with one of my coworkers. Often they will ask a question, I have turned this into an opportunity to educate them about diabetes. As often as not the next thing out of their mouth is a story about how a friend/relative is not taking care of themselves. I view this a positive thing. The average person is woefully ignorant about diabetes (types, treatment etc.) and a little pressure from friends/relatives to take better care of themselves, like the guy at work, is a good thing too.

I have a particular group of friends that is the exact opposite. One of them happens to be T1 as well. Back when I was on MDI, everytime we would go out for a meal, they had to take pictures of us shooting up. At first, THAT was a bit uncomfortable. I took awhile to get used to the idea that, if there was going to be a meal served, there was going to be at least 3 cameras documenting each and every diabetic move.

No problems with me. I never take anything out of my meter case... the lancer stays in place (and I put my finger up against it), and the meter stays in place... I just put the strip in and my bloody finger against that. The only people who really seem to notice are others who have diabetes. I am discrete about it - in my lap if seated, and using the case to block the view from others if standing. And I always lick my finger "clean" at the end. I don't make a production out of it, and don't stop what I'm doing either -- I often continue walking and/or talking while I test.

Some people pass out at the sight of blood. I can understand it if that's the reason, and if so, hiding the actual blood from view, and not the fact that you're testing it, may solve the problem.

This is a hot button issue as always. I test anywhere, anytime, and in front of anybody. If sombody doesn't like it, TOUGH. (I could use more colorful language, but children read these posts too)

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At work, if I need to test, and someone else is in the room, I will say something to the effect of "I have to test my blood sugar, if the sight of blood bothers you, you need to leave the room for a minute. Anywhere else, I am sorry if I offend anyone, but I am taking care of a critical health issue that I can die from if I don't take good enough care of it, so I do what I need to do when I need to do it as discretly as practical. If that means testing at the table at a restaurant then that is what I will do. Before the Omnipod, when I was injecting Byetta and Insulin at most meals, I did get some comments from family about how it wasn't polite to do at the table at a restaurant and how it might bother people at other tables who "had to watch". Those comments ended when I pointed out a lady breast feeding at another table after one of those comments... No one in the restaurant seemed to be bothered by the breast feeding, so my 20 seconds checking blood sugar and taking two quick injections were unlikely to be severely traumatizing anyone either.

It is much easier now with Dexcom, Victoza and Omnipod

another mother in law problem! i love mine but really! this is like saying i dont like that you have blond hair could you dye it black for me or something, diabetes is a very real part of your life and your son's, i sense she must have other 'issues' and i would spend as little time with her as possible. not to be mean but when a family member doesnt accept you as you are what does that say about them. checking blood sugars is a pretty discrete act, if she is uncomfortable she should just look away. if you like her otherwise you could just shrug it off as a charater flaw, but is is hers and not yours! i hope you have others that support you 100%!

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Thanks Jacob's mom.
Unfortunately, my main support- my mom who was married to a diabetic (my dad) and has two diabetic children and a grandson (my son) passed away last month. She was truly the ONLY person who knew how I felt as a parent of diabetic children herself.

My husband is very supportive as well and does his best.

It is his mom and normally I love her very much but she seems to care too much what others think regardless of the issue including diabetes (SHE IS TYPE 2 herself but never checks her sugars)!!!.

In the end, I will continue to check whenever/wherever I want for me or my son but COULD NOT believe she told my husband.


I don't have much experience with mother-in-laws or diabetes in general, but since I was diagnosed type 1 and test about 10 times a day, my type 2 mother-in-law who was "nonpracticing" has started checking her blood sugar more frequently and is going to get a new glucose meter to finally replace her old one.

Maybe continuing to test in front of her will encourage her to be more active about her own diabetes.