I'm a fairly new Type 1 Diabetic, and just started taking a college yoga class. When I have to check my glucose level, I feel a little worried as to what people will think about me. I'm fine checking it at work..etc, but checking it in a room full of strangers makes me feel uncomfortable. Should I just not care what people think?
I don't care what people think about it. I had a guy at work, new guy to our office but older, could have retired but moved to our location due to personal reasons, etc. Really cool guy but he was like "I don't know if I could do that" and was like "well, it's better than the alternative" which is what Dmitri Shostakovich said to a western journalist who asked him "how could you live under communism for so long?". I studied Tae Kwon Do for like 5 years and tested my BG before, after and, if I felt loopy, during classes. I also ran the Chicago Marathon last year and lugged my meter along on the longer training runs and, with a couple miles to go, checked in the middle of Michigan Avenue, just to make sure the CGM was in the ballpark. Nobody asked me there but if they did, I'd probably have laughed at them?
Hi lafashionaddict: I have practiced yoga for many years, and I frequently get all my yoga stuff set up, sit down, and test my blood sugar. No one has ever said anything to me. It is so important to test before class, and to be cautious because yoga can really drop your blood sugar. I just pretend to myself that everyone else is so involved with their own stuff that they don't notice me (and maybe it is not pretending!). We have to take care of ourselves.
It's true, we do have to take care of ourselves. :)
I've done it in public before and nobody notices! My glucometer is so quick and small. I take it out, put it in my lap (you can sit cross-legged on the floor), test and stick it back in my bag. Even if someone sees, they won't say anything. That's been my experience.
Yoga's one of those things that drops me like a stone--the sustained intensity makes the low creep up on me. In fact, my record low was a 27 during a yoga tape at home. It's one of those things (like shopping or doing inventory) that you should be testing regularly as you work out.
Your health is worth any staring that you get. And honestly, most people don't even notice. Now that I have a meter, I notice other people's meters/people testing all the time--before dx I hadn't ever registered seeing one. I have yet to have anyone at a different table at a restaurant even notice (except for kids--and they're just fascinated) including the servers.
I do care to a point. I try to be considerate of others since it does upset a few. If I can test in private I try to. But if it's necessary I have no problem testing in public. If my testing in public upsets someone then so be it.
I don't care in the least. I've noticed throughout my travels in classes, workouts an even on the subway that people are too involved with their own lives to realize you're making yourself bleed.
Once in a while I get a courageous person who despite the rules of etiquette decides to stare with the expression of how babies stare at you. I feel like I can tell when people are watching me take care of my diabetes (diabeticradar) so I usually find the person and stare right back at them. It really doesn't do the situation any good but I get a wee chuckle out of it.
I guess my point is that a teeny amount will notice and it's usually because they're interested in what your doing. It's not everyday you get to see such medical technology in action,I guess. I've never had anyone say "Oh my gosh, that's disturbing do it out of my sight" but I ever come across that person I will tell them "I'm just keeping myself alive, similar to you breathing to keep yourself alive. Can you breathe out of my sight because I find it disturbing" I've heard stories though.
So stock up on snappy comebacks and whip out your meter. No shame!
Checking your blood sugar is now part of your life! Don’t ever let yourself feel worried or concerned about what others think. Are you embarrassed to eat in front of other people? Would an asthmatic be embarrassed to use their enhalor in public?!
I also take yoga classes, as well as ballet, African dance, etc. I straight up keep my glucometer right next to me and check freely as much as is necessary for me to be able to relax and enjoy the class.
Also, in my experience, as someone else pointed out, people are generally so caught up in their own experiences, that they won’t even notice you doing anything out of the ordinary! We are such pros at checking our blood sugar, we can do it in the blink of an eye!
Take care of yourself.
I do it all the time with strangers in a room.
I never care what people think. I'm educating them by my actions.
I took a yoga class this morning, did go low but I started out too low..so, make sure you test. don't ever be concerned about checking your blood sugars in public or anywhere. i too used to be nervous about it, but I don't care anymore either. i just keep it kinda tucked in my bag and do it....!
OK, true story. When I first started using Novolog pens, I was at a restaurant that had "family style" seating. So I was seated at a six-top with a family of four (total strangers.) I wanted to test and bolus before I ate, so I set my backpack in my lap and proceeded to test and bolus and jog everything down in my little notebook. About a half-hour later I asked them, "Excuse me. I'm new to using insulin and I wonder if you'd help me out? A few minutes ago I tested my blood sugar and gave myself an injection. Did any of you notice? Did it gross you out?" Only one person out of the four noticed me testing (she heard the clicker) and no one noticed me giving myself the injection. They very graciously helped my confirm what I suspected -- most of the time, people around us are focused on their own business and not on us. We feel particularly visible/noticeable when we test/bolus but they're thinking about their own stuff and not about us, for the most part.
I used to care. My first time through college (I'm going back in Sep), I never checked in class - I'd go to the bathroom to do it. Once in a while I'd do it in the food court at the student union, but only if sitting with friends.
This time around I don't think I'll give a crap! I'll do it when and where I need to. I actually ran into a lot of other diabetics in my classes in the past - who injected, who wore pumps, etc. So I know I'm not alone (granted, at a University of 40,000 students) and I'm overall just less 'shy' about it now. I test in restaurants and stuff now anyway.
I guess I just view it as something I have to do, and if other people have a problem with it THEY don't have to look! :)
I check whenever and wherever. Most people don't notice and the few who notice and are bothered can be dealt with on a case by case basis. They can always look away. You can't borrow a functioning pancreas.
I test in public all the time, you gotta do what you gotta do!
I sometimes test in public, and sometimes don't. Whenever this topic comes up I'm always somewhat bemused that when someone says they don't like testing in public, they are accused of being "ashamed of their diabetes". I think this is an unwarranted assumption because some people are just more "private" than others. I also think at different stages of our living with D (as well as different stages in our lives) we may go through changes on this issue.
For me, it was a revelation the day I met my first other Type 1 friend for lunch and I watched as she tested in the big open eating area. Nobody was paying any attention at all. (In general I find that I myself watch people a lot more than other people do - they are more absorbed in their own conversations, smart phones, etc - maybe everyone people watches they are just more subtle! Anyway that was interesting to me how little anyone noticed.
Nowadays I will sometimes test in public if I have the need, especially when I'm alone. If I'm meeting someone for lunch I will usually test in the car before I walk in. Since I'm on the pump now the rest of the action is just "button pushing" and who isn't sitting around pushing buttons these days?
But I do think this, like many D related issues, is a personal preference.
Now confession: Before I was diagnosed, I used to give educational talks on Hepatitis C, in which among facts I shared was the idea of universal precautions (that anyone can be carrying the hepc as well as the hiv virus. Also, that in the case of HepC, the virus can live in a dried drop of blood for up to 14 days. In light of my role in this educational material, I was out for lunch with a coworker with diabetes and when she took out her meter to test I was horrified that she could be exposing blood in a restaurant. (Didn't know that judgement would come back to haunt me!)
I am a very private person, so I tend to try to keep my testing slightly hidden. It's not that I'm embarrassed, just that I don't feel like everyone needs to see it. When I was using needles, I always went into the bathroom to do it when eating in public. That was mainly because needles freak me out (diagnosed at 21mos old, and you'd think I'd have overcome that by now, but it seems to be getting worse with age), so I need to take a whole bunch of deep breaths and close my eyes when I give one.
With that said, I think diabetes now is SO common, that most people have seen someone test before, so it's not a shocker to anyone.
I think you're right about more people knowing about diabetes and testing. I was at a potluck at someone's house and went from the dining room where everyone was gathered into the living room to test. The teenaged daughter and her two friends were running around and as they sprinted into the room I was in, one grabbed the others arm to stop her from running into me saying, "she's doing her diabetes thing".
I don't apologize for the things that keep me healthy. I am respectful that others don't like the sight of blood, etc. But, too, TYPICALLY I don't invite their eyes over to my dinner table. I can do it discreetly (not waving my meter around or saying "OH, I GUESS I NEED TO CHECK MY GLUCOSE NOW....") LOL... So if they are looking at me then it is of their own free will. I also don't look around to see WHO is looking at me. I figure if someone is not bold enough to ask me what I'm doing then I won't be the information queen and give them my explanation.
In time, you'll develop your own "style" because after I was first diagnosed I would excuse myself to the restroom for shots. I thought, not anymore! The only time I excuse myself now is if I have to do it in my arm or I can't reach my abdomen due to wearing a dress or tights.