We're all different, and of course view and react differently to public knowledge of our diabetes.
Being a loudmouth about it (me) is fine, as well as being reserved and private about it. I was curious, though, about others' approaches and feelings in this regard... Are you an extrovert about it, like me, or keep it to yourself, and prefer that people not know?
I'm blatantly open about it in my life. It's a good source of humor material when I'm bantering around with coworkers, friends, heck -- even strangers some times.
I find that this openness is, most of the time, disarming to others. My theory is that, they see me happy and treating it like it's no big deal, just a part of life, and they adjust their attitude accordingly, at least when I'm around.
I like that.
Anyway, how 'bout the rest of you?
Hi Ellen! Nice to see you around again!
I suppose I'm not always extroverted about it -- there are certain audiences and contexts where I absolutely don't want people to know -- like in a job interview :-)
Most of the time, though, I have loads of fun playing up the Cyborg angle with my pump and CGM.
I wouldn't say I'm outgoing about my diabetes, but if it comes up I don't mind, either. I wear my pump and even my infusion set where it's visible, and don't mind if people ask questions. I also test and do injections in my office, but I'm not sure I'd do an injection in the staff room (although that's partly because, ironically, since going on the pump I've become more self-conscious about doing injections in public than I used to be when I was on MDI).
I'm an introverted person and on top of that used to be very shy (they are not the same). I'm no longer shy in most contexts, but I'm still an introvert. I also have multiple "special needs" (I hate that term but, for lack of a better one!), and so I generally bring up whichever issue is more important at the time and leave the rest.
At a restaurant, for example, it's more important that the server know that I have a severe food allergy than that I'm diabetic. Or when going through a buffet, it's more important that people know I have a severe visual impairment (and therefore can't identify food) and a food allergy (and therefore need to be careful what I select) than the fact that I'm diabetic. If I bring up all three issues, or even just two issues, it makes me feel very high maintenance!
Since diabetes is the disease that requires the least outside intervention, it's often the thing I just don't mention unless it happens to come up or someone happens to mention it. Often, even in conversation, if someone brings up diabetes I'll keep my mouth shut—but I think this has more to do with my introversion than an actual reluctance for people to know about my diabetes.
I am similar to you - there are times when I let people know and talk about it; however, there are times (like job interviews) where it is simply unwise to be open on this.
I'm T2, which, as we know, comes with its social stigma -- something that is annoying (and wrong!)... As I don't fit the "T2 mold," I tend to get a bit "activist" when it comes to dispelling those ideas... At the same time, those public attitudes sometimes just make it smarter to say nothing.
Definitely more introverted then ever. Typically I don't like people knowing I'm diabetic since they might be, or at least know someone who is. It just seems more intimate now everyone just seems so different. Though I do appreciate diabetic humor and it seems like I should adopt your spin on things.
I've always been very open about it. My wife gave me a little LV bag, about 3x4" or so that's great for syringes and insulin and is whacky stylish. I have a tattoo, of a skull w/ syringes instead of crossbones (unable to post pics it's on my page if I haven't waved it around where you've been...) and showed many of my coworkers my Diabetes Forecast centerfold. I donate blood at work and tell them all about it, in a big room with a lot of people who uh, eat crap and don't work out who's BP is 30-40 points higher than mine, etc.
It comes up at work every once in a while (I'm a claims adjuster...). I had one case where I considered trying to 3rd party somebody's doctor in (long, classified story...) but it didn't work out but it did teach me that the legal system has very little understanding of diabetes. It's like a switch, you are or you aren't. We are always looking for angles and I always keep my eye out for another shot. I have enough feuds with various health insurers that, while I don't want anyone to have to encounter me (have a claim...), I'd be intrigued to get a case where an insurer limiting test strips for someone accused of some sort of negligence had some type of test strip correctible issue and to be able to point the finger at an insurance company with deep pockets...
Extrovert. If you talk to me longer than 10 minutes and do not know I am a diabetic, I must be ill or angry or something. So yeah, I am an extrovert about diabetes, if i were not an extrovert about diabetes what would I talk about? Oh I know Ole Ben the bull, but he is not a bull he is a steer, I mean he was a steer, Ok well he was a bull, then he was a steer, now he is stuffed and is in the park. Did I mention he is in park next to the Stump, oh never mind. LOL
I am very open about Diabetes, but I like to think I'm not pushy about it. I wear my pod where it can be seen. I (usually) don't care that my cgm sensor sticks out of my thigh. I test my bg anywhere I go. I don't mind people asking me questions.
However, I don't go out of my way to advertise my diabetes. Nor do I make "jokes" about it to those I don't know. If some stranger is going to ask me "What's that thing on your arm?" I am going to tell them it's my pump. I am going to treat it like it's commonplace so that maybe it will become commonplace :)
I'm pretty open about it, although I don't have much of a tolerance for people making loud, wrong jokes about it. Especially sugar-related ones lol
I just do my best to inform and dispel any misinformation or misconceptions people might have about diabetes.
I am out with my diabetes. It's hard enough to deal with the disease without having to hide what I'm doing while I try to manage my blood sugars.
I'm both... most of the time I'm testing in public etc. At work I don't test while teaching because I feel it isn't right and it would affect my teaching but I do talk about it with some people, my students as well. I do talk to a lot of total strangers and others about it and meet pwd or relatives of pwd that way... and yes I usually do promote a lo carb diet to them, lol.
im open about D. like maurie said, it would make it a lot harder to have to hide it. i have never mentioned it at a job interview or anything like that, but with friends and coworkers, im happy to educate and answer questions. people are very misinformed-it always surprises me!
another of my friends is also an emily and when some mutual friends were talking about one of us, they said, which emily, american emily? and the other said, theyre both american. the first responded with, oh, do you mean diabetic emily? one of them told me this later and i laughed, but yeah, dont wnat to be known as DIABETIC EMILY!
the only people i am considering NOT telling socially in the future are doctors. eery time i hang out with a doctor, they want to know what my bg is when i test and they can be a bit in my face. maybe its just the ones that i know... last weekend i was at a friends party and a doctor id only met two or three times was there. after loads of champagne and homemade vietnamese spring rolls, i was relaxing on the sofa, with some other people. we had some music on, slumped all over. somebody asked me if i was all right and he jumped over and put his hand on my forehead, i guess to feel if i was all sweaty, and said, no, doesnt feel hypo. i was gobsmacked! so yeah, gonna keep it on the down low with doctors in the future.
I am not loud and proud but I don't hide my D except at job interviews. I try to educate people so if it comes up I do talk about it. I feel that the only way to eliminate the prejudice and stigma is to be open about it. I am T2 and most people feel that is a fat, old person disease so they don't get tested even when there is a family history. I try to educate people that I was an active person in my 30s when I was diagnosed. I feel the most important thing is that people be diagnosed early before they have much damage and that isn't going to happen if they get diagnosed 30 years after they have elevated bg.
Like you, I'm also open about it to my friends & acquaintances. I find it encouraging whenever someone would know about my condition & would ask me where do I get the courage to accept my condition, & how do I get through testing myself several times a day, etc. Sometimes, people would scare me by saying morbid things (for example, they have a relative who suffers from diabetes complications, or they know someone who died because of diabetes). But as much as possible, I try not to think about it (though sometimes I can't help but be affected)
I do what I have to do when I have to do it. Hang around me enough and, chances are, you'll pick up on the fact that I have a routine that involves lot's of handheld electronics. The fact that it all has to do with diabetes is my own business though. I don't discourage inquiry but I certainly don't encourage it either.
The people who need to know that I have diabetes know that I have diabetes but the people who don't need to know, which is basically everybody else, probably don't. If they do, they don't generally concern themselves with it, which is fine. The exceptions, of course, are my close friends who I'm very appreciative to for taking a vested interest in my health. Even then, inquiry is usually limited to "Your Life-o-Meter good?"
I'm all about getting on to the things I'd rather be doing then tending to my diabetes.
Back in the day when people did not discuss any health concerns with anyone other than friends . family, teachers, and medical personnel; I was somewhat closed about revealing anything about diabetes or its management to to others. I was taught it was a "private matter". Now as an adult who has 45 years of type 1 diabetic living under my belt, I am a natural extrovert, my personality type,, and will share info about it with anyone. No shame in my game!!
"...but with friends and coworkers, im happy to educate and answer questions. people are very misinformed-it always surprises me!"
Processing this, I realized that I have a lot of conversations about it with people who are genuinely curious, without a scintilla of judgement. They almost always "know" all the wrong stuff, learned from our media and culture, but want to know the "real" scoop from a "real" diabetic.
The judgmental types I have no time for. I enjoy talking about the issue, especially all the technical stuff, with anyone interested.
And the Cyborg thing is a universal hit
I'm not ashamed of my diabetes, or emotional about what I have to do to treat it in any way, shape, or form. I have no issue, whatsoever, sharing information with anybody who might be curious about what it is, exactly, that I'm doing with my gadgets.
Beyond that, I don't invite the general public into my life as a diabetic by being a diabetic extrovert. I don't see the point, not because it is some private matter. I can't help but make it public if the public simply pays even a modicum of attention to what I'm doing, right there, but that doesn't make it the public's business.
After nearly 30 years with T1, I do not require the general public's acceptance, or leave, or understanding, or, maybe, the assurance that comes from the attention that some others might get.
That doesn't make me an diabetic "introvert" either. It just makes me a person who really couldn't care less.
Whoah, chill a bit. A lot of baggage in that post.
There's no judgement attached to "introvert" or "extrovert" in this discussion. Just sharing.
I'm an extrovert about it because that's my general nature. I'm not trying to prove anything, nor do I require acceptance, attention, or assurance from anyone. I'm just a boisterous, open person by nature.