Do you keep your Diabetes to yourself while out in public?

I have unsuccessfully tried to establish a get together in San Diego CA on 2 occasions. I have personally been a type 1 for 28 years and during that time I have only met 2 other type 1s that I could talk with and know they understand.
So I got to thinking maybe people don’t want to talk face to face about it, I remember running into a women at the Corvette Diner in Hillcrest, she had an insulin pump and I tried to make small talk and told her I was also a type 1 she did not seem interested in talking either.
I am a fairly open person about what I have and have no problem talking about it, maybe I am the odd ball.
So the question is, would you rather keep it to yourself or are you willing to talk about it when asked face to face


Always willing to talk about it to other’s if something is said about my pump. I really want other’s to understand diabetes.

I’ve gotten about 6 people together in the Detroit area, about 8 interested total. I don’t really talk about it or bring it up in conversation but if someone approached me at a party, I would love to talk and if I noticed a pump I would try and start a conversation. I’m sure there are those that don’t want to or aren’t comfortable talking, keep trying. I’m sure there are some out there who would love to get together. You can always come to Michigan and join us!! :slight_smile:

Up until the past couple years, I was pretty tight lipped about it. Although I am not usually the one to start a conversation, if someone asks me, I will tell them. I don’t hide anymore when I check my BS in public or if I needed to take a shot. Now I have the pump.

I don’t try to hide it if someone asks. I work in healthcare and I always use the opportunity to educate if I am asked about my pump. Pumps are not seen everyday in the hospital, and certainly are not understood, so any education I can provide is awesome.

Type 1 since 1984.
I wear my Navigator sensor on my arm. It’s kind of big, so people see it frequently. Doctors ask about it, people in restaurants ask about it, co-workers ask about it, and I answer their questions. I try not to elaborate, though, because I have a hard time knowing when too much info is too much info. When people’s eyes start rolling in the back of their heads, I know it’s too much, but then it’s too late.
If they start asking me Type 2 questions, I write down this web address and give it to them. I keep a tudiabetes post card posted at the entrance to my cubicle, too. I am totally willing to talk about it, but I don’t typically start converstations about it. We are all different, though. Maybe she’s private. Maybe she was just busy. Maybe she thought you were trying to hit on her. Who knows? Don’t be offended, though. Life it too short.

i would love to chat face to face with someone else with type1 diabetes. iv never had the opportunity to do so. Still looking for ppl out there. oh and i do shots and test my self ALL the time in public. Iv been told before by my friends mum if i could do it somewhere else, it hurts cause u cant help it, but i spose i have to respect others too, (just not the ones in public lol)

Mee too… and Guess what?
I found alot of Those others are (a) Out of control (b) Very Depressed © Don’t want to be reminded of it ( denial?) (d) don’t want to be told What they should be doing…
(e) Or All of the above…

the only way to Improve ourselves is to Share our Experiences, good and bad…
Far too many in the Medical profession paint this Disease to rosy and wait until we After We get problems, that maybe being alittle More honest and Aggressive, could have delayed those problems alittle longer…

And Telling a T1 kid or any T1 “They can do and eat anything they want” is my favorite… pet peeve…
Wiithout adding alot og Needed guidelines to follow , so they can determine wether they want to do “Anything the want”…and weigh the risks and wether they want to do the requirements to do them…

and have a better understanding of why they may not be treated the same in the Real working world…
Many Should be told alot more, so they can Plan Ahead for Careers that may be less Stressfull on them and their Diabetes… and not shorten their lives… Not to mention having better relations with others …

Im up in LA. If you find yourself up here and want coffee shoot me a msg. Another T1 and I gtg as often as we can and shoot the, umm insulin! Ha! Seriously though, I lead a busy life, but am always down to chit chat with PWD.

Ive been T1 for 25 years and though Ive sought good control its been an illusive sob. Now, Im doing good. But Ive always been game to talk about it. I dont know everything and can always learn from others. So Im pretty open, although I dont hang a sign or sport medic alert info. Thinking a tattoo should be coming sooner or later though.

Ive seen some PWD with pumps and what not that when I say hey, they shun me as well. Its odd. I have been acquainted with PWD, but never known anyone well enough to talk with long term or what not. I think its hard for some folks to deal, let alone bs like it talking about your favorite food.

It’s my favorite conversation.
And what is so surprising to me is that when PWDs come face to face with someone who is a professional AND diabetic, they don’t ask questions, either. It’s free, it’s fun to talk.
I think Dennis has hit on it. Perhaps it’s that people try to minimize it so don’t talk about it, are afraid to monopolize the conversation with their concerns.

Why would you hide it. So far I actually have gotten more odd looks popping my insulin in the bathroom at place then when I do it in public. I did have a young lady make a OMG he should do that in the bathroom comment on campus the other day. I politely turned to her table and asked if a mother breast feeding should nurse in the bathroom. She didn’t have a come back…
I have talked to a few about it usually it goes over well. Just don’t see a point in hiding it.

She was imping I shouldn’t be sitting on the bench on a nice sunny day and taking my shot. I refuse to use the bathrooms on campus to cramped.

Donald, I act the same whether I am home or out in the world and I have made it a point that everyone at work or around me understands I am a diabetic for my own safety reasons. When I’m in public and I need to check my BG I have no problem checking it where ever I may be or like wise injecting myself. I meet many diabetics in performing my duties as a Paramedic and I think most of them find it comforting when they find out they are being treated by another diabetic so I make it a point to talk to them about it. I being a T1 have found that many older T2’s who being treated whether insulin dependent or not have really no idea about what is happening to them, I don’t know if it’s that they don’t understand or they just don’t care too. Most of the T1’s I happen to come across are usually in a seizure or postiptal state but rarely in pre DKA. I am always willing to talk to other T1 & T2’s whether it’s about the disease or just talk in general. I hope I’m not sounding like I was singling out T2’s it’s just how it appears to me in my world.

I have had the same experience, Donald. I am currently trying to start a Type 1 Women’s Group in the Bay Area. Our first meeting was set for Labor Day weekend (having been out of the country for two years I was oblivious to the holiday until it was right on us), so I’m hoping that is why nobody showed. A couple people contacted me and said they couldn’t come that particular weekend. We’ll see how the next one goes. I did meet one of the women who called for coffee and it was amazing! If she hadn’t had to go back to work we could have talked for hours. I love that feeling of talking about an intense experience with someone who has been there. I did make a mistake, I think, by including my background as a Counselor on the flyer. I think people who haven’t known that amazing feeling of connection with others with similar experience might think of a “support group” as therapy. I hope I can get it going.

I’m like the person who said often errs by saying too much. I’ve found that even my close friends and family are only intererested to an extent. A couple because they are themselves diabetics who are not fully managing their blood sugar or in my brother’s case a pre-diabetic who lost weight and got his A1C down and his doctors are not encouraging him to test of do anything more. But others just because of human nature and not wanting to hear about problems or things that don’t concern them.

I did have a great experience one day when I was in Barnes and Noble and a man was asking the clerk for a book for his family as his teenage daughter had just been diagnosed type 1. I introduced myself and after a moment of looking up at me like “why is this strange lady getting into my conversation” he seemed to really appreciate the things I said. I of course gave him a TuD card!

I would prefer if people asked me about my diabetic…even weird questions I would prefer…than people only looking at me, talking behind my back, feeling sorry for me or being scared of me…!

It is like all other discussions people avoid talking about, like politics or religions…the same with diseases!

EVERYTHING about me is out, loud, and proud. I don’t keep it a secret and and I don’t hide it. My co-workers understand when I say I’m low and I need to go away for a minute. My friends understand and are able to assist if it gets that far. I’m pumping now and I’ve got a Dexcom. I’ve got things beeping around me all the time. I’m a big one for visibility in the real world. If someone wanted to chat with me about it, I’d be happy to. In my bad old days I would have probably avoided close contact because I didn’t want to be accountable for my choices. Not too long ago a Mr. Universe winner and T1 diabetic got into a little scuffle at a movie theater when the staff and the cops thought he was drunk and combative. Since then I’ve been obvious about it. Though, it’s not as evident as it could be. Now I’ve got all kinds of things that keep it out of the way.

By staying stigmatized everyone else shielded from what our day-to-day is like.

You give your shot wherever you are whenever you need to. That is your most important priority. She can go pound her disapproval. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Would a real IV drug user sit on a park bench and shoot up? Not very likely. I’ve got a co-worker her freaks at needles. She’s either going to get used to it or she’s going to get a lot of exercise dashing back into her office. You aren’t doing anything that is against the law or harmful to the general public at large. Can’t stand needles? Allow me to be a perspective lesson for you. Invisibility leads to nothing good.

Well said Pete! I want EVERYONE to know! I’ve had to go to the ER one time when I tried to keep it qiuet. Know what? wound up in the hospital for a week b/c they gave me the wrong IV to get me counsis. From that day on I told EVERYBODY EVERYTHING about me in case I had that happen again! All my friends know I’m a diabetic and know what to do if I start falling low or talking strange. Not only my friends, but my family, my husbands friends, and my 20 and 21 year old daughter’s friends. Down to my g-kids. Don’t work do enough of that at home but my neighbors know what to do too! And my husband’s family also! I think I covered all my bases of ppl I’m around everyday. If that don’t work (I used not to have one but now I do) I have a bracelet that tells other’s I’m a diabetic and have certian alleriges to other meds that will put me near death if I ever get them.

You are right Pete, it does help when people around you know what is wrong. Back in July right after I started the pump, my BS crashed in the middle of the night. I was apparently screaming & banging on the wall before passing out. My neighbors called 911 who in turn called the manager to get in. She knew that I was diabetic so the EMTs at least had a heads up when they came in and found me unconscious.

I think helps encourage others to test more when they see us testing in public. Last year when I had a stress test at the cardiologist’s office, they had a bunch of us there for stress tests and we were in the waiting room between parts of the test. I was testing a lot as usual and the guy sitting across from me told his wife when she came out & sat down that I was diabetic - every time she would see me test, she said she guessed she should check also. From talking to her, I don’t think she was in very good control but I think I at least got her to realize the importance of testing.

i have never disclosed my T1 to anyone in 51 years and never will. only my wife, two kids, mother and doctor know. i’ve never told anyone at work, at school, at play, even when I went to iraq. i doubt my wife knows what a1c is, though i’d be happy to tell her if she asked.
i don’t know another diabetic and never had a personal relationship with one. that’s fine with me. i don’t need help and life so far has been fantastic.
it makes life much, much easier not having to explain things. everything i accomplish is on my own and i prefer to live my life this way. and yes, i’ve been lucky but also very disciplined. i’ve never had a seizure; have no complications. in fact, i’ve never been incapacitated by a high or low all these years.
i’m convinced the reason is, it’s all on me. that makes me diligent, careful, disciplined and … very, very happy.