Having to hide insulin injections


If I’m dining with others, and I want to test, I do it in my lap. What is the big deal? I’ve never had anyone act weird about me testing because most people DON’T EVEN NOTICE.


I’m blown away by the fact that the M-I-L is a pharmacist! Yeah, she should be helping you to educate the rest of the family. And in terms of fingersticks, it is so easy to do them in your lap - at the table. It is far less disruptive than your leaving and them letting their imagination conjure up all the “horrible things you must be doing in the bathroom”


I did work with a couple different people that couldn’t stand the sight of needles, injections, or drawing blood. A “phobia” kind of thing. Since my workstation wasn’t close to a restroom, I gave them a signal, turned my back to them and injected right there or tested my bg. We sort of made a joke about it that when I gave them the signal they had to turn and run away or they would faint. Perhaps some good humor about it might help. I’d say something about needing to “shoot up” yet again or “feed the vampire”. Because of my good humor and nonchalance, I was complimented on my bravery!


Almost off-topic, and I hope that Tim and others will forgive me, but I have found that you can get away with almost anything at almost any restaurant as long as you keep up a conversation with the person across from you. In the most respectable restaurants I have made my measurement, fiddled with my pen pulled up my shirt and injected myself in the abdomen without anyone sitting around us noticing.

Once at a wedding at which I was an Important Character I called over one of my sons and told him I had to inject so he should sit across from me and tell me a story. This was the conversation:

A girl called Snow White went walking in the woods,

Why did she go walking in the woods? She didn’t know that was dangerous?

Yes, but she had an important reason,

What was her important reason?

She was looking for a husband.

She was more likely to find one in town. Hardly anyone lives in the woods.

That’s true, but she decided that in town all the good men were taken, so she would try her luck in the woods.

By that time I had finished injecting, so I never did find out what happened to Snow White. And none of the people milling around noticed my injecting on my abdomen.


Thank you for your responses. I’m going to take your advice and eat before going to family occasions. If someone asks why I’m eating so little, I’ll tell them the truth. I’ll also start injecting in front of them. Maybe it will lead to some enlightened conversations.


Good for you! use it as a teaching moment. I have gastroparesis and other issues that mean I don’t eat a lot (like a Tablespoon total) and that with my diabetes means that testing and such are un-avoidable. I tell folks the truth if they ask, that I can’t eat a lot and take a moment to educate them on my issues. I DON’T take food, but must admit that most everyone DOES ask what I can have and has some on-hand. Frequent testing is required in folks like me (don’t know when we digest and when sugars rise, unless someone approves my CGM request) and I just turn away or do it in my lap. My friends kids are interested and do actually ask to watch to see the numbers. and I find that healthy…


I am so sorry that they are not understanding and are acting in a way that seems just weird to me. I prick my finger as I need to do. I can be discreet if in a restaurant by holding my hands below the surface of the table, but I would never, ever be embarrassed by having to test, nor would I resist testing to make other people more comfortable. I think your husband needs to talk to his family and represent your needs. His family needs to understand some basics, not the least of which is that you are doing the right thing to take care of your health and to maximize your life.


from embarrassment… small screen, difficult to read…


My husband and I spoke about it and he’s going to try to educate them about it. He wants me to start testing and injecting in front of them. He doesn’t want me to have to hide it either. It could be a teachable moment for the adults and definitely for the kids in the family.


I test in restaurants all the time, but I keep my monitor on my lap, and sometimes I slightly adjust my body so that it blocks my lap from the rest of the restaurant. I do this because I know that some people just cannot handle the sight of blood, and this is especially true if they are trying to eat something. In a private home, I test on my lap also, usually before the dishes start to get passed around. No one notices. I consider this just good manners.

For my own privacy’s sake, I would go to the restroom and inject there. However, since I now have the OmniPod, I can take my insulin by just working my PDM. Most people just think I am doing something on a rather “fat” phone. I love that I can easily take my insulin anywhere (car, park bench, beach, restaurant, etc.) with the pump.

I would encourage you to look into a pump if you are financially able to do so. They are life-changers and generally give a person better control than MDI! I did not want a tubed pump, so I chose the OmniPod. It has worked well for me.

I am blessed with a family that understands my need to test and to take my insulin before a meal, but if your in-laws have phobias about blood or needles, I would try to be polite and to accommodate their wishes. That is not being ashamed of your condition; it is just being considerate of others… even if you do not feel they are being considerate of you.

And as for the food, welcome to the battleground. In the end, I figure that life is choices, and I choose to eat only what I want to eat. You know what works for you and is healthy for you, so eat just that. If that means taking just a tablespoonful – or not – of the mashed potatoes, so be it. I agree with the conversation idea. If you keep up good table conversation, no one will notice or care what you do or do not eat.


So glad to hear that your husband is on board with trying to educate his family about your needs. Good job!


I’m thinking about getting the tandem with a Dexcom CGM. I’ve only had diabetes for five years, but I have hypoglycemic unawareness. I know a pump would help with everything. I’ve been holding off because I wasn’t sure if I wanted both of those attached to me at all times. It’s time now for me to get on a pump.


Learn all you can about pumps and then choose the right one for you. I love the OmniPod because it is totally tube free, so I can keep it on in showers or while swimming without interruption of my basal rate. However, I know that is not for everyone. I strongly encourage you to educate yourself about the pros and the cons (and the price) of them all, and then go for it. As I said, most of us have found better control with a pump, and a CGM will add to your health and safety immeasurably.


I support this choice! We are persons with disabilities whether we or others like it or not. The only way these fearful folks will be able to welcome you as FAMILY - as you are - is if they see how you must live and learn to turn from their ignorance of your issues into deciding to ask you how they can help you to be safe and thrive even in their space. I don’t try to flaunt my disease, but I’ll be damned if I’ll be forced to hide my disability.


The special issue with asking others to accept the way diabetics have to live is that many people in the healthy community are extremely squeamish about injections, finger pricks, and the sight of blood, so even if they want to be accommodating, we might make them feel like fainting.

I just slink away to the bathroom for such things.


So prick your finger under the table and have your meter in your lap if you’re worried that someone is going to pass out from the sight of blood. I’ve yet to see anybody pass out in my presence


Not that many people are that level of squeamish. Granted, those who genuinely have a blood/injection/injury phobia likely can’t easily control their reactions to it (it’s one of the harder to treat phobias, and may be more physiologically-based), but I’ve found that having them turn away and not talking about it to them in any detail (“I have to do my diabetes stuff, look away for a min, I’ll tell you when I’m done”) is usually sufficient.


I use to go to the bathroom so I don’t make anybody uncomfortable. One time I was sitting in the stall taking my shot . The needle fell in the toilet. It was full of .IncillinAfter that I decided that a bathroom is so unsanitary. I will not take my shot there again. I have spent so many year hiding so I won’t offend anyone to take my shot. I have just got to a place where it’s time people need to respect my choice to take my shot in public. I have a pump now and people don’t say anything.


Before my pump I would sometimes go to the bathroom, not to hide or to avoid making anyone uncomfortable, but simply because it afforded some peace and quiet so I could figure out my carb count and dose and do my thing undisturbed. Besides, I had to go there anyway to wash my hands before dinner.:wink:


My wife and I always carry hand wipes with us. If at a fast food joint, I always wipe my hands after getting the food and sitting down. At a sit-down restaurant, the menus are always gross…so again, we wipe our hands just as we begin to eat. Maybe that’s why I seldom catch a bug anymore. Attention to germs on surfaces? Whatever the reason for less sickness, I’m not going to change my “germaphobic” ways. :slight_smile: There’s no proof that those habits are the reason for less illness, but there sure as heck is no proof that it’s not.