It is very intimate in the way that many Ds don’t want other people, especially strangers, to know that they’re “broken”. I know it took me years and years before I had the nerve to inject in public. It’s embarrassing because you know that people are noticing and watching, curious. It’s humbling because of all of this attention. It’s scary because of all of the attention. Now all of those people know that there’s something “wrong” with you- but they don’t even know you.
Many people look at sickness as “weakness”. They’ll see me and feel sorry for my disease, when all I want is for them to look at ME and see ME- how I act, how strong I am, how confident I portray myself, how “classy” I act… just ME, not my stupid disease that I HAPPENED to get.
The people who are on these forums (or other discussion groups), we are the smart ones. We are seeking information, sharing experiences, and trying to learn and to understand. However, many people are like “mules”. They just go with what everyone else thinks. They see someone inject in public- “Oh, they must be ill.” or “I wonder what’s wrong with them?” or “Eeesh, that makes me uncomfortable, can’t she go into the bathroom?”
I’ve experienced all of these reactions.
T1D is also very intimate, because most people believe that my health is my own responsibility. It is, but let me get to another point. There are many many many things that affect BG levels: overdosing (duh), stress, exercise, flu, the weather? But, when something goes wrong, and I go into the hospital, so many people blame ME for what happened.
I remember a time when my sister accused me of going to the ER for “attention”. I laughed. Yeah, that sounds like a fun idea. I love getting prodded by doctors, my boob slipping out of my nightgown while I’m lying semi conscious on the stretcher, drool coming out of the side of my mouth in front of strangers, having a seizure so strong that I ached for days after, my fiance’s dad seeing me in my underwear… yeah, good times, good times. Having absolutely NO CONTROL of my body does NOT seem like a risk that I want to take for “attention”.
But, people without D just DONT UNDERSTAND. Which makes me feel like I really am alone in this disease. No matter how many times, or how many ways I explain it, they just don’t get it. And they never will. I can’t blame them for this.
So, yes. Taking injections is personal. Managing diabetes is personal. And me adding anyone to my circle of T1D world is a very intimate and special choice. I choose very carefully because I don’t want a “mother”, I just want someone to listen to me talk sometimes. Many people don’t know how to just listen.