Injecting in Public Areas

I writing an essay for my psychology class, and hit some writers block right now. This is the prompt, “Think about normal and abnormal behavior in terms of context (environment, culture, time, etc.). Go somewhere (anywhere) and engage in some kind of abnormal behavior by violating a social norm of any type. In other words, I am giving you full permission to just go
someplace and act as strange or as weird as you like. Try to push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone and violate any social norm that is associated with the place that you go.” As I was listening to the professor explain the assignment, I was like “Well, that was like a everyday thing for me.” My first few months as a diabetic, it was a fearful thing to inject in public areas or even in front of family at the table. I have heard many diabetics to the restroom to inject, though I disagree on this idea for the amount of germs that can be found in the restroom. My parents always kept me at the table and help me out if nesacary. My assignment was to break a social norm, and I decieded to write it on injecting insulin in public areas. As I got used to injecting in public areas, I knew and felt the eyes of others on me. I mean, someone puts out a case (okay that’s normal), pokes themself until a drop of blood comes out (okay a bit odd), then puts out a vial and needle, fills it and injects their arm or stomach (like omg, is that person doing drugs?!). This kind of senario can be some of the thoughts that some people show if they watch you give yourself a dose of insulin, that will helps you survive. Some people may not understand what diabetes is, therefore not understand that this is normal or routine for you yet very wierd or not normal for them. Though I’m trying to overcome this writers block for now, I ask the community: what are some thoughts to my essay or any experiences regarding injecting in public, or if there are some other social norms diabetics break? (I’m not asking for help for my essay, just a question of curiosity.)

I was very self-conscious at first but quickly realized that people rarely ever notice. I remember being newly diagnosed and sharing this with friends over a meal, and them not having realized I tested and injected before the food came out. Sometimes the ones that do are often impacted by Diabetes some way: they either have it or someone close to them has, and it becomes a positive conversation starter.

I agree that the first months with diabetes, you can be self conscious about injecting in public. I always feared that I was going to get into trouble because of me injecting in public, but as time passed, I would get some glances from people yet no one ever bothered me or questioned me. In college, some people would think I was doing some form of drugs and wanted some, yet I explained that I was diabetic and they would be amazed at what I had to do and my life. Like you said, it is a conversation starter for those people who see you for the first time inject yourself. Within the family, people would just ask me what I was doing and after time passed, they would just ignore me as I injected. Though I always have an audience (one or two) of small kids around me watching what I was doing. Apparently they though I was bad and was getting a shot because of that. haha

Hi Vanessa: Most people are ignorant about type 1 diabetes and why it is necessary that we have to inject insulin. But it keeps us alive and it's nothing to be ashamed about. I use a pump but I have no concerns about checking my blood sugar in public. Here's a true story you can use whatever way you wish: During a short trip to Mexico, I was having lunch in a popular place which was filled with people, mostly Mexicans. I checked my blood sugar and then pulled out a syringe to give myself a shot. It was at that point that I got the feeling someone was watching what I was doing. I quickly realized that a policeman was standing directly behind me and was VERY interested in the whole procedure! At the same time I noticed a woman across the room watching too, but her friendly expression conveyed the thought, "It's o.k. Don't worry." The policeman obviously felt I wasn't doing something illegal because he moved on without saying anything. I breathed a sigh of relief and felt I had come too close to landing in a Mexican jail!

I was also felt I didn't want anyone to know I had diabetes at first, during my initial adjustment from everything that had happened to me, but it quickly became too much of a pain to bother with trying to conceal testing/injecting etc. Hardly anyone ever even notices what I'm doing anyway, if they do I'm too busy most of the time focusing on what I'm doing to notice.

I doubt most people would think you were injecting illegal drugs because how many people are going to do that in public? Maybe I'm behind the times and missing something about the current social situation, lol.

While I think we all have different feelings about this and various reasons for not injecting in public, or sometimes not injecting in certain situations I don't consider it to be doing something which violates a social norm since it seems normal to me to do this wherever to keep yourself healthy and alive etc.