Diabetes UK stirred up quite a controversy when they published a letter in their magazine ‘Balance’ from a nurse who said that the sight of diabetics injecting in public places was ‘disgusting’. It’s not the greatest thing in the world to have to inject insulin every time you want to eat, but it’s certainly not made any easier when we read of such intolerance and lack of understanding – particularly from a member of the ‘caring’ profession. Injecting is done discreetly, usually with tiny needles on pen devices, and should draw censure no more than an asthmatic using an inhaler, or a person blowing their nose into a handkerchief. To be sure, there are people who are scared of the sight of needles, but these aren’t huge hypodermics, they are barely discernible – particularly across a crowded restaurant. Here’s what I imagined about our ‘nurse’…
‘You’ve been a nurse for some time now,
So, let’s put you to the test.
We’ll give you some scenarios,
And you say which one’s best.’
‘You’re in a busy restaurant
And see across the way
A person injecting insulin.
What do you think you’d say?’
‘Would you, (a) Think it’s disgusting,
And should be out of sight?
Or (b) Think ‘What’s the problem?
I think that that’s alright.’?’
‘My goodness! You are seething!
Your face and neck’s gone red!
I think you’d better lie down!
Can someone find a bed?!!’
‘And now you’re spitting feathers!
And you can hardly speak!
You’re going apoplectic!
You’re staring like a freak!’
‘What was that you just spluttered?
They should be in a cage?
Don’t think a nurse has ever shown
Such incandescent rage!’
‘Now, calm down dear, and listen.
I think this test is done,
And you have failed, without a doubt,
Your Nursing 101!’