Nursing 101

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!’

Coming from a registered nurse?..Sad and despicable… (Hoping her words were just taken out of context or something…) Awesome poem Alan!

Sge was a retired nurse, with Type 2 diabetes herself so may one day end up on insulin too! Sadly, she really meant it. She was unrepentant and ‘Balance’ even printed another tirade from her in a later edition of the magazine!

This is ridiculous!

One of my friends once ask me if I didn’t worry that people would think that I was doing drugs when they saw me inject in public. The truth is NO – I don’t spend a minute of my energy worrying about that!

What a disgrace to the entire profession…

Disgraceful indeed! Wonder what else this nurse found repulsive during her career. Maybe she’s self-hating about her own diabetes.

Disheartening that Balance would print such an article. What kind of publication is it?

Love the poem! Hope Balance prints it.

I used to hide in the bathroom in restaurants. Now I discreetly check the old BG and shoot up at the table. I haven’t caught anybody looking yet, not even Nurse Ratched!!

Nurse Ratched–LOL! Good one.

I think ignorance will always be a factor regardless of where and who you are there is little you can do about that, I always take everything I hear in the media with a grain of salt because of the sensational effect, quoting a nurse as saying something that ignorant is news but if its true then I would say why not become a hermit because I will not hide from my life just because it offends you.

Hi Poor Diabetic - this wasn’t just media, this was the publication of Diabetes UK, equivalent to the ADA. It easn’t a story, but a letter from a member. Many people complained to the edtor that it wasn’t appropriate to make insulin users feel uncomfortable in a magazine directed at them, but he ducked the issue saying that they printed all sides of the situation and didn’t not apply editorial censorship. A lot of people I know cancelled their subscription to the charity, but they were unrepentant, printing a ‘right of reply’ from the nurse in response to those who criticised her. All in all, a pretty disgusting episode IMHO