Testing/Injecting in Front of God and Everybody

I went to a guitar festival this weekend -- a fourteen hour day for me, door to door.

It was a blast! I played in a guitar orchestra (about 30 of us playing together a couple of songs arranged in three parts) which was more fun than is probably legal in several states. ;0)

The big diabetes news is that I pretty much did everything correctly all day. I tested when I needed to test. I ate what I needed to eat. I bolused/corrected when I needed to inject. And I did it all right out in the open, as the old Southern saying goes, "In front of God and everybody." The audacity! The nerve! Ha.

I felt generally pretty relaxed -- and 100% committed to not doing any of my diabetes-related bidness in a germy public bathroom.

I commandeered a couple of chairs in a semi-empty classroom once to do my test and bolus, while other participants practiced nearby or wandered through. Another time I sat at the Guitar Society table in the registration area with a very nice college student and tested, bolused and ate my boiled eggs, half banana and almonds while chatting with her and anyone else who wandered up to the table. Before dinner, I felt a little low and tested at a counter near the front entrance before I agreed to drive four of us to a local restaurant. "Hey, you don't want me low when I'm driving. Trust me." (I was fine, 110, and dinner was a delicious low-carb salad with some meat thrown on top, arranged very calmly and politely with a stellar waitress who earned herself a 30% tip for being such a darling about it.)

I feel that I've matured as an insulin-injecting diabetic to the point where I'm very comfortable with just going ahead and doing what I need to do, other than saying to someone very close nearby, "I hope it won't gross you out if I test my blood sugar and inject some insulin. If you hate needles, just look away, OK?"

Sounds like you were really on your game that day. Congrats on doing everything right. I'm glad you had a blast. Makes me wish I was there and I don't even play a guitar.

Gary S

I'm glad you had a great time! Having great times has been very helpful to me as I will beat my blood sugar up if there's something fun to do!

Jean, sounds like a success all around! Glad it was such a blast, and kudos too.

Yep, it's great to have a hobby that requires pin-point control. The more I get together with other guitarists to play, the more I realize that living "high" was sucking all the joy out of my life, and that "normal BG's = big fun".

'pparently, I'm slow...but trainable. Ha!

Sounds like fun! It was probably five years ago now I decided that injecting in bathrooms was ridiculous and just started doing it in front of everyone. It wasn't until this past Christmas I felt comfortable doing it in front of my family in a restaurant, though, but I did it (because my pump was empty, I ate too much!) and they had no problem with it.

How did you learn guitar? I'm trying to teach myself piano again (took lessons years ago in high school but have forgotten everything), and I wish there was something like that to go to!

I started taking private lessons with an expert about two years ago. He's a great guy -- calm, patient, very talented and knowledgeable -- I was blessed to find him. Every lesson makes me want to try that much harder, practice more, learn more. The synergy is incredible. I highly recommend that adults of any age seek out a mentor when they want to learn something new and difficult -- for me it has made all the difference in the world.

Starting formal training at the age of 53, I will never "catch up" with people who started studying music when they were toddlers, obviously, but I can do better this week than I did last week and that's all that really matters to me now: striving to do better, learn more music theory, improve my tone and technique, sight-read better, play with ensembles when possible, strengthen my hands, train my ear -- just bloom where and when I'm planted.

I discovered that having a teacher also put me in touch with "coming events" in the area -- I joined the classical guitar society, started going to open mic's and concerts, started meeting new people and hearing them play, started learning the repertoire, started buying new CD's and searching for new pieces on YouTube, started being invited to parties where half the people bring their guitars and we play together late into the night. I (joking!) call it being inducted into the guitar coven, this "secret" society of people who love learning, playing and listening to guitar music so much that it sort of consumes our free time.

It's a positive addiction. Being a musician is carb free and calorie free, perfectly legal and there are no musically-transmitted diseases. What's not to love?!?

I have to agree that music is a positive addiction and being a member of the local "Secret Society" is a huge plus, because it adds a social dimension. Playing is full of never ending challenges whether its learning a new song, a new style, a deeper understanding of theory, or whatever.

Music parties are always the highpoint of my week. I go to one every month that has been going on for 5 years, the first Friday of every month, and we actually do play way into the night. It's a rotating cast of characters, some have very basic skills, some are incredibly talented. I'm a better blues player than anything else, but this group seldom plays the blues. I like this because it forces me to stretch and come up with a tasteful lead or fill to say a country tune.

I love to pull out an easy tune everyone know the words to, like say "Honkey Tonk Women". You just can't beat 10 or 15 people singing at the top of their lungs and banging away on whatever instrument they play, for pure fun. Sometimes we sound really good, sometimes it's a train wreck, but that's really beside the point.

Your music parties sound like great fun -- in fact, sometimes the "train wreck" songs are the MOST fun.

Good for you! Your health is more important than potentially causing minor discomfort to others :)

I have gotten back into playing piano and know a few people who have picked it up later on as adults. A few lessons should get you back into the groove! I find that playing really helps to lower my blood sugar, so good for stress! Best of Luck!

That's awesome you were able to do all that. I used to be that way when I was very young but I think my mom was embarrassed for me one time when I tested and gave myself a shot in front of my family and all my cousins that I became more aware that certain things should be more discreet. I don't hide when I test my BG but I try to be inconspicuous. I also try to be discreet when bolusing - both of those things because I don't want people to ask me about it. I also hate it when another person is watching the 5 sec countdown! I guess a fear of being judged . . .

Well, to each their own. I respect your mama, but I can't imagine what might be "indiscreet" about a basic act of self-care that doesn't involve undressing or (ahem, you know...)

We don't hide in the bathroom to eat lunch, do we? We don't go find a closet to hide in ever time we need to take a sip of water.

I think it's interesting/odd that people can drink coffee in front of me every morning (I think it smells gross in the morning, especially the "flavored" coffees) or blow their noses (ewww) or yack with their spouse on their cell phone (do I really need to know whose turn it is to pick up the dry-cleaning?) but I'm supposed to hide that I'm testing my blood glucose or injecting insulin.

It just seems...silly, somehow. We all have things that we gotta do and I have decided to put "test glucose, inject insulin" into the same category as "eat dinner, drink a soda, take some Tylenol, call for reservations" and NOT into the same category as "go to the bathroom and do things not discussed at the dinner table".

I'm not sure what my mama would have to say about it, but at 55 I think I'm entitled to make up a few of my own rules for living.

YRMV (your rules may vary.) ;0)