Another bank holiday! I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far and are not nursing terrible hangovers this morning! I’ve had a super, super busy week this last week. I have been running around everywhere like a mad woman trying to get from A to B. I really have had it all going on – auditions, interviews, meetings, working and performing… Fingers crossed I receive some very positive outcomes from the events of last week. However, I will tell you all of this in my blog next week, so stay tuned!
What I mainly want to discuss this week is something that I deal with on a weekly basis (maybe not every day) but for some it is daily. What I’m talking about is the fear and anxiety of injecting in public.
This week I read a thread on the http://www.diabetes.co.uk forum about the fear people have for injecting in public. You can find the thread here: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/who-is-troubled-by-injecting-in-public-just-me.119897/?utm_source=Communicator&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Untitled6&utm_campaign=Injecting+in+public+-+is+this+an+issue%3f&utm_dispatch%20ID=5400751&utm_email%20name=DCUK+NL+-+27%2f04%2f17.
Injecting in public can be a particularly worrisome situation. I do feel that it depends on what type of person you are and how confident you are about others being aware that you’re Diabetic. It also makes a huge difference when you take into account the company that you are in. For me, injecting in public has never been a massive issue, but it is something that sometimes concerns me. There are quite a few factors to take into consideration:
- Who is around me?
- How comfortable will they feel with seeing me inject? (If they choose to look, of course).
- Is there a surface available to put my medication down on?
- Is there a chair to sit down on to make things easier?
- Is there a more private area to go to?
- Is this area hygienic?
- Will people be watching me?
- Will people make comments to each other about what I am doing?
- Will people make comments to me?
- Will anyone object to me openly injecting in public?
As you can see, it’s sometimes not particularly the most straightforward thought process. There are an ample amount of factors to take into account, regardless of it being a very quick job. Let’s take yesterday for example. I had been out teaching singing and on the way back I was absolutely starving, so I picked up a couple of bits to eat from Tesco. I walked to the station to get the Overground and I knew I needed to test my blood sugar before I could eat my food. I didn’t have anywhere to wash my hands (as there are no toilets on the train or in the station) so I had to resort to using hand sanitiser, which is something I try to avoid doing and only use as a last resort. There was nowhere for me to sit to check my blood so I had to squat down on the station platform and balance my blood tester on my bag/knee. It’s not as easy as it sounds because you are trying to make sure nothing rolls off onto the floor and that you don’t lose anything. Thankfully, I managed to check my blood and it was spot on. As I was starving I started to eat my food. I didn’t have time to inject beforehand as the train was imminently arriving so I knew it was inevitable that I would have to inject whilst on the train. The train wasn’t particularly busy initially, but the more stops we arrived at, the busier it became and the closer I was to finishing my food. Once I’d finished it’s safe to say the train was packed. I started to become very concerned that I was going to struggle to do my injection without drawing too much attention to myself. I must admit, I sat and contemplated the issue until we arrived at the next stop, where fortunately quite a few passengers got off the train. I took this as a positive omen and managed to inject much more inconspicuously. It wasn’t the easiest injection as I didn’t have a surface to place my mediation on, so again I had to balance everything on my knee and twist around to the side to slightly conceal what I was doing.
I think initially what was putting me off the most was the fact I didn’t want people watching me and making comments. Upon reflection, it’s terrible that I felt like this in that environment. No Diabetic should be made to feel like they cannot get on with their normal activities because of the potential reaction from others. I am very lucky to have the boyfriend, family and friends that I do, as they are all so used to me injecting now that they don’t even bat an eyelid. Saying that, I do always take into account the company that I am in and I would never inject in front of a group of individuals that I don’t know very well, as I don’t ever want anyone around me to feel taken aback or have a fear of needles that I don’t know about. I would also never want anyone to take on the assumption that I was attention seeking or making the situation about me by flaunting my insulin in front of them. (Not that anyone with Diabetes would want to do that!).
I really do think that injecting in public falls into a similar category to breast feeding in public, no-one should be ashamed or feel like what they are doing is unacceptable. If a baby needs to be fed, then so be it. You shouldn’t have to take your baby into an unhygienic public toilet for them to be fed. Would you eat your lunch in a toilet? No, you probably wouldn’t. So, if Diabetics needs to inject to stay well and keep their Diabetes under control, then they should feel comfortable to inject in public. If you feel ill, you take paracetamol in public don’t you? So if you’re able to do that, you should feel able to openly inject.
I think for me, yesterday was one of the most prominent feelings of anxiety I have felt about injecting in public. I do feel like there were a myriad of factors which made me feel so uncomfortable, but at the end of the day, I did it. I may have waited 5 minutes before doing so, but I did it. That’s what matters. At the end of the day, you are looking out for number 1, so do what you need to do. Don’t let anyone make you feel uncomfortable.
If you have any thoughts about injecting in public please do feel free to comment me or tweet me @emma_bostock and let me know what you think!
One last thing… my Powered by Insulin t-shirt arrived! I love it and it fits perfectly! I am proudly sporting it to the gym today.
Have a good week!