I’ve definitely spoken about this before, but I feel like it needs to be addressed again as I know so many people feel awkward when it comes to this topic.
Injecting in public
Injecting in public for some type 1s is a daunting and uncomfortable experience. I think back to when I was first diagnosed almost 12 years ago and how my thought process regarding it has very much changed since then.
I guess for me, at first, the thought of injecting openly in public was rather scary. I did worry about what other people would think and whether someone might say something about it. I also worried about people openly watching what I was doing and potentially thinking it was something bad.
As I’ve gotten older and diabetes has become a solid part of my life, my attitude towards what others think has completely changed. I literally don’t give a damn about other people watching me, thinking negative things and generally being aware of what I’m doing. I’m actually waiting for the day when someone challenges me about it or says my actions are inappropriate for doing so in public. I have so much ammunition stored in my head ready to take them down. I’d actually be quite thrilled to school an ignorant person on how my actions are completely acceptable!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not spoiling for a fight, but I’m just utterly prepared for the worst situation. I will defend myself and the entire diabetic family to the end of the earth because at the end of the day, injecting in public should never be an issue. We are doing it to keep ourselves alive and well and if someone doesn’t like it, then they should keep their opinions to themselves if you ask me! It shouldn’t be necessary to take ourselves off into a private area to carry out an injection.
A friend of mine once got accused of taking drugs in a Burger King by an uneducated member of the public. The person didn’t even approach my friend directly, but spoke to a member of staff in Burger King who then approached my friend. My friend made it extremely clear that he had type 1 diabetes and was in fact injecting insulin. It’s safe to say that the staff member and member of the public felt pretty stupid. My friend also went on to inform the member of the public about diabetes and what it entails. She literally didn’t have a clue. Fortunately for my friend, he is very ballsy and will always stand his ground. He had nothing to apologise for and rightly so he put the woman right!
A friend of mine, Ruth, told me about her brother being a type 1. He was diagnosed when he was 18 and he’s now 24. I told her that it must have been quite difficult for him being diagnosed then because he would have been heading off to uni, experiencing student nights out and drinking and living independently. She said the thing he finds the hardest is injecting in public. He doesn’t feel at all comfortable with it and always feels like he should go into the toilet to do it. He then struggles to balance his insulin wallet and needles on his lap because there is nowhere else to put it. She did say that the one thing that comforted her brother was that he went into a disabled toilet and saw a sign that said; “Not all disabilities are visible.” I don’t consider diabetes as a disability, but I can understand why he found that comforting.
I really do think that injecting in public is completely based on how confident you are about it. For me, I am super confident about my diabetes and I really don’t care about what others think. Of course, if I am out having a meal with some new friends, I always inform them that I’m about to do an injection and not to look if they don’t want to see it or if they might feel uncomfortable. Most of my friends, however, are so used to seeing it now, that they don’t even notice me doing it!
What I want to get across is that you should never feel like you need to inject in the toilets because the public around you might stare or find it inappropriate. You wouldn’t ask a woman to breastfeed her baby in a toilet, so why should someone have to inject insulin in a toilet? It is part of your life and it’s keeping you alive, it’s a normal every day activity and there are enough diabetics who inject in the world for it to be normal. Be loud and proud and don’t ever feel ashamed!
In other news…
I have finally, actually, properly, started a low carb diet! I know, I know, I said I would do it before but I just wasn’t mentally prepared for the commitment and it ended up not working out whatsoever. However, I went to see the DSN (Diabetic Specialist Nurse) earlier in the week and thankfully my HBA1c had come back down a fraction. It’s not the lowest it could be and I definitely want to improve my control further. I literally decided that I would start my low carb diet and stick to it. The only times I will let myself indulge will be one meal very rarely, because we all have to allow ourselves a little cheat occasionally! I don’t want to miss out on some of my favourite foods by never allowing myself them again for the rest of my life! Surely that’s completely normal. However, for the most part I will be sticking to low carb.
Moreover, so far, so good! This is the end of day 4 of my low carb diet and it’s actually not been as hard as I imagined it would be. I have also googled some low carb alternatives which I will eventually get around to making all of. Here’s what I found:
- Cauliflower rice
- Butternut squash waffles
- Cauliflower pizza (which I have made before and was delicious!)
- Butternut squash wedges (which we had with tea tonight! Yum!)
- Sliced aubergine or courgette instead of lasagna sheets
- Cloud bread
I’m sure there are plenty more alternatives too! I just have to resist temptation. Especially crisps! I also have an excellent cookbook especially for diabetes which my boyfriend got me, which has tonnes of amazing recipes in it. It’s compiled by Phil Vickery and it’s the Ultimate Diabetes Cookbook. Fingers crossed!