Injecting in public

I have been reading a lot about people worrying when doing their injections when out in a public place, ie: restaurant or bar. It is essential that you inject your insulin when it is needed. Going to the toilet, however clean they may look, are not the most hygienic of places.

When I was eleven and first diagnosed with diabetes, I never use to worry in the slightest where I was when doing my injections. I would stand in shop doorways, busy car parks on shopping parks, in fact, I would pretty much inject anywhere. As I got older, I started to worry a bit about injecting in public places, as I started to think about how people would react. I think more so, because I did not want to upset anyone. This led me to start using the toilet cubicles, which I did for some time.

As I have aged, my way of thinking has almost done a complete U-turn. I would no longer stand in a shop window, or out in a car park to do an injection, but I would sit in a public place. I have been to watch the Super Bikes on many occasions, and needed to do an injection. You can still inject in public without bringing too much attention to yourself. Before I went on to my insulin pump, I would just slightly pull up my top and inject in my stomach. If I was wearing a shirt, I would just undo a couple of buttons and do the same thing.

Oxford st injection

Photo taken in Oxford St London by Brad Albrow.

I am now of the way of thinking that, as long as you are not blatantly doing it in view for everyone to see, then there should not be a problem. After all, it would not hurt anyone if they did see you injecting, but it could do you an awful lot of harm if you decide not to take your insulin. You can always warn people, to give them time to turn away. If anyone had said something to me about not wanting to see me inject, then I would politely tell them that, “I do not wish to inject, but have to, they have the option not watch!”

While reading through one of the forums on Diabetes.co.uk, I was very saddened to read peoples dispair about not wanting to go to the toilet, but also not wishing to do their injection in a public place. Some people had been made to feel very uncomfortable. I wonder how these ignorant people would feel if the shoe was on the other foot! It is after all, a matter of life and death doing your injections when needed.

I did find a good story with a happy ending. A young girl in a restaurant witnessed a lady sitting at a table doing her injection. When asked by her mum if she was ready to go to the toilet with her mum, so she could be helped to do her injection, the young girl said that she was going to do it sat at the table, and was going to do it by herself. I hope that the lady that the young girl saw in the first place, realises what a big help she has been to this child.

For anyone wanting information for themselves or loved ones, who may have diabetes, there is plenty of reading on the site that I just mentioned. It contains history, diets, new medical advancements and research in to diabets, and there’s also a forum which seems to be very good. I would recommend that if you post a question in any forum, I would have a good read before deciding on the advice that you are going to use. I have read some answers that could cause a diabetic to be hospitalised, if not worse, so please don’t just take the first one that you read.

I just wish that some of the people that I have read about in the forums, who struggle to do their injections in public places, could have some of whatever it is that makes me do whatever needs to be done, wherever I am.

Bond st Underground

Photo was taken outside Bond St Underground by Brad Albrow

Although I no longer need to inject, I thought that I would go to Oxford St London and Bond St Underground and have some pictures taken of me doing some injections. Although people did have a look at what I was doing, they just carried on walking by. I hope that if people see my pictures, it might help to give them the confidence that they need.

YOU did not ask to become a diabetic. YOU should not be ashamed about being diabetic, so please, do what you need to do, whenever it needs to be done!