Thursday, March 4, 2010

Don't Hide

It's a debatable topic that Clinton and I have discussed from time to time. I am quite sure that those who read this note will have their own personal opinion as well. It is the topic of where is an appropriate place I should give myself needles and check my sugar.

Personally, I believe that I have every right to give myself my medication at any given time or place. Okay, so there will be times when it is completely uncalled for (maybe) but the majority of the time being in public with diabetes shouldn't be a problem, should it?

This disease is pretty scary to people who are unfamiliar with it. Needles are a major fear, in fact it's called Trypanophobia, where a person has an extreme fear of medical procedures that involve injections. Not everyone fears needles to this extreme but a lot of people just can't stand to look.

So that's what I am thinking, don't look! None of us diabetics choose our disease. We didn't wake up one day asking for our pancreas to step aside so we can give insulin ourselves. We are people just like everyone else.

Not only can I bring fear to people through my needles but I can also scare people with my blood that I squeeze out of my fingertips. It seems as if diabetics cannot win in pleasing the people around them.

To be completely honest, half the time people do not even notice that I have given myself insulin or checked my blood sugar. Usually the people around me have already consumed half their meal by the time I have picked up my fork to begin.

I guess the argument is whether or not it's okay to do it in front of children, strangers or at a nice dinner. Strangely I don't believe that this issue is about manners; however, maybe some people do.

Clinton asked me if I give myself needles when I babysit or if I am working at the daycare and I said, of course! Clinton seemed a bit puzzled by this but I never even thought twice about hiding diabetes from children.

Type 1 diabetes also effects young, young children and most likely the children that I am exposing my diabetes to knows someone with the disease or will eventually meet someone along their life path with it. Perhaps their Grandma and Grandpa check their sugar every now and then. My reasoning is that it is usually very discreet, the needle is barely noticeable and the blood sample is less than that that comes from a picked scab. Children have seen needles and blood before, it's unlikely that they have never fell or gotten a medical shot at some point in time. The more we expose to children the more life experiences they can learn from it.

I always give myself insulin/check my blood in public whether it be in the classroom or at the mall. To me I don't see the point of finding a public bathroom to do something that takes about 2 minutes or so. I realize that people are always curious and if they aren't they simply won't be looking my way.

At a nice dinner such as the dinners I attended on the last cruise I was on I gave myself insulin right at the table. I was with family and my uncle who also gave himself insulin at the table, so it wasn't as big of a deal but all in all I bet nobody even thought twice about it.

We don't have people check their wheelchairs at the front doors of buildings. We don't prohibit people from setting their weekly pill organizer on kitchen tables and we don't find it rude or unmannerly for someone to expose scars from cancer procedures. There are people living in this world with countless numbers of illnesses and diseases. People with glasses, hearing aids, braces, pace makers, insulin pumps and canes. It may be something that interests, disturbs or shocks people but in the end what you have is a part of you and don't let anyone tell you to hide it.


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