Injecting Insulin in Public Places

older man
By older man Latest Reply 2012-03-20 22:50:47 -0500
Started 2011-10-26 13:58:54 -0500

I am newely directed to inject insulin twice a day. I am concerned about being at a trade show, as an exhibitor, when the 6:00PM injection is due and I am in the middle of a busy trade show tending my booth. Are there any suggestions from others that have faced this challange?

29 replies

nanaellen 2012-03-20 22:50:47 -0500 Report

I'm a belly injecter myself. I'd just turn my back to people, undo the button of my pants just a little bit and inject. truthfully I'm afraid to inject anywhere else!! The thigh just sounds more painful! And besides most insulin works fastest in the belly! Hope you find some solutions that work for you!! I also know about no insurance! Makes it really tough on us! We'll get through it somehow! Your friend, Ellen :)

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-03-20 20:21:03 -0500 Report

Hi, I'm a life long diabetic, always use insulin. It doesn't take long to do your shot, so you should have no problems. I would think you have a private spot at your booth in which case you step in there, but will be able to still keep an eye out. If not, if you have to, crouch down behind a table or something to do it if you feel better. You have several places to inject, don't be afraid of injecting in the stomach as it doesn't hurt and easy to get to and can turn your back to do it. You should have been issued info on the different injecting sites when informed of the insulin usage? You will learn to get creative.

I don't care what others think about my diabetes, but I am mindful not to put my used test strips, needles, etc on tables or anywhere that others might come into contact with. I know I don't want to be subjected to another person's fluids and show the same respect. I take it all with me. Good luck, you'll do fine:)

Caliafiosgram62 2012-03-20 19:18:52 -0500 Report

About 20 years ago - before I went for the pump, I was practically living in hospital waiting rooms (for my father in law and my mother. I injected right through my pantleg. I found if I pushed the needle in quick it was just like going through a tough skin. Just a little extra pressure was needed. And if I got strange looks, I would just say that I was diabetic and if I wanted to stay healthy it had to be done. Most people didn't say anything It was OK.

flipmom 2012-03-20 11:10:14 -0500 Report

I like the confidence of people that says Im not ashamed of it… what people dont realize is that we are working and and need to attract people for business… not to make them leave because they don't understand the situation… For me, I would hunch down or turn my back and kinda be discreet about it.. Its your health and its more important!

sseddog 2012-03-20 10:03:34 -0500 Report

I don't hide what I'm doing. I'm not ashamed of it. If people have an issue they are more than welcome to talk to me. I will educate them.

TsalagiLenape 2012-03-20 08:41:10 -0500 Report

Well I understand what you are going thru. I am a vendor for pow wows. So if anyone asks, I tell them what I am doing. Similar to breastfeeding your child in a restraurant, I was asked to leave for doing this. I asked for the manager and told them everything. Needless to say, I was given a free meal. Also if you have a bracelet or necklace good if not get one. Wear it all the time. Also put up your 5 minute break sign for when you are taking care of yourself. This way, you can step back and do what is needed. If you can or have a privacy screen area that is great and where I'd do it instead of a public bathroom. I hope this helps as it was meant too. Hugs and Good Luck

MoeGig 2012-01-13 21:57:18 -0600 Report

I try to be discreet wherever I am…but I refuse to go into a public rest room to do it…there you have a real chance for infection. If I'm sitting in a restaurant, or on an airplane with a seat mate, I just test then take my shot when I need to. If the person notices me, I simply tell them I'm a Type 1 diabetic and need to take my meds. The other thing I do while boarding a plane, I ask the flight attendant if he/she would give me a can of Coke and tell them I'm a diabetic (and they took my coke away while going through security). This also serves to warn the flight attendant that if something happens to you, they'll have a clue. And recently, I've not given up my safety Coke entering airport security and simply announce before going through, that I need it as a med to counter low sugar…and usually they let me through after testing it for "whatever". They sometime ask for proof that I am a diabetic, and I show them my test kit and syringes that I carry with me all the time.

As Popeye use to say: I am what I am…(you have to be a senior to understand this…:>)

jayabee52 2012-01-13 23:24:40 -0600 Report

not necessarily, Moe. Popeye is still on TV, even though they haven't made any new cartoons for a while. And on videos on the net, also there are also comic book style cartoons of Popeye on the net too.

older man
older man 2012-01-12 20:41:41 -0600 Report

I have now done a 4 day show with no problems keeping on schedule with injections. My booth always has a small curtained area for storage so I just duck in there to do my thing. After the show was packed up waiting for the loaders I performed an injection by turning my back to the traffic.

I guess I tend to worry about nothing.

Matunuckan 2012-01-12 15:06:35 -0600 Report

Hi - I'm 57 & retired, so I'm an older guy too! I use an insulin pump now, but you should read the topic "Insulin Pump and Meds" under "Discussions" & you'll see that we have or had a lot in common.

You should consider using an insulin pump in order to make your life more 'normal'. A pump is about the size of a pager, and is worn on a belt. When you need to take insulin, no pants dropping is necessary, and most people that question what you are doing are intrigued by the ensuing discussion!

That is not a reason to switch to a pump, but there ARE many good reasons why to consider it. Because I used to work a lot of trade shows all over the country when I was on injections, I also had a lot of problems getting decent food due to rushing for planes, etc. The pump really changed my entire life to the positive!

You may not need or want to consider a pump, but talk to your doctor about it.

older man
older man 2012-01-12 16:54:33 -0600 Report

Interesting thought. Now to find an extra $5000 to pay for it.

Matunuckan 2012-01-12 18:55:19 -0600 Report

Like I said, you shouldn't have any problem with insurance paying for the pump! Let me know if you do, & we should (collectively) be able to affect the issue. Thanks for taking my post seriously! It can really help.

Matunuckan 2012-01-12 20:25:55 -0600 Report

I don't have any suggestions on how to get insurance. I have been lucky to have it all of my life. If you are doing trade shows, there must be some avenue to investigate through whomever you are representing. Have you done any investigation into this? This would probably be a fantastic topic to introduce into discussions. I'm sure you are not alone on this. Give it a try, and let others know of your experience. All it can do is help. Good luck!

older man
older man 2012-01-12 20:37:10 -0600 Report

I represent myself at these shows. I am a one person studio furniture maker. I manage to take care of basic health stuff but nothing more elaborate.

Matunuckan 2012-01-12 21:08:42 -0600 Report

I can't come up with with any more useful info than I already have about a pump. I grew up in a family-owned business in the 1950's, when health insurance (it seems to me now) was affordable. It may not have been then, but at least my parents provided it. That was the major reason that I made sure that I always worked for somebody else. I wish I had a better response for you. I hope someone else can give you help on your situation - GOOD LUCK!

Uncle Lew
Uncle Lew 2011-10-28 22:10:12 -0500 Report

Do you use syringes or pens? Pens, especially with the new very short needles can make injecting very inconspicuous. I currently use syringes but will be switching to pens for my Novolog with BD Nano-needles. The insulin can be injected in the arm without pinching and without all the fuss of vials and syringes. I really look forward to this since I dine out a lot and injecting before a meal is a hassle.

JustJenny 2011-10-28 11:02:01 -0500 Report

I try to make it is "private" as possible, but I still just do it where ever I am. I've even done it at the table at at resturant if I can block other's line of site. I know that some people are squeemish about needles, so I try to do it "quietly", same with testing. I mean hey, if women can breast-feed in public, what's so bad about a little injecting?

Stay positive
Stay positive 2012-01-14 03:06:51 -0600 Report

Same here. I'm pretty discrete in public because I know some people can't handle seeing needles and such. I take four shots a day, so I carry everything wherever I go. Yes it's a pain but we all have to do what we have to do.

kdroberts 2011-10-26 20:33:22 -0500 Report

Turn your back for a second, kneel down like you are picking something up, duck behind the display (put something there so you have an excuse to go back if needed) and just do it. People won't notice unless you try too hide it. Generally the people that do notice and will speak up about it are either fellow diabetics or people who know what you are doing. In that case you may strike up a relationship and sell them something! I've injected whilst talking to people and in conversations later on it turned out they didn't notice.

older man
older man 2011-10-29 08:04:07 -0500 Report

So I drop my pants for my supper shot in the thigh?

jayabee52 2012-01-12 20:42:57 -0600 Report

I've seen discussions where the fella just injected through his trowsers into his upper leg or through his shirt into the midriff at the level of the navel. (I've not done this myself)

Actually when I was injecting NPH I just lifted my shirt a bit and injected into my midriff. Anywhere in the fat bulge in your middle EXCEPT stay about 2" away from your navel.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-01-12 19:08:16 -0600 Report

You can give it in your arm, stomach. It sounds bad, but it isn't and you can get the short needle. Once you try the stomach you'll be ok and you can do it without anyone knowing. If not, go to the bathroom.

Harlen 2011-10-26 19:49:16 -0500 Report

I just give it and let others swet it out and if they ask what I am doing I tell them that I need my drugs " do you wish a hit ???? lol lol
Hest wishes

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2011-10-26 15:02:06 -0500 Report

Is it possible to get a scheduled break at or around this time or change your morning shot to move afternoon shot to a better time one way or the other.