How do other Type Ones feel about injecting in public, infront of strangers, family and friends?

By roshy Latest Reply 2009-03-09 11:20:16 -0500
Started 2009-02-10 02:49:21 -0600

Over the years of watching my my father i have picked up the habit of doing my injections out of other peoples sight. If i was in college or out having lunch i would make my way to a toilet/ rest room or even to my car for some privacy just so i could quickly get my needle done and over with so i could eventualy eat!!
\it would be the same at family occasions where everyone knows i need to inject yet i find myself whispering "im just heading off to do my 'you know what'!!

This need for privacy has now grown into a burden sometimes (a lot of the time) and i find myself just forgetting about the needle as it may cause some dicomfort or awkwardness for other strangers in public places! and being a lazy girl, well getting up and finding a private place is a bit of a hassle!
What id like to know is : Are other Type Ones in this suituation where they feel like they HAVE TO BE ALONE WHILE DOING THEIR INSULIN INJECTION? or does it not bother you to just sit down and say "sorry i just have to do this so i can eat"

Id love to get some feed back on this!

Thank you x

48 replies

MeiMei 2009-03-09 11:20:16 -0500 Report

Since I usually inject in my stomach region I usually do it in private. No one wants to see my white flabby tummy.

DawnRJackson 2009-03-04 14:28:59 -0600 Report

I'm a T2 but on insulin and byetta so I have had to get used the whole injection program but I am somewhat reserved about it. To me it is a private function, like going to the bathroom and I don't want to do that in public so I usually go someplace where I can give myself shots without spectators.

With that said, if I was in a situation where I had no option except to do it publicly I would not hesitate as my health comes first and other folks discomfort with it comes second.

Ginetteb 2009-03-04 14:05:31 -0600 Report

Let me tell you a little story.
When I was in my teens, I just lived for what others thought of me. In my twenties, I worried about what others thought of me. In my thirties, I was curious about what they thought. In my forties, I didn't care what they thought.
Now I'm in my sixties and guess what, I found out that nobody ever thought about me to begin with.
The moral of this story!!!! Do what you must do. If someone is offended, he/she will be offended for what…a few seconds, that's all it takes to, (as you say) shoot-up. Do whatever is comfortable for you. It's not like you have a choice of do or don't. Nobody will sever any friendship bond, nobody will write you off their will, nobody is gonna care for any length of time.
I take my insulin shot when I need it, whether someone is present or not. I do somewhat modify where I inject. When I'm with someone I'll inject in my arms. If I'm alone, I'll do it on my stomach - never in front of people - I would not want anyone to drop dead laghing. It ain't pretty! That's my advice to you.
If someone make a face and a grimace, the injection is over and done with by the time they straighten out their face, so why worry?

Liège 2009-03-04 13:53:06 -0600 Report

I've never injected through my clothes. I don't know, but I think it doesn't seem to be an appropriate and hygienic way to do the injections.

Sarguillo 2009-03-03 17:44:54 -0600 Report

Hi, I find that I tend to go into another room to inject when I am around family. My Mother-In-Law injects right in front of us but through her clothing. I dont feel comfortable doing that. I keep on thinking that the needle might pick up some small amount of cloth that might be pushed into my body. Also, what has dropped onto my clothes that I am not aware of. I know, its a weird phobia but its there. I tend to want some privacy. I however dont mind doing a BS test in public. If they cant stand to see a little drop of blood, then they dont matter. Besides, it hurts me alot more than it hurts them.

Anngelia 2009-03-04 13:42:23 -0600 Report

I feel the same way about injecting through my clothes. I think I actually fall into the paranoid crowd on that issue. It might be 100% safe but it makes me nervous.

Liège 2009-03-03 16:32:07 -0600 Report

Dear Anngelia,
I agree with you. It is important to respect others' feelings. But in some cases, when we don't find a restroom, I think we should do it without inhibitions (because it's an important thing for our health), but trying to be discrete.
Once I went into a pharmacy and asked to go inside to apply my insulin and it went well.

Anngelia 2009-03-03 15:11:52 -0600 Report

I think we all do what we have to do. But I do think we should keep other's feelings in mind. Just because someone freaks out about seeing a diabetic shooting up doesnt mean that they are cruel or wont be understanding. People get nervous about needles. There are grown men (yes even on this website) who are afraid of needles. They arent the ones being stuck with it but they still freak out just at the site.

I know restrooms can be rather disgusting but no one said you have to go in and rub your belly on the floor before you get out your pen or syringe. Just carry one little alcohol swab with you and its not an issue.

I think everyone should be able to inject where ever is comfortable for you but I also think you should try to keep other's feelings in mind as well.

I have to go into the doctors office once a month for an IV for another illness that I have. I would not want someone sitting next to me at a restaurant to stab their vein to take a medication while I was eating. Why??? because we all associate that type of procedure as taking illegal drugs. And actually shooting in the vein looks very painful even to me.

So bottom line, I think we all do what we have to do but I think keeping other's feelings in mind doesnt hurt either.

kartist1 2009-03-02 22:02:25 -0600 Report

I have type 2 and it does not bother me to inject myself in order to live, smile. I do go private and times, but I carry my own private doc bag everywhere. Needles, insulin, etc. It also depends on the person and how others may feel. They have to become educated.
Take care,

Liège 2009-03-03 11:30:21 -0600 Report

I use pens and my blood glucose monitor is small, but I also prefer to have some privacy and I usually look for a restroom or an isolated place where I could doing my insulin injections and blood tests out of sight of other people. And I often also take the stomach injection while I am sitting at the table and I think this is a discreet way to do it.
However, my health is the most important thing, so if I need to take insulin or check the glucose in the street and in front of others, I do it wherever I am. And it was fun meeting other diabetics in several places, while we were taking insulin or monitoring the blood glucose.

BeckyJ 2009-03-02 21:36:10 -0600 Report

For the most part I don't concern myself with where I am when I need a shot. Witha few exceptions…If I am anywhere near my younger brother when I pull out the needle he goes deathly pale and gets this glazed look in his eyes. He passed out the first time he saw me "shoot up" so for his sake I will go to another room. If there is an option to take my shot in my car before eating I will, but if I know there is going to be a long wait I'll just take it at the table. I have a phobia about most public restrooms so try to avoid them if at all possible. Becuase of my brother I am more aware than others might be that some people just cannot stand the sight of needles & try to take others fellings in consideration. Sure makes Thanksgiving a drag though. lol

tira 2009-02-26 06:27:27 -0600 Report

usually i just take my shots, n i dont really mind bout others
though ppl sometimes will show faces, when on the table, thers carbonated drink, or when i ordered not-typical-for-diabetic patient food, high carbs, ice-cram, choc pudding/cakes ;p

sometimes, i'll go to the toilet, when i cudnt pull up my shirt, lol =p

Oryon 2009-03-02 18:55:48 -0600 Report

Fortunately, I have never cared about what people think about me having to take my shots in public. If I want to live, then it must be done. I've encountered some very rude people thinking I was shooting up drugs, ignorance is an awful thing! I think it's almost entertaining to see the looks people give me when I take my shots out in the open without discretion for where I am or who I'm around.

pancreas_fail! 2009-02-22 11:56:30 -0600 Report

Before my pump, I used to bolus at every meal with a pen. I was once asked by a lady sitting at a table next to me, "Do I really have to do that in public?" I just answered, "Only if I want to live."

I did explain what I was doing, but she seemed to think that I was some addict with a story. People can be weird…

Lanore 2009-02-18 08:33:45 -0600 Report

Hi I am a type two on insulin and have to say that I like my privacy as well. Even in front of my family. I just don't like to be watched when I do it, but i would never skip it, if it means making someone else umcomfortable…oh well they will have to deal with that. It is not something that we should skip just for that reason. Lanore ;-)

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2009-02-17 19:12:47 -0600 Report

I don't give myself injections anymore because I use an insulin pump (which you might consider — it takes away that hassle altogether) but before the pump, I'd pick and choose my locations. If I was with family or closer friends, I didn't mind injecting in front of them. Some public locations didn't bother me (so long as I didn't feel like I'd be bothering or disturbing those around me and didn't need to expose much skin).

The key is, if its getting to the point when you aren't properly managing your diabetes, you need to let go of your inhibitions and take care of yourself. You let people know what you're about to do so they don't get queasy watching, but its important to always take your shots. If that won't work, maybe try talking to your doctor about a pump — then you just have to pull out the device and dial in some info.

Good luck!

roshy 2009-02-17 20:06:27 -0600 Report

thank you very much for your solid advice!!

Hopefully in the future when(and not if) my sugars stable i will begin pumping!! as you can see im very determined to become a healthy person with diabetes!!

lots and lots of luv roisin!!

2009-02-14 21:08:59 -0600 Report

This may or may not pertain to this discussion, so just let me know.

When my daughter was young, her school had a DARE program. One day at school, a state police officer was telling them about how bad drugs are, (I agree), and my young naive daughter volunteered the fact that, 'my mama uses needles'!

That afternoon, I received a knock at the door, and it was that state policewoman. She was there to 'see' my needles! I promply produced the red tool box I kept my supplies in, including my syringes, and unlocked the padlock I used.

Upon seeing that I was Diabetic, the red-faced state police trooper apologized profusely, and left!

That was the main reason I hid when injecting.

roshy 2009-02-12 18:37:19 -0600 Report

Thanks guys, you have all given me alot of informative feed back!! keep on sharing your injecting experiences i think its very useful to know how other people feel about a conteraversal suituation!

Trying to find people to relate to about this suituation is like trying to find a needle in a haystack!!! ha ha do yas get that one!!! x x x

firefightermom 2009-02-12 17:23:11 -0600 Report

my daughter would rather do her shot in the bathroom in public (and that's NOT ALWAYS the cleanest part os the rest.) but she doesn't like people looking at her, she will check her finger sitting out there but that's all..

Sir Robert
Sir Robert 2009-02-16 16:29:22 -0600 Report

I inject all the time in restaurants. It's all about you. It's not at all about anyone else. I never worry about what people think. That's about anything. You do what you gotta do. I will check my sugar on my arm, get a reading then lift up my shirt and inject in my stomach. I'm done. I didn't have to get up and go in those nasty bathrooms. The table is usually much cleaner anyway. I hope this helps.

2009-02-11 19:07:56 -0600 Report

I'm on a pump now, but when I was 'shooting up' I hid. Mainly it was the issue of freaking people out with the syringe. Testing was no biggie, you can sit the meter in your lap, but the syringe and bottle were the issue, even with my family.

roshy 2009-02-11 20:26:17 -0600 Report

yeah, i always felt alot more comfortable with testing the bs infront of people!!! but the injecting was a different story. id like to think i could be more open about it in the future but the pump seems like a pretty cooler option for 'insulin-up' in public in the future!

roger 2009-02-12 15:38:24 -0600 Report

the best part about the pump is you do not have to have all the extra junk for shots with you at all times the pump can be filled for up to 3 days so every thing you need will fit in your bg meater case and no need to keep cold

roger 2009-02-11 17:51:56 -0600 Report

i am a type 2 and use a pump now but when i used shots i also went and hid . but then my dr told me that i should think about how dirty bathrooms were and how clean we were to keep the shot site so why would you do it there so i went to doing it atmy seat just to keep it cleaner

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2009-02-11 15:21:42 -0600 Report

It used to be a real issue way back when for me. I am a professional musician. When I was touring, I had long hair and was on multiple shots of regular insulin. There I am, in a public rest room "shooting up" insulin while parents are hurrying their children out looking over their shoulders as they go (I guess to make sure I wasn't following them to try and get their kid "hooked"). I actually laughed because it just showed how people automatically assume the worst before getting the facts.

roshy 2009-02-11 15:57:47 -0600 Report

i know where your coming from!!! sometimes the starring can really get on my nerves!!!

id rather them come up to me and ask what im doing then sit there ans stare with their jaws hanging off the table!!

roshy 2009-02-11 14:37:42 -0600 Report

Has anyone ever had any bad experiences while injecting in public???

I read about a man that was held up by staff in mc donalds until the police arrived!! they believed that the man was shooting up drugs in the bath room, they refused to let him go and sure enough he sued macs for refusing to listen to him !! they guy just wanted his big mac and do his needle in peace!!

kdroberts 2009-02-11 14:40:36 -0600 Report

I did hear one funny story on another board. They were sitting in their car at a light and knew they would be eating soon so started preparing for the injection. Just as they were going to inject into their arm a cop pulls up besides them and watches. They inject, the light changes and off they go. The cop pulls them over, knocks on the window and says "either you're a diabetic or you have balls of steel (or something along those lines)" Once it was established it was insulin and a laugh was had they went on their way.

roshy 2009-02-11 14:50:42 -0600 Report

ha ha!! deadly!!
i heard about these to guys that were on a train once and both were diabetics!! in anyways they just had dinner and were talking about how 'high' they were.
Two elderly women over heard their conversation and looked at the men in disgust!! Before the old women got off the train one turned to one of the diabetics and said

"Really, would you two dope heads ever consider disgussing your drug habits some where in private- theres children on this train! "

i thought that was funny!!

momwith juvie
momwith juvie 2009-02-10 16:56:15 -0600 Report

i have a 9 yr old and he is very public about to tell ppl when they ask what he is doing.when it comes to his shots he dosnt mind unless he has to do it in his butt(what he says).other wise if he has to do it out side the house he says if someone has a problem with it,they dont have to normal for him.i love

Anngelia 2009-02-11 12:17:42 -0600 Report

I couldnt aree more with your son. He shouldnt ever have to feel uncomfortable about it. If people dont like it they shouldnt look.

2009-02-10 16:47:20 -0600 Report

Although I am lucky enoungh not to be on insulin, however, I have been around people who have. I have no problem seeing them inject themselves and I feel that if someone has to use insulin, they should be able to do so where ever necessary. You shouldn't feel embarassed or uncomfortable about having to inject yourself. Insulin is necessary for you to stay well and healthy, and injecting yourself is nothing to hide from or be ashamed of.

Anngelia 2009-02-10 14:48:02 -0600 Report

When I was a little girl I made the mistake of letting all my friends see me give one of my shots. Big…big…mistake. Little girls tend to have a very high pitch scream when they get scared or freaked out. So after that I never injected in front of people. Now I am on a pump so its just a matter of pushing a button. As far as bg testing I never worried about that and I dont care if it freaks anyone out. My meter is an important part of my life so I dont worry about what anyone thinks.

dj7110 2009-02-10 14:36:33 -0600 Report

in family and freinds I have no problem.. however when I'm out in public I try to be as descreet as possible not to draw any attention, but still inject whereever I am or whichever resteraunt I'm at. felt awkward giving the shots in public at first.. but have little choice at the time due to mobility issues as well as the diabetis. not worth getting up going to restroom just for the injection.

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2009-02-10 10:02:41 -0600 Report

Before my son was on the pump, he used to inject pretty much anywhere he felt like it. He would be careful not to draw a lot of attention to himself as he did it. The one thing he hated was when one of his peers would start to crowd into his personal space saying, "Hey, what are you doing?" That was annoying.

But as KD said, if he acted like he was just going about his business, no one really paid much attention. Many of them had no idea what he was even doing.

I really believe the bottom line is if you are comfortable with it, everyone else will be comfortable as well.

Carol11 2009-02-10 09:39:39 -0600 Report

I do it in private. I'm just too self-consious and too embarrased to do otherwise. I use a pen which is simpler than syringe and vial.

kdroberts 2009-02-10 09:31:01 -0600 Report

The thing you have to realize is that if you just do it wherever you are like it's the most normal thing in the world, no one will pay any attention. I used to feel awkward but it was too annoying to find somewhere out of the way to inject or test so I now just do it wherever, I don't even explain it. I've done it in restaurants, at my desk, in the kitchen at work, in the lobby of hotels and a gym, in my car, on the side of a soccer field and many other places. I've never had one comment and I don;t recall anyone taking more than a glance over at what I was doing.

Ian P
Ian P 2009-02-25 17:21:47 -0600 Report

Just like KD I have "shot up" just about every where, I had a long talk with a guy when I was first diagnosed about where to do it in public and I decided then that toilets (rest rooms to you yanks) really don't seem to be the most hygenic of environments to be sticking needles into your body.

I use pens, which are great, when I go out I stick a pen in my pocket and inject straight though my trousers (pants) into my leg, no one ever notices not even the people sitting next to me. 1 tip if you are going to try this method, don't wear light colours, the occasional blood spot isn't very nice looking.

roshy 2009-02-26 07:26:05 -0600 Report

its weird seeing someone write toilets and trousers on THIS site!!! you must be closer to me!!

shanie1 2009-02-10 08:20:32 -0600 Report

Hi i feel the same as you always going somewhere private to do my injections and blood tests.Its worse still while on a flight, as well. Take care

rbergman 2009-02-10 07:35:52 -0600 Report

As a Type 2 on insulin I used to have that "privacy issue" but I figure if a mother can breast feed her baby in public, people will understand I need to inject…I'd never had the police called because someone saw me "shooting up" lol
Usually I would do the stomach injection and even sitting at a table you can do it fairly well without a big show. Actually the loading of the needle gets more attention then the actual injecting myself. But really its each persons own choice to go where nobody can see you or to be more public about it, its your private life to handle the best way you see fit.

Hugs & Luv,


Burke - 30425
Burke - 30425 2009-02-10 06:00:43 -0600 Report

Even though it is just a part of life for us to exist, some people are queesy in regards to injections and needles etc. I know at the hospital some of the families of patients had to excuse themselves because they couldn't watch. So much easier to go to restroom, 1-2-3 done. Noone passing out that way.LOL

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-02-10 03:32:43 -0600 Report

Well in front of family and friends, they already know I am diabetic and it doesn't bother me. But I do step away and try to do it in private if I can. In public or around strangers I just politely excuse myself to the restroom, and take an injection there…Debe

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