Administers insulin in public places and it embarrasses me…

by Rod Smith

“A diabetic family member injects himself with insulin several times a day. He exposes his belly and then administers his dose using a pen-like syringe. He often does this at the table and at family gatherings, which I don’t have an issue with. However, he also does it openly in public at restaurants and I get terribly embarrassed! I’m not quite sure what my issue is; I think it is the fact that he is doing something which I feel should be private (like clipping toenails or flossing teeth) in an inappropriate setting. Am I being silly and uncaring? It would be easier to broach this subject with him if I was confident of my stand, as I would hate to run the risk of hurting him if I am the one who needs help to correct a bad attitude! What do you think?”

I do not believe you are being silly or uncaring. He is, in my opinion, being crass and insensitive. If the man can find his way into a restaurant, he can make his way to the gents (men’s room, restroom, WC, loo, bathroom – depending on where you are reading this!) to administer his insulin. Addressing him directly, privately, firmly, and graciously, will probably have your whole family (even those who claim it doesn’t bother them) sighing with relief!

(4/25/09) I am sorry. You (the past two readers leaving helpful comments) are correct. My response as published above was indeed ignorant and insensitive. I regret the advice given now that I have had these responses and done some further thinking on the matter. I am pleased to say that this particular column had received very little traffic until now. I could delete it but I am not going to do that. I will leave it in this space, with your comments, so others may see my insensitivity and we (others who are also insensitive) may continue to learn about an issue abut which I clearly displayed much ignorance. Please accept my apologies, and let’s continue the dialogue.

4 Comments to “Administers insulin in public places and it embarrasses me…”

  1. Sir, I believe that you are being insensitive and uncaring and ignorant of the laws concerning diabes including the Americans with Disabilities act and other laws. Please examine http://www.isletsofhope.com/civil-rights/right-to-self-care-in-public-places.html also http://Www.islets of hope.com/pdf/diabetes-civil-rights-law.pdf

    • A diabetic has a hard enough time to come to terms with having to inject to live without having to take on other peoples hang ups. Why should he risk infection by injecting in a toilet of all places, he is not a ‘junckie’…. why treat him as though he is and even worse expect him to be ashamed of being insulan dependant.

    • David B:

      Thanks for your response and for teaching me.

      I was indeed in need of guidance and I am sorry.

      Rod Smith

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