Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Insulin Etiquette

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TurtleDove:
I attended a baby shower this past weekend that was chock-full of awkward etiquette blunders, but one was particularly shocking to me and others I spoke with.  The shower (which was for a second child, but I digress - the first baby died tragically about a year ago so I think she might get a pass) was thrown by a friend of the MTB at the friend's house.  The mother of the MTB is quite obese and has diabetes, apparently the kind you must inject insulin for.  Rather than do her injection in the bathroom or bedroom, the mother opted to lift her shirt and expose nearly a foot and a half of flesh all around her waistline (both below and above her belly button) and inject herself right in the middle of the room where the party was happening.  It was really shocking to me.  I thought she was taking her entire shirt off and putting her hands down her pants into her private areas before I realized she was injecting insulin.  I know the way she handled this was not appropriate, but what do people think would have been? The MTB and her sister, as well as everyone else who mentioned to me they saw this, were mortified.

The way I see it, the mother had several options, including going into a bathroom or bedroom or even simply not exposing so much skin in order to inject the insulin.  I truly cannot fathom why she felt the need to expose so much flesh, aside from she is a known attention hog (and she did various other inappropriate attention seeking things during the shower). 

What is generally considered appropriate to do when needing to inject while a guest at someone else's home?

camlan:
In part, it depends on what is being used to inject the insulin.

There are insulin pens, where you dial the dosage and press a button to inject the insulin. I've seen these used quite discreetly in public, say under the edge of a table in a restaurant. If you didn't know what the person was doing, you'd have no clue. However, if you have to lift or move a garment in such a way as to expose large amounts of skin, it would be best to move to a more private room--bedroom, bathroom, even an unoccupied hallway would work.

If the person is using a syringe, they need a space to put the bottle of insulin and the syringe, in order to fill the syringe. While a public bathroom might not be the best place, the bathroom in a private home would be ideal for both filling the syringe and injecting the insulin.

If you need to expose as much skin as the person in the OP did, you need to move away from the main group. It's not so much about injecting the insulin at that point as it is about grownups not removing clothing in public. I don't care if she was injecting insulin, scratching an itch or showing a tattoo, lifting her shirt that much was uncalled for.

EllenS:
My mom was insulin-dependent using vials and syringes, and she would inject herself at the breakfast table if it was only family present.  Of course, we're talking about a situation where everyone is in their pajamas.  She would never have injected herself in front of other people - basically in any situation where she would wear day clothes, she would excuse herself to a private space.

My SIL is also insulin dependent and uses either a pump or a pen.  She will inject herself whenever needed, but that equipment does not require much in the way of shifting clothes and as pp mentioned, you'd never know what she was doing and you certainly can't see exposed flesh.

RebeccainGA:
I've never seen anyone do this, except my sister, who is hardly the model of couth. Her best friend was a type I diabetic from birth, and even with that, I have MAYBE seen her inject herself a dozen times over my lifetime, and she was practically my second sister for years, spending all her time at our house.

I have to test for blood sugar (on a medication that can cause fluctuations) and I do it somewhere private if at all possible - my cube, the bathroom, my car - and if I have to do it somewhere more public (like at dinner out somewhere) then I try to use a body part I can see easily (like my forearms, if possible) and keep everything as close to hidden as possible.

If I was injecting insulin, I'd be doing it in the bathroom, or if I couldn't for some reason, at least being as discreet as possible (lifting as little clothing as possible, and turning my back to the room so I had some visual privacy). It sounds like this woman was just not cognicent of where she was, or just didn't care. Definitely rude, though,  unless it was a true emergency.

Hillia:
My mom was insulin dependent and so am I, both of us using vials and syringes (pens are awesome, but even with insurance cost about 6x the cost of vials and syringes).  It takes a little space to fill a syringe, but to do the injection requires exposing only a tiny bit of skin.  I agree that the best approach is to use the bathroom or even the kitchen or a quiet corner of the main room.  It does not have to be a huge production unless you want it to be.

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