Shed the Shame: Taking Medication in Public

Many people take medications to help manage their diabetes. But what happens when you need to take them while in public?
Maybe you’re worried that people will watch you. Perhaps you’re concerned about being judged by others. But while it’s not always comfortable, it’s important to take your medicine or injections as prescribed, no matter your location.

11 February 2022
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The important thing is to make sure you’re considerate and safe when you publicly take medication. And remember, there’s no reason to feel ashamed.

Skip the Shame

Prioritizing your health shouldn’t come with embarrassment. Checking blood sugar levels or injecting insulin is necessary. Never let shame stand in the way of managing your diabetes. 
Delaying your injection isn’t always possible, or healthy. You need to do what’s best for managing your health. A potential strange look or fleeting comment isn’t worth letting your health suffer. 
You can’t control how other people respond. However, if asked, you can kindly and respectfully explain the importance of what you’re doing and why.

Tips for Taking Medicines or Injections in Public

While there’s no shame in managing your diabetes in public, you do want to be respectful and safe. Follow these tips to keep the environment secure and comfortable for everyone.

Tip #1 – Keep Supplies Handy

When heading out, have your diabetes supplies handy. A backpack or purse makes a great choice. This guarantees you always have direct access to your medications or insulin. It’s also a good idea to keep official labels on your medication, insulin vials and pens.

Tip #2 – Prepare to Explain

Be prepared to explain what you’re doing and why. People are curious and may ask about your injection. A simple explanation like, “I have diabetes and need injections to manage my condition,” is straightforward and easy for anyone to understand.

Tip #3 – Remember Your Health is a Priority

Don’t let discomfort keep you from taking care of your health. Delaying or skipping insulin injections can result in blood sugar spikes. Your health is a top priority no matter what anyone else thinks. Always remember that.

Tip #4 – Keep it Subtle if Possible

Some people can’t stand the thought or sight of needles. Try to keep injections subtle, if possible. Injecting in the thigh or stomach is often fairly easy to hide when you’re in public. Being discreet means that people are less likely to notice your actions.

Tip #5 – Ensure Your Location is Safe

It’s fine to take insulin in public when needed. Just make sure your location is safe. Ensure the location is sanitary (skip bathroom stalls whenever possible). And make sure you have enough space so you aren’t at risk of getting bumped or jostled while injecting.

Tip #6 – Properly Dispose of Needles

Whenever you inject in public, dispose of needles properly. Some public places have sharps containers in restrooms you can use. If you can’t find a sharps container, recap the needle, store it in a safe place and dispose of it at home. Never dispose of needles in regular wastebaskets.