April 29, 2008

Discreet But Never Ashamed

Yesterday, I had the perfect opportunity to reinforce some diabetes care etiquette to Noah. Being the first day of spring vacation, and of course it was raining (still is), we went to a really cool place nearby to paint ceramics. We picked out our pieces. Noah chose a sushi plate and I went with a simple bowl. The place was busy and we were lucky to grab a spot, so we sat down and got creative. I knew from the past that during slower times, they don't mind if you bring a snack or light lunch to enjoy while you paint, but seeing how busy it was, I decided to ask if it was ok for Noah to eat his lunch at the table.

I approached one of the ladies working there, and discreetly but with confidence, explained that Noah has type 1 and it would be wonderful if they could help us adhere to our schedule by allowing him to eat at the table.

(Just to clarify, I'm not looking for extra special treatment. I was prepared to leave and come back after lunch time if it was a problem, but it doesn't hurt to ask. "No" is not the end of the world.)

She told us it was no problem, and smiled kindly as she told us, "you eat whatever and whenever you need to" . cool!

So we sat, painted and talked. While Noah waited for his design to dry, he pulled out his lunch bag and test kit. And yes, while the lady and her kids at the table next to us stared open-mouthed, their activity screeched to a halt, he tested his blood glucose.

He's so comfortable testing in public, he sometimes lets it all hang out, bloody fingers and all, and I have to remind him to keep it discreet. I've explained that some people don't care for the sight of blood and needles, so he should think of others feelings. I've also explained to him that even though he should take steps to shield blood from public view, that in no way ever, should he be ashamed of testing in public.

His obliviousness to the stares from the adjacent table shows me that he is confident and that he knows there's no shame in taking care of his Type 1, no matter where or when he needs to test.


Jillian said...

I'm glad you addressed this. I'm never quite sure if I put my meter below the table or off to the side for the benefit of others or for myself. I know that I should not be ashamed and generally I'm not, but I always wonder why it's my gut reaction to hide. It's really a wonderful thing that Noah is so confident!

Shannon said...

My favorite thing is when other people are accomodating and don't make you feel like you're being a nuisance by needing to go against the rules a bit.

I remember being in a library for story hour with Brendon back when he was a toddler and it was time for him to have a snack (he was on NPH at the time, so timing was imperative). The librarian looked so perturbed when I asked where he could eat his snack. She had us go into a room at the back of the building. I felt so dirty for some reason.