Shooting up in public always seems to be a controversial and emotive topic. This was highlighted recently by the letters page of this month’s Diabetes UK magazine Balance, which was crammed with missives about the pro and cons of injecting in public.
I’m not exactly shy and retiring and I’ll happily shoot up in front of all and sundry. My family and friends are very used to it and if anyone new is around I will ask if they have a wild needle-phobia that might result in panic-attacks, vomiting and fatal collapse before whipping out the old humalog.
Some people seem to think that shooting up in public is distasteful and off-putting. I think, however, that squirting insulin into your body is something natural and therefore best done out there, externally and in public. I think that non-diabetics whose working pancreases squirt away furtively and secretly, hidden away behind their stomachs are ever so slightly sinister. What are they hiding from us and why do they have to keep things concealed like some Austrian father?
Anyway, sneaking away to the kludgy (Scots = toilet; for example “hey pal, will youse keep an eye on ma pint o’ heavy – am off tae the kludgy for a pish”) when in a fancy restaurant or whatever just makes you look like an extra from some terrible druggie film, so my view is shoot up whenever and wherever. If our pancreatically-advantaged friends don’t like it, they can lump it. Just because their organs are all present and correct doesn’t mean they can rub our collective faces in it.
My view has of course led to shooting up in a few interesting places. Possible the most public was the opening ceremony of the Tour de France, which was held in Trafalgar Square in the centre of London a few years ago. (Yes, I know it’s odd that a race around France started in London; but that’s the French for you).
Anyway, we had a pleasant afternoon watching top cyclists, only slightly marred by the irritating guy next to us who kept shoving us to get a better view and making stupid comments. Bah! However, despite these interruptions the clock soon clicked round to 7.30pm and the approximate time I shove in 40u of lantus. So I whipped out the kit, inserted a needle, up went the souvenir Tour de France t-shirt and in went the oh-so-sweet life-giving insulin.
I looked up to see the annoying chap had gone white, was backing slowly away while looking – with fear in his eyes – at my friends for help or support, who looked back blankly as they’d, of course, seen it all before. The lack of reaction from my chums just increased his fear. Had he inadvertently stumbled into some hideous drugs-posse who were going to kidnap him, get him addicted to hard drugs, ship him in a container lorry to Eastern Europe and then pimp him out to tattooed Baltic sailors as a white, male go-go girl?
I have to confess that this actually was our plan, but sadly he made good his escape and disappeared into the crowd.
I daresay you can all add your, infinitely better, stories of shooting up in public in the comments below. So I’ll end with a list of places in which I plan to shoot up in the next year:
• At the top of the Chrysler Building in New York
• In a hot air balloon over the Cotswolds
• While scuba-diving around a rusting, sunken German U-boat in the Scarpa Flow
• Bareback on a rodeo stallion in Texas
• In front of the Queen
P.S., by the way cycling freaks might be interested in Team TypeOne – a professional cycling team, all of whom have Type One. Lucky them.