Feelings Hurt

This weekend seemed long, maybe because it was the first time we have attended a birthday party since my daughter has been diagnosed T1D. Not only did it take a while for my daughter to get the nerve to become brave enough to actually get in and OUT of the car and face her fears. But we knew there was going to be food, cake and ice cream, we had PLANNED for this event.
What we didnt plan for was the reaction from an adult… when we pulled out her insulin pen. We were sat at a secluded table (so i thought) my back was blocking my daughter to help her so she could only see me. After the infection she grabbed her plate of ice cream and ran off to sit with her friends as happy as could be… when I slightly turned my head, there was a women staring at me, her face super red, eyes huge, and she ran off. For the rest of the birthday party she avoided eye contact with me. Maybe I am overreacting? But I believe her reaction was… well a bad one? It hurt my feelings… as she ran away, I wanted to scream " we aren’t contagious!!" How can teach my 9 yr old to be comfortable in her own skin when adults even have negative reactions? It took alot of guts and effort for us to step out of comfort zone that day, especially since my child is newly diagnosed… maybe the women was embarrassed she got caught staring, but still, she could have done something different. Maybe even apologized, she avoided us like the plague…


I’m proud of you and very happy that your daughter was able to go to the party, to enjoy herself with friends.

You did [gave her insulin] exactly what you should do and you did it at the right time and for your daughter’s sake, injected her discretely. It is too bad that an ignoramus was invited to the party to disrupt your enjoyment; you should probably speak with the host or hostess of the party to het him or her know what was happening - you have probably “been reported” or at least talked about by Mz. Ignorant. Did the nosy one also react in a similar way around anyone using a wheeled chair, walking stick or eyeglasses? Your daughter with T1D is, according to Public Law 110-325, more disabled than a person without legs.

It was probably very nice working out “the plan” ahead of time with your daughter so that she could have real fun. As you and she age with diabetes, you will find that there is very, very little that she will not be able to do - just be intelligent.


I’m just trying to be the devil’s advocate here, but do you think that she felt really bad for your daughter but didn’t want to upset you by asking about it? I’ve noticed that more people are more inquisitive or sympathetic to me when doing things in the open. Just curious?

Don’t feel bad about this from my experience most people who react this way simply do not understand that insulin injections are required and think that you are hurting your child for an unwarranted reason (which you are not). Also diabetes is nothing to be ashamed of especially since it is out of your control and it does get easier over time to give insulin in public.

Wow, the gall of people never ceases to amaze me. It doesn’t get a lot more discreet than an insulin pen. I get that it might give some people the heebie-jeebies, but all you need to do is avert your eyes. To get red-faced and so reactionary about it is just over the top. While these moments can hurt, the good news is that you will start to tune them out and become less sensitive about it. I’ve only been verbally confronted once or twice in 32 years, to which I just said, “I have diabetes and have to inject whenever I eat. I try to be discreet but I understand people might sometimes get a look at it. Sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but I have to do it.” And for dirty looks, I just ignore them. That’s their problem, not mine.

Good job on managing this event…unfortunately parties will always be a challenge even when she’s older, but she will learn how to manage them.

Thank you all for your words, it makes me feel better to know that my feelings are not “overreacting”. I am glad my daughter did not see her reaction toward her, because I know we probably would have just left. My daughter is very sensitive, and even though I do not have diebetes, I feel like WE as a family are doing this together. We have never done anything alone. I almost felt like someone was attacking my child (not physically) but in a weird “new” way, it made me most uncomfortable. My guard went up, as I took a breath in, I tried to rationalize things through…maybe she was embarressed she was starring or she was curious. I even thought at one point to speak with this women, but then… I thought, now way! If she has questions, shouldn’t she approach me. After all it is impolite to stare. I dont want people to feel sorry for my daughter @Dennis, you are right, she can and will be able to live a a great long lifespan and do anything. I have so much emotions, I just want to protect her from the negativity. Perhaps I expect to much. Thank you all for kind words.

I’m teaching my 11 year old son to be completely open with T1D. He gives his injections publicly in restaurants, MLB stadiums, at parties, and school. I tell people who are caught off guard it is our way of educating the public about what is involved in T1D management and that there is no shame. My only concern, which hasn’t happened yet, is someone calling us out on universal precautions. We always gather up our supplies and throw things away at home in a sharps container. NO SHAME! You are doing the right thing! How else do people learn? Why do they have to? …because it is a growing part of everyone’s community. Not sure that is reason enough, but that’s all I got.

mgbasco- I admire your strength!

I know exactly how you feel. My son was diagnosed almost 3 months ago. We had to build up our courage to go out to eat. The Best piece of advice my aunt gave me was don’t hid it or be ashamed. Just like breast feeding don’t feel like you have to go hid in the restroom to test your child’s BS or give them a shot of insulin. I found that if you don’t make a big deal about it your child will not notice the steers of others. Of course giving the person who steers the stink eye helps! :smile: It does get easier!

we’ve been through a very similar experience only it was at family thanksgiving and it was my sister-in-law who did the “that is so gross” thing. My son was young enough to not notice but … I noticed. I didn’t make a scene and had to let it ride, yet I have not forgotten that level of ignorance and callousness. My son has been “banned” from the home of friends when he was young–the parents thought that if he was there at their home he was a liability risk for them. That one hurt my son a lot. He was told he couldn’t go into a major league baseball game b/c he was wearing his pump. I was there so I raised hell with the management and he got in. He gets a lot of extra attention at airport screenings. He takes it in stride but the strain has built up. He wanted to donate blood one time and when they asked about medication history and he mentioned the old NPH (n.b. animal based) insulin from his youngest years, they said he couldn’t donate. Why? fear of Mad Cow disease. Who knew?

I have always been a fighter…I joke about being Irish…so I do my best to explain and cajole on my son’s behalf. There are many fights we cannot fight. Ignorance is a tough nut to crack.

Still, nothing has stopped us. My son went to ALL his school parties, field trips, rock concerts, and more. We never held back activities if he had an interest. The ignorant will be…ignorant.

keep on doing everything you like and want with your son. Most people are decent.


Keep on keepin’! You did the right thing. One should never hide T1D. We have taught our newly diagnosed (2/21015) daughter (11) to never be embarrassed and never to hide her diabetes. To us, it’s a safety issue. We would rather have stares and questions from rude people or nice people who are curious, than to have her safety ever compromised. We are discreet for the most part but safety over discretion, always. We are still getting used to the stares and questions and comments but it only has made us stronger. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t crying in the shower the first time it happened to us but remember it’s medically necessary and explanations are not.