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Re: Test Proudly! (Was Re: [IP] Blaming Diabetics)

On 15 Apr 99 at 12:53, email @ redacted wrote:

>  I find it to be somewhat offensive to
> expose the general public to bodily fluids.  I don't see the need for it,
> since it is very easy to set the meter on your lap, and 'do your thing'
> without making it a public presentation.  

There's a big difference between making a show or just going ahead and testing. 
You are doing exactly what those of us who promote "Test Boldly" are saying is 
the proper way to do it!  The problem is that there are people who say that we 
need to go back to that dark, often crowded, dirty, smelly, filthy public 
toilet that hasn't been cleaned in months, stand on a wet sticky  floor 
balancing a meter on a sink with mold growing on it and stick my finger, 
exposing myself to all the stuff floating in the air and coating every surface 
in sight...  

> I just pull the curtain a little.  There is no need to go out of your way to
> expose blood!  Some people just can't handle the sight of it...lol   All of my
> coworkers know that I test myself frequently, as they see me in the breakroom
> with my meter (case discreetly hiding my BLOOD strip), and they've received
> the 'informal education' about my insulin pump (thinking it's really neat, by
> the way! ;)

Again, there's the balance between going to extremes to hide and being 
reasonable about testing in public...  of course there are people (I've 
encountered them!) who think that even carrying a meter is objectionable 
because I "might be tempted to use it"... of course those are the same people 
who get offended when they see a child in a wheelchair, or an adult with a 
walker, or even someone with any disability...  Anyone who is not "perfect" 
offends them by just existing and disturbing the orderly universe around 
them...   As the parent of a child with a disability, knowing other parents of 
children with disabilities and having friends with severe disabilities - we've 
all got horror stories of people objecting to the public exposure of our 
children, family members or friends...

Faced with these people, many of us decided that it wasn't our problem how they 
reacted...  I will be careful, discreet and use common sense - but I refuse to 
refrain from testing because it might "offend" someone.  There is a broad 
spectrum of behavior, running from TESTING IN PUBLIC with sirens, lights and 
loud music to testing discretely, quickly and efficiently...  I've tested my bg 
on airline flights where the person one seat over wasn't paying attention and 
didn't notice anything until I pulled out the old NovoPen (pre-pump days) for a 

I and others have noticed an odd phenomenon - if you get your meter out, stick 
your finger, test your bg, dispose of the strip in a container you've got with 
you, and then close your meter up - chances are pretty good that you won't 
register as "doing something odd" on most people's perceptions, as long as you 
look like you know what you're doing, don't call attention to yourself or 
otherwise make a stir.  With the current technology you can perform the whole 
bg test with your hands kept close to the meter and no huge drop of blood 
hanging on your finger to splatter on the strip...  when speaking in churches 
as the guest preacher I discovered that it's easier to just stop for a moment 
and test your bg instead of making a production out of asking "where's the 
restroom" or trying to get an "out of the way" place to test your bg - and it 
certainly causes less disruption to the normal traffic flow and routine... 
people notice things that are "out of the ordinary".  My experience has been 
that they don't notice that the preacher standing there talking to one of 
the deacons or the worship leader or music director while looking at his 
schedule book or notes isn't really looking at his schedule book or notes...  

> I guess WITH UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS........I feel that the general public
> should never feel exposed to a stranger's fluids.

Maybe we need a public refresher course on coughing and sneezing in public - I 
was at the OfficeMax store yesterday and heard a lot of that but I didn't see 
anyone covering their mouth with a handkerchef... ;-)

> I'm sure I'll be blasted for this one!! ;)

No blasting because you are doing things right, just using different words.  
We're not talking about "in your face" testing, but we are talking about not 
running off to the car, to a dirty room or somewhere to hide to do a test.  
I've gotten more reactions from people when I've used to try to hide testing 
than since I decided to "go public"...  your behavior patterns when trying to 
hide trigger people's curiosity so they pay more attention to the person who is 
"acting oddly" even if they are not concious of the fact.  Bg testing done 
discretly and quietly "disappears" into the general behavioral noise level in 
most places like restaurants, businesses and offices.  If you get the routine 
down so it's obvious it's "old hat" to you, you'd be surprised at how it 
blends into the background...  We're all talking about the same thing, with the 
same goals - testing as needed, when needed, while causing a minimum of fuss 
and disturbance.  

Anybody else remember the futile attempts to balance that little "wash bottle" 
with the meter, strips, cotton balls, and the razor-blade chip lancets that we 
had with the "wet process" strips back in the early 80's?  No way to be 
"discrete" then - it took almost three square feet of space for the equipment, 
the trainers all said it had to be in a "sterile area" and the lancets didn't 
poke, they cut huge slices...  and then you had the wash water to dispose of...

Randall P. Winchester
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