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Section: general-health, manners

Dear Ann Landers,
I have a relative who has diabetes and must take insulin shots after every meal. He makes quite a production of it, testing his blood sugar level, preparing the injection and injecting himself at the table. This procedure is done in the homes of family members and friends and in restaurants. I can handle it, but several others cannot. The sight of blood and injections ruins the enjoyment of the meals for those with queasy stomachs. This person is extremely sensitive, and his feelings would be crushed if he knew he was offending people. Your response in the paper would help make others who are afflicted with diabetes aware of how this sort of thing affects some of us. No name or city, please. -- Mrs. Anonymous

Dear Mrs. Anon.,
Your point is well taken. A person who would inject himself at the dinner table in the presence of others exhibits gross insensitivity and very poor manners.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
Take him aside and tell him gently that it would be better if he handled his medical needs somewhere other than the dining table.

HOOSIE's Comment
I think this guy has more than Diabetes, he also has a look at me problem. Does anyone give him attention or what. This is the worse thing I have ever heard. It is bad enough I have to get this done every six months by my doctor. He needs a friend like me. I would call him and tell him this is not ever acceptable. If he is upset. So be it.

Reader Comment
I agree with both reader comments. If this person is so sensitive, then he should be aware that others are also sensitive of seeing him inject himself at the table. He needs to be taken aside and told that this should be done in private, not made a spectacle of it which is what he is doing. Yes, we see you are diabetic and need insulin, but you don't need to take in in front of everyone! (the man is a jerk, plain and simple).

Carmen 's Comment
Having had a significant other who has had type 1 and is insulin dependant to live, I find it insensitive for anyone to make this person's heath issues about them and what makes them uncomfortable. You know what's uncomfortable? Being dependant on insulin so they don't literally die. I think it's very disrespectful of you to even consider talking to him about something like that. If it bothers you so much for him to take care of his condition in the manner that he does, he's better off without you as a "friend."

Reader Comment
Nonsense. I need to floss for a healthy heart, but I wouldn’t dream of doing it in a restaurant. This isn’t a defibrillator, some urgent measure the man needs instantly. It’s simply a blood test, plus an insulin shot. It can be done at home, or in the car, or in the men’s room at the restaurant. Just tell him never to leave the syringe behind. He sounds like a head case, the kind who might, otherwise!

Lenora 's Comment
People are so insensitive. Diabetes has become an epidemic, be offended now, soon you will be the offender. We now recognize its ok to expose their breast to feed a baby because it's a normal function. It's not any more sanitary to inject and test blood sugar than to feed a baby in a restroom. People need to get a grip. People having blood sugar issues have to be able to handle it wherever they are. The results of the test can decide how they treat themselves; they may need something immediately to raise blood sugar or need to drink water to lower it. Walking to a restroom could be dangerous if they black out. People need to be educated on the illness and worry more that the people that they care for survive this horrible illness.

Elisabeth's Comment
There are insulin pumps now. This is an option the man should explore. I believe there are options besides the finger-sticks as well.

Debra's Comment
He needs to be told not to do it at the table. It is not appropriate behavior! There are also others seated around them. TOO bad the he is overly sensitive - tell him!

Mary's Comment
It should be a private thing, insulin injections and blood testing. Absolutely no need to entertain others with a show. And I should know: I've been injecting insulin for the last 57 years!! And I feel fine.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers