If You Asked Me: Squeamish about Insulin Shots?

21. My coworker administers his insulin injections at his desk or at the lunch table in front of everyone. Is it appropriate?

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a) He is not harming anyone by taking a few seconds or a few minutes and administering a dose of life-sustaining medication to himself. If you don’t like it you can get up and go to the bathroom, where maybe you can comb your eyebrows until you figure he’s finished.

b) It’s none of your business.

c) Your remark reveals a great deal about you, and none of it is flattering. It is hard not to feel sorry for you.

I’ll say this, though I’ll bet it doesn’t apply to your case: When I was a little girl, my family and I lived in a Third-World country. We had to take about a half-dozen shots, and some of them were pretty painful—about every six months my parents dragged me, literally kicking and screaming, down to the clinic for another hurtful episode. In those days, cholera, typhoid, and typhus shots were very painful, and the rest were just not any fun.

One time a nurse threw me flat on the floor and put her foot on my chest to hold me down so she could jab me with one of those ferocious shots.

That experience along with all the lesser events left me phobic about injections. Whenever I have to have a shot or have blood drawn, I cannot look at the equipment or watch the procedure, or else I will have a panic attack or even faint.

Okay . . . so maybe you’ve had some traumatic experience that left you with the heeby-jeebies about injections. In that case, I take back my implication that you’re kinda pathetic. But even if that is the case, all you’ve got to do is say, “Excuse me, gotta go to the men’s,” stand up, and walk out of the room for a couple of minutes. How hard is that?

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