A man with type 1 diabetes has called for greater diabetes awareness after he was criticised for injecting at a bus stop.
Ben Lockwood, 26, was on his way home from work when he injected insulin to lower his blood glucose levels. To his surprise, a stranger remarked: “You can’t do that in a public place you druggie scum bag.”
Mr Lockwood, who lives in London, then explained to the stranger that he had type 1 diabetes and needed to inject insulin because his blood sugar levels were high. The stranger then gave Mr Lockwood a hug and apologised.
Mr Lockwood has uploaded his story to Facebook, including a photo of the orange NovoRapid pen he injects himself with. He hopes spreading awareness of this story will help to educate people who don’t understand those with diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes, need to inject and often have to do so in public.
“I’m gonna (sic) use this experience in the most positive way possible, I’m gonna start spreading more awareness about type 1 diabetes,” said Lockwood.
“The picture below is of my NovoRapid, it’s in a bright orange cartridge, as you can see. If you or anyone ever has any doubts or concerns over someone injecting or testing in a public place: 1) please realise it takes a lot of courage to do that kind of thing in public, 2) just bloody ask once they’ve finished, a little privacy is just common courtesy and 3) we don’t need any pity, just understanding.”
The post has racked up over 72,000 reactions in a week and has been shared more than 48,000 times. It has also attracted a lot of support from the diabetes community who have, unfortunately, been in similar situations before.
Benedict Jephcote, Editor of Diabetes.co.uk, said: “It is great that Ben was able to turn an awkward situation into a chance to further the public’s understanding of diabetes. The more people that recognise what diabetes pens look like, the less likely these misinterpretations will occur.”