Not Your Ordinary Bag of Shopping

It was lunchtime on Friday afternoon. Friday is traditionally my I-can’t-be-bothered day, where I buy all of my food and drink for the day. My morning coffee, my morning tea and my lunch. And I really savour those 10 extra minutes that I have on a Friday morning which I normally spend making a ham and cheese toastie, peeling eggs that I boiled the night before, pulling a can of tuna and a packet of crackers out of the cupboard, or wrapping up two slices of Burgen fruit toast and a chunk of butter. I love my Fridays.

As much as I love to just collapse into a chair at lunch time (I’m on my feet most of the day at work), I try to run my errands so that I can head straight home when I’m finished. Usually that involves topping up my supplies at work – muesli bars, coffee capsules, tea bags, my block of dark chocolate, and everything else I eat at home that I forget to add to the weekly shopping list.

My diabetes educator gave me some sample 4mm needles to try with my insulin pens at my last appointment (I’ve been using 6mm for a long time), and they are amazing. I have more freedom to inject in areas where I have less fat on my stomach. The needles don’t irritate my skin so much, and they don’t sting so much in those “skinny” areas. I had intended on burning through my hoard of 6mm syringes first, but I am absolutely sick and tired of them to be honest. Which brought me to a rare workday diabetes errand on Friday at lunchtime. A trip to the Chemist for some 4mm syringes.


I walked back into the staff room at work with two plastic bags in my hand – the first which contained my “healthy” lunch, and the second which contained my needles, and some hypo-fixing marshmallows. I slapped both bags onto the table, and went off to grab a cup and some water from the cooler.

I walked back to the table with my cup of water, and placed the bag with the needles underneath my chair. When I sat back down, one of my colleagues sitting at the table started to ask me something. She said a few words, none of which I heard, before she stopped. She kindly retreated, smiled, and said “never mind.”

I knew what she was going to ask. I’m certain she had seen the syringes through my plastic bag. Whether she had any clue why, is anyone’s guess. Would she have any idea what they were for? Unlikely.

Maybe she knew what they were for. Perhaps she knew someone with type 1. I would have happily had the diabetes chat with her, like I naturally have with many of my other colleagues when it comes up. However, I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. And, I knew that she was only being courteous to me.

But as I sat there, and began to eat my cheeseburger and chips, I don’t think that she would have had any clue in the world that I had diabetes. Perhaps that’s a conversation for another day.

3 thoughts on “Not Your Ordinary Bag of Shopping

  1. Interesting what you say about 4mm needles, I’ve been using 6 since I was diagnosed (12 years ago) and my nurse mentioned smaller needles to me when I get back from my travels… I think I’ll take her up on the suggestion 🙂

    1. Yes, you definitely should. I was told that in Australia, there’s a push towards 4mm needles. The shorter needle means that you can inject more often in the upper areas of the stomach that have less body fat (if that makes sense).

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