I can GUARANTEE my fellow diabetics face whilst reading this look like this:
For some reason when I mention needles everyone always thinks of the flu jab or blood test needles which to be fair are quite long but the needles we use for insulin are actually minuscule in comparison.
Obviously, if you are scared of needles me telling you they aren’t that big will do absolutely nothing and won’t magically make you go “Ah yes, thank you Sophie I now know the size difference and am no longer scared of needles” but it is important to know how annoying this phrase is. Surprisingly, I’ve never actually heard this phrase come from someone that Is scared, rather, the class comedian who says it 5x louder than they actually need to.
I’m going to show you the difference in needles below so if you do have a fear of needles scroll past very quickly.
This is a typical blood test needle:
And this is a typical injection needle (this is the one I use):
Of course, in different places around the world there are different needle sizes so it’s not one size fits all. But there is quite a noticeable difference between the two! You see, when people make the comment of how they could never inject I know that they aren’t meaning to cause offence or are just making a throw-away comment but oh my goodness it’s so annoying to hear!
You see, when I was first diagnosed I thought the same thing. I could NEVER inject- especially not 4 times a day! However, the reality is if I didn’t inject then quite simply I would die. (Sounds a bit drastic that does, but it’s true!) I didn’t have that luxury. I did have a snazzy little cover thing that would go over the top of the insulin and when you would pull it back you couldn’t see the needle so that helped A LOT when I was a child.
This was the BEST little contraption that was created (Sorry Alexander Bell).
You would pull the pen back, press the little yellow button and it would spring straight in, you couldn’t see the needle at all! The anticipation before pressing the button was a lot though I won’t tell a lie on that one. Oh and not to mention it was brilliant at taking the awkwardness away from meeting your friends parents! When I was younger I would inject my night time insulin in my bum and my little arms couldn’t reach. Obviously when I was at home my mum would do that (cheers mum) but when I would go for sleepovers at my friends houses of course, my mum wouldn’t be there which left my friends parents having to give me my insulin dose.
Still to this day, one of my friends mums speaks about how terrified she was. First time having a sleepover at her house and she had to give me a jab! To me, I wasn’t embarrassed to get my cheeks out but I don’t think she realised where the nighttime insulin had to go as my 3 other doses would go in my legs.
When I came to the age that I had to stop using my little case it was a weird experience. To go from essentially having a button do all the work to me having to physically inject was quite the difference, especially after the first time I realised literally jamming it into my leg wouldn’t create the same effect that the case did. Instead, would cause a lot of pain especially if I would hit a nerve. Literally.
Before I finish this post let me tell you about the first time I ever felt true pain. I do like to dramatise things but believe me when I say this was way worse than when your mum would brush your hair and would literally pull the hair from your scalp into a tight ponytail. Girls, you know what I’m talking about.
Let me set the scene… it was about a week since I had been released from hospital so we were all fairly new to this diabetic lifestyle and my levemier (night time insulin) needed changing. It’s important to note that insulin is always kept in the fridge. Noticing that it was low I took a short walk to the fridge, took out the levemier, put it into my pen and did my insulin as normal. OH. MY. GOSH.
The sting that came from my cheeks was one like no other. Imagine a paper cut but instead of regular paper it was sandpaper. I was crying whilst doing that weird little stomp thing that kids do when they’re in pain or need a wee, all the while my mum just looked at me like:
Suffice to say, I haven’t made that mistake again. Instead when it needs changing last minute the vial goes straight under the armpit for a good 10 minutes.
Anyway, the morale of the story is think before you speak- Oh and NEVER inject with insulin that comes straight out the fridge.
As always thank you for reading and until the next time…