When did I become afraid of needles? As a diabetic, this seems like a silly question.
But this past weekend, I decided to put Gizmo (my insulin pump) on the shelf and attempt to live off insulin injections via needles. It wasn’t my initial plan, but after a mishap involving leaving vital pump supplies at work, I decided to test it out.
Gizmo’s been by my side for the past two years. What would a day be like without it?
When I twist my needle onto a flex pen I still happen to own after two years that still happens to have effective insulin in it, I feel nervous. I wet the skin around my belly button with an alcohol swab and wait for it to dry. The needle seems longer than I remember. At least it is shorter than my other back-up method – the syringe.
I used to do this for two years before I had Gizmo. Was it really this hard? I’ve never been afraid of needles. In fact, I was the kid who wanted to look when the nurse injected me with my annual shots so I knew when the pain was coming.
I know I’m less likely to feel pain if I inject into the fat around my stomach rather than my muscled thighs, skinny arms, or butt. Yes, but doesn’t my butt have the most fat, you may ask? That’s not something you need to know, but really the reason I don’t attempt this area is because it’s too difficult.
I slowly insert the needle. Have I pierced the skin yet? How far does this needle have to go? Wow, I don’t remember taking this long to inject myself before. I used to do it in restaurant booths, in the back seat of a car, even on-the-go. My fondest memories are when I was drunk. But even then, I made more progress than this.
Two minutes later (what seems like 10), the needle’s edge touches my skin. I push the dial and inject. Will this even work? Will I experience a low because I can’t dial to the 0.1 of a unit, only increments of one?
It’s done. I pull the needle free. What time is it? I must keep track of how much insulin is in my system before I check my blood sugar again and before I can judge whether to take a correction dosage (this is often why I had so many lows before the pump – I overestimated how much insulin I needed).
I miss Gizmo.
Part 2: My Weekend Without Gizmo Day 2.