Fear of insulin

Good Morning T1D community,

Last year around this time I suffered from an extreme low of 30 something. I was very frightened because it would not come up, my husband has always sat up with me and I was in such a panic I told him we might have to call an ambulance. I wasn’t sure if I was more anxious because we were out of town so I was not in the comfort of my own home. My problem now is that is scared me so much, I am terrified of insulin. I do not dose correctly and suffer from high blood sugars. I was telling my doc yesterday that when I put my carbs and glucose I just can’t hit enter. I freeze and get an anxious feeling, so I lower by dose. I know I cannot go on like this for much longer because I am starting to get frustrated with my highs. I am an avid exerciser and I eat fairly well. I just cannot get my sugars under control.

I do not know anyone around my area to talk to. I have my husband but I do not think he can fully understand my fear. I hope I can figure this out soon, I have 3 kids that I want to be around for for a long time. I guess I just need some reassurance or advice on how to move past my anxiety and fear of insulin.
Thank you!

I understand your fear. I have had that problem myself. All I can tell you is to push through it. Your 3 children are going to want you to be there for them. If you need someone to talk to, message me.

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Hi Jill @JLoppnow, it is frightful when you go low and nothing appears to bring you back to “normal” - I’ve been there, someplace around 10 mg/dl [yes TEN] and it took three paramedics at least an hour to bring me back using D50 IV packs. It may have scared my wife more than it scared me - I was out of it… That was five years ago. After 60+ years using insulin I don’t always recognize when I’m dropping.

But there are no two ways about it - we NEED insulin. Now I’m much more cautious - and began checking my BG 8 or more times every day especially when I felt good. This past July I began using a CGM and it actually has “saved” me many times - I have my receiver set to give vibrating and audible alarms when I reach 80 mg/dl and also to alert me when ever my BGL is dropping at 2 or more m/dl/minute. If at all possible, that you consider a CGM.

Like you, I am active and exercise most days and my food choices are good and well balanced and even “high” on carbs. As far as how to get over your anxiety, I’m short on advice - my wife did help me by becoming “more involved” in some of my diabetes management and in the last five years [we’ve been married 52+ years] has been a real good sounding board when I’m unsure about insulin and also by reminding me of what I should be aware - for instance, I sometimes forget that a good bike ride will cause my BG will drop sharply about 4 to 8 hours later; she won’t let me sit and just read those evenings but rather remind me “you better check your blood”. A dozen years back when our granddaughter was often with us, she had a way of ‘noticing’ when I was dropping and would give me a finger poke and often make me eat. Perhaps one of your kids, or all three, could learn to interrupt you and remind you to monitor - I know most of the time I start to get into trouble is when I’m “busy” and just ignore what I’m feeling.

Good luck to you, and A Warm Welcome to TypeOneNation!

Thank you. One day at a time with this disease :slight_smile:

Thank you so much. I am hoping by becoming a member I can limit my anxiety and find more support and comfort from other Type 1s. I am so sorry about your episode you explained, I would have been terrified, but that is why I am so anxious because I do not want to go through that. Thanks for the encouragement.

hi @JLoppnow Jill!

I took old-fashioned insulin during a time where there were no home blood sugar meters. My first low was an ordeal. All I can tell you is that the anxiety subsides with repetition.

You’re in a tough spot - you need to take insulin but you’re afraid to take insulin… In the words of the world’s greatest thinkers - something’s gotta give.

maybe new gizmos will be helpful… like @Dennis said - a CGM if it works for you can give you that “always on” monitoring. A pump will allow you to fine tune your daily and meal time insulin, and the Medtronic 670, in auto mode, when it’s working, with actually do that hard part for you. maybe time to re-consider all options?

I don’t use insulin because i like to use insulin or because insulin is easy, forgiving, or pleasant to use. I use insulin because my other choice it to die.

I have too many things I want to do and experience so if I don’t want to die, I therefore have to live and the diabetic caveat is I gotta use insulin.

once I pass that through my head, it becomes how to use insulin and not “if”. as far as how… read the “think like a pancreas” book, and keep glucose on you. I don’t know what you do when you are low… but certain carbs work fast, and certain carbs work slow. glucose works fast, so does low fiber juices like grape juice and even regular soda.

the physiology of a low is that your body releases hugh “fight or flight” hormones. That’s supposed to happen. That’s what wakes you up at night. It’s a reflex. a low will trigger what seems like a panic attack. it is essentially a panic attack - “for cause”. the adrenalin and other physical body reactions raise blood sugar, blood pressure, blood flow, and mental acuity … originally… in case you had to run away from a hungry tiger. I can see how a low, with that level of adrenalin, could be uncomfortable and could cause something like “a fear of having fear”. this can be helped with, as I said, repetition, or with help from a therapist if you think it is paralyzing

good luck, I hope you can fine peace with this…