Hi I am Amanda I was diagnosed in June with T1D( at 31 years old) and have been having problems getting a pump or even an Endo. I have been to 3 so far and they just keep referring me around. So this means that I am still on MDI I have been afraid of needles my entire life…really though. I was that kid that needed at least 3 nurses to hold me down and a another to go e the shots…at 15 years old!!it’s sad but true!! This diagnosed has been very hard on me and it scares my kids( my husband passed from cancer in 2014. So they are a little freaked understandably.) Is anybody else out there having any similar issues? I am having problems doing the shots and i get bruises( I realize I am puncturing my skin so it happens) but it is very discouraging each time I go to eat anything I stop and think “do I need a shot for this” if the answer is yes I put it down. I am beyond the keto diet I literally eat meat and very few veggies. This takes my injections down to 1 long and 2 short a day but I am still frustrated and depressed about this thing that invaded my life and changed it forever. Does anybody else relate to this? Got any advice or tips and tricks? Thanks guys!!
Hi Amanda @MOJomama, you and I are alike in our aversion to needles - to this day I flinch whenever someone comes at me with a needle and syringe or when I pick one up to give myself a shot. I recall when I was diagnosed on my 16th birthday and was in hospital, I had to be able to properly measure a dose and give myself insulin before I would be released I sat there on the bed, for what felt like hours, with syringe in one hand while the other pinched up skin on my thigh; and then in the years that followed some days it took me 15 minutes to get up courage to poke in the needle.
Oh, did I mention, that was in 1957 and just recently I had to go back to injections because I felt my pump might be malfunctioning - and I had that same “fear” of giving insulin. [I got a new pump in January.] During my days before I converted to pumping 15 years ago I gave myself thousands of injections, at the end 6 per day, and have had plenty of bruising; in the 1970’s before the DCCT I worked with my doctor developing MDI Protocol. As for bruising, some people will almost always bruise but a lot of that can be mitigated with the now available tiny needles and a quick poke into pinched up soft tissue. More important to keep in mind is to rotate your injection sites - many body locations - to avoid developing scar tissue or Lipohypertrophy.
I wish you luck on finding a good endocrinologist in your area; perhaps someone here may be able to help you. I suggest that you, in a followup post mention your general geographic location. Perhaps you might be able to locate one through a nearby hospital or through your insurance company.
Diagnosed 2 years ago at age 54.
Your aversion to needles sounds really familiar. When I was diagnosed, my MD, who looked to be about 16 years old, just gave me a prescription for all the stuff and sent me out the door. Little did he know that while he was writing out the prescription, I was breaking out into a cold sweat and regressing into a six year old boy. I played it cool because, well, I’m a grown man but inside, I was screaming “I WANT MY MOMMY!!!”
That was on a Friday afternoon. By Saturday midday, I still hadn’t worked up the courage to actually poke myself. I kept myself busy tho… Washed 4 cars, fixed some plumbing issues, worked on the pool filter, washed the dog, did all the yard work, cleaned the house… (my wife and kids loved it! I did all of their chores, as well)
At around 5pm, I finally had to tell my wife “I need you and the kids to go somewhere for awhile…it’s time for me to face my lifelong fear of needles and I don’t want or need an audience while I do it…”
It took (no lie) 4 HOURS of me placing the needle next to my skin and then chickening out, pacing around a bit, and starting the whole procedure over again, before I was actually able to do it.
All this drama from a 54 year old man who picks up lizards barehanded and has been the family protector for all things crawling, buzzing, flying, or scurrying. Circus clowns included.
Needless to say, I did the whole “deny myself food” trick, also. Problem is, I really like nachos and the occasional bowl of Lucky Charms. Diabetes took enuf away from me, it’s not taking my Nachos or Lucky Charms, too.
These days, shots are second nature. You’ll get there, too. In the meantime, if you ever run across someone with an aversion to needles and they are being overly vocal about how “I could never give myself shots!!!” be sure to belly up to them when you give yourself some insulin. Include alot of sucking noises and wince a bit or purse your lips. It freaks them out.
That’s funny I am going to have try that one! Thanks it helps to know others out there have issues too! For a min I thought I might be silly…a diabetic afraid of needles like a smoker afraid of fire HAHA
I have tried rotation of sites but I found that the lower half of my belly does the best… if I inject in the legs I have too much muscle I’m guessing because I drop way down way fast like it needs a different carb ratio or something and I was badly burned on the top of my stomach by hot grease so it has a lot of scar tissue and it HURTS to try to go through it sometimes I can get one of my daughters to give me an injection in the arm ( they think it is cool to give Mom a shot) but I am so scared they are accidentally poke themselves and get a drop or two of insulin so I don’t let them do it unless I have too many bruises to find a good site. Can I dose after I eat if I am going to go into muscle to avoid the drastic swing in BS or can I not do that?
Amanda, it sounds as if you are doing, and will do OK. Great to have your kids volunteer. That remind me of how one of my sisters would take the syringe from my hand, when I couldn’t get up the courage to stick it in my leg, and inject me in the arm while saying “… you’ll be late for school unless you do this and eat”. Juet last year, 60 + years after the fact, she told me how scared she was doing that shot - I did thank her for those many injections she gave me. In those day the needles were the size of a 3d nail - we called them "horse needles.
A thought about insulin working faster when injected in your legs; insulin injected in an area of heavy use, such as legs if you run or walk a lot, will be absorbed much faster than usual. That is one reason that the abdomen has the most consistent rate.
Wow sounds as if the T1D life is getting easier as the tech advances! I just RSVP to a lecture about insulin delivery system involving no needles!! UMKC is hosting a light therapy talk for T1D so hopefully neither of us will have to poke ourselves anymore!! Thanks for the knowledge on worked areas absorbing faster that makes since but I didn’t really think in that way you have gone through a lot with this I am inspired by your acceptance and hope that I get there lsomeday soon. Thanks for your support and little golden nuggets of T1D know how it really does mean the world to a newbie like myself!! Thanks!!
Amanda, I have gone through a lot and now in regret I wish that I hadn’t gone through a period of several years of “denial” when I didn’t take care of myself. I’m now paying the price for my neglect and now I try my best to encourage others so they will not make my mistakes.
Fortunately I saw the light - well my wife shined the light in my eyes - and was able to turn myself about. During the past several decades I’ve made a science of diabetes learning and volunteered in many experimental treatments - some of which are now in everyday practice.
It’s also possible that when you take a shot in your leg you hit muscle rather than fatty tissue. Muscles absorb insulin MUCH faster than fatty tissue, and the fat naturally slows absorption so that the shot will cover more time. Of course it’s important to know that you will KNOW when you shoot in any muscle it hurts a lot more.
My experience is rather different, since I was diagnosed at age 5, in 1956, and was so glad to survive my disastrous start in a hospital that had never heard of Juvenile diabetes (now Type 1). They nearly killed me 3 times or more. Anyway I realised there was n choice, since Mom would just give me the shot whether I like it or not. If she didn’t do it my 11 year old sister Nancy took over now and then.
Nancy eventullly became a nurse but from all the years giving me shots she developed her own method, that led to people asking her to give them shots since it didn’t hurt nearly as much. SHe told me that it’s very simple, rather than pinching up the skin with 2 fingers, she uses all 5. SOmehow it works.
Anyway, Mom also explained to me when I started taking shots on my own 2 years later “Everybody has a problem, headaches, back pain or whatever. YOUR problem is diabetes, and YOU are the only person that can take care of it.” So I based all my actions about diabetes on that, and just carried on.
Hi Ted @tedquick, you have had an interesting experience during your mostly successful life living with diabetes - I received my “diabetes” diagnosis in 1957.
Yes, back in those days the only distinction made in identifying types of diabetes were the type with which you and I were diagnosed “diabetes” [where it was unusual to live to adulthood] and “adult obesity diabetes”. It wasn’t after 1976 when a link between autoimmune diabetes and a specific genetic marker was discovered that the term “B type diabetes”, now referred to as Type 2 came into use.
My, how things have changed since 1910 when that English physician suggested that people with diabetes were deficient in a single chemical that was normally produced by the pancreas - later to be called insulin. Then thanks to Banting & Best, in Toronto, who “finally” found a way to extract that chemical and use it in humans.
I wouldn’t worry about the shots. Rotate the injection sites ie tummy, bottom, arms etc. I use Novo fine needles 4mm and one is not aware of anything. I have been doing this for 70 years now and am in good health. Just found that modern insulins make me very depressed, specially when BG is at required level 4.5 - 6.5 mmol/ml. Eat lean protein, lots of veggies, some fruits and exercise as much as possible. If you live in Australia treatment is generally very good. I live in the backside end of the world in Africa and here you have more chance of been shot for your mobile phone than dying of Diabetes. Good luck and dont give up
I rarely bruise and I tame 4 shots day. Try to find a local support group for type 1s and an education class. This will help with managing your levels. Good luck.
Amanda I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago at age 53. I have the same fear of needles. I discovered on the Medtronic website they sell a port called iport. Easy to put on with one injection but you don’t see the needle. Then you inject into the port so you don’t feel the needle. It last for three days so for me it was 1 injection every 3 days instead of 12! I just started the Omnipod pump (it’s tubeless) 2months ago and love it. It took 3 tries and a letter from my doctor before I was approved. It works much like the port in terms of 1 injection every 3 days. Best of luck to you!
No, you are not alone! I’m 55 years old and was just diagnosed this past July. I have something called vasovagal (which you can look up ) but it’s a pretty severe aversion to needles or any pain for that matter. I once fainted three times during a blood test and they never got any blood. I inject before every meal and a slow acting one at night. When I was diagnosed my blood glucose was 517 and they wanted to put me in the hospital. Needless to say I was hysterically crying so the doctor let me stay in her office and the nurse came in every hour and had me test my own blood and inject myself before they would let me go home. They were able to get my blood glucose down that day and by the time I left I was already a pro at doing the shots. Like everyone else told you the more fatty the area the less you’ll feel it. Nine times out of 10 I don’t feel anything. It’s the fear of ending up in the hospital that keeps me doing this! Please please take care of yourself. You will get used to it. The complications that diabetes can cause from not doing the shots is much worse than the shots them selves. I have the Dexcom CGM which I love. I have heard that most insurance companies won’t give you a pump until after you’ve had this for a year. I’m not sure about your insurance. Good luck, You’re not alone!