Skip to main content

Type 1 By The Numbers: First

Welcome to November, a month dedicated to “no-shaving” and Diabetes Awareness. Since I am having trouble growing my beard out, I will focus on writing about Diabetes Awareness. This year I will be basing my posts on the “numbers” associated with the disease, hopefully this will keep things somewhat interesting (although I’m not convinced an autoimmune disease that attacks one’s own pancreas is all that interesting, but I will try ;-). I won’t be posting every day, but these posts will, in their nature, cover a wide variety of topics related to the disease. T1BT#
________________________________________________________

If the first cut is the deepest, then the first time you give yourself a shot is terrifying.

Today, the first of November, is a chance to tell you about the first time I was brave enough to stab some metal through my own skin...on purpose.

I'll start by saying that when the doctor said, "She has Type 1 Diabetes," nowhere in my brain did that equate to, "get ready for a million shots and finger pricks...foreva, foreva-eva." So, needless (or needles?) to say I was absolutely shocked when that news was dropped.

"Really, shots, just to stay alive? Really, there must be some other way to get this here Insulin, inside this here body."

Mom graciously learned how to fill syringes and stab gently (dad sucked, sorry dad). But it wasn't long before I wanted to spend the night at Liz's house, without mom as a guest to my pre-teen adventures. My parents decided to use this scenario as motivation for me to learn to give myself shots. It sounds scary to me now thinking of having a daughter who, at 11 years old, was faced with giving herself shots for the rest of her life...and having the guts to realize she should better learn to do this activity on her own sooner rather than later.

So, with Liz's sleepover on the brain, I bravely decided I would tackle the task, and I did. I told my mom as she handed me the syringe, "Don't look! It will just make me more nervous!" She turned away and I pinched my right thigh, trying to raise a mountain of fat so it would hurt less. I don't think the mountain trick worked because I remember it hurting...a lot. I was shaky and not as quick about it as mom had been. I never wanted to watch her giving me a shot and I really didn't want to watch myself give me a shot (side note, I got a flu shot last week, and I realized I still turn away when someone else gives me a shot). But I did it, and after pulling that sucker back out I remember a huge feeling of accomplishment. I guess it's silly now to be so proud, but that shot was the gateway to getting my 11-year-old life back on track. I could spend the night with a friend, or go on a school trip without mom there to administer my insulin doses.

Comments

  1. You should have been proud of yourself! Nothing beats the feeling of trying something difficult and scary and succeeding. I'm sorry you have to suffer through this disease, but I love how you have used your experience to make a positive difference in the world.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Who has two thumbs and loves comments? Nerdy April!!! Type one out and hit publish!

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

International Travel with Type 1 Diabetes

Whew! Back from one international trip and on to another next week! I will admit my eyes roll every time I get the "we're gunna need to pat you down" talk at TSA, but international travel is a whole different animal. I thought it might be fun to see what goes through my brain and into my bags for these types of trips!


I wouldn't be a NASA Flight Controller if I wasn't good at planning, the key to international travel as a T1D is PLANNING!

3 months prior

Assess supplies. Mine come in 90-days supplies so I like to inventory at least 3 months prior and make a plan to order more early if the trip is going to coincide with the end of my 90-day stock. In my experience supply companies are usually pretty good about adjusting orders as needed if you tell them the reason for the early request - just mention you have an international trip coming up and want to make sure to have plenty of supplies (and backups!) in time. Request a loaner insulin pump. It's likely the comp…

Type 1 Diabetes - IT life.

Nine years ago (9 years ago?!), I was still waiting for the black-box-doctors at the FAA to clear my Class III medical certificate - a requirement for my then-job flying on experimental Army helicopters. To 'pump' up my diabetes-dejected ego (ha), Dave let me tag along with him for his MH-47G proficiency simulator runs. That tiny taste into helicopter flight dynamics gave me so much appreciation for him - hovering is literally the.hardest.thing, I was tense the entire time and constantly felt like I was one small cyclic movement away from losing control. Even though I knew in the back of my mind we were in a (moving) simulator, my senses got lost in the weight of the flight controls, the movement on the screens, and the hard thumps when I hovered right into the ground.

At the end of the runs I asked him how he has the stamina to pilot this monster of a helicopter for literally 15 hours straight (these special ops versions can mid-air refuel). He sort of laughed, but his answer…
01 09 10