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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#
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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.

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