Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Things We Fear.

Fears are funny things. I have a lot of them. I'm scared of spiders, clowns, roller coasters and flying. I'm the worst person to watch a horror movie with - I will almost definitely scream, and I will have nightmares. I'm scared of the fact I have no life plan at present and, not that I'll openly admit it all that often, I'm scared that I won't get my (happily-)ever-after. And not in a I-need-to-settle-down-right-now way, but more a will-I-even-let-myself-settle-down-with-someone. 

But fears often change. Not all of them, but as we grow up and change as a person, our fears change too. When I was a kid, I was terrified of dogs. Looking back, I'm not sure why, but now I'm such a dog person! Sleeping in the dark used to scare me too. Heights were a no-no. And, somewhat ironically, I used to also be terrified of needles. 

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was sent to A&E and on arrival I was given a bed and told that a nurse would be round to insert a cannula into my arm. And I was terrified. My Mum did her best to distract me, but I could not focus my mind on anything other than the horrible nurse putting a cannula in my arm. (I should say, he wasn't actually horrible at all -- he was just the one inserting the cannula, so by default I didn't like him). Throughout my hospital stay, I had many blood tests done, my fingers were pricked every two hours, and I had to have another cannula inserted too.

After three days of being on a sliding scale of insulin, a DSN came to see me and told me that I couldn't be discharged from the hospital until I could administer my own insulin injections. If there was ever going to be something that made me get over my fear of needles, that was it. I took the insulin pen from her, I screwed the needle onto it, I pinched the skin of my right thigh, and I did my first injection. I was desperate to go home. 

After that, I can honestly say I haven't flinched at needles. The needles my insulin pen took got progressively smaller (8mm, 6mm, 5mm, 4mm), I went for my flu jab every year, I had my BCG jab earlier this year, and I moved onto an insulin pump where the cannulas I started out with were 6mm steel ones. No problem. 

So, yesterday morning, why did I completely freeze up when I had to use this?

My brain would not let me press that little button on the side to insert this cannula, a FlexLink, one where the needle comes out after. It took me about half an hour to work up the courage to do it (as well as a text to Lizzie and Shep, and some encouragement from some wonderful people on Twitter).

It's funny how our fears manifest themselves. I'd seen other people use the LinkAssist. I knew how to use it. I'd even used it on one of the soft-toy-pumps at clinic (yes, my diabetes clinic has soft-toy-pumps...very weird at first, but now I kind of like it). But holding it against my hip to "fire" into my skin...fear took over. Very weird. 

On a lighter, and much funnier, note, the tubing that came with the cannula above is 80cm long. And I am a very short, clocking in a height of 5ft1" (and a half...the half is very important!)

It's safe to say I'm very much looking forward to my delivery of 30cm tubing!

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about not pressing the 'fire' button, even now (7 years on pump) I have the odd day when I don't want to press it. Also, not sure if you know, but there are 60cm tubes if you find 30cm too short :) x