Saturday, 24 April 2010I've been spotting a bit of a trend lately. I've been seeing people in all different places online who are, for various reasons, starting using insulin. Some are newly diagnosed Type 1's. More are Type 2's who have progressed onto requiring insulin. This isn't the trend I'm referring to though. What I have spotted is that there seems to be a lot of negative feelings associated with this.
I hear 'failure', 'guilt', 'my fault', and 'bad'. It seems that insulin has acquired a stigma. As though it is some sort of punishment for misbehaving. This makes me really very sad.
Starting using insulin can be scary. It can be frightening, especially if you're not sure what to expect. I can appreciate that, I really, can. I remember how unnatural it felt to insert a needle into my arm for the very first time, all the while thinking 'I'm sure my parents, countless teachers, and 'special' episodes of TV shows told me that this sort of thing was a bad idea'. I remember sitting on the floor of my living room the first evening after being discharged from hospital, and having to do my first completely solo injection. I believe I even said aloud 'I'm not sure that I can do this'.
But do you know what? You do it. Some people might cry, some might shout and rage, but the world will keep on turning, and the second time simply can't be as bad as the first. You've done it once before - there's no reason that you can't do it again. It will never be fun. There won't be a full musical number, or kittens and rainbows. I'd love it if there was. I'm a big musical nerd, adore kittens, and everyone likes a rainbow. But there won't be. At the end of the day, you're putting a needle into yourself. However, there is a positive to all this. It's what you're injecting in.
It's not made of gold, or starlight, or pixie dust, but insulin is a little bit magic, when you get down to the nitty gritty. We didn't always have this option - the simple fact that we do have the ability to inject, and control the way we do is close to a miracle in my eyes. All you need to do is think for a moment about the time before insulin, and then, for an instant, it does take on the qualities of pixie dust.
I know the journey for Type 2, and I suppose that of people with LADA as well, onto insulin is bound to be different to mine. I didn't really have that delay, that time of building up the event in my mind to be this huge thing. It was either have insulin there and then, or wait a day (it seemed as thought it only would have been one day more, from the way they talked to me about it), come in unconscious in a coma and have insulin then. It was as blunt as that.
But if you've got a longer journey, possibly starting with diet and exercise, then medication, then finally to be told that insulin is what's needed? I can see how one could try blaming themselves. The thoughts of 'I mustn't have tried hard enough', 'I've done something wrong', or 'this is my fault'? Very understandable, but if you're thinking that, do you want to know a dirty little secret?
It's not your fault, and you're not to blame. Some things just don't work for some people, and you've got to look down a different road for the control. It's nothing shameful, injecting is nothing to be embarrassed about, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Otherwise let me at them, and I'll set them straight.