My First Month Using Insulin

getting used to insulin injections

It has been just under one month since I first needed to use insulin. Prior to this period, my control for my diabetes was diet and exercise. The diet part was easier than I once would have thought. It has been a number of years since I was first diagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes so I have become quite adept and used to planning meals that suit my body’s needs.

The exercise part has been more difficult. I walk daily but that is not enough. Since my doctor prescribed insulin injection in mid-November, I have stepped up my exercise routine and it truly makes a difference. The difference is a reduction in my blood glucose levels.

I have blood tests ever three months and prior to using insulin, checked my own levels about three times per week. I was noticing a gradual rise in the numbers and while visiting my doctor for my free flu shot, we talked about this as my tests also indicated an increase. It was at this point the doctor stated that I needed to begin insulin injections.

Insulin is a hormone that helps our bodies control the level of glucose (sugar) in our blood. Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or our body does not properly use the insulin it makes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

While I have been labeled a diabetic for a number of years, it was only three years ago that the first obvious problems appeared. I woke one morning to what appeared to be a fine mesh covering my eyes. After consulting and visiting my eye specialist I knew what I ha were floaters.


Floaters

Eye floaters are tiny specks, flecks, perhaps cobwebs is most descriptive, that drift at random around in your field of vision. Floaters are annoying, I find them especially so while reading, however, they are very common and usually aren't cause for alarm.

Because I have Type 2 diabetes, the doctor thought it best that a specialist, an ophthalmologist take a closer look. An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in the branch of medicine concerned with the study of the physiology, anatomy, and pathology of the eye and the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye.

The examination revealed that I had diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of adult blindness. It is a complication of diabetes that results from damage to small blood vessels in the eye. This damage to blood vessels affects the nourishment of the retina which leads to visual loss. This condition can occur in both types 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Since then I have had laser surgery in both eyes and except for small floaters my sight is very good.

When I brought my insulin kit home, I felt a bit nervous. The thought of giving myself a needle twice a day, especially the first one around six in the morning, upon wakening, left me feeling a bit squirmy.

The doctor’s office arranged an appointment for me at the diabetic clinic and there I was shown how to use the injection pen. This helped calm my concerns.

The twice daily injections are now routine and I have even used a public bathroom to inject myself. I carry all I need when I am going to be out. This includes a sanitary wipe for cleaning.

The hardest part has been testing my levels four times a day; however that will end soon as my levels are getting close to normal.

My insulin dosage has been upped twice as my blood levels were not coming down enough. They are improving and this has reduced my anxiety.

My major concern is the dependence I have on insulin injection. This is the motivator that keeps my diet and exercise program on track. It may not be possible but I am determined to eliminate my need for the needle.

Insulin Pen

Insulin pen and glucose meter
Insulin pen and glucose meter | Source

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18 comments

Katherine Baldwin profile image

Katherine Baldwin 5 years ago from South Carolina

Diabetes can be a scary thing and it's becoming more and more common with us baby boomers. My brother has type II also, but is lucky enough to control it with diet and exercise. I hope you can get off that needle quickly. That can't be pleasant.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

The injection is okay but I would rather not need it, so will work towards that end. Thanks for commenting.


rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 5 years ago from NY

Checking insulin levels and monitoring everything you eat can be a lot of work. My 8 year old cousin was diagnosed with type II diabetes a few years ago, and it has been very challenging for the entire family. Best success to you in eliminating the use of the needle.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Monitoring food choices is the task I find the most challenging, mostly, due to the lack of variety in my local stores. So I need to encourage my creativity and rise to the challenge.

Thanks for dropping by.


WildIris 5 years ago

I would be interested to know how you changed your walking routine to help control your blood sugar. If you walk everyday, did you add intervals or hills to your routine?


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 5 years ago from Barefoot Island

Tons of strength with conviction and dedication to you for the New Year with total success my dear, filled with joy. You deserve it. :D hugs :D


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

I wish you success in being needle free at some point and reading a hub about it. That would be so nice to read! Your hub reminded me of the importance of exercise which I have been lazy lately in doing, tomorrow I start again.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

I walk everyday and live in a city where hills are many and do include routes that include them in my routine. Thanks Sa ge and VioletSun, exercise is key to success.


Dave Sibole profile image

Dave Sibole 5 years ago from Leesburg, Oh

Thanks for sharing your story. Too many times we keep our struggles to ourselves. Voted up.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

I agree and plan to keep on doing this, thanks for the vote and info via email.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Hi Bob, my husband just started insulin shots a few days ago. He also exercises every day trying to get his weight down. It's a bit scarey but we feel that if he keeps exercising more and eating right he could beat this. Great hub - keep up the good work...blessings!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks, staying focused on proper maintenance, diet and exercise will help.


funride profile image

funride 5 years ago from Portugal

Hey Bob, sorry to hear about your insulin condition. Have you ever heard about Dr. John McDougall`s work? I strongly recommend you to watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XVf36nwraw - "The Starch Solution". It`s mostly about our natural need to obtain the most of our energy from starchy foods (our genes and physiological anatomy condition which nutrients we`re able to use without causing health problems). It`s a bit long but worth every minute - I learned a lot. Of course exercising is also essential!

Dr. McDougall`s Program is a great way to change our food habits and achieve good health! Try to stay away from animal source foods...

You already knew it when you opted for planting your own foods, didn`t you... ;)

Hope you`ll be fine soon enough and able to stop your present insulin dependence. Take care my friend.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks fr, I'll take a look at the video.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

Diabetes seems to be such an individual disease - what works for one person may not for another. Looks like you're figuring it out. Good luck.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You do need to develop your own maintenance plan, thanks for dropping by.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

I am very sorry to read about your having diabetes. Hope you wll succeed in coming off. Wish you all the very best for the the holiday and especially for the NewYear.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

A Very Happy Holiday Season to you, Hello, Hello and thanks for dropping by.

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