- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
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.
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.