Diabetes - from oral to injection, fear of fear

by Patrick Miron

-It has been said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

In my case this was essentially true: The fear of going from oral diabetes treatment to injecting myself with insulin took over my life for many years. The actual switch probably saved it.

I started having glucose issues in my late twenties. Overweight, I had become increasingly resistant to my body's own insulin, and so was prescribed the usual treatment at the time, Metformin and Glyburide.

This worked for about five years. Then one day I went to bed, and did not rise. My girlfriend tried to wake me in the early evening, but I could barely keep my eyes open. This was not sleepiness - this was a semi-comatose state from hyperglycaemia.

I spent three days at the hospital, mainly because my electrolyte balance was completely out of whack, all that time with a drip in one arm.

A week after release I went to the doctor for the final test results: My pancreas had gone on vacation for good. I was producing only the smallest amount of insulin myself, orals were no longer effective.

I had to start self-injecting.

I begged and pleaded, promised to follow the strictest of diets - obviously to no avail. I was in complete and absolute denials, and for cause: Since childhood I had a morbid fear of needles!

I remember sitting in that common room with an older, patient nurse, Nurse Mary, who was showing me the options between syringes and Penjets, and how they worked. In my mind I was NOT to use these evil things, for sure... I walked away as fast as I could get out.

I stopped in front of the elevator. I was thinking about it all, taking it all in.

I turned around, went back to Nurse Mary, and did my first self-injection.

What I felt then was nothing short of elation. A big ten ton weight was off my shoulders. I had faced my fears and won, and fear no longer had any grip on me.

It was the best decision of my life.

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