Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where To Stick It

As you all know, I am not one of the fortunate ones that is hooked up to a pump. I do it the old fashioned way. Well, at least the most recent old fashioned way. I have the pleasure of sticking myself with needles every time I eat and than one more time for good measure (My Lantus, that is.) It can be extremely inconvenient at times, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

When I was first being taught how to inject, I must admit, I was scared. I had the nurses do it the first few times, and I would cringe. I had to look away. Surprisingly, though, it didn't hurt. I didn't even feel it. This gave me enough courage to finally volunteer to do my own. The nurse showed me all the possible areas of the body I could use, but I found that the stomach was the easiest. She told me that I had to rotate around to different parts because after a while...well something happened. I wasn't quite sure what, but from the sounds of it, it wasn't good. I do understand now, but back then, I just smiled and nodded.

When I was one my own to take care of my own injections in the real world, I found that I was only comfortable doing it at the bathroom. I was embarrassed. I didn't want anyone to see me. Not even my mother. I am not exactly sure why I felt like that, but I felt that way, never-the-less. I suppose I can partly put the blame on my immature brother who would tell me that he didn't want to see it. It wasn't that he didn't care about me. He just got grossed out. I understand, but it still made me feel very insecure. Nowadays, I really don't care what he thinks. He has just got to get used to it.

The hardest part though? When I am out in public. I tend to go out to eat often, whether it be fast food, a mall food court, or a restaurant. I always had to run in the bathroom to take it--and that would be after I ate because I never knew how much I was going to eat. After a while, I just gave up all together and didn't take it at all. I felt, I think, that it was unsanitary no matter where I took it--especially in the restroom. If I took it at the table, I would get awkward looks from strangers. I shouldn't have cared at all, but I did. I even felt uncomfortable doing it in front of the people I was actually with. They wouldn't give me strange looks though. I think it actually gave them an opportunity to bring up my disease without feeling bad. They would squint at me a little and politely ask me if it hurt. I would assure them that it did not. Every so often, that ended up being a lie.

I guess I got a little too comfortable injecting in the stomach. My skin got tougher and sometimes my syringes would dull. That is when it hurt. It would hurt so bad, it would bring a tear to my eye. The nurse told me I need to throw away the needle after ever couple, if not every, use. As a broke diabetic, I found that to be an impossible task. There was no way I could afford to keep buying them. I had to stretch out my supply for as long as I could. So I get used to the pain sometimes. I have since began to move around my injection sites. I started on my thighs. I guess I will start having to go to the bathroom again to do it.

I still do, though, inject in my stomach while in public. I don't care about the stares anymore. It's something I just gotta do. If anyone asks any questions, I just let them know: I left my pancreas at home.

Thanks for reading and the comments!


  1. Where to stick it? One word: sidebutt. OK... reflecting this all, let me explain so I'm not "that" crazy weird guy with off the wall comments - there's context there, as far as infusion set sites. A fav among several is the side-butt area. Which I admit, works well for my pumping needs. But arms usually work best as far as injections for me, as far as absorption.

  2. I was also diagnosed with type 1 two years ago only. I feel quite comfortabel now with injecting in public, even on airplanes in my seat. Usually I ask those I have meals with whether it's okay with them and no one has said no yet. In general, people are so preoccupied with their own stuff that they don't even notice. And it's certainly more hygienic than in the bathroom.

  3. Who cares what people think! You gotta do what you gotta do! You really should rotate though!! I like my arms as well, sometimes I can do my but area too, or maybe your bf could help with that :)

  4. When I used needles and was out with people who cringe at the site of needles I told them to look away for a moment or just did it quickly so they didn't notice. Everyone gets used to it after a while though. I also used my stomach a lot. I really would suggest rotating because mine got so swollen and bruised that I couldn't used my favorite site anymore.