My first injection, I don’t remember it. I kind of blanked it out when I was in the hospital. But I do remember the first time I did it on my own. I was terrified and my hands were shaking so much that my uncle had to hold my hand to steady it. Weirdly though, after that first time, I could do it no problem. It became as natural as breathing.
I remember my first BG test on my fingers. I remember that clearly. I was presented with a glucometer 4 and the old grey lancing device and its green lancets. I remember as my DSN, Francois, held my finger and CHUNK…out comes the blood and I jump out of the uncomfortable hospital bed howling. It wasn’t much fun. And I vowed there and then that I would never ever do that again. But of course, I had to.
Measuring sugar levels with a chart
The first time I ever got a dirty look and nasty comment in public? Yep, I remember that one too. I was out with my parents in a restaurant, and I did my injection at the table. This was when I had moved from twice daily injections onto MDI’s, and so I was injected pre meal. There was a family on the table next to us who noticed me doing the air shot and counting up my units, and then saw me injecting: “MUM! Why is she injecting? Is she a heroine addict?” followed by “That’s so unhygienic, can you not do that in the toilets?”.
Cue rage and embarrassment from my thirteen year old self, whilst my mother took it upon herself to tell these ignorant whatsits that I would die without that injection, and they wouldn’t ask an asthmatic to take their inhaler in a toilet. This sort of thing has of course happened all throughout my d-life, and I’m still not used to it. It still makes me feel small, and makes me feel embarrassed. But I’ve learnt to deal with these ignorant whatsits and ignore them. From now on I always use an accurate blood sugar chart.
I guess the most important first for me was the first time I realized how much of an idiot I was being with my rebellion. It was a scary moment, and not one I would care to repeat. I remember feeling like a failure, being told that if I didn’t sort myself out I would find myself in an early grave. I remember the first time I vowed to sort myself out, the first day I properly logged my blood sugars. It was the first day in so long that I had actually felt healthy.
So many firsts with diabetes, and I’m sure there are many more to come. In some ways, it’s like your first day of school…only being repeated over and over again. And every time you think there are no more firsts coming with this disease, there’s always another one just around the corner.