what has been the hardest thing about adjusting to your illness?
While there have been numerous challenges to deal with, one stands out the most: The necessity of having to give myself insulin shots.
Before I was diagnosed with diabetes I could not imagine touching a syringe, or even having one too near me. It may sound as if I am exaggerating, but I really am being sincere.
During the first few days of being awake in the hospital I'm sure I was given lots of shots, but I don't really remember having to deal with these. Thank goodness for morphine. J, my mom and my sister were of course extremely concerned about the fact that I would now have to deal with syringes every day, knowing about my phobia as they did.
The day came when I had to administer my own injection for the first time. As I sat there in my hospital bed, the nurse holding the syringe out to me, every thought in me was dedicated to coming up with some way to avoid touching it. I tried very hard to convince myself that there simply was no way this could be real. It was just too absurd.
However, the nurse kept on existing, and the syringe kept on existing, and finally reality made its way in. I realized that it came down to the simple decision of: "Do this, or die." No drama, no crying (well, maybe a little crying), that's just how it was. So, feeling very detached from my body, I saw myself take the syringe and - in perhaps the most drawn out fashion ever - finally gave myself my own insulin shot.
The emotions that flooded over me afterward were very intense: Relief. Fear of having to relive this multiple times every day for the rest of my life. Fatigue. A great need for presents.
Now, just about two months later, the process is pretty much a breeze. I have no psychological aversion to looking at the syringes, touching them, or even to giving myself the shots. Of course, it's still no picnic, and never will be, but it's no big deal now. Amazing.
Later: Another diabetes related question. I know you can't wait!