I’ve had a fear of needles… No, not a fear. A fear is reasonable, and what I feel about needles, even the smallest ones, isn’t reasonable. What I have is a phobia of needles. Webster lists a phobia as “an irrational, excessive, and persistent fear of some thing or some situation.” Yes, that’s how I feel about needles. The simple mention of the chance of a shot can send me over the edge. My blood pressure spikes, my skin becomes flushed and then pale, I feel cold to the touch but I’m burning up and sweating at the same time. I feel light headed and sick to my stomach. Not a pleasant thing.
It’s so bad in fact that years ago I had two major surgeries and refused pain medicines afterwards both times because at first the doctor would only order pain shots. When I wouldn’t give in, he finally ordered me pills, which on an empty stomach made me throw up. Of course since I was cut from can’t to can, the nurse came running with a shot to stop the throwing up. You can guess that she left with it.
Now, would any adult put themselves through such pain over a little fear?
That’s a phobia for you.
Well a few months ago my doctor…after getting the results back from some blood work she had ordered…with a needle…said rather causally that my blood sugar was too high. It had been a couple of times and that I was a diabetic and should watch what I ate and work out and lose some weight. She said it so matter of fact and then moved on that I don’t think it even landed in my mind. I was sure I had misunderstood probably, that she just meant my blood sugar was a little high and so I should watch what I ate, ect….
When I came back to see her three months later for a fasting finger poke, my blood sugar was high enough that I was put on a daily pill for it. She also suggested that I get a blood tester for home and keep an eye on my sugar level at least a few times a week. I smiled and nodded but left there in shock I think. I was so upset that I don’t even see how I made it home. I remember thinking that I would rather die than face a needle every day. That there was just no way I could do that. I just couldn't. I just wouldn't!
Three months later, after working out more and eating right even better, I went back to her again for another fasting finger poke. The results weren’t good.
I left there with orders to double up on my daily blood sugar meds and to start checking my sugar levels often at home. It took me a month to accept it and to finally talk myself into the machine. It turns out that although I still can’t stand the thought of a needle, I wasn’t ready to die over it after all. And I sure didn’t want to let things get worse and have to add daily injections to the blood sugar tests.
It’s been over a week now. And I doubt I’m testing as often as some do, but I am testing daily and many days a number of times throughout the day. I’m learning when my sugar levels are the most stable during the day, and when they are the most unstable. Morning is a bad time for me. I have to really watch my carbohydrates at breakfast to the point of having little or no carbs then. Lunch is my best time and I can get away with more. I’m learning what things seem to trigger a spike in my sugar levels and what doesn’t. It’s not easy, but I’m dealing and I’m doing what has to be done so I can be here for my family even if not for myself. So I’m feeling pretty proud about those awful sticks. And who knows, after a few hundred, maybe I want even begin to shake and turn cold just from the thought of it. (Smile)