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Hi, new here type 1 for 14 years with needle phobia!

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by TimberYardBen, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    Hi Guys,
    My name is Ben, I'm new here due to trying to improve my control of type 1 and hopefully to be able to help others where possible. I'm far from a "perfect" diabetic, in fact I'm pretty terrible at it!
    I'm now 33 and have had type 1 since I was 18. My biggest trouble has always been that as long as I can remember I've been terrified of needles/dentists (and anything medical really) At first I controlled as well as I could, I just found that due to everything taking such a long time (like 30-40 mins to get courage to do an injection and/or sugar test) it completely took over my life and slowly but surely I took to skipping an injection here and there, not testing regularly etc etc. Move on to the last 5 years or so and I'd pretty much cut out both testing and my NovoRapid completely, using only a large dose of Glargine at night time instead! I've spent the past week trying my best to test more and include my RAI but I've still a long way to go yet.

    Has anyone else here struggled with the needle side of things? Maybe you've overcome it or found things that really help? I'd love to hear your experience. :)
     
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  2. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you and not a fan of injections or needles either. I refused insulin on diagnosis for two years before accepting I had to go on it. I found injection in my buttock helpful - out of sight out of mind and it was a lot less painful than my abdomen. I cut back on the number of times I was eating, intermittent fasting - fewer meals, fewer injections. I eat low carbohydrate - fewer, smaller injections. I run every day - more exercise, smaller, fewer injections. I use the sides of my fingers for fingerpicking, the lancet on the smallest setting, so I pinch the area on either side of the injection site which reduces the pain, you have to squeeze the blood out. I use a Libre so I have fewer finger pricks. I hope you find a way forward soon.
     
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  3. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you!
    I inject in the abdomen but it is a problem in most sites there now, I had a bad experience in my thigh when I was younger (Vein) so I struggle with a fear of moving sites too! I have subconsciously cut back on meals but I'd really like to put on some of the weight I've lost which obviously means both more food and much better control and more testing/injections to compensate! Some days are better than others and some injections are easy, others, like today it's taken me nearly an hour to try and do one injection and still not managed it! Bloods an hour ago were at 22 so I really need this one lol! Most "professionals" have been less than helpful as well!
     
  4. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My thighs bleed like nothing else, they must be vascular, so I avoid them like you. The buttock is a safe option. You will lose weight running your blood sugars high, so chances are you may stabilise your weight once your blood sugars come down. You can eat foods like nuts, cream, cheese, avocadoes, olive oil, butter, dark chocolate etc to put on weight, and the great thing is you don't need to dose for most of them.
     
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  5. dani96xx

    dani96xx Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure there are needles/pens where the needle isn't actually exposed. I learnt about it when I did a 4 day intense training course. This may be something worth discussing/looking into if you haven't already
     
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  6. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. The abdomen is better for me than the thighs which can bleed and be painful. The buttocks might be good as you may be able to avoid seeing the needle? I assume you use small 4mm needles. You don't need me to tell you that you must get that BS down but I don't have any brilliant ideas to avoid the needle phobia. I did hear about a device that hides the actual needle?
     
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  7. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    I do tend to put on a little weight with better management. I seem to go in a cycle of testing and managing my sugars well (Or a lot better would probably be more accurate) for a couple of weeks. Trouble is then, the increased testing and injections leave them a bit painful and I struggle to maintain it. The pain isn't strictly the problem, it just highlights the dislike and fear side. I've downloaded the app called RapidCalc which I think will be great for me down the line but it requires so much information I don't know that it will take while to be truly useful. I need to re calculate my carb and correction ratio etc etc.
    I may try to get back to attempting the buttocks, when I tried last it just seemed strange!
    As an update from this mornings 22 reading, I took 16 units of novorapid with 42g carbs (Huel low carb drink with milk) when checked two hours after I was still at 19!
     
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  8. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    Hi, I actually use 8mm needles, I did try 6mm ages ago but I seemed to suffer with large lumps most of the time? Strange as I barely have an ounce of fat on me lol. I will try again with the buttocks as at least it is a fresh area and my intake of insulin should at least be more predictable there. It's a strange one as per the needles as the only way I can describe it is a "phobia" however, I can look at a needle no problem, just the minute I come to inject it makes me feel terrible! It's also worse if I DON'T do it myself!? My other half suggests it's an invasive procedure phobia, instead of actual needles themselves. It took me six months to end up with my last Hba1C and truth be told I only went because DVLA demanded it! I was really shocked to see some of my readings since testing again, 29 and 23 being my highest, my Hba1C was 86 so around 13.4 I think.
     
  9. lessci

    lessci Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a T1, but would a pump & CGM (libre or like) help? running high all the time can't be good for your long term heath. I was a needle phobic for many years due to a bad experience as a small child. I "cured" myself by become a blood donor (not a option for you I know) Would some form of therapy help? Just throwing ideas out there
     
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  10. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    Hi, thank you for that, I will take a look! The only thing with those may be that if it "Fires" in the needle so to speak it will not work for me lol. Years ago the doctors changed me over to a long acting insulin pen that was a button press to physically send in the insulin rather than a manual button and it freaked me out so much I changed immediately!
     
  11. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    I have looked into it, as yes I think it would! I didn't want to have the pump when I was younger/single as I always thought it would get in the way of everything I liked to do, my work, hobbies like rock climbing etc and yes, I'll say it... "Meeting" new people lol. I've actually currently got the tab open for the Dexcom G6 which looks fantastic, but the cost is pretty high (I guess not compared to long term health though) I'm also unsure whether I'd be eligible for the pump via the NHS or not and the current situation I'm guessing won't help there either! I've tried a few things therapy wise but none really seemed to resonate with me fully, although I'm very much open to trying again. I have a little boy who is 3 in Feb and I sure don't want to miss him growing up!
     
  12. lessci

    lessci Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you don't ask, you won't get! Good luck getting sorted
     
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  13. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well you only need to 'fire' in a needle every 2-3 days when you're inserting a new infusion set. The infusion kits cannula stays in for that long.
    But if you don't like the idea of taking insulin without you being in complete control of when you get it it may not work as instead of a long acting insulin it drips feeds the fast acting one all day - you probably want to read up to see how they work before trying to convince your consultant you need one
     
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  14. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you!
     
  15. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    My reply was related to the potential pens suggested that have a needle that isn't exposed, as opposed to an infusion, unless I'm confused? What you are referring to sounds like a pump? I know how they work, it is whether or not it will work for me but I need to form a better relationship with my diabetes in general first and foremost. It's frustrating that my only real fear is directly related to my health, but I'm honest in the fact that I could have and should have done much more by now to overcome or live with it also.
     
  16. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    I suspect the 8mm needles may be part of your problem. Recent research has shown that larger needles use the wrong skin layers. I would suggest you do try 4mm which is now the most popular size and try different areas. At least the needle won't look as long and scary. If you put on weight when you do use the insulin you may well be having too many carbs? 16 units of fast insulin with 42gm of carbs having little effect implies insulin resistance.
     
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  17. Mad76

    Mad76 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there

    I use Bd autoshield needles for my injections. They don't gave the needle exposed at all, so maybe they'd help you.

    Theyre quite pricy compared to normal needles but I get them prescribed by my gp.
     
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  18. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you, I will attempt to get hold of the doctors to try 4mm on my next PX (my current practice is terrible!) I need to keep testing what happens with my sugars and log the results to see what my stats and resistance is like now. Unfortunately any previous knowledge I had probably won't apply anymore so I almost feel like I'm newly diagnosed again. I'm going to attempt to see the positive of that and re learn everything from the ground up :)
    The weight gain isn't a negative one, as in it's not a lot nor does it put me overweight. I'm 5'10" and used to stay 11.5 - 12st, I'm currently a little over 10st which I feel is underweight for me. I think the majority of the weight loss is down to lack of water retention and general problems from the high BG levels
     
  19. TimberYardBen

    TimberYardBen Type 1 · Member

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    Never heard of those thank you! I'll check them out now :)
     
  20. Fawbs89

    Fawbs89 · Active Member

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    You need to face your phobia head on or you're going to die for lack of treatment. It's as blunt and smile as that. You can't go through life as a type one shunning insulin.
     
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