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Insulin, Injections And Blogging

Posted by on May 26, 2013

Some of you know that I’m diabetic. If you don’t, welcome to my world. Overall I go on about my business like everyone else but there are issues here and there. I’ve told the story about how I learned I was diabetic, how every once in awhile I have depression because of it and on my other blog talked about the day I had to start taking insulin injections, which I still do to this day.

insulin and needles

What I’ve never done is related any of the diabetes stuff, especially injections and the like, to blogging. Those who have been around understand how this works. I find that there are lessons one can learn in life that relate to other things. I’ve related blogging to quite a few things over the years including how blogging is like poker, chess, and visiting new stores. Now it’s time to make the connection to blogging, diabetes and insulin.

Before I begin, I’m going to explain why posts like this can work and why they might not. People love stories and don’t always like learning new things. But if you couch your points within a story, even if people don’t understand the full frame of reference, they’ll usually learn the lessons better. And with posts like this one, there are multiple lessons to learn about both blogging and diabetes and insulin. It’s all good! And here we go:

1. As you can see in the image above, there are two different ways of delivering insulin through a needle. I had to switch from the one on the left to the one on the right because of costs; I save more than 80% with the one on the right. I didn’t want to switch, but I did what was economical, ergo correct, because insulin can be expensive and going with a delivery method that was easier to manage rather than saving money on it so I could roll it over to something else just didn’t make sense.

When it comes to blogging, the switch kind of goes the other way if you’re serious about it, depending on what it is you’re looking to do. As both Blogspot and WordPress.com start coming down on more people who try to make money or write controversial posts through those platforms, and now that Yahoo has purchased Tumblr, more people are going to find themselves feeling squeezed by a presence that has the ability to not only censor but block you. Self hosting may not be free but it’s not expensive on a yearly basis and gives you much more freedom and way more choices of things you can choose from. It’s scary to switch from one thing to another; I get it. But sometimes you have to think about the benefit of doing so.

2. It took me about a week to get used to the new syringes as opposed to the big needle. That’s because the process totally changed. I went from screwing a needle on, turning the thing on the bottom to the proper dosage, pushing it into my abdomen somewhere and pushing the thing at the bottom to an alcohol swab on top of the bottle of insulin each time, unsheathing the syringe at the top and bottom, having to work the plunger around so I could do something with it, plunging it into the bottle, turning it upside down, having to try to balance it without bending the needle while pushing air into the bottle, then withdrawing the dose I need, and then having to figure out how to handle this little thing so I could push it into my abdomen and push this plunger.

You know what? After a week I started to prefer the syringe. The thing is that as tiny as it is it’s set up for more stability when it’s time to inject myself. Whereas I was hurting myself at least 3 times a week with the big pen, I only hurt myself once every 2 or 3 weeks now; I never saw that coming.

My impression of syringe needles was so far off that I had built up this major fear factor without any real history or research to base it on and it turned out to be nonsense. Not that I want to inject myself at all but with the lack of pain, I’m more inclined to make sure I take care of my personal business every night.

Something that stymies many bloggers is this sense that they’re stuck in a rut and have to do things one way and one way only, otherwise they have to shut things down, intentionally or not. When I started this blog, even though I had another one, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, how to write it, or really what I wanted to say. I only knew I was going to say what I wanted to say, whenever I wanted to say it.

Within a few months I’d pretty much found my voice, but I did keep changing things up here and there. Now, even though I’ve found my voice, I doubt anyone can say that they always know what to expect when they read a post from here. For instance, did any of you even dare to believe one could tie in blogging with the other topic from today?

It’s okay to take chances with your blog, to shake things up, to go off topic here and there. It’s what makes you interesting and keeps people coming back to see what you’re going to do next time.

Diabetes in the US
Creative Commons License GDS Infographics
via Compfight

3.You know what? It’s possible that half of you reading this post right now are diabetic; isn’t that scary? What’s even more scary is that some of you know it, or know that you’re possibly pre-diabetic, yet you won’t go to the doctor because you don’t want to know.

Here’s the truth; whether you have diabetes, cancer, MS, or bad breath, nothing goes away until you know you have it and can start to do something about it. I may not always be the best diabetic, but I know the rules, know what I have to do to be good and feel better, and I know medication helps. If my wife hadn’t encouraged me, with help from my dad, I might not have gone to check things out, but I should have been more willing to do what was best for myself to begin with. It’s a major lesson to learn, as Beverly reminded me days ago about a review of her book I wrote in 2011 that contained a quote by yours truly; check out the link because it’s a very good book.

With blogging, you never know how far you can go until you give it a try. Yes, I’ve asked if you’re ready to be controversial but I’m not saying you have to go quite that far. If you think your blog writing is boring spice it up. Look through a thesaurus and use some different words. Try being funny, try using images or different images if you’re already doing it. Try adding a video, whether it’s yours or one on YouTube that you like.

Most fear is when you’re scared of things you don’t know about, but some fears can be conquered. Some can’t, such as my fear of bugs (ick), yet I’m never afraid to take a chance on things where I have to make a decision one way or another. You shouldn’t be either; why?

4.Even though I said earlier that I’m more inclined to take care of myself at night, it doesn’t mean I’m perfect at doing it. Some nights I just don’t get around to taking all of my medication. Some nights I don’t remember if I’ve taken it. I have a pill box that maybe once every 3 weeks I remember to put pills into so I can remember.

I’m also kind of a reactionary eater. If I want dessert I’m eating it. I’m good at staying away from pasta most of the time, as it’s worse than desserts, but I’m not as good up front as denying myself other foods when I have a craving that, later on, I remember are high in carbs, thus bad for diabetics (contrary to popular belief sweets aren’t the worst things for diabetics).

In other words, sometimes I make mistakes in my care and in taking care of myself. However, I always make up for it the next day and usually for a few days afterwards. Actually, I’m pretty good probably 90% of the time I’d have to say. I think my mother is the only person I know who’s perfect at taking care of herself, when she eats, how much she eats, when she takes medication, when she brushes her teeth… on and on. She actually has a written schedule. The only thing she’s bad at, which I inherited, is having a specific time to go to bed every night; no one’s perfect.

When it comes to blogging sometimes you’re going to make a mistake, even if you didn’t know it at the time. Hey, it happens. Typos, misspellings, not getting facts totally straight, merging lines… we all do it. Don’t ever be afraid to take a chance at doing something out of the norm, or even in the norm that you’re worried you might be making a mistake on. For some backup, check out this Google Hangout video that I led:



http://youtu.be/TMVPogrwuwM

5.Over the 16 years since I was first told I was diabetic I’ve learned a lot. I don’t always apply it; sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes I don’t work as hard in overcoming some of the challenges that make it hard to keep up with, such as when I’m on the road and trying to follow all the proper rules, which includes exercise. What I have learned though is that when I’m good and apply everything I know and stick to the plan, things always end up better for me. If feel healthier overall, my glucose numbers (these days they call it blood sugar but I just don’t like that term) are better, my outlook on life is better (and my outlook on life is usually pretty good so having it be better is miraculous)… life is good.

When it comes to blogging, it’s great to find a routine and pattern that works for you and then try to stick to it unless you can improve it. Routine doesn’t mean if you’re boring stay boring. What it means is that if you need to set a schedule for yourself to make sure you write a blog post a week, then do it. If you have to give yourself an hour to write a post, do it. Sure, you’ll slip every once in awhile, but consistency is the key to not only great blogging but great participation from others. When you do the things you should be doing for your blog you’ll feel better, it’ll perform better, and you’ll be a happy and positive person.

There you are; I’m betting you didn’t think I could do it. I hope you’ve learned lessons about both and are not only willing to try it yourself but to give me a good comment below on your thoughts of this venture. Come on, don’t be afraid; didn’t I cover fear above? πŸ˜‰
 

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16 Comments »

From grandma, who is also diabetic and on insulin for more than 35 years, I know that pen can be very expensive, but about cost effective, I am not sure, I have seen that she is buying a new pen every year. Hoever she get a shot 4-5 times a day. Again her diabetic case a bit different and the condition is cause by complication from different health condition. Going even more off-topic, I have done the shot for her few times in my childhood and I took it quite easy, however I am scared to dead, when I have to take a shot on myself on vaccination.

Well, statistics are really scary and this is not just in USA, but worldwide and I am not sure that many people are aware of that.

May 27th, 2013 | 5:52 AM

Carl, I’m confused about a new pen every year, as when I was buying them it was 6 pens in a box that lasted only 5 days each.

No comment about the blogging connection?

May 27th, 2013 | 9:45 PM
Carl:

At least you are native English, my grandma hardly know any word meaning, excepts “hello” and usually I translate the manual for her. There is one other thing, that I am surprised and I want to continue. Actually back in my home country, the expenses for diabetics are carried by health insurance so people with that condition pay only about 10% of the value of this pen, as technically this is life saving necessity, insulin is free, but I hardly can say how much longer one can last, if I can recall, ideal case it would be about a year, but I personally doubt.

You ask me about relation between blogging, well there is of course. Blogging is a lifestyle, being diabetic too. Both are about good discipline, but the main difference is that with health condition that you can’t play, but blogging is technically freedom and you can make a choice.
Carl recently posted…A Rackmount Keyboard Can Improve Your ExperienceMy Profile

May 28th, 2013 | 1:40 AM

Carl, I’m still confused by what you’re calling a pen versus what I’m calling a pen. See the picture? On the left that’s my pen. Once it’s empty that’s it; sucker gets thrown away, can’t use it again. It lasts basically 5 or 6 days and that’s it. You said your grandmother continually uses her pen; can’t be the same thing.

May 28th, 2013 | 10:56 PM
Carl:

It might be different, it looks similar, however I think you should check on Google about “refillable insulin pen”, I was on Skype with grandma yesterday, she said that her pen can be refilled up to 200 times. I hope this is fine, I am not related to this company but I know from her the exact model of pen she is using: http://www.novolog.com/insulindiabetes/novologflexpen.aspx
Hope info will be useful for you and will save some money.

May 30th, 2013 | 5:24 AM

Carl, the one you shared is a disposable pen; it can’t be refilled. That’s kind of what I’m on, only the straight insulin in a vial instead of the pen, which is way more costly than what I’m paying.

May 31st, 2013 | 12:07 AM

I have been on the surgeon’s table on five occasions and have been checked for diabetes every time as pre-op procedure and thankfully, I am not diabetic. I have close relatives who are and I know the problems that they have to live with and can relate to your post and the metaphor.

I do have an incurable condition called COPD and have to use inhalers to keep going. It does not stop me from enjoying life but I do wish that I did not have that problem. It is a nightmare if I forget to take the inhaler with me when I go out and am stuck in a train or a plane or on the highway without recourse to a chemist!
Rummuser recently posted…The Gift Of Siblings.My Profile

May 27th, 2013 | 9:08 PM

I could see how that would be a major problem Rummuser. I have to make sure to at least take my medication, even if I forget to take it.

Course, thus far I’m not sure if anyone’s picked up on any of the blogging lessons I’ve mentioned.

May 27th, 2013 | 9:44 PM

That is the metaphor that I talked about.
Rummuser recently posted…“Rummy” Is Just One Of My Names,My Profile

May 29th, 2013 | 8:22 AM

I’ll have to think about that one a bit more. πŸ™‚ Meanwhile, both my wife and my mother carry pens along with them in case something happens to them, but for different reasons. Mom’s allergic to bee stings, whereas my wife sometimes has an allergic reaction to shellfish. No idea how to turn that into a blog post though.

May 30th, 2013 | 1:00 AM

Mitch, I didn’t know you were diabetic. I’m really sorry.

Such a long post, you gave full vent to your feelings. I agree that whatever illness you have, the first step towards making a change is realizing that there is a problem. Somebody from my loved ones suffered from a mental condition called Borderline Personality Disorder. The girl went through a lot but didn’t admit she had a problem. It took her months and months of regular counseling to realize the problem, and the minute she started to realize it, we could notice a huge difference in her behavior.

Diabetes still sounds much more scarier than what she had, and even scarier when you said half of us reading your post probably have it. I don’t know anybody with diabetes, but reading your post about it really did give me the creeps
Pitt Goumas recently posted…Home STD Testing Procedure – Same Day Private STD TestingMy Profile

May 28th, 2013 | 7:42 AM

Pitt, the idea wasn’t to give you or anyone else the creeps. If that gave you the creeps then you must be scared to write in your blog because the two are synonymous; seems no one has gotten my point so far, which is pretty disappointing.

May 28th, 2013 | 11:00 PM

My father is a diabetic and he’s had it for some fifty years. When he was first diagnosed he thought he was going to die because they told him he couldn’t eat pasta any more and he loves his pasta.

He used to be on tablets but then had to go on insulin. That was a hard move but he did it. His eyesight isn’t the best and so we now have him on the pen rather than the syringe because he can hear the clicks.

We find the pen so much easier. Even I give him insulin now whereas I never did it when he was on the syringe. I don’t know that he’s ever hurt himself though.

As to cost, it’s minimal because he’s a pensioner and a member of the diabetic association. I’m sure he only pays a dollar for a packet of needles and the insulin is dirt cheap as well.

Love your comparison to blogging too Mitch. You always do that well.
Sire recently posted…Mistakes Bloggers MakeMy Profile

May 29th, 2013 | 4:28 AM

Thanks Sire. The pen is easier in measurements because it’s not easy balancing that bottle on top of the syringe, but the syringe is so much easier to use after that. That’s the thing about blogging as well; some things people do are much easier than other things but it depends on the strengths and weaknesses of each person.

May 30th, 2013 | 12:55 AM

Well, apart from the fact that anyone with a needle phobia will have given this post a wide berth and not noticed your blogging comparisons… it’s an interesting post (and no, I don’t have a needle phobia!)

Personally, I think acceptance is a great thing to come to terms with… you’ve accepted you’re diabetic and have to live with it for the rest of your life. I have come to terms with the fact that I’m getting older, I don’t have the concentration and focus needed for switching out from WordPress.com to a self-hosted wp.org install… Just sayin’…
Val recently posted…Posts that never made it…My Profile

May 30th, 2013 | 8:52 AM

Val, I’ve been diabetic almost 16 years now so I’d better have come to grips with it. And I’ve been using insulin for almost 7 years now so the same goes for that, although I still don’t like having blood drawn or getting shots in my arm; those needles are way bigger. lol

May 31st, 2013 | 12:08 AM
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