Thanks to Scott Strange & G. Baumgartel

Disclaimer #1: The fact that we even have to talk about this is another reminder of how crude our therapy is.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful for every bit of therapy we have (a century ago we’d all be dead), but it’s still pretty damn barbaric.

Jabbing a needle in fast (usually) hurts much less than inserting it slowly.  I have known this, logically, for as long as I can remember.  But that didn’t help me and my fine motor skills actually jab the needle in quickly.

I had never been able to get past some subconscious fear that I would “hit” something important, which would hurt like hell and surely kill me.  Silly, I know, but …?

When George was here, Scott Strange & Chris Bishop drove up to experience some of George’s magical personality.  At breakfast on Sunday I watched Dr. Strange whip out his Symlin pen, jab it in his leg, and before I could say “ouch!” he was done!

I was awestruck, and a bit jealous.  Every time I take my Symlin it is always some huge ordeal that takes me forever, hurts (because I’m a “slow poke”), and often times justifies me just skipping it.  I thought “damn!  I wish I could do that!”

Fast forward a few weeks.  Rachel Baumgartel and her husband, who lives with type 1, stopped through Minneapolis while on vacation.  We got together for a brief visit before they took off again.  We talked about pumping versus multiple daily injections, as well as CGM’s and blogging about diabetes.

One of the things that Mr. Baumgartel said that stuck with me is “I just don’t care”.  We were talking about how his Lantus shot stings — the actual insulin stings as he’s injecting it.  But he doesn’t care.  Which is a good point – it’s not like he can not take it just because it stings a bit.  And all things relative, does it really hurt bad enough to make a big deal out of?

So I think about Scott & G each time I bravely jab my Symlin pen in, and I thank them both for helping me find the courage to be strong and push through my fears.


Disclaimer #2: Sometimes, even when I jab the needle in, it hurts like crazy. But I don’t care. 

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13 thoughts on “Thanks to Scott Strange & G. Baumgartel

  1. Yeah, I have joined the “i don’t care” mdi camp. sometimes i’ll give myself 3 different injections for one meal. i don’t even think about it, because, like you say, what’s there to really think about? and this is from someone who was so traumatized (and full of misguided self-importance) that I VIDEOED myself the first time I gave myself an insulin injection, as though it was some awesome thing that only I had ever done. Now I do it in the car, walking around, on planes, whatever (pretty much anywhere except bathrooms). I find that things like that tend to matter as much as you let them. It hurts more to floss sometimes than it does to give myself a shot.

  2. Ooooh man, I’ve heard Symlin burns like a mofo….so good for you, no matter how you stick yourself! I find that a good old “1, 2, 3!” countdown helps….as well as forcing myself to laugh if any needle stick hurts more than usual. (It works more as distraction than as an analgesic, I admit….)

  3. Scott,
    I was a slow “pusher” when I started giving shots, until I hit college. Then I just woman-ed up and jabbed it in. I think I did it because I was starting to have scar tissue, and the push seemed to take longer and longer each injection. Literally. I would have a needle pressing against my leg for like 10 seconds before it would break through the skin. (Ah, syringes of the olden days 🙂
    I’ve evolved. I used Quick sets for all those years because I couldn’t fathom having to insert manually. Then I had a bunch of kinked sets, got pissed, and switched to Cleos. My friends couldn’t believe I was willing to push it in myself!
    Of course, I’m a mental case if I have to watch anyone else inject. Slow or fast it CREEPS me out big time!
    Peer pressure can be a good thing. 🙂

  4. I really liked the “slow poke” pun. Even with my quick serter, I’ll end up stewing about it for a few minutes and I will usually mess up and press one button before the other and I have to pull it back OR I end up pressing the other button right after and it goes in weird.
    When I was using the pens, I used to stare at the needle for 5 minutes straight, feeling all dizzy, So I feel ya’!

  5. I’m a slow poke too! Now with infusion sets (I use the Inset from Animas) I examine my skin, prep the site, place the set, hold my breath, count to 10, and click! I guess some of us are just a little more cautious in our “not caring”.

  6. When you told me that you slowly push the needle in it made my skin crawl! YOWCH!
    I am a darter, a stabber, whatever you want to call it. I throw the needle in like I am throwing a dart. I rarely hurts. It’s another one of those things, that was how the nurse told me to do it all those years ago and I have always done it that way.

  7. When I inject, I often do a couple of light surface touches with the needle to see if I think it’ll hurt if I plunge it home. Once I’ve found a suitable spot, though, just jabbing it quickly seems to be the best method for me.
    I actually find the Lantus sting somewhat comforting. Reminds me that I just didn’t foul up and inject the Novolog instead. I only wish it were more consistent.

  8. ouch!!! lol
    i remember being able to “bluff”my way through this as a kid being taught how to inject.they are kidding right?
    fast?are they crazy! a orange is one dam thing i dont feel anything poking that!! pinch? hey my aim aint that good.what if i drive it through my finger!!dont tell me that aint going to hurt!!!
    lol “slow-poke” . awesome.

  9. Scott,
    You’re welcome! But every time I go to the lab, I have to look away as they actually stick me. Watching the blood fill the tube is ok, but watching the needle go in? Not so much…

  10. Being back on MDI, after using the pump, does create a little bit of a psychological hangup. But I agree: We must push through those hangups if we are to take care of ourselves. Of course I remember the old pump days where you had to insert the introducer needle yourself without the help of a device.
    Those were the days… 🙂

  11. I am the thee biggest wuss when it comes to giving a needle! I cannot believe that I actually gave myself multiple injections each day for over 20 years! Now that I’ve been pumping for 3+ years, I am so very thankful I have a back up pump in case mine breaks I won’t have to resort to injections. And manually inserting an infusion set, no way! It takes me a good few minutes to insert a dexcom sensor. I finally get myself to start pushing it in, then I feel it, then I stop & this goes on until it’s finally in. Your’e not alone friend. Diabetics afraid of needles. Who knew?? 😉

  12. Indeed. I’m not dealing with insulin, but I remember having to overcome fears of pain in order to test regularly. Yeah, sometimes it smarts like crazy. Yeah, sometimes it won’t stop bleeding. But the alternative (not testing) is unthinkable.
    Be strong, my friend!