Since I fell pregnant, I’ve known that my diabetes would be a complication. I had gestational diabetes whilst pregnant with Sausage, and it usually corrects itself after giving birth, but with a weight issue and family history of diabetes, mine never left me and I’ve been managing it with tablets ever since.
Once I started monitoring my blood sugars in this pregnancy, it became clear that the Metformin wasn’t doing enough and although with a pretty strict diet I managed to control my daytime sugar levels, every morning I’d wake up and the levels will have crept right up, despite having fasted over night. I’ve been testing my sugars 5 times a day and tracking them in a special diary so I knew, at a glance, that my morning levels were not at all ideal and that eventually I could end up on insulin.
I have to admit (and yes, I know, I’m a big baby…) that the prospect of using insulin scared me a bit. The thought of injecting myself was really daunting as I have a bit of a needle phobia and I built the whole thing up in my head to a point where I was genuinely really panicky about it.
Yesterday, though, I had a moment of clarity.
I thought about Jane, who writes Northern Mum, and her daughter who, at the age of 7 is already dealing with Type I diabetes. I thought about this post in particular and how Molly takes it all in her stride, a child of 22 years younger than me.
I thought about the many millions of women in the developing world who aren’t so lucky and don’t even know they have gestational diabetes until the worst happened.
Most of all, I thought about how lucky I am to be able to walk into a hospital, free of charge, and be told “Here you go, Mrs. Crammond. Here are the drugs you need to sustain yours and your baby’s life over the next 5 months. Do let us know when you need some more”.
After collecting my prescription from the hospital pharmacy, I went back to see my specialist diabetic midwife, who showed me how to set up my injection pen, what dosage I should be using and how to dispose of it all safely, after using it. My hands were shaking a ridiculous amount and I had to psych myself up to take the plunge and do it.
But, do you know what? For all of my worrying, I literally didn’t even feel the needle going in, it’s that thin. I’m on a low dose of what they call ‘background’ insulin for the time being to see if that will help to keep my fasting sugars down over night, but I’ll be liasing regularly with my midwife to monitor how the insulin is affecting me.
So, I no longer feel worried about the prospect of injecting or any of the other fears that I’d allowed to build up. I just feel lucky.
Very, very lucky.
(I want to give special thanks to Molly for being my inspiration and showing me how to man the heck up and stop being a great big baby. There’s a great video here where she shows you exactly how to a diabetic injects their insulin)