Saturday, April 28, 2012

the first time........

The First Time I Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like?  How did you feel beforehand (nervous, excited, anxious), during, and after?  What did you learn?  Was the first time the last time too? Why or why not?

The first time ever I saw your face that orange (hahah! bet you're singing!)

okay, sorry, let me start over.

The first time the nurse brought an orange, a syringe and a bottle of saline into my hospital room, I thought she was a little crazy.  I mean really, what was this all about?

Well, as she explained to me, this was my practice material.  I got to practice giving the orange a needle.  I could do this as many times as I needed to for the next day, in order to get ready to give myself a needle.  Oh boy.  Was I really going to have to do this?  I was kind of hoping that maybe, perhaps, a nurse would just pop by the house on her way to work every morning and I wouldn't have to worry about this EVER!

However, being as I was never really one to shy away from trying something new (well perhaps public speaking),  I figured I could try.  The nurse showed me what to do.  The skin of the orange was supposed to mimic real skin.  The orange was ripe and looked good enough to eat!  Oh wait, that would have been a fruit exchange!  See I was learning!  The saline was the "insulin" and i had to learn how to fill the syringe to the correct dose, flick out any bubbles, insert the needle into my skin, pull back the plunger to make sure there was no blood, and then PUSH all that life-saving "juice" into my leg (or arm or stomach or butt!).

Oh that poor, poor orange.  I sat in that room, poking that poor thing over and over.  Filling it with saline until it was about ready to explode!  All day, again and again.

The next morning it was time to do it to myself.  Could I do it?  Would it hurt?  Would I bleed?  I didn't know, but I was ready to find out.  I had accepted the fact that I would be doing this every single day until I died (in 18 years or so) or until they found a cure, whichever came first.

The nurse came in, carrying her little tray.  The syringe laying beside the vial of insulin.  It's bright orange cap looking to me as thought it was saying "dare ya".  I sat there remembering all the things they had taught me.  The order to do all the steps.

  • pull back the plunger to the desired amount of insulin
  • insert into vial and depress
  • flip bottle upside down and pull back plunger filling syringe to a little more than you need
  • flick the needle in case of bubbles
  • depress bubbles, if any, back into the vial
  • pull again to desired amount of insulin
  • remove needle from vial
  • wipe area with alcohol
  • pinch skin
  • quickly insert needle tip into skin
  • pull back on plunger a little to check for blood
  • push plunger steadily all the way down
  • remove needle and wipe with alcohol
  • place cap back on syringe

That day I learnt that I could do it even though I didn't think I could.  What I didn't know was that I would still be doing it 24,576 pokes later.  Let me tell you, these have been a long 18 years! (see that? that was sarcasm! LOL!)


  1. Wow, I hope if I ever get to needing insulin I'll do as well as you did!

    1. well Kate, 12yr olds can do anything! when i started pumping a year ago, the first time i had to put in the inset i was scared and the nurses laughed at me.

  2. Memories, KD, except I didn't get the orange, apart from the colour of the syringe cap. I was 24, so they let me go straight for the upper thigh. On reflection, perhaps they offered me an orange and I refused? Injecting for the first time was terrifying and then incredible. You're right. It didn't hurt. Dark ages compared to pumping, eh?

    Interesting post!


  3. Great post Kim. My parents have told me a similar story, about having to inject into an orange to get used to it before they would start giving me my insulin (seeing as I was only 3). Sounds like you did wonderfully!