I was reminiscing about the days/years shortly after my diagnosis.I know a lot of us have really seen the best in those near us around the time of our diagnosis and I thought it could be fun to share some of those stories.
For me, I remember shortly after my diagnosis when I was struggling with giving my insulin (and giving it on time) and my father was getting on my case about it.For those who haven’t seen me mention it earlier – I am and pretty much always have been scared of needles..
I shouted at my dad and I told him that he couldn’t understand because he wasn’t the one who had to take the shots.My dad went out to the drugstore and bought saline and a pack of syringes (I think he may have had to call his doc for a prescription).My next meal, he sat with me, drew up some saline and gave himself the shot (upper arm).It was a powerful moment and while it didn’t ease my nausea over the needles, it went a long way in comforting me.
Wow, what a cool thing for you dad to do, and talk about positive reinforcement!
I have a really supportive family. I don't have any one story about them (have a brother, sister, mom and dad), but when I was diagnosed, the two endocrinologists at the university hospital here in town ran a ton of diabetes education class, particularly for the whole family. My entire family, including an older brother and sister who were thirteen and eleen at that time, probably couldn't have cared less, but up until I was about seven, they came to every workshop and every meeting with me. (My mom and dad did, too, but the fact that they all went was pretty cool of them.)
My dad was also with me when I had to do a shot in the hospital. I wasn't going to be allowed to leave without doing it. He did learn how to draw it up with me and we both practiced on oranges. (i dont know why they make you practice on oranges it feels nothing like skin) anyway, right before I had to inject. My dad turned to me and said " Gina, YOU CAN DO IT" here I am almost 8 years later and my dad is still telling me I can do it even in the toughest of times.
My mom before I was diagnosed couldn't even look at a needle. The day I got D. My mother never cringed at a needle again. She helped me through the toughest of times a particular time was when I had gone into really bad depression from Diabetes Burnout. I was at dinner one day and I explained to my whole family how I stopped taking insulin and checking. My mom got up from the table came over to me she hugged me and said "Gina, I love you. We can get through this" after that day I promised myself I would never cause bodily harm to myself on purpose. I have people around me that love me and support me and don't judge me because they deal with it too. When I hurt they all hurt too.
My sister and my husband have both given me shots and have woken up in the middle of the night to get me juice because I was low. I really can't say just one person is the coolest supporter they are all cool in my eyes.
My biggest support person is my husband. He continuously pushes me for improvement. I was horrible at carb counting and would guess my carbs most of the time. With his help, I slowly switched over to carb counting, using my scale at home and weighing every meal I eat. When we eat out, we both look at my meal and assess the amount of carbs. It is so niece to have someone who understands all the technical stuff. My parents are also very supportive, but in a different way. More hands off. They never really understood insulin ratio, carb counting, basal, bolus... My husband is my safety net. He even mentioned in our wedding vows that he will get juice for me the rest of our lives together.
My first insulin pump...I went to a hospital to get it "installed." My father offered to try an infusion site to model what it would feel like. I will never forget that moment...he turned a neat shade of beige that I have yet to see again, and he broke out into a cold sweat. I was so moved by his volunteering to do that. The needle to the soft set was far longer than the ones out there now, and my father stared at it for a second before putting it into his stomach (sub-q). I remember thinking that he didn't have to do that...that I was ready to put it in on my own...but he cared so much that he went through the process...back then, the needle was long...nowadays, the needle is embedded in a little machine...I imagine it would have been easier on my father if he had used an inserter. And my father never had to do injections, so his inderting a soft set (not exactly an accurate name back then) was an amazingly compassionate and brave thing to do.
I would have to say my entire family and my boyfriend. When I first had gone into the hospital when I was diagnosed both my parents took off work and my sisters where there for me. I felt awful because my dad can not stand the site of needles or blood (still to this day he can't watch me prick my finger!) but he stayed in the hospital room with me and just let me cry my eyes out (I was 15 and thought my life was over!) Ever since then, both my parents and my sisters are always there for me when I need them. My boyfriend is great too. He has gotten up in the middle of the night when my pump battery mysteriously died and ran up through town to get me more batteries. I have wonderful people who stick by me.
I was diagnosed about three weeks into my first year of college thousands of miles away from my family. My mom flew down that night to stay with me. But that's to be expected. I was really impressed with how many friends came to see me in the hospital even though I didn't really know many people that well at that point after only a few weeks. That makes me smile :)
My dad isn't diabetic, but has a history of type 2 in his family and is pretty darn insulin resistant for not being full-on type 2 yet. He's been doing good with improving his lifestlye, but it's probably just a matter of time. He was fun when I got diagnosed. I got him his own glucose meter (he really wanted one) for Christmas and sometimes he'll challenge me to blood sugar contests. It's not really supportive in the traditional sense, but still a good way to make light of a crappy disease.
Ha ha...this one made me laugh! I remember coming home from the hospital at age nine and already knowing how to give my own injections, but starting to complain that they caused pain. My dad, a pharmacist, went and picked up a package of needles with some saline from his store and came back the next day and sat down next to me injecting his thigh repeatedly telling me that 'it didn't hurt' the needle was only a 1/2 inch big...blah blah blah. I was more surprised than anything else but do remember thinking I must be crazy and needed to move on from the pain. What parents will do for their kids...
My coolest supporter isn't from a T1 perspective, but as a parent.
The toughest part for us was knowing that we'd be giving our little boy - then four years old - several needles a day. I, too, was scared of needles (not anymore, thankfully!) and was a little rough about the whole thing.
One of the support personel at the clinic, who has turned out to be our routine dietician, spoke with us that first day apart from Beemer. She told us that we might be scared, but this is just how life is going to be. She told us to be strong in front of Beemer so that he could grow up confident, and that when we make mistakes not to beat ourselves up over it, even to tell him so that he knows that Mom and Dad make mistakes too.
Whether we liked it or not, insulin was part of our lives and just as important as our daily bread. She told us the choice was simple: we can gripe about it, complain and try to fight it, or we could choose to have it as part of our regular every-day life and enjoy the gift we have of living at a time when we could control this and he could live a happy, healthy life.
Our choice was insulin, or not having him around.
Whenever I get frustrated a quick reflection to that talk gets me pumped up and back on track.
It is so important that diabetics get support from family members. I guess I was not so fortunate. I was diagnosed in 1975 at the age of 15.
I was processed thru Kaiser. They gave me an Orange a needle and told me to practice for a few days and then I was on my own.
My mom was scared of needles and my dad failed to accept that his son had a disease. So I had to prepare myself for my injection, and for the most part I would be so nervous that I would be shaking so much that I would poke myself several times before I could settle down to inject the insulin.
I feel that my experience, like all diabetics have a place to serve one another.
I was diagnosed at age 15. I was so angry that I had this disease that I pushed my entire family away every time my mother would ask me anything about what was going on with my sugars I would just shrug and not tell her. I look back on it now and I know they just wanted to help. so I went years, 7 to be exact without ever testing my bs. I would still go to a nurse practicioner every now and then to get more insulin and supplies. but it is by God's grace only that I was never hospitalized or anything in those 7 years. finally about 4 years ago I decided that I needed to get in control of my life and I have been great ever since. my a1c's are always in the low 6's and i had a very successfull pregnancy and now a great son and a supportive husband.
I was diagnosed when I was six. I hated getting stuck in the finger and shots, so when I was diagnosed, my dad started trying to get me an arm-tester and a pump. I remember the nurse saying, "Well, let's see what your insurance covers." My dad looked at her like she was crazy, and said, "This is my daughter; I don't care how much it costs." Two days later, he was on the phone with the freestyle guy, getting my meter. The guy told him it would arrive in two days, or the overnight would cost more, but wouldn't ship until the next day. My dad asked him how much he wanted to walk the box down to the FedEx, and the guy did it for free.
My dad has never ceased to amaze me with his support. He was willing to do anything to make sure I had everything possible to ease the blow of my diagnosis, and even now, if my blood sugar is high and I can't have something the rest of the family is eating, he won't eat it either. He really is the most supportive dad anyone could ask for.
My entire family has been great with diabetes, so I have a few little stories for you all. In the Hospital, the parents of the newly diagnosed were actually told to give one another saline shots. I think that part was harder for me to watch than actually getting the shots myself. (I warned you: these will be pretty brief...) My family has all tested their blood sugars at one point; I love when one of them come up to me and say 'Hey: can I check my blood sugar?' One of them was low one time -- in the 50's -- so I double treated (soda and skittles) them and made them sit until they felt better :) They didn't want to retest :) Also, in the Hospital I was given a very special gift. In my family, people have written quotes or such on the underside of the bill of baseball caps for a while; I remember asking my family why they would do that. When I was diagnosed, my dad gave me a hat he had purchased on the road trip we'd gone on before they took me to the doctors (a last fling sort of thing since my parents knew something was up) (he loved this hat -- he was thrilled to get it). He brought it to me when they brought in a change of clothes for me, because I had requested a hat that I could wear (why? sort of a comfort thing to me, I like hats ;) ). He brought in that hat, and had written on the inside 'Stay Strong, 2005,' the year I was diagnosed. That's the present that has meant the most to me. I still have it and wear it especially on the days I find it hard to 'stay strong.' I like to look up and see the words when I have it on. A second thing my parents did for me was they made me a sweatshirt. On the front it says 'Diabetic and proud' :) Comfy, too.... :) We also have a shirt we made with the formula for insulin printed on the front :)
My entire family has been great supporters -- they're all the coolest :)
Wow, I also was diagnosed 3 weeks into my first year at college thousands of miles away from home. Crazy! I was also really amazed at my new friends at college - they were totally supportive and amazing, and are still very close friends of mine despite being all over the world, 14 years later. Of course, my mom, dad and sister also flew out and my dad and my sister stayed for a couple of days but my mom stayed for two weeks. She was incredible. And, I'll always thank my RA, since she literally saved my life.