The first time I ever gave a shot of insulin in my stomach, I was about 10 years old. I’d had type 1 diabetes for a few years and gave multiple daily injections in my arms or thighs. But for some reason, the idea of giving a shot in my stomach gave me the creeps.
My family and I were visiting my grandparents during summer vacation. Everyone else was in the dining room, getting ready to have lunch. My mom and I had been “discussing” me trying to use my stomach, to give me more options for shot territory, for weeks. I had given my mom a lot of attitude about it. That day, she went all tough love on me and said after I’d given my shot in my stomach, I could join the family for lunch. But I wasn’t going to be allowed to have lunch without giving my shot, and I wasn’t going to ruin the rest of the family’s time with my whining and whatever other mess I was dishing out about the stomach area.
I sat on the couch in the living room for a looooong time. I don’t know what had built up in my head around giving shots in my stomach. I don’t even know if I was afraid of potential pain, or something else. So I sat and stewed about it. I did hold the syringe in my hand the whole time, and a few false starts where I drew back to plunge it into my skin, then did a sharp halt each time. A couple of times I put everything down and tried to get up the nerve to go into the dining room with my family without completing my task. Then I sat back down and picked up the syringe again.
Eventually, I did it. NBD. Even though it was NBD, though, the tears streamed down my face. I’d broken through some sort of weird mental barrier, and it was a huge relief. I’d done it, even though I didn’t want to, and didn’t want anyone else to, and didn’t want to deal with it at all. It was all okay. (I don’t think it hurt, either, which was a good thing.)
Finally getting up the nerve to give a shot in my stomach totally built my confidence around being able to do d-things myself, and do them well. My mom knew what she was doing. I didn’t realize that at the time, but I sure do now.
wego Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, Day 28: The First Time I…Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like? What did you learn from it?