“No, the needles aren’t big at all…they’ll be the same size or smaller than what you used before…”
A huge burden was lifted from my chest after hearing my doctor utter those words a few weeks ago. During the last 3 weeks of my first pregnancy I had to take insulin, but my fear of needles was so paralyzing that my husband (who also has a fear of shots) gave me my injections. I knew that going on insulin this pregnancy was probably inevitable , but since I had gone through it once, I was more at peace about it this time. Not happy, but at peace.
So, fast forward to my appointment a month ago when my doctor made the above statement…the peace wavered a bit, but still remained. From his office, I walked across the clinic to the pharmacy and I told myself to remain calm. I picked up the supplies I needed for the nurse training, headed over and waited to be called back. Once I got into a room, the nurse opened the brown paper bag, ripped a plastic bag open and poured a pile of syringes onto the table. SYRINGES. Syringes that had long, sharp needles. These were NOT the itty-bitty-self-injecting, pre-filled insulin pens I had used my first pregnancy. These were syringes and bottles of insulin that I had to fill myself…
I immediately froze in my chair and noticed (after what seemed like minutes but was probably only seconds) that I was sobbing uncontrollably. I couldn’t stop. Looking at me with what I can assume was pity on her face, the nurse said, “I’ll give you a few minutes to regain your composure…” and left the room, leaving the pile of syringes on the table. I stared at them, tried to control my sobbing, but failed. The nurse came back in and I pleaded with her to get me something different…anything different. “I’m sorry,” is all she said, “…this is what we use here.” She showed me how to fill the syringes with insulin in “only 4 easy steps!”
- Pull the syringe back and fill with a specific amount of air.
- Put the needle into the insulin bottle and pump the air in.
- Pull back syringe to fill with insulin.
- INJECT YOURSELF…
She then instructed me to try. I was so paralyzed by my fear that it took me a good minute or two to actually pick up the syringe a do it myself. I was robotic in the way I accomplished the task, but it was sufficient to pass the nurse’s test.
I then walked to my car and spent 15 minutes weeping on the steering wheel before I drove home. I spent the rest of the evening crying off and on. 10pm came too fast that night. I was able to give myself the injection, but only after staring at it for about 10 minutes. I went to bed pretty soon after that so I could sleep instead of crying. It eventually did get a little better…the next evening took about 5 minutes and by the end of that first week, I stared the needle down for only about a minute before being able to give myself my shot.
I’ve learned a very valuable lesson about myself this past month. I hear so many people talk about overcoming their fears, but I realized that sometimes all you need to do is learn how to push them aside in order to accomplish what needs to get done. That first evening, I prayed and prayed and asked “why me, why again, why like this?”. I then remembered 2 verses I’d read sometime in the past. The first one was “For God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7) and the second one, 1 Corinthians 10:13, says that God will not give you more than you can handle. I really held onto the self-disciple idea and the fact that I could handle this. I wrote the first verse on a sticky-note and put it on my bathroom mirror so I could read it every time I had to inject myself.
You see, sometimes pushing your fear aside is the best you can do-asking someone to overcome a fear is a big order. I don’t know if I’ll ever “get over” my fear of needles and shots. I hope that one day I can go in to my doctor, get a shot and walk out without any issue, but I don’t know if that will ever happen. For now, I’ve been able to push aside my fear for the sole purpose that I know it is for mine and Lore’s health that I give myself these shots. It’s not been easy, but every day and every moment my fear starts creeping back in and clouding my vision, I remember that I am and God is bigger than my fear and I push it aside once more, if only for the 2 minutes I need to fill my syringe and give myself a shot.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and all around the social media globe!