Inside Diabetes Guide to Injection technique by Desang Diabetes media supported by BD (Becton Dickin

13

OLD-FASHIONED IDEAS

TO HELP ADDRESS

NEEDLEPHOBIA FIGHT THE PHOBIA

Firstly, don't give up. As a person with diabetes - or looking after

someone with diabetes and needle phobia - your health and

wellbeing depend on your ability to deal with sharp objects.

• Accept that fear of needles is normal and commonplace. You are

certainly not alone. Recognise that it's not 'all in your head'.

• Pinch the skin (see p. 18) when injecting and use fine gauge and

short needles.

• Ask your healthcare team about desensitisation and/or behavioural

therapy, which may help you to 'unlearn' the nervous system

response and extinguish irrational fears but using relaxation techniques

and pain relief practices.

• Practice some sensible techniques to lessen symptoms and pain.

This can include using topical anaesthesia ('skin numbing') at the

needle site - from ice to anaesthetic creams - to help numb the area

you're injecting.

• Avoid looking at the needle puncturing the skin. Consider using

individual bits of kit to help with this, or look at a jet injector or

switching to an insulin pump.

If you're new to injecting, an old tip

is to practise on an orange. It can

certainly help to familiarise

someone with how to do it,

without practising on themselves.

If the technique is good, injections

shouldn't be painful. Another simple

trick is to keep a spoon either in the

fridge (or even the freezer) to gently

and briefly press onto the skin before

injecting, which should numb it.

Try to reassure yourself that the needles

used these days are tiny and

very well made, designed to

be painless. Lloyds Pharmacy has

the following advice about getting a

flu jab:

RELAX: This will release tension in

your muscles - tense muscles may

make injections more painful.

BREATHE: Deep, steady breathing

can help you relax and gives you

something to focus on.

DISTRACT: Don't look at the needle

if it scares you. Bring a book or a

magazine or look at favourite

photos/videos on your phone.

COUNT: Count slowly - this will help

to distract you and, chances are, by

the time you reach 10 the jab will

be over.

TRY THESE SUGGESTIONS:

Index

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