Adrian Long has been living with Type 1 diabetes since 1997. A school
teacher, he was diagnosed at the age of 40.
"One of the most annoying things sometimes heard by those of us living
with Type 1 diabetes is "Oooh, you are brave, I couldn't possibly inject
myself every day, I can't stand needles". Our answer is pretty obvious and
invariably said through gritted teeth: "Errm, I think you could if the
alternative was being very unwell indeed".
"Sticking a sharp piece of metal into our fingers, tummies, thighs and
bottoms is all part of the dubious pleasure of living with our fickle friend,
Type 1. Insulin injections (and finger pricks) are simply part of our world.
I calculate that I've done towards 30,000 injections in my 23 years with
diabetes, so to say it's no big deal is a fair assessment of my attitude.
Until I started interacting with other people living with Type1, thanks to
the relatively recent growth of the online community, I just took it for
granted that injecting insulin was the norm. I was aware of insulin pumps
but assumed that they were not for me. However, once I started to talk to
others living with diabetes, my eyes were opened to how things could be
different: conversations in the online community often suggest that
being on a pump is easier and better, allowing the user more accurately
to replicate the response of a working pancreas. For some, this is true,
and driven by the enthusiasm of tech-savvy amateurs, medical
technology companies are developing increasingly sophisticated systems
for delivering insulin.
"And yet, I am absolutely fine. I've lived with Type 1 for all these years
armed only with a couple of insulin pens, and I seem to have coped pretty
well. I have no wish, need - nor indeed, opportunity - to use a pump. For
me, and in fact for the vast majority of people with Type 1 across the
world, and many people with Type 2 diabetes controlled by insulin,
injecting is what we do.
But there's more to injecting than just 'jab and hope'. If we're relying on
it, and doing it around 2,000 times a year, it's important to inject
carefully, safely and in the most effective way possible. Therefore a guide
to injecting is most welcome. Read on!"
" I've lived with
Type 1 for more
than 20 years
armed only with
a couple of
and I seem to