I have diabetes and give myself insulin shots every evening. There is not much to the process. I draw up the insulin into a syringe and find a place in the area around my stomach. Once I choose the site, I plunge the tiny needle into my skin. No harm, no foul. With my medical needs accomplished, I continue my journey.
One night, my eldest son happened to walk in when I was injecting the insulin into my body. He looked at me and said: “That is disgusting! How do you do that to yourself? I could never do that.”
I started to laugh as I replied, “What do you mean you couldn’t do what I do? What you do is way harder. I poke through the skin; you must find a vein, poke through the skin with a much larger and longer needle, and sit patiently until the med finishes emptying into your body. Any slip of the needle and you must start the process again.”
“Yeah, Dad, but at least I am not poking around my stomach.”
I guess how one manages a chronic illness is a matter of perspective. What one person calls impossible, another refers to as routine. In my home, I never considered my daily injections of insulin as something that compares to my sons’ bleeding disorders. It took “MacDonald the Older” to call my attention to the fact that we share more than DNA in common. We manage chronic illnesses together.
I still think my medical issue is much easier to treat than the diseases shared by my two sons. I do not search for veins, but I must continue to live a life that reduces the possibilities of diabetic complications. I do not suffer from horrible, painful bleeds that could lead to damage to joints, but I must continuously regulate blood sugar levels for fear of harmful infections. All three of us know what it is like to share concerns that arise as we deal with health matters on a daily basis.
As my son left my room and I pulled the needle from the chosen place on my stomach, I smiled. What my son doesn’t know is that I find the strength to treat my issues because of him. I think to myself with each needle; if my son can handle his condition, then surely I can manage mine. It is incredible how we draw off each other’s courage to face the many obstacles that lie in our paths. On this day, I say thank you to both of my boys who remind me that I have all the courage I need to handle anything thrown in my direction.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.