Needles…I HATE them!
Regardless of what my team advocate, I choose to test my blood sugar levels at least 7 times a day. That’s fasting, 1 hour post breakfast, pre-lunch, 1 hour post lunch, pre-dinner, 1 hour post dinner and before bed. I find this is the best way for me to build a good picture of what foods are effecting my blood sugar levels. Then I’ll do additional tests if I feel unwell and for spike testing if I feel the food I’m trying may be higher risk for me.
Some people say, how do you do it? I couldn’t do that… well, I don’t really have a choice do I? Not test my blood sugar levels, that would mean having no clue what my body was doing and how much sugar is feeding through to my baby. Test less and it makes my life more difficult to work out what foods are affecting me. Not inject insulin, well that’s not really a choice as without insulin my blood sugar levels are constantly high which is like giving my baby a high glucose drip to live on.
The majority of ladies are diagnosed in their third trimester and may struggle with the thought of changing diet and testing for a few weeks. As daunting as this may seem, some of us have a whole pregnancy of this.
So presuming I’ll be offered induction at around 38 weeks again, that’s around 34 weeks of needles… at least 1,666 finger pricks, anywhere between 476 and 1,190 insulin injections and 238 blood thinning injections. Plus Anti-D injections as I have rhesus negative blood, plus all the blood tests and whooping cough jab! Pin cushion or what?! That’s potentially around 3,100 pricks!!
My fear of needles
I wouldn’t say I have a phobia of needles as obviously I do manage to take my injections etc. but I do have quite a bad fear of them, especially longer needles.
When I was 11 years old, staying at my Aunties, I stood on cross stitch needle which had fallen into a carpet standing upright. I stood on the eye end (rather than the point), the needle went into my foot, twisted and snapped off. My Mum found the end piece which just looked like a pin and said it was just sore from stepping on it and put a plaster on my foot! Thanks Mum LOL xx
After a day of not being able to walk, she took me to the local GP and they sent me for an x-ray only to find a huge needle floating around in my foot, which led to me having an operation to have it removed and lots of stitches.
So my fear is that the needle will bend and snap in me. Making blood tests, vaccinations, going to the dentist etc. all a bit of drama for me.
Finger pricks and insulin is one thing…
I remember being told in my first pregnancy that I needed to take insulin and sitting in my car crying my eyes out thinking how on earth am I going to manage this. But after being shown by a wonderful Diabetic Specialist Nurse on a rubber duck (yes a rubber duck!) and on herself (she injected saline) I went away thinking that I needed to do this for the health of my baby.
I just needed to put my big girl pants on and do it – so I did! It didn’t stop my hands sweating and shaking every time I injected, it didn’t mean that I didn’t work myself up and jump for every finger prick. I couldn’t inject fast like some people suggested, but I got on with it and did it, I managed to do my injections myself in my own time.
Once again, I already have the diabetic rhino fingers… loads of black dots where I prick my fingers and dry ‘rhino’ skin! I coat my fingers in Vaseline at night after taking my last test so that they can recover a wee bit, as it becomes a nightmare trying to moisturise during the day when I test so much and too many moisturisers affect my blood sugar level readings.
Fragmin is another…
Out of all the injections I have to take, the worst by far are the Fragmin blood thinning injections. These are not anything to do with gestational diabetes, but as it’s a big part of my pregnancy journey, I felt I had to share my struggles with these evil needles!
If you have to take Fragmin and get put on insulin and are worried about injecting, then please do not worry. Injecting insulin after doing Fragmin injections is a breeze!
I didn’t have these in my first pregnancy, but I did from 32 weeks to 6 weeks post partum in my second and this was another one of those crying in the car moments. I had to go to hospital to get the injections and then had to inject myself in the stomach in front of a midwife.
I honestly do not know how I got through this, I remember sitting there holding this syringe, sweating and shaking, pushing the needle into my skin and nothing happening. It took quite a bit of force to go in, it hurt a bit but nothing like when you inject the liquid. I don’t know what’s in Fragmin to make it hurt so much but OMG it stings! It didn’t help that before you dispose of the syringe, you snap the needle into a attached holder. Great, my biggest fear, snapping needles and these needles are designed to snap easily after use.
Then to make matters worse, no matter how I injected these injections I ended up with huge bruises (these are bruises the size of my hands!) and big lumps under the skin and no I don’t rub my skin after the injection (this can cause bruising). I thin I must just bruise very easily?
Finding out that I needed these throughout this entire pregnancy was expected but still hit me hard and after just a few weeks of injections, this is what state my stomach is in. These bruises are as big as my hands [shown in the pictures above] Even when the nurses do these injections at hospital for me I end up in the same state. FRAGMIN I BLOODY HATE YOU!
More About me, Jo, owner and author of Gestational Diabetes UK
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