For as long as I can remember I've put my infusion set in my stomach. I could never bring myself to put it anywhere else. It's the most comfortable place for me and it doesn't hurt at all, unless I hit a nerve...then it hurts. I've been so used to doing it in my stomach that I totally forgot about the rule of rotating sites until every time I tried to do a bolus my cannula would sting a lot, so I decided it was probably a good idea to give in and rotate sites. I know that's bad diabetic etiquette to not rotate sites! But when you're apprehensive to put it anywhere else it's a bit hard.
Site change day rolled around and I pulled the cannula out of my stomach for what would be the last time in a little while. I'm giving my stomach a break, it's got so many little marks from infusion sets. I'll just go mark another part of my body with needles. The chosen place was my hip, but more round towards the fattier bit at the back. This was probably the longest amount of time that I have taken to insert a cannula, second to the very first time I ever did it. I sat for a long time...contemplating my decision..."will this hurt?" "have I put it in the right place?" "Can I even insert it here?" I knew all of the answers in my head, but my brain wouldn't comprehend them and I just couldn't bring myself to fire in the needle. I think it was the first time that I actually said I was scared. I was scared to put my cannula there and I'm not afraid to admit it. So I asked my mum for help, and she re-assured me lots of times that it was in the right place. So I did it, and you know what? It didn't even hurt. I was just so apprehensive about it and nervous to get out of my old ways of inserting it into my stomach. The next morning I totally forgot that I had even changed sites and couldn't feel it one bit.
I had no choice but to do something that instilled such apprehension in me, there was no way that I wasn't going to have to fire that needle into my stomach whether I liked it or not. And that's unfair to me in my head, why did I have to go through such emotion and insert a needle into my skin? Because I'm type 1 diabetic. Nothing will change it and for the rest of my life I will continue to put needles into my skin over and over again and no matter how scared I am, I have to do it anyway. Bravery isn't being unafraid, it's doing something even if you're scared. Some would call me brave, but to me I'm doing what I have to do to stay alive. I realise that I found courage to move my infusion site to a different place and yes, it's not a major thing but it's unsettling when you find yourself at a time of fear in the face of something you have done hundreds of times before. I suppose it was fear of the unknown, I was getting myself out of old habits. I know what it feels like when the needle goes in, I know what it feels like if I hit a nerve, but only when it's in my stomach...anywhere else was a mystery to me.
I'm glad I did it. I got over a hurdle that I had been reluctant to jump over for a very long time. I don't feel silly for being nervous to do it. I think it just re-instates the fact that you can never really, truly, get used to needles- no matter how often you've been stabbed with them. It's something that is still so alien to a person whether they're diabetic or not, and it's a reminder that we're not immune to pain, or the fear of needles- I still find myself in times where I'm afraid to fire the needle in- and it's natural, it's natural human instinct. I'm not afraid of needles, I was more-so just fearful of putting it in a different place. And that's what was so unsettling for me I suppose!