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I’m going to pass out if you make me do this!!!

Larry had a needle phobia, and teaching him to inject himself with insulin was going to be a challenge for him.  While not those exact words, most of my patients say the same thing. Even I will admit it isn’t something I want to do, but if I had to, I know I could do it.

Think about it, don’t we all have painful situations we must endure, but we do it anyways? One word brings this to mind for me, IRS. Paying the IRS is painful, and scary at the same time. Yes I know, I just opened up a can of worms, but remember, this is just an example of a painful situation. Writing the check is painful, and once mailed, life goes on, and the memory of it, while less painful has dimmed.

The truth is, often the perception of our greatest fears, holds little truth. Confronting that truth helps us to move in a direction we really want to go-getting healthier, overcoming obstacles etc.

Larry had to start injecting insulin, because if he didn’t, within 1 week he could be dead. His body no longer produced his own insulin. So not injecting, wasn’t an option in my mind. I’ve faced this same situation thousands of times, and so far, everyone has learned, and successfully injected their insulin.

So how do we navigate that situation, and how did Larry finally diffuse his fear? And by the way, he never did pass out!  I had him lightly tap his skin with the syringe and needle. Astonished, he looked at me with wide eyes and said…”I can hardly feel that.” Taking the next step of actually injecting saline (what we use for demonstration) happened within minutes, and when it was all said and done…”Oh I can do that, I didn’t even feel it.”

Of course I told him, there may be times when you feel it, but the confidence he had that he could inject, outweighed worrying about those future times.

Sometimes our fears are just “smoke and mirrors”, and sometimes they are TOTALLY legitimate. In life we learn to go through those times with our strengths, and often in the end, we learn much more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. An example would be for a woman to give birth. For a man -  passing a kidney stone.  We find ways to endure those situations with tools such as breathing, pain medicine if needed, or a variety of other tools.

So if you are ever faced with needing to learn how to inject insulin, know this: you can do it! I believe in you, and know that you will find a way to make it part of your daily routine. It may not be easy, but having better health is worth it.

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