Sink or swim
Back from a morning spent at the hospital visiting the dietician and my PA. I’m having a hard time capturing my current state of annoyance, confusion and disappointment into words, but I will try.
My one-on-one carbohydrate counting and meal planning session with the dietician was quite helpful. I don’t think meeting the amount of carbs that she wants me to eat at each meal is going to be as hard as I anticipated, and I’m certainly looking forward to being able to eat things like fruit again on a regular basis. I now have an idea of how many calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats I should be aiming for every day, and I’ll see her again in a month for a follow-up and to see how the meal plan works with my insulin. I’d say it was a productive visit, and I wish I could say the same about the visit to my endocrinologist’s office that followed.
I went in to their office expecting to leave with at least some minimum level of confidence and knowledge needed to start using insulin. Instead I left with a prescription for a Humapen Luxura HD, needles and cartridges, three Humalog cartridge samples, and feeling of complete bewilderment. My insulin “lesson” was, quite frankly, a joke. The “instructor” basically unfolded the directions that came in the box with the demonstration Humapen (which had a giant sticker on it that said something to the effect of DEMONSTRATION ONLY – NOT FOR HUMAN USE), pointed at it while giving various awkwardly-worded instructions, then showed me how to screw on the disposable needle, how to turn the dosage dial, how to stick the needle into a piece of cloth-covered foam, pantomimed how to insert a cartridge, pointed out the part on how to prime the needle on the instruction poster, then said “any questions?”. I couldn’t believe it. Did she really expect her completely spotty verbal instructions to make me feel in any way prepared to give myself insulin shots? I even had to ask her where to inject (answer: “here” (pointing at abdomen)).
If I hadn’t already read the section on insulin in my Diabetes Solution book, I would be totally screwed. Although I was given a basic idea of how much to inject, I was not told where to inject or when (in relation to mealtime) to inject by anyone in my doctor’s office. I expected them to at least walk me through injecting myself with saline. I feel like I was handed a machine gun and told to go home and figure out how to use it. I did not leave there the slightest bit less nervous than I was when I arrived, and I feel totally unprepared for injecting myself. I have nothing to practice with – my first self-injection will be real live insulin, and that terrifies me.
I still don’t know when my first injection will be. I’m less than motivated to start. I guess I’ll just get the prescription filled, bring it home, and see what happens. I don’t even know if my pharmacy will have the Humapen Luxura HD seeing as it was scheduled to be released in April of 2007. Wish me luck.