As a pre-teen and through much of my early adult life, I would experience asthma attacks. Some were very severe and lasted for days. I underwent allergy testing and countless blood samples to find out what was causing my allergic reactions. It turned out almost everything did, but that is not the subject of this story. I was quite used to needles and shots and was not bothered by the poking and prodding. As it turned out, I just needed to grow out of it.
Years later, my partner was pregnant with my daughter Teneca. She was in for testing and they were trying to take a blood sample. It didn’t go well and after a few unsuccessful tries, I needed to leave the room and stop watching the process. As I left the room I was feeling woozy – to say the least. As I was walking down the hospital corridor, I thought it would be a good idea to sit on the bench in the hallway. That is what I told myself anyway! There was no bench or seat and I gradually passed out and hit the floor rather softy. Waking up I realized what I had done and got up to go back in the office. This was the beginning of a long running reaction to needles and shots. I am not sure if I actually fainted from it again, but even at the dentist I would come close to passing out. I could not watch someone getting a shot on TV or movies and had to close my eyes during those scenes. Eventually even the thought of needles or injections would trigger this type of reaction. It was not the pain or fear of needles, it was the thought!
A little over a week ago my grandson Daniel Hopkins (as per my recent family article, he unfortunately does not carry the Kennedy name…..) was rushed to the hospital. He was unresponsive and his skin was dull grey. He was in ICU for a few days with dangerously high blood sugar levels and was lucky not to have gone into a diabetic coma. That is how he found out he had Type 1 diabetes. Teneca asked me to stay with them for a while and help out. I knew this meant more than just housekeeping and I admit I was a bit concerned and not really sure if I could even be around, let alone help with testing and injections needed for his new life style. The last thing they needed was to have to pick me up off the floor!
My grandson was great from the start. He realized he was in serious condition and took the disease head-on. Learning quickly what had to be done he dug right in. Before they got home from the hospital he was counting carbs, measuring insulin needed and testing his blood sugar levels. Now it was up to me! Just talking about the injection regiment with them the first night I got light headed.
Luckily I had a couple days to read about Type 1 diabetics and watch them take care of Daniel before I was to give him an injection. I am pleased to tell you that there was no issue. I gave him the injection and not only did he not get injured by me, I did fine. I did not pass out, get light headed or even a little woozy. It took my grandson’s health and needs to put things back in focus but I think I can get over the needle reaction I have lived with for years now. Full circle. Live, learn and helping each other as we go. Life is good.