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Saturday, 9 November 2013

My Diabetes - The nurse arrived with Insulin

I was advised by the Doctor to go home and that a 'diabetes specialist nurse' would visit me that afternoon and explain all about testing my urine with reagent tablets and how to take insulin.

When she arrived she quickly showed me how to test my urine by placing a quantity of urine in a test tube and dropping in a reagent tablet.  The tablet fizzed violently and the initial blue liquid turned bright orange.  By way of learning curve, I also discovered you should not hold the test tube in your hand as the reaction generates a lot of heat.  Orange I discovered was very bad, it meant large quantities of sugar were still in my urine.

The nurse then drew up a quantity of insulin into a syringe showed me how to pucker up the skin on my thigh and told me to stick the needle in pull back to make sure there was no blood (so I was injecting directly into a vein) and then squeeze in the syringe.  Although as a nurse I had given injections I discovered it was quite different doing it on yourself.

She then wrote some numbers down on a pad for how much Insulin I should inject daily and when to test my urine, then she gave me a note to take to my doctor, and said you might want to eat something if you start to feel hungry. She asked me if I had any questions, and I said no and she left, never to be seen again by me.

My Learning Points:

1) Once I was diagnosed with diabetes, things happened quickly, one minute I was fine, next I was diabetic forever.

2) The professionals I spoke to often assumed that the last professional had fully briefed me and had told you everything I needed to know. In reality they had not as they too had assumed somebody else had already done it.

3) The professionals asked me if I had any questions, but as I'd never had diabetes before I had no idea what questions I needed to ask so answered no.

4) If you take insulin and don't eat then it is a very quick way to get a very low blood sugar commonly known as a hypo.


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