Testing Anxiety

By PressTerp Latest Reply 2011-02-16 13:16:56 -0600
Started 2009-09-19 10:59:49 -0500

Hi everyone! I'm brand new here and am looking for some support. I was diagnosed with diabetes just this past week. I'm 22 years old and have led a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise…the diagnosis is due to my genes. I'm not in denial of the diagnosis and I have no problem changing my diet and lifestyle or taking pills (well, maybe I have a little anxiety about the side effects of Metformin). My big issue is testing myself.

I have severe anxiety when it comes to needles/blood. I avoided routine blood tests for ten years because of this. When I see a needle (in person/on TV) I get the heebies-jeebies…I get light-headed, dizzy, nauseous, black outs, hot flashes, cold sweats, clammy and the color leaves my face. In high school, I walked through the room where a blood drive was taking place and I fainted; I wasn't even giving blood! In the past, my doctors would order the lab work and I would ignore it every time. I was in great health so I guess they didn't care too much that I didn't get the labs done. This past summer, I was very ill and had to have blood tests done to figure out what was wrong. I wanted to know so badly what was my problem but my nervous system got the best of me. I would start having a panic attack before even leaving my house for the tests! I consulted my doctor and she gave me some anxiety medication to help out. The meds worked great and I was able to get the tests done.

But now I am faced with a much bigger dilemma than getting lab work every now and then…testing myself on a daily basis. I cannot do this. Everyone says, "Oh you'll get used to it." Well, I can't get used to it if I can't do it in the first place. Before I was diagnosed, my mom tested me to see what my fasting blood sugars were. It took about 20 min before I finally let her do it and afterward, I got dizzy and nauseous and had to lay down. Another time (before I was diagnosed), I tried to do it myself and it took me 45 minutes…and I didn't even get enough blood! All that hype for nothing!!! I was diagnosed nearly a week ago and as far as I got was setting the meter up before I had a nervous breakdown. I know how to do it…I just can't.

I don't want to have to take anxiety medication every day but it doesn't seem like I have much more of an option. I'm looking into hypnosis, psychiatry or therapy. This is a problem now and will only become worse when it comes to testing more than once a day and/or having kids!! Anyone have some advice??? THANK YOU! : )

10 replies

Yasmina 2011-02-16 13:16:56 -0600 Report

I guess that what Antique Dave said is the best yet. You know you have to do it or you could die. Somehow, that is what gets me through the 5-8 times a day that I test, and the 5-6 shots of insulin that I take per day. Good luck and take care.

Antique-Dave 2009-09-20 09:21:37 -0500 Report

Therapy and hypnosis may be helpful with getting over the anxiety and fear, its a tough place to be but you have to find a way through it.

one of my mantras related to diabetes is adapt or die. Thats what comes to mind when I hesitate about doing something that I know I need to do.

good luck

tabby9146 2009-09-19 19:46:46 -0500 Report

I wish I had some advice. I feel for you. I hope you can get some help/advice and overcome it in time. This is hw I am with going into an elevator. I usually go, though never by myself, and I get all nervous and light headed each time. So I can kind of identify, just that it is with something else but I know the feelings. In my case too they say it is mostly genetic why I have it.

kasimme 2009-09-19 19:33:08 -0500 Report

wow ! and I thought I had problems. I had anxiety about testing myself too at first thinking oh man this is really gonna hurt. I don't have a phobia about needles. After I did it the first time I saw that it wasn't so bad. I hope you find a way to get past your anxiety so you can do your testing. It is very important you test and keep things under control and on your way to better health. good luck girlfriend. Kat <><

hbkunkel 2009-09-19 17:11:24 -0500 Report

Good luck with this monumental problem. I used to be in fear of needles before I had to start testing on my own. First, make sure you use the sides of your fingers to test because they do not have the nerve ending and it does not hurt. Second, try any form of quiet meditation with music to help yourself relax before you have to test. See if mom can continue to help you for a while. Put up a barrier so you cannot see her do the testing. Have her pinch your finger several times before she does it and them have her actually do it. I wish I could be of more help. Contact me throught the site any time if you need any moral support.

Alicia039 2009-09-19 19:05:29 -0500 Report

I have a horrible time testing my self. I can't look so I squeeze my eyes shut and look way as I push the button to poke myself. Sometimes I'm in that pose for 5 minutes before I can push the button. And I jump everytime. I really hate testing myself. But I do what I have to. I hope you are able to find some kind of help with your phobia.

GabbyPA 2009-09-19 14:51:49 -0500 Report

Oh, my heart goes out to you. That has to be a horrible phobia for someone with diabetes. I know I don't like it, but I cannot imagine what you are going thru. Wow!

The only advice I have is don't look or have someone test you while you are sleeping maybe for a while until you start getting accustomed to it. It sounds like your mind is getting you all tied up. Unfortunately, it is something you really have to find a way to do. I know there are meters that allow you to test at less painful places, but I gather it is not really the pain, it is the THOUGHT of doing it.

The only other thing would be looking into a pump, but I think you still have to place the needle, but I am not sure. But at least that would be one stick versus several a day.

I hope you find a way and then you can look back and laugh at all of this.

maryb63 2009-09-19 14:01:32 -0500 Report

i feel the same except i can have blood tests and due my readins i cant get shots and totally freak about them,i have had 5 kids with minimal needles id rather take take the pain than shots i will do all i can not to go on insulin if it means a few pokes daily i will take that, i have had dr's and nurses hold me down and actually tear my shirt because i was pg and needed a shot for a migranie but if u want to get betr a lil poke is what its going to take do it for yourself and your loved ones.

caragypsy 2009-09-19 12:51:44 -0500 Report

Good luck in finding some way to be able to do this. I take anxiety meds (Lorazepam) they help a lot. Cara

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