ChrisSunday

Q:

Can you suggest anything to overcome the resistance to needles/pain so I can test and take my insulin as needed?

Patty Bonsignore

A:

Resistance to needles can be both a physical and a psychological reaction. To reduce the physical pain, it is best to use the shortest length and the smallest gauge needle available in either the insulin pens or insulin syringes. The newer needles have a much smaller length and gauge, which helps minimize any pain of injection. Sometimes the fluid can sting when being injected. Injecting too slowly, tensing up before the injection, injecting into a site that is particularly sensitive or using cold insulin can all increase sensitivity. Storing insulin at room temperature once opened can help with the issue of cold insulin; check with your pharmacist as to how long your insulin can be stored at room temperature once opened. If you have an injection site that is particularly sensitive, try avoiding that area. To reduce the psychological resistance to injecting, it sometimes helps to use an insulin pen rather than a syringe or an automatic injector if you have a strong fear of needles. Checking your blood glucose using your fingertips is usually more painful than giving insulin injections. This discomfort can be reduced by using a very small gauge lancet (some are as small as 33 gauge) and setting the depth on the lancing device to the lowest setting available to allow you to get an adequate drop of blood. Using the side of the tip of the finger and not the middle of the finger pad can also help.

November 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm

1 reply

AF Retired 462
AF Retired 462 2012-11-23 21:37:21 -0600 Report

Chris, I am with you. I am very needlephobic. Even after 20 years in the military getting all those shots…and 20 years of blood tests every 6 months…it still bothers me. Been on insulin since Feb 2012… I am finally starting to get over it some. Just got to think about how much you need it to stay alive. That's what I do. I use an insulin pin.