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His First Syringe.

First needle.It was strange to see those hands, the ones that hold mine and write screenplays and play guitar, pulling the bright orange cap off of a syringe.

“The plunger one first, then the cap,” he murmured to himself, exposing the tiny needle.

“Pull back to get some air and then inject it into the bottle, to keep it pressurized.”  I instructed, watching him as his hands clumsily held the needle.  Odd feeling, to watch him struggle with something I did so naturally, like breathing.  He drew back the plunger, eased the needle into the top of the Humalog bottle, and pushed the air inside.

“How many?”  He asked, peering at the glass vial.

“Hang on, let me check the bread.”  I checked the package of bread for the carbohydrates per slice.  “There are 27 carbs total, so three units.” 

“Three units,” he repeated. 

I was taking a lunch time shot instead of a lunch time bolus because I was trying to stretch out the life of my infusion set. 

I have been using an insulin pump for almost three years, but I’ve only known Chris for two.  He’s never known anything other than the pump.  He’s only seen me take a shot once.  We figured that he should know how to draw up a syringe and inject me, just to become familiar.  One of those things that the partner of a diabetic should know.  Strange, though, to think that this was new to him.  For over seventeen years, this was all I used to know. 

Stranger still was the fact that the syringe looked foreign to me, too. 

“Okay, I think there’s an air bubble in this.  See?  Right there.”  He tried to point with one finger, only it seemed to require more than two hands to hold the syringe into the bottle without bending it.

“I see it.  Just give the syringe a tap and the air bubble will scoot over to the middle.  Then you can shoot it back into the bottle and draw the plunger back to three.”

He tapped the syringe.  I watched the bubble scuttle over to the center and launch back into the bottle of insulin.

I rolled up my sleeve.

“Just pinch up the skin on the back of my arm and we’ll put that needle in at a 90 degree angle.  Go ahead, you can pinch more than that.” 

His hands closed around my arm.

“Are you ready?”

“I’m ready.”

Gently pressed against my skin.  The needle slipped in and he pressed the plunger.  The needle was at a funny angle in my arm but I didn’t want to say anything.  I felt the cool sting of insulin.  His unsteady hands pulled the syringe out.

“All set.  Did it sting?”

“Not at all.  Thank you, baby.”

He kissed my forehead.



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You gave such an intimate feel to this post.

He seemed to do good giving his first shot. Not squeamish or anything. He's a good boyfriend :)

awww :P

While I have no experience giving a human an insulin shot, I have had to do it to my cat. We usually distract him with food and he doesn't even notice. I don't know how well I'd do with sticking a needle into skin instead of into a mass of black fur.

Yes, I have a (big fat) diabetic cat. Type II I'm sure, if they break it down for animals. Unfortunately when he's feeling high or low, I don't get to skip out of my work day to walk him down to the school nurse :P

definitely! I've only done it once or twice, but I know enough to be able to do it in an emergency.

and hey, since it is very likely that I will someday need to do it myself, so much the better.

Shannon - He's a wonderful man. And not squeamish in the least. :)

Krista - I remember you walking me down to the nurse's office countless times. :)

And if Chris was to distract me with food, I'm sure I wouldn't have noticed the shot at all.

Rachel - (I was just over at your blog! Small blogosphere, eh?) I agree - anyone who lives with someone on injection therapy should know how to shoot them up. Knowledge is power!


Funny, but Mr. L has only known me on the pump as well and I've never thought to ask him to learn how to give me a shot, or test my blood or anything. He's super squeamish, and I'm a super control freak, so I don't see anything changing soon.

Batman - You'll be next to have to learn. ;)

Lyrehca - The idea to have him become familiar actually came from he and I talking about how the glucagon kit worked. I wanted to make sure he could draw up a needle and stick it in me before a crisis situation arose. Now he and I can both take comfort in the fact that he can un-squeamishly shoot me up.

Good idea Kerri! Chris is awesome and you two are aweomse together! So much better then Brit and K-fed! I would rather hear about you guys! :)

Sounds like a scene from Requiem for a Pancreas.

George - Brit and K-Fed? Oh my goodness. They're legitimate CNN news, don'tcha know. Go ask Julia about it. ;)

Darrell - My eyes dilated quickly as the plunger depressed and there was a close-up on my face. Aronofsky be damned!

ahhhh...this reminded me of teaching bob how to give my peanut gracie a shot. He cried afterwards.....It never occurred to me to teach him how to give ME a shot!

Awww, how sweet. And, wonderful. And, awesome. He doesn't happen to have a sister about Riley's age does he?

Good Job Chris!!!

Personally, I wish it were something you didn't have to learn, but unfortunately...

Thanks for being a supportive partner and reminding those of us who are single that it's possible to find supportive people out there in the sea!

Kerri., You're one lucky lady :)

Sarah - If he can dose Gracie, he can dose you, I'm sure. I think of you guys all the time. I hope things are okay.

Penny - He does have a sister, but she's just a bit too old for Riley.
My niece, however, is about two weeks old and gorgeous. I'll have her give Riley a call in about ... say, 19 years. :)

Good job Chris.

Rock on Chris!

George is just too funny isn't he?!

Ok, I'm really off to bed now. Really.

Hello Kerri.
Luckily for me two of the dark colour kittens have already gotten a new home. Otherwise, like you, I would have scooped them all up and brought them home.

With our two white kittens they'll hopefully all get on. I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Sounds like Chris did a good job. My boyfriend isn't great with needles but has given me a shot ONCE, and hopefully never again!

Also, like you I try make my sites last longer by on the third day letting the basal run in but using a shot for my meals. My Mum thinks I'm crazy for having more needles, maybe I am!

Glad some one else does this too :o)

See ya, vic xx

That's so sweet.

I have never actually had an injection in the back of the arm. I suppose this is a testament to your shrinking abs? ;-)

I think any of the single folks with diabetes would love to clone Chris. Doesn't he seem like the ideal boyfriend? Glad you found Mr. Wonderful.

Is this guy totally cool, or what???

Every bottle of insulin should come with a "Chris"! : D

Great post!

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