Fear of needles also known as needle phobia was officially recognized in 1994 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, I however have had the condition since I first saw a needle.
The first day I had to inject myself with insulin, alone without a nurse looking on it took me over forty-five minutes. I sat on my bed needle in hand almost touching my flesh and when it would actually touch my skin I would quickly move the needle away silently screaming. This process was to be repeated a minimum of four times a day for the rest of my life or until there is a cure.
Over time I was able to inject myself in seconds but I never stopped being a needle phobic each injection, blood draw and IV insertion come with its own mental anguish.
When I was five years and nine months old I was placed on a penicillin injection therapy. Every day after school my older brother will take me to 37 Military Hospital for my injection, which were, administered by giant military personal using giant needles. After our second visit I realized my brother was bored and frankly would rather not listen to my screams so I devised a plan. I begged him to wait outside with his buddies while I go in for my injection.
I would go in and wait for a maternal looking patient to come out of the room and I would ask them about the process pretending I was waiting for my mom who was using the bathroom. The goal was to get to see their requisition card just to see which colour pen was used for the day’s check mark. I would then pull out my own card and make a check mark.
I would walk outside pretending to be crying and hand the card over to my brother who would look for the check mark before taking me home.
I was five years old going on twenty-five doing what it took to avoid being injected. I got caught on what would have been my final injection.
According to Diabetes UK needle phobia is common some studies suggest the rate of occurrence is as high as 10%. When you consider that 7% of the population has diabetes, it is evident that there are many people like me with diabetes contending with the fear of needles.