Friday, February 10, 2012

An Ounce of Prevention

After I almost injected the wrong insulin dose, I've been on edge. I know how absentminded I am and I also know this is not going to change. I tried to fix it for 35 years. Then I gave up and just accepted that part of myself. Some people find it easy to focus on what they are doing, and other people don't. I'm not always aware of what I am looking at.

Last spring, while in a local forest preserve, my photographer husband said to me, "That's a beautiful tree."
"What tree?"
"The one you're standing under."
Less than three inches away from my nose was a tree in full bloom. Pale pink flowers covered every branch, and I did not see the tree. If Steve hadn't said something, I never would have noticed.

 Sight is not my primary sense. I notice what I hear. I know that the sound of the clasp banging on the flag pole in the park is a b flat. Going to the forest preserve with my husband is fun because we notice different things. I tell Steve about what I hear, like the wind-chime sounds that triangles of ice make as they jingle together in the lake. Steve tells me about what he sees, like the red tailed hawk circling overhead.

For the most part I enjoy being immersed in a world of sound. However, not always being aware of what I see makes giving myself two different kinds of insulin frightening. How can I distinguish between two insulin pens that are identical except for color? I didn't have the answer. Fortunately, other people came to my aid.

@youinspireme on Twitter suggested putting rubber bands around one pen. Evelyn donated two rubber bands from her rubber band ball. I wrapped them around my Levimer pen. My thumb felt the different texture. It was reassuring to know I had the right pen in my hand. Today Steve brought home a round piece of nylon netting, similar to the netting around oranges at the supermarket, only cylindrical and pen sized. I slid the netting around my pen and secured it with two rubber bands. The pens feel completely different to me.

Now I can instantly tell the difference between the two pens. I don't need to rely on my eyes. I feel much safer now. I need to thank Mandy, Evelyn and Steve for their help. You made a difference in my life. It matters. Thanks.

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