The Fear of New Management Tools

At one point in our lives with diabetes, we will face trying new blood sugar management tools. This might be a different insulin, starting a CGM, changing to an alternative CMG or trying out an insulin pump. Inevitably, the fear of the unknown strikes us and can put us into ‘freeze’ mode, where we delay trying the new tool for ages.

Precisely what happened to me when I was given Tresiba (ultra-long acting insulin). I have been on Levemir for ages, and it worked ok, but there was room for improvement. I did not have the support of my medical team, as it was in the middle of a pandemic and all appointments were over the phone (absolutely impossible to get through to anyone). For the first time, it struck me how important it is to have a medical team there to support you. It took me over a month to get myself started on that new insulin.

The whole experience made me realise how fear of the unknown can get in the way of getting better management for T1Ds. It is completely normal to be afraid, because there is our life at stake. We have to trust our doctors and trust the process of trial and error, and just go and try the new ‘scary’ tool out. If we don’t try, we will never know.

I beat this fear, after a month of procrastination, and I want to share with you some thoughts that helped me get over it.

- It will maximum take a week to get used to the tool (if you are savvy with your management and understand how insulin works).

- You can always go back to the old strategy, if you don't like the new one.

- Your medical team would never give you something that is dangerous for you. They want the best for your just as much as you do.

- You might have rocky BGs at first. A few days of wonky BGs won’t do you harm, if the new tool then massively improves your health and control after.

- If there is anything that can make T1D less stressful, it’s our duty to try it out, even if it’s only a tiny bit.

- If you try it and don’t like it, you will have a solid argument and proof that this tool does not work for you, rather than just theories based on information from others.

It is a mind game to make yourself get over that fear, and it can take longer for some than for others, but it’s possible. If you are able to get the support of your medical team, always do that. Even if they are not perfect with their knowledge about managing T1D on a daily basis, they will give you that mental support and the best information about that new tool you are trying out. Some support is better than no support at all.

Be brave! Fight your fears! There is never progress without discomfort. You never know if that new tool might change your life for the better.

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