The importance of strength and resilience

I started hormone injections for fertility treatment this week.

As a type 1 diabetic, I already have 4 injections a day (More with yummy snacks). On Monday, I ended up having 7 injections! It started with the Bemfola hormone and my regular insulin at breakfast, followed with an injection for a yummy chocolate snack, lunch injection, afternoon snack injection, dinner injection and night time insulin injection….yikes.

I’m okay with needles because I have to be. If I don’t have them, I’ll die. So I wasn’t nervous about injecting the hormones. It’s certainly a longer needle though- 12mm. I don’t think that 7 injections a day is healthy though, emotionally or physically, so after that Monday surviving a challenging day at work I told myself I’d cut out the in-between snacks.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up with some pain in my upper stomach and I thought ‘well, it’s really happening now. This must be my ovaries.’ In the shower I then noticed some bruising, ‘shit!’ Luckily before I started to panic, a vague memory came back to me of leaning over the front fence last night. It all came back to me! I had jumped up to lean my body over the fence to get a look at the front of a real estate sign that was put up when I was at work, blocking my view. My ovaries weren’t in pain or bruised. My stupidity was bruising.

On Thursday, I started a further injection (Orgalutran) to halt the ovulation process and continue to develop the eggs. Now 6 injections a day, without snacks.

I’ve got another week to go. But it’s just a week. Throughout my 8 years as a diabetic, I would have loved some time off from injections. We often find strength that we didn’t even know we have. We have to.

To celebrate getting through all of my injections as a diabetic that I have no choice over, I’ve got two tattoos that were in my control.

The first tattoo I got is of a little starfish. A starfish symbolises resilience, surviving tough and timultuous times, like the sea, and of regeneration. If a starfish looses a leg, it grows another one! As a diabetic, we have to be resilient and although our bodies heal slower than normal, after injecting into our stomaches and finger pricking to test our blood, we do heal. I keep injecting and I keep healing. Like a little starfish, I will keep rejuvenating.

My second tattoo is of a wolf for strength. This one was after a period of bad test results and I was struggling to stay motivated to work hard and keep my blood sugar at the right level. Diabetics don’t actually heal the same when blood sugar levels are over 10mmol so I told myself that if I could get it under this and more in control, I could get another tattoo. It ended up cooinciding with my 7 year anniversary and I celebrated having administered approx 10,000 injections! This tattoo is on my leg, and whilst I cried for a full day with regret afterwards, it’s there to remind me that I can be strong.


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