Should I give my brother his insulin injections?

Yes and no. Yes, you should give them to him sometimes. You can reach injection sites he can't reach himself, unless he's a contortionist. This is a big help. Since a diabetic isn't supposed to inject within one inch of the same spot for a month, you can see how easily he can run out of accessible areas, especially if he has to shoot more than once a day.

Another reason for giving him his insulin is that you'll know how to give an injection. Should he ever pass out in insulin shock, you'll know how to give him glucagon which is injected in the same way as insulin, and bring him out of it.

But no, you shouldn't always give him his injection. He's got to be mainly responsible for his own insulin shooting. No one should be that dependent on another person. It's almost like being dependent on another person for your breathing. It's not good for him or for you, either.

We know a nurse whose husband is a diabetic. At first, he tried to wheedle her into giving him his shot every day. He got nowhere with her. She was as firm as Senator Inouye's nurse after he had had his arm amputated in Italy during the war.

The senator's nurse handed him a pack of cigarettes and matches but refused to either open the pack or light the match. She explained, "I'm not always going to be around to do things for you. You're going to have to learn to do for yourself."


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