I’m diabetic. I’ve been diabetic since September 1997; at least that’s when I was diagnosed. I started taking medication in 2005; by 2007, I was also on insulin.

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Initially it wasn’t all that difficult because I had this pen that had a small needle attached to it. All I had to do was press it to my stomach, push the plunger, and that was that. Easy peasy.

But life doesn’t like us having everything easy. When our health insurance plan changed, so much for the pen. At $300 for a supply that lasted just under a month, that wasn’t a financially feasible option anymore. I talked to my doctor about it and she recommended going to Walmart, which has its own brand of insulation. A vial costs $24.88 and it lasts a month.

To use it, you need to use a syringe… needle if you’re keeping score.

So, in 2013, I had to learn how to use a syringe. It’s not as easy as you might think, despite all those TV shows where we see junkies doing it as if it’s nothing. Depending on angle, you might feel nothing or it hurts a lot. Sometimes the insulin burns. Some of the initial locations I was given to inject in just weren’t going to work. They were either too hard to get to easily or they hurt more than the norm.

Eventually I created an injection chart. This not only made sure I didn’t inject in the same spot more than once a week, but it’s intention was to find the best spots to inject that gave me the least amount of pain most often. Some months ago I finally made a minor adjustment to that chart, and things are much better now.

Still… Even up to 2 months ago I was a hesitant injector. I would try to figure out how to get the angle just right. Then I had a couple of practice runs, where I acted like I was going to inject but I didn’t. Sometimes I had to put the syringe down, walk away, and come back before I could do it. That’s a shame.

Finally, one day I said “that’s enough of that.” I picked up the syringe, went to the spot I had to inject… and just did it. I felt nothing; wow! I did it again that evening; I felt a little something but very little.

This was the start of something new. Since I decided to go that route, I almost never ever feel a thing. Those few times I do feel something… not even close to when I used to think about it all the time. How about that?

In a way, it’s like what I like to tell people about leadership. Sometimes it’s tough, but for good leaders, most of the time it’s not. That’s because the process of what to do as it impacts employees can make things a lot easier than dealing with anything else. Since most of leadership has to do with employees, if you can figure out how to handle that part of your job it takes a lot of pressure off being in an authority position and lessens the pain of anything else you might have to do.

Out of this I’ve come up with a few leadership lessons I’d like to share:

* If you have a difficulty it pays to take some time in thinking through how to address it

* Once you have your plan, go for it and implement it quickly.

* If your plan needs tweaking after time, tweak it and get back to business.

* Sometimes change might seem scary, but it can offer great benefits you might not have thought of

* When you get the chance, don’t forget to thank those who helped you come to the resolution needed.

On that last one, I thanked my physician for recommending it. I pay less now in a year than it would have cost me for just under a month. A difficult thing to do has become easier. Who doesn’t want more ease in their lives?
 

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