It was strange to see those hands, the ones that hold mine and write screenplays and play guitar, pulling the bright orange cap off of a syringe.
“The plunger one first, then the cap,” he murmured to himself, exposing the tiny needle.
“Pull back to get some air and then inject it into the bottle, to keep it pressurized.” I instructed, watching him as his hands clumsily held the needle. Odd feeling, to watch him struggle with something I did so naturally, like breathing. He drew back the plunger, eased the needle into the top of the Humalog bottle, and pushed the air inside.
“How many?” He asked, peering at the glass vial.
“Hang on, let me check the bread.” I checked the package of bread for the carbohydrates per slice. “There are 27 carbs total, so three units.”
“Three units,” he repeated.
I was taking a lunch time shot instead of a lunch time bolus because I was trying to stretch out the life of my infusion set.
I have been using an insulin pump for almost three years, but I’ve only known Chris for two. He’s never known anything other than the pump. He’s only seen me take a shot once. We figured that he should know how to draw up a syringe and inject me, just to become familiar. One of those things that the partner of a diabetic should know. Strange, though, to think that this was new to him. For over seventeen years, this was all I used to know.
Stranger still was the fact that the syringe looked foreign to me, too.
“Okay, I think there’s an air bubble in this. See? Right there.” He tried to point with one finger, only it seemed to require more than two hands to hold the syringe into the bottle without bending it.
“I see it. Just give the syringe a tap and the air bubble will scoot over to the middle. Then you can shoot it back into the bottle and draw the plunger back to three.”
He tapped the syringe. I watched the bubble scuttle over to the center and launch back into the bottle of insulin.
I rolled up my sleeve.
“Just pinch up the skin on the back of my arm and we’ll put that needle in at a 90 degree angle. Go ahead, you can pinch more than that.”
His hands closed around my arm.
“Are you ready?”
Gently pressed against my skin. The needle slipped in and he pressed the plunger. The needle was at a funny angle in my arm but I didn’t want to say anything. I felt the cool sting of insulin. His unsteady hands pulled the syringe out.
“All set. Did it sting?”
“Not at all. Thank you, baby.”
He kissed my forehead.