Shots, shots, shots

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Yes, the wild child in me is singing that god awful rap song right now.  It is awful…but dang it is catchy!

Anyways, one of the questions I am asked the most is how in the world can you give yourself shots???

Some back story: I grew up terrified of shots.  I had to get a tetanus shot right before I went to college and I *may* have slightly panicked about it.  At 18, almost 19 years old.

My sophomore year of college, I wound up requiring allergy shots.  I learned that if you are miserable enough, shots are no biggie.  I did the allergy testing, reacted to everything, and scheduled what they termed ‘Rush immunotherapy’ to jumpstart getting myself better.

Rush immunotherapy required me to be at the doctors office for 8 full hrs.  I knew I would be receiving a shot every half hour for the full day, but didn’t realize the other things they would do.  I got there that morning and the first thing they did was start an IV in my left hand.  I asked what it was for- it was in case I went into full anaphylaxis and my heart stopped beating.  They inserted the IV and capped it off…and the whole day I kept staring at it, hoping it would never be used.  

It was not used, but I totally used it to get bumped to the head of the cashier line I n the hospital cafeteria because they all assumed I was there for chemo.

(Going to hell.)

Anyways, I did 5 years of weekly allergy shots.  

You would’ve thought that would’ve desensitized me to getting/giving shots but when I was put on Humira after being diagnosed, I waited a month to give myself that first shot.  

It wasn’t a real shot persay- it was a preloaded epipen type shot.  But it intimidated the hell out of me.  

One of my good friends found this out and organized my ‘give a shot, take a shot’ intervention.  Simply put, she showed up with a bottle of coconut rum that I like, and wouldn’t allow me to partake until I gave myself that first shot.

It ended up being perfect and hilarious.  She knows me well and knew I needed humor to get through it so she called the whole event like a wrestling match.

‘And AJ is unsheathing her secret weapon from its plastic casing.  The ref verified that it is not expired and therefore eligible to used to beat the bloody hell out of her opponent.  AJ is out of her corner but look at her opponent cowering. Look at her technique as she expertly jams her weapon into her enemy and presses that button. BAM- opponent is down for 1…2…3…4…5….And we have a victor with AJ!!!!’

For real. It happened. 

I have awesome friends. My A team always knows what I need.

The first time is always the hardest.  And my buddy made it so funny that I just didn’t care.  The shot of rum I took after was my prize.

Pretty sure doctors everywhere are cringing.

Anyways. So I did several years of Humira shots.  Then I moved onto Orencia infusions.  I switched to Orencia injections simply because it was easier on my schedule.

The Orencia injections were my first experience with a non epipen injection.  They were preloaded…I just had to do the stick.

The first one I did, I had to do with the nurse at my doctors office to show I knew how to do it.  I’d never done that before and I think I scared her at first.

I was all Pulp Fiction- holding it 3 feet above my leg and preparing to ram it.  I learned that day that for subq shots, you hold it gently on the surface of your skin.  You hold it like a pen, and gently insert it at a 45 degree angle.

Subq shots are boring.  I wanted to go all John Travolta on it! Complete with music.  But whatever.

Because I’m asked so frequently what it’s like, I made a quick video showing me giving myself my weekly vitamin B injection.

This is a supplement  I take and I find the injectable version is better quality for me than pills.  This is an intramuscular injection- 90 degrees rather than 45.  This is one that I also have to draw up myself, another new skill I have.  Certainly, the most difficult injection I have to give myself.

And guess what? It’s not difficult.  So for any of you who may be nervous about injectable medication, this is the hardest type of injection to do…and its simple, fast, and not painful.

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6 responses »

  1. Really enjoyed this…it is timely as I am about to start Humira injections. (Coincidently, I give myself B-12 shots, too.) Thanks for writing this – humor is our friend. 🙂

  2. That needle is pretty massively hugely huge… I had stress for a second there. I give myself Methotrexate shots and I was nervous about that one there.

  3. Oh my! I don’t know how you do that! I am giving myself Humira shot #2 tonight. The first one I did in the office with a nurse right there. She even gave me a training pen that I get to keep. (I like to pretend to stick my dog and my husband with the fake one – there’s no needle, btw.) Tonight, I’m on my own!

    • You’ll be just fine, Nicole! Pre RA- I cried when I got tetanus shots at age 19. If I can get over it, you’ll be just fine!

      • Thanks! Some of that stuff feels like lava when you give the shot! I’m just happy I’m not on Methatrexate anymore!

      • I hear you! I’m newly off methotrexate and do not miss it one bit! Ugh!!!!

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