Monday, October 21, 2019

John Is Not Throwing Away My Shots

I've been sharing so many Halloween projects and happy things that I haven't given you guys a general life update in ages. It's too easy to only show our best days and accomplishments online, when you and I both know that's never the whole picture. I never want you to think I have it all together, because the truth is I'm broken and battling away same as everyone else. I find comfort in that sometimes. I hope you do, too.

Anyway, I have some other behind-the-scenes things to tell you later, but for now, I have a funny/sweet story.

This story is actually a bit of roller coaster, but it's so perfectly ME and so perfectly JOHN that I have to share:

For the past two months John has had to give me weekly injections of a new hormone medication. This is brand new territory for both of us, and you might recall that John FAINTS while being given shots, and isn't so great watching other people get them, either. However, we quickly discovered I don't have it in me to stab myself, so he was our only hope.

Anyone else get nervous just looking at this?

  Fortunately this is a lot like an insulin shot, so it's a tiny needle that goes right in the belly fat. Tons of people do this every day, right? How hard can it be? 

AND YET.

For the first 6 weeks we had a terrible track record. Sometimes the shot went off without a hitch, nearly painless, and other times it hurt like heck, medication leaking out, me bleeding, and then I'd have a bad panic reaction for up to an hour. Soon both of us were complete wrecks when it came time for the shot each week: John panicking over hurting me, and me panicking over John hurting me, lol. You should have seen us both shaking like leaves and trying to line up this oh-so-simple injection.

Finally, about two weeks ago, John turned to Google again for more tips. He'd already watched half a dozen instructional videos, spoken to two nurses and a pharmacist, but none of their advice was helping. So back to Google he went, and lo and behold, he found a quick insulin shot tutorial that made all the difference in the world.

Apparently you're supposed to lightly touch the needle to your skin before The Stab, and if you can feel the needle at all, you move the needle over. Our nerves are spaced out, so it's possible to inject BETWEEN the nerve endings, where you won't feel a thing.

WE HAD NO IDEA, YOU GUYS. No one ever told us! They just kept telling John to stab faster, which felt like I was being impaled with an ice pick. Whyyy did no one mention the nerve thing?

So anyway, the first time we had this new information we were falling-down messes getting prepared. I'm talking comically terrified. John had to brace his freezing, shaking hands on my belly, and I was light-headed, lying down with my eyes squeezed shut like I was waiting for the guillotine. 

BUT IT WORKED. It totally worked! I didn't feel a thing! And after the shot was done I stood up shakily and John put the needle away and then we both fell on each other's shoulders crying and laughing and crying a little more. It was ridiculous. But it was so US.




Thanks, babe, for giving me a shot.


*****


It's been a while since I mentioned I have a Craft Page with all my DIYs and Tutorials, so hey, that exists! You can browse over 150 different project photos there to find the perfect weekend craft.

Also be sure to bookmark the Epbot Amazon shop for all my lists and favorite finds on Amazon. Anything you buy through that link gives a little back to me and John, regardless if they're on my lists or not, so thanks for supporting Epbot while you shop!


38 comments:

  1. Wait what???? I've gone through 2 IUI cycles and 3 IVF cycles and NO ONE HAS TOLD ME THIS! Thank you!!!!

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    1. Right there with you! I finally resorted to icing, which helped a little. But I definitely had to give myself several shots when my husband wasn't home, and pushing a needle into yourself when it hurts like all get out is really, really hard and awful. If I ever go through it again I'm glad to have this nugget of knowledge!

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    2. Ditto, I did a hypercycle and also iced. Good luck, hope something works for you!

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  2. I have to do injections once a week too! Mine are a biologic TNF-inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis. It's a pre-loaded auto-injector like an epi-pen, and it burns like a Mofo on the outside of my thigh, and I'm too slim (thanks RA for severe nausea kthxbai) to use the stomach. But I discovered by accident that the inner thigh hurts way less! Win! I could try EMLA cream too but that stuff is expensive and it's the drug that burns not the needle so it wouldn't work much anyway.

    Keep rocking it! You guys got this!

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    1. On the slim chance that you are taking Humira, which I take for psoriatic arthritis, and burns like heck, you can try the citrite free formula. It's a game changer. Talk to your doctor.

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  3. Super extra bonus points for Hamilton reference!

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  4. Dang, I wish I had known that! I had to give myself shots of blood thinner while I was pregnant.

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  5. My son has to give himself a shot 6 nights a week, and he just stabs it right into his upper thigh. I’ve tried oh so many times over the past 3 years to show him nicer, less painful ways to do that, but he’s a stubborn teenager. *shrug* Luckily for him, he’s almost done with his shots. Kudos to John for persevering and finding a better way to do yours!

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  6. I've been giving my 4 year old son growth hormone injections daily now since April and not one tutorial I read ever mentioned this. On the bright side (other than he's grown at least 3 inches), he doesn't fight us on them anymore, but he still whines and complains. This might be just what we need to get us over the hump. Thanks for the tip and I hope it continues to get easier for both of you!

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    1. Hey Katie, just in case you ever see this...
      We've been doing growth hormone for our 6 year old. We've bought a special stamp which we use to show where we last did the shoot and also is fun (we have a smiley face).

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  7. Oh so brave of you and John! I don't know if I could do it. I hope the hormones help.
    And speaking of giving away your shot...
    Didja hear Hamilton is set for a return visit to the Straz Center in Tampa for the 2020-2021 season? We hope to get tickets again. We were on the front row of the Mezzanine level this year and will try for the same next year. I'll let you know when they go on sale, just like I did for the performances this year. The Original Broadway Soundtrack is pretty much all I listen to any more!

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  8. That is a great tip! I use an autoinjector for cluster headache meds, in the abdomen, and now I’m wondering if this will work with the autoinjector. Can’t wait to try it! (Well, I CAN wait, but you know what I mean 😆). Thanks for the tip 🤗

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    1. If the needle isn't extended prior to injection, maybe a paperclip could help, or sewing needle or safety pin?

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    2. see if you can get it in vials rather than the auto-injector... the tiny insulin needles really are MUCH less painful to use (I take Imitrex this way)

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    3. Oooh, I like the paperclip idea, since my needle is so small it actually pricked the skin while we were testing spots out!

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  9. Kudos for that bravery, and also for John’s most excellent shirt! My boyfriend needs that!

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  10. It sounds like you may have found a great solution, but in case it helps- I pinch lightly with my nails just above where the shot is going in and then increase the pressure if it hurts, or just let go if it doesn't. But creating that triangle of picks tricks the brain and it doesn't know where to focus. Also, being in control of 2 of the 3 points of pricking can help you feel more in control of the pain. Good luck to both of you!! Thank you for all you do and share with us! <3

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  11. I don't understand why medical people don't tell you stuff like this, even if it doesn't work for everyone.
    I always thought I just had anxiety issues with getting dental work done. They give me the Novocaine and my heart starts to race a bit and I get sweaty and feel a little weird. I few years ago I switched dentists and while giving me the shot before repairing a cracked filling the dentist mentioned that some people have this reaction to the meds which raises their blood pressure a little and makes their heart race and in like five words described exactly what happens to me. It was so comforting to hear that it's not my brain freaking out (especially since I don't really have anxiety in most other situations) but rather my body just getting mad about the meds. I've had teeth for like 40 years and endured a bunch of dental work. Why did no one ever tell me this before? I mean, it doesn't stop the reaction, but I just feel better knowing what's going on and why! And I wonder what other things have we all been enduring that we didn't understand and either don't have to endure or should be aware are pretty normal and nothing to worry about.

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    1. Ohmygosh I have this too! HOWEVER, my dentist took it one step further... there is a non-novocaine numbing agent they can use that DOESN'T have this affect on your adrenaline. it doesn't last as long, so your dentist has to work faster, but it's been life-changing for me. now I only panic a little when having work done, as opposed to full on tears, mom holding my hand (I'm 37 BTW), and sometimes skipping an appointment out of fear. Ask your dentist! I wish I knew what the alternative was called to tell you!

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    2. Yes, what Anonymous said! Dentists can use something else that won't have that effect!

      I learned the hard way that Lidocaine (the numbing agent) contains a stimulant when I had a full-blown panic attack in the dentist's chair many years back, literally seconds after receiving the shot. I didn't think my panic disorder was relevant for a dental procedure, and so never mentioned it to the doctor - BIG MISTAKE. Afterward he gently scolded me for not telling him, and made a note on my chart to ONLY use the non-stimulant numbing agent. Now no more panic! Well, at least none caused by the stimulant, ha.

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  12. I have a feeling that not all medical professionals know this trick with shot giving. My mother was a nurse for over 30 years and is now having to give herself insulin shots...and it hurts like the dickens! I'll have to share this with her.

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  13. Wow, no one ever told ME this, either! I had to start giving myself shots of migraine medication, and the first time I just couldn't do it. Had my husband do it, and he stabbed me SO HARD that I refused to let him do it for a really long time (I thought he was enjoying it too much. 🤣 ) He's much better at it, now, but I'm totally gonna share this with him!!

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  14. YAY for Google! (I always waiver - am I going to get something helpful or something to make me worry more?) Glad you've got this figured out now and love the reference and John's shirt!

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  15. My dad was a physician and a diabetic who had to have twice-daily insulin shots. For the last few years of his life, he could no longer administer the shots himself. I wish I'd heard this trick then! Thanks for the life update. Hang in there!

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  16. I still have the needle fear, but will remember this for the next time I am in the ER. Those belly shots are the worst, despite the vast amount of fat I have on my belly! ... BTW - I half-expected a follow up craft project from you guys ... using the needles in a creative way! LOL

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  17. I also had a really hard time self-administering shots - that reflex against sticking a needle in is *harsh* - but have achieved success by:
    1. having something up to read/distract myself with
    2. "bouncing" the needle against my skin - if a spot hurts, then I move the needle; if it doesn't, I keep bouncing it until it goes in. (imagine maybe a basketball dribble? I don't know how to explain this, but the tap-tap-tap increasing in force escapes my reflexes somehow)

    Also, if it's something that you're allowed to bring to room temperature beforehand, do it. Cold things hurt disproportionately to inject.

    Hooray for you and John figuring things out!

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  18. Thank you for this! I asked my husband if he will be OK giving me shots coming up and he said WHAT?! I imagine this is how both of us would be but now I am going to make him read and watch!

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  19. Daughter is diabetic, and I've given more shots than I'd care to admit. I didn't know this trick, but learned if you pinch the skin a little hard (not hard enough to hurt the skin, like a firm pinch if that makes any sense) then the needle goes in with no issue because the person is more focused on the pinch. She does the shots herself now and is WAY rougher than I ever was, but I guess when it's yourself and you do it all the time, you don't think about it.

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  20. I just shared this info with my husband. He's diabetic and has to give himself injections several times a day. Maybe this will help him, too!

    Thank you both!!

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  21. I’m a pediatric nurse and I’ve never heard that trick! It will be super helpful for me because I work on a unit with kids with diabetes and have to give a lot of injections.

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  22. Gotta admit... I missed the title reference and kept expecting a crafty ending where all these shots were put to good use because you needed to make some project where you needed dozens of syringes and John saved the day by saving all the old ones HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  23. Jen-
    You might ask your doctor/nurse team about using the Z-Track method. You pull the injection sight taut to one side before the injection, and release after you withdraw the needle. This seals the site, reducing pain and leakage.
    https://www.healthline.com/health/z-track-injection
    Happy Health!
    -Medith

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  24. LOL! You two are the best team! I totally second letting it come up to room temp for as long as you can! (if it's stored in the ridge that is) When my aunt fell down stairs, and was all beaten and bruised, with a torn rotator cuff, I had to do her injections(one auto injector pen, and one old school needle)for weeks... that is the weirdest, panic-y feeling. Even if you know what you're doing your brain goes into "I'M NOT QUALIFIED FOR THIS!!!".

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  25. Interesting information! This is good to know!
    When my husband had to give me shots earlier this year, I grabbed a Buzzy (the ladybug one) off of Amazon and it worked so well!
    -Ally

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  26. Just.. wow. You'd think such simple info would be given out first thing to everyone! I hope it becomes more widely known now. You two are so brave on going through this, glad you found a way around it.

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  27. So much good information here, and in the comments as well.
    I had to give my daughter anti- coagulant shots after deep vein thrombosis (scary). She'd come over every morning, and I'd (gah!) give her the shot. All tough and brave-like, both of us (she tried but could not. Could. NOT. give them to herself). She joked that I didn't need to worry about her becoming a heroin addict. I grinned and said, "yah, but what about me?"

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  28. I used to have to give myself injections with autoinjectors - no one thought to tell me they were crazy loud! After a few months of my pharmacist giving them to me (I work at the pharmacy), I finally figured out if I laid them out the night before (to warm up some), and injected as soon as I woke up (because groggy is less whiny.), and lined up a treat (because good girls who take their shots get a treat), I could manage :)

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