Sticking it to Myself

The day the first meds arrived was both exciting and frightening. It came with all the needles, gauze, swabs, etc necessary for use. I even have my very own sharps container. A good friend of mine came over that night with some extra needles and sterile saline for practice. We started with an orange. Very helpful to get some sense of what it's like to stick a needle through skin. Both my friend and Phil were willing to let me practice on them, but I was actually more afraid of hurting them than I was of hurting myself. So, stick two was sterile saline into my own stomach. It was surprisingly simple (after I stopped staring at my hand wondering when it was going to move). In fact, I was so surprised the needle went in that I almost pulled it back out again on the rebound. Phil then tried an IM shot with saline. Also surprisingly painless. I realize that it will be different when it's not saline, but it was a good lesson for both of us.

Next up, an actual shot. The first injections are once a day and have to be around the same time each day, sometime between 6-8 at night. The day of my first shot, Phil and I were out of state for a wedding, so I had to do it away from home. Ack! Worse, we had to leave the reception early so I could get back and still make the time frame. But, we made it back (though a snow storm), and I administered my first shot. It stung just a little and made me a little nauseated afterwords, but all told, it went really well. Gold star for me! When it came time for shot 2, I was back at home. For some reason, even having done this twice (if you count the practice shot), I still stood there with the needle only inches from my stomach and had to talk myself into moving it. My pep talk didn't go so well and I went a little slow. Turns out, you feel more when you do it slow (although it still wasn't that bad). Still had stinging and nausea, but I'd say it went well. Shot 3 occurred at a Super Bowl party. I did a lot better on the speed, but I still had to psych myself up. Again with the stinging and nausea, so now, I'll just expect that will happen each time.

As I prepare myself for tonight's shot, I am reminded of how far I've come. I will still probably stare at the needle for a little bit and psych myself up, but there was a time when I couldn't even consider doing any of this and now, I'm three shots in. I've been pushed outside of my comfort zone and discovered that I am capable of more than I thought possible. It's a great feeling and one I want to savor and remember, given everything I still have yet to get through. I feel stronger and more confident that I can get through this and, for me, that makes sticking it to myself much easier.

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