My Medicated Mid-Life
Growing up, nothing scared me more than needles…well, maybe Bigfoot, but, I saw way more needles than I saw Sasquatch.
After living with RA, fibromyalgia, and whatever else my autoimmune system decides to attack, pain became a greater fear. Well, maybe not a fear, but, it became dreaded and interfered with living my life.
So, after trying a few meds that didn’t work i.e. methotrexate, leflunomide, plaquenil…my rheumy and I discussed biologics. So, I started on Enbrel. Hoping for success to mimic a pro-golfer, I agreed and quickly I received my first prescription.
But, I had to inject myself…with a needle…to get the Enbrel.
Now, at this point in my life and treatment, needles are a normal, routine part of existence for blood work, and flu shots, the occasional steroid boost to eliminate a nasty flare. I became accustomed to someone else administering the needle.
It was my turn, and it freaked me out.
Now, I’m not proud to say it, but, after this disease wracked my body, I stopped the intense workouts I’d been doing. I gained 30 pounds, ick, and became much more, ahem…fluffy.
However, my legs were still fairly muscled, and the thought of injecting into muscle made me sting all over and cringe with anxiety.
But, my mid-section was a nice fluffy, spongy accommodating place of fat cells, blanketing any abdominal muscle like a warm comforter in winter. This would be my target, a place of compliant receiving.
A shot in my stomach? Was I rabid?
(When I was a kid, a girl I knew was bitten by a rabid skunk when it chased her back into her own house. Yes, those shots are in the belly. And, wow, I still remember the nauseating thought I had when we discussed the horror on the playground.)
But, I digress.
Mentally preparing myself, I took the Enbrel out of the fridge to warm a little. Refrigerator cold increases the stinging for me. I went to my quiet bedroom, and made the decision to medicate. I could do this! I’ve had 3 children, done triathlons, smashed my fingers, donated blood, been on the receiving end of a riding crop…all things much more pain inflicting than this little shot.
Self-injector medications are wonderful. The needle comes encased in a plastic sheath, with a button click to get the injection successfully through the skin and the meds into the body. I cleaned the area on my fluff with an alcohol pad, and voila, I was ready.
One must read the instructions carefully. There are two caps to remove prior to dosing. Stretch the area taut, and let her rip.
Unfortunately, after about 3 mos of this self-torture, we decided the Enbrel wasn’t having any affect. I was also having surgeries and needed my body’s immune system a little more boosted. So, I stopped.
Fast forward…two weeks ago.