Coming to Grips with Injectables

When I discovered that I needed to have surgery, I thought I would not have to take any medication afterwards.  Because of my long, complex bout, it took a very long time for the doctors to get the right combination of medications so that my Crohn’s could get and stay in remission.  At first I was on a ton of steroids.  I really did well with steroids, but we all know that they’re really used as a band aid.  Then I used various types of infusions.  These did not work for me.  I did not get any stability with my Crohn’s even though I had eleven surgeries.  After switching doctors, and getting a set of eyes to examine my case, I was put on an injectable medication.  Ugh, did I hate needles! What was I going to do?

I had to have a mental talk with myself.

What was it going to be Paul?  Inject yourself every week for the rest of your life? Or…. suffer though the horrible consequences of the disease?  I really hated needles. For the year and six days I spent in the hospital, I got stuck a lot of times. Each time, I would cringe. The feeling of the pain, and knowing I had to do it forever was impossible to imagine. But I had to do it!

I remember going down to the doctor’s office, as they wanted me to meet with his nurse.  She was going to go over with me how to properly inject the needle into my body. I actually practiced with a needle (no medicine inside), on my body. Then I was very surprised when she told me that my injection would cost $1200.00 each week. That’s $4800.00 a month!

This is what the nurse explained about injecting myself:

She told me I had to wash my hands very carefully.  Next I was to take the alcohol swap and clean the area of skin that I was going to inject into.  I had to rotate spots on my body, each week picking a new area.  I had to find an area that had some fat on it.  I chose each side of my stomach and each side of my inner thigh.  After that, I was to remove the two ends of the “pen” and push down on the clean site.  I had to look through the little “window” of the pen to make sure that the yellow bar came through. This meant that the medicine has been successfully injected into my body.  Finally I had to wipe the area clean with another alcohol swab, and wash my hands.

After practicing, I felt better about doing the injections on my own.  I was afraid of the side effects (low immune system, antibodies etc), but I knew that if I didn’t try it, then I would wind up back in the hospital.  After a month, I started to see major results.  I have now been taking the same medication via needle for the last five years.  Knock on wood, it has done wonders.  I can maintain a job, and live a somewhat regular life.  I am so glad I have come to grips with my injectable medication for Crohn’s.

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