When a Self Injection Doesn't Go as Expected

Tears rushed down my cheeks as I let out a scream of pain and concern. My Humira injection, something I typically don't have any issues with, was so painful that I lifted up the pen and watched the liquid gold rush down my leg. In a panic, I started sobbing. Beating myself up over the fact that I didn't just take the pain to get the medication. Shaking, inconsolable...knowing that my grandma is on her death bed with only days to live; I know in my heart these next two weeks between injections are critical.

Stress-related symptoms have been presenting quite a bit lately.

Between the holidays, my grandma and my disease, the last thing I need is a hospitalization to kick off the new year. In the moments leading up to the injection, I had to take a pain pill to help drown out the noise my stomach pains were causing. It was like insult to injury when I failed doing my injection correctly. An injection that has been a miracle drug for me for nearly 10 years.

This wasn't the first time I lifted up the pen too early. It's not that the pen didn't function properly, it was user error. In the past when this has happened I've been unsure of how much medication I've received and just waited two weeks until my next injection. This time it was different. I've been dealing with stomach pains, coupled with the looming fear and worry of losing the matriach of our family. I also am a mom. My needs don't come first; I need to be home with my son, not hooked up to an IV in a hospital room.

After it happened, my husband wrapped me in a bear hug and did his best to calm me down. He rubbed my back and my stomach until I finally fell asleep. The following day, I called the Humira hotline number (1.800.4HUMIRA). I spoke with a nurse immediately and she provided me comfort and peace of mind. She told me to contact my GI and see if she would prefer I do another shot or hold until the next dose. My GI told me to do another shot, in my other leg. She let me know that whenever this happens, always do another shot.

While I'm happy to know that for the future, it's also easier said than done.

The shot was so painful and the moment was so traumatic, can't say I was ready to go through that and take on Round 2 moments later. But, today I will do another shot. The team at Humira took down the number on my Humira pen to share with their quality team and is sending me another pen in the mail so that I'm not short moving forward.

Chances are, if you self-inject for Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, you too have experienced an injection that doesn't go as expected. Each time is emotional. But, now I know for the future that if the medication spills out on my leg, I should do another.

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