A person looks happily at an auto injection

Finally Growing Used to My Bi-Weekly Injections

It has taken over two years, but I am finally growing comfortable with my self-administered injections.

In June 2020, I began using adalimumab as my primary treatment. It was the biologic Humira at first, and then after about 11 months I was switched to the biosimilar Amgevita. For the entirely, it has followed a bi-weekly injection cycle.

I have written about my experiences before, but as a brief recap, I hate needles and nearly fainted upon my first injection. I used to have to take the entire shot day off to cope with it.

I'm getting used to my shot day

Now on shot day, the disdain rapidly changes back to appreciation as the day progresses and the medication takes effect. I have even resumed activities on shot day. In fact, I used to be a hockey referee and I am very proud to say I have even succeeded skated a game the evening after doing a shot, in a league which sends hundreds of players to the NCAA each year so it’s no joke.

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This morning, while administering my injection, it dawned on me how much the mental strain has diminished over time. I remember thinking at the time “please tell me it gets easier” or “I don’t know if I can do this every other week.”

So, I thought I would pen this follow up for anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation to the one I was in.

Believe me, it does get better.

I used to have an enormous mental hurdle to even get to the injection

I refused to do it before lunchtime because I thought having two meals and proper hydration would be of help. My near fainting happened in the morning so that was my logic.

Now, I do it as soon as I get up to allow the full day for the medication to take effect.

One mindset really helped me adjust my approach to something I found so intimidating. I truly believe the 13 days to come are worth the 10 seconds of pain while the needle goes in. So, I adopted the same approach I used to use when I went cliff jumping as a child.

Have you ever gone cliff jumping? It is such an adrenaline rush free-falling toward the water (just make sure it’s deep water). You can get the same feeling from the high-dive at the pool.

However, whenever I stood at the cliff’s edge ready to leap there was always a major fear to overcome, particularly the first jump of the year or moving up to the higher level.

It is the same fear I experience with injections: man, this is going to hurt.

There was only one approach, overcome the nerves and jump. In my head I would count down “1, 2, 3, jump!”

Jump on three and it is too late to turn back.

Now I do the same thing with the needle, though “1, 2, 3, stab” doesn’t have the same humph and the result isn’t nearly as fun.

I don’t always pull the trigger on the first countdown, but changing that approach and just finding that small courage to leap has massively minimized my struggles with the injection. I also try to not get discouraged if it takes me a couple tries to muster the courage.

On another note, I have learned every single shot is different

Over two years, I am somewhere around 65 injections now and there have not been two the same.

Generally, I find there is going to be discomfort either when the medication enters my body or as it circulates my bloodstream. If the shot hurts, I won’t hurt later. If the shot doesn’t hurt, I can expect some weird pain throughout the day.

I also have two small tidbits that help reduce the pain of the actual injection.

Firstly, numb the injection site with an ice cube. Thank you to my father for this tip, injections are a part of his profession. It is simple, I apply an ice cube until I can poke the spot without noticing.

Secondly, ensure the Amgevita is at room temperature. Typically, I take it out the night before, but it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to rid of the chill of the fridge.

Well I hope someone can find this helpful, and please comment below if you have found your own methods to ease your injections.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AxialSpondyloarthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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