Avatar universal

Self Injecting - Is it Hard?

I just found out that when I start my treatments later this week I will have to learn to do the self injecting on my own.

I've never done anything like this and am not sure that I can (chicken little is my new name).

Has anybody had any trouble? How did you get over it? Is it hard to do?

Please let me know how I am going to do this. I'm just freaked out as it is about being worried about starting the tx and now this made me even more scared.

Thanks guys.

62 Responses
Avatar universal
I had never injected myself either, I now just did shot#11. It's not that bad but I do still dread it every week. We have a place here called Option Care that will give you the shot, I've heard some people have also had the nurse at the doctor's office give it to them.    Good Luck
Avatar universal

I too was apprehensive at first as is everyone else. The needle is so small, that you will not feel it--I guarantee it :-). But yes, the first time you will probably tremble. And it's all in the mind. And believe me, it will get easier. Good luck!!
Avatar universal
Thank you it's just freaking me out - there is so much UNKNOWN about everything at this time (even with constant reading you just don't really still know anything about how you are going to handle it all you know?)

I appreciate everybody's input so much.  I'm starting to start freaking out now for some reason. I just want to get started so I can get the fear of the unknown to go away and then deal....

Thanks so so much.
Avatar universal
you will do this with your eyes closed in no time!
what are your stats? viral load(VL), genotype, biopsy results, etc.
there are a few here from NY, and we got to meet not too long ago at a NYC march, pretty cool support system. Sorry you have to embark in this trip, but the goal is worth it. If I would have been told last year at this time, how good I would be feeling a yr later, I would have been in the news for assault!

All: I posted something in my earlier thread, that was supposed to state "question" in the comment and didn't, if you get a chance, give me some input...TY
Avatar universal
The anticipation is 600% percent harder then actually doing it. I laugh now to think of what a big production I made of my first injection. Lots of doctors have you do the first injection in their office to make it a bit easier, but my selected injection day didn't work for my doc and I did it on my own. I'm only on shot 11 and I feel like an old pro. You just inject it into a fatty part of your body--your stomach or your thighs--it's not like you have to find a vein or anything. The needles are very small and very sharp. Before you even know it it's in and you are done.
Avatar universal
You know it's been driving me crazy my doctor never gave me any numbers except to tell me I'm Grade 2 Stage 2. I just called for his nurse saying look I'm in an online forum support group (i really think this sure in the world is!) and everybody knows except me!

I hate feeling ignorant!  I mean I don't know anything about these shots at all and when the nurse said I had to come in to learn about them I almost fainted!  I know I can do it but it just adds to the stress.

I"m so glad there are some other NYers in here!  I wouldn't mind meeting up at all as soon as I'm up to it.  It would be great not to be so ALONE.

That's why i like being in here so much!

Avatar universal
get copies of EVERYTHING for your own records, every test , and bloodwork, that way you do not need to rely on them and their sketchy words! plus, when you are done and you begin to forget that hcv was part of you, they will remind you of the reality of the before and the after, and you will rejoice in reading "negative" over and over.
Avatar universal
Thanks to you I phoned my doctor's nurse a short while ago. I am going to ask that they fax over all my paperwork.

I think the thing that made it all sink in to me the MOST was when I saw a picture with the different Stages.  I had first been told Stage 0 and was like yipppppy (this was the hematologist not my GI) so then when I went to HIM he said Stage 2 and I was like oh no......you are kidding right.  When I looked back at that picture I could not believe what was going on inside me.

I carry that picture EVERYWHERE with me now.  That won't change in the future and trying to prevent more damage has been my life changing momenet!

I just read your other thread and there are not enough words to say WOWOWOWOW Congrats certainly isn't enough.  What a long road but my God how worth it.

I can't wait for my turn to say NEGATIVE!   :)
Avatar universal
If you go to the Janis7 website, one of the women jokes about being able to give injections while driving.  I don't recommend that, but in no time you'll feel like you could if you had to.  If you get really anxious, your doctor's office should be able to help you.  I have a friend who is a nurse who offered to help me.  I did ask her to give me my hep A/B vaccination injections (which are IM) in the shoulder, as it was just too awkward.  Best of luck with the injections and the treatment.

Avatar universal
Once you've done the first one, the shots will get easier and easier. If you have someone who can be there with you for the first time it might help. My husband always reads the instructions to me (I can say them in my sleep by now!) and he holds ice on the injection site to numb it before I put the needle in. I really don't feel it at all and, (I just did #11 last night),I've even stopped dreading it. It's now "ho, hum...is it really that time again?" You will do fine with it - your fear is the worst part and once you're past that it will stop being a "big deal". Good luck and try to stay calm - it will be ok.
Avatar universal
Please, please relax. You know that you will jab a needle under the skin and press the plunger. It will "sting" a bit. That is all there is to it. You will do well.

Me, on the other hand, suffering from major brain fog, trying to focus on instructions for prepping the redi-pen, took about 20 minutes to figure it out and then stab myself, and moving the needle around because I'm gripping the redi-pen way too hard, did not do so well. The syringes for me were much more convenient and easier to deal with.

So, depending on what you are using...
if the needle is short, say 8mm, just quickly pop it straight in the skin and gently press the plunger.

If the needle is longer, gently grab your skin with about a 1.5 or 2 inch gap between your thumb and forefinger and gently squeeze up a little mound of skin. You will insert the needle into the mounded area at an angle, but you won't need to shove the entire length of the needle in. Press the plunger, withdraw the needle, and release the skin.

I left out the alcohol prep'ing steps. You should get a reasonably clear drawing of doing the injection with instructions. It will quickly become routine and no big deal.

God bless!  -Michael
Avatar universal
are you back on tx? Is this your 2nd round?
I like the syringes a lot better, plus I could draw out ALL the liquid for a little extra push.
90502 tn?1196364005
Hi NY - This is the BEST site you will find to get answers to your questions.  Welcome.

I was SO STRESSED for about two months over injecting myself.  And when I saw the needle I just laughed out loud and kept saying, "I CAN DO THIS" over and over.  It is a breeze, it does NOT hurt.  And never forget the most important thing ... YOU ARE WOMAN!

Let us know how it goes.  You will be so relieved after the first one.  I've done 3 now and never had a problem; I did pay close attention to what the NP said the first time she walked me through.  Never forget the pre-injection steps because they are to make a sterile environment for the needle to go in.

God bless -
Avatar universal
I'm a little freaked out too.  That's why we're all here.  I haven't started treatment yet so I have no real-life experience to offer you.  I too hate needles; always have.  The dr had to chase me around the office to give me a tetanus shot before I could go to Girl Scout camp.  My mother was mortified!  But, it's one of those things we'll just have to learn.  There is a self-injection video on the Pegasys website (www.pegasys.com). They make it look easy, and, as everyone has said, I'm sure it gets easier each week.  After being on this site for awhile, I'm pretty much convinced that successful treatment is 90% mental.  I have some time before starting tx, so am trying to get my body & mind prepared.  I'm trying everything I can think of to reduce stress - yoga, meditation, long walks on cool evenings.  I figure this is going to be a long, unknown journey, so am trying to keep an open mind before I embark.  With a positive attitude we will get thru this, and, hopefully come out better for it.  DJ
PS - Will someone please remind me of these words about a year from now?  :)
Avatar universal
Regarding your post in the earlier thread (I'm too lazy to go back there), I certainly understand your feelings, after all you have endured. But (oh how I hate the word "but") I think I can understand the reluctance of medical staff to readily accept that you are cured, considering all the awful diseases out there.  And even you are willing to cop to a 2% chance of relapse, which by the way sounds high to me.  I thought after 6 months it was more like .5% or even less.  However (a sneaky way of saying "but" again), the doc who reminded staff to take extra precautions was way off base.  Staff need to take the same precautions with every patient when it comes to exposure to blood.  His statement and attitude I certainly find offensive, and I hope you do speak with him about it.

I had prostate cancer in 2002, had successful surgery, no signs of spreading, and my PSA has been 0 since then.  But every time I go to the transplant center, they want to see a recent PSA, and remind me that if it the cancer returns I will be taken off the list.  I am not officially cured until 7 years have passed.

As for my PCR, last week I told my doc my theory of being cured as long as I don't have results that prove otherwise, He thought that was pretty funny, and called my bluff by offering not to call me when he gets them.  In the end he agreed to call the MINUTE he gets them.  I'm hoping to know by the end of the week, but it may take even longer.  I certainly will post ASAP.

BTW, I am feeling better, some days I don't even take a nap, and a few days ago I had the thought that maybe I'm not retarded (the jury's still out on that one).  Haven't seen any posts from Giddyup/Whoa or Majneni since the march, hope they're ok.  Was the procedure on your back successful?  Finally, don't let the bastards get you down. You know you've won!

Avatar universal
Oh, I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I'm three years post-treatment and my PCR earlier this year shows still virus-free.

I was all set to retreat after a false-positive on my 6 month post-txt PCR, but another 2 PCRs (different tests, different labs) were negative.

I was just reflecting upon my experiences starting treatment after reading the post about injecting. My cognitive impairment was fairly severe at times and I remember it was particularly bad at the time I started treatment - hence the difficulty in figuring out how to operate the damn redi-pen. Give me a syringe, a spoon, oops, I mean a syringe and a vial of interferon any day over that nasty pen (apologies, overlapping flashbacks, there).

It is funny how things go in cycles. I had to train my wife to give injections to her mother starting with powdered interferon and interleukin-11 and adding water, swirling, etc. By the time I started treatment, interferon was premixed or in a redi-pen, then along comes pegylated interferon and we are back to powdered form, now it is not... it is all too weird.
Avatar universal
Hey Cuteus I got some numbers here! (But she forgot my biopsy report and everything else they are so lazy just sent the bloodwork)

AST 212
ALT 203
Type 1a/1b
IU/ml 568,000
PCR 5.75

I dont know what any of it means but it seems like the IU # is pretty low (from what I've seen of others).

I have to go read a bit now and try and find out what's going on. I wish they weren't so horrible...I can't start treatment until NEXT Friday now because I have to see the opthamologist first - why didn't they tell me that before!!!!

Avatar universal
I'm an active duty military tough guy and I was literally shaking the first night...and the second...and the 3rd--you get the picture!

It's not easy for me but I can do it because I have to. Otherwise I run the risk of accidently infecting a loved one with a needle *****.

I always pull out the instructions and follow them to the letter and I always feel that I may have done it wrong. But when I wake up in the morning and feel like s$%t...well, I know I got it right and the medicine is working.

Like the commercial slogan on TV, "You can do it; We can help!"

Good luck and get well soon!

Avatar universal
low viral load is supposed to be a good thing for most. You are a combo person? infected with 1a and 1b? darn! there are a few here that are both, Susan400, vicki, and who else?

Michaelt; I remember that one! so that was you? yes, that was a stressful time! so they believed it to be a false positive, eh?  I was trying to remember the other day who that happened to.

DA; yes, I can certainly understand the reason behind some of it, but(;-}) I wish for him to add something like "pt is  now testing negative" because "pt is hep c active" does not really apply unless is for the antibodies, quite technical stuff for sure. I agree about the  statement at the OR, Universal precautions should always be in place anyway, it was uncalled for.
the procedure is working so far, epidural, I think that is why Monday, does not feel like a Monday at work. Is nice to be pain free.
End of the week....marked it on the calendar!
check this thread, where they both posted: didn't we have a list with people's numbers and stuff? got to find mine
Lab Test back, need help on what this means. - ZROBERTO: 08/31/2005
Avatar universal
It says HCV Genotype, LIPA 1a/1b.  What does it mean I have both?

God I have so much to learn. I am so confused it's just overwhelming to me at times...remember how you felt before NEGATIVE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE!!!!   :)

What are the AST and ALT numbers? Is there a like tutorial on here anywhere that explains all this stuff? I dont even know what to compare my numbers to that is the problem if you know what i mean.

The doctor is so casual he's like ah it's no medical emergency you can wait till next week and I was PISSED hey if you had G2-S2 hcv doc you would want to have started it last week!

No emergency to him but sure is to me!

(Thanks C for your help you know, big time you guys just are awesome)
Avatar universal
Thanks for pointing me to that thread.  No surprise that I managed to miss it. Yes, what did I do with that list.  What have I done with everything for the past year and a half, haha!? The only pieces of paper I know I can find are my old lab reports.

Giddy, if you're out there, I/ve been thinking of you, man.  Hope you are coming out of the fog and can enjoy a few months off tx.  Maintenance will seem like a piece of cake compared to what you've already endured.

Maj, glad to see you are still with us.  I am gradually feeling better, as you said I would. Hope you are well.  Should be getting colorful up where you are. Enjoy the fall.

Avatar universal
Just read that having 1a/1b lowers your odds of the treatments working.  Great.  Well I can still do it I just have to stay positive. :)
Avatar universal
Go to   www.janis7hepc.com  There's a wealth of information there -everything you need to know and them some!
Avatar universal
nygirl; psychodoc was both and achieved svr, it can be done!
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