Thursday, January 28, 2010

What a Relief

It's done! I've now got my double-injection night under my belt (ha! literally and figuratively since I did the deed in my stomach) – a dose of Methotrexate and my first-ever dose of Enbrel, all done on my very own.

Make that with the help of my friend Tracey, who not only managed to  be present but actually watched and didn't pass out (see comments from my previous post for full disclosure on that front).

I'd read the SureClick instructions about 15 million times, watched a handy video on the U.S. site with Tracey while waiting for the medication to come to room temperature (damn, had done the Methrotrexate injection then realized I hadn't yet taken the Enbrel out of the fridge!) and iced my abdomen just in case, since I'd read that Enbrel could sting going in. I was prepared on all fronts. The medication comes with a handy instruction card in the box, too, so there I sat on my comfy, puffy couch, light trained on my abodomen, Tracey with card in hand, me with SureClick injector, iPhone with Enliven support service number nearby should something go awry.

I pulled out the white cap as indicated (no twisting!!), pulled my skin taut, pressed the SureClick down (at 90°!), pressed the purple button and felt a slight sting (it must be said – very, very slight!). All good on the Enbrel front! Both Tracey and I started counting, 1, 2, 3... then at 6 verging on 7, a loud click.....What?????? We were supposed to count to 15 seconds!

I sat there frozen. I looked at the window on the injector as Tracey asked, "Is it purple?" (The window's supposed to turn purple when the injection's complete.) I said, "I think just halfway."

So we called Enliven (make that, I talked Tracey through how to use an iPhone to call Enliven), and waited, and waited (OK, maybe a total of two to three minutes in all, if that) to talk to a nurse, me all the while holding the SureClick pressed firmly against my stomach, saying, "I think maybe I moved it a bit?"

When I got on the line with someone (love the iPhone speaker capabilities, since both my hands were fully occupied!), the nurse asked a couple of questions and got me to remove the SureClick from my skin. Then she asked, "Is the needle sticking out?'

"Um, no," I said.

"Did the medication spray out?" she queried.

"No, no medication," I answered.

I swear there was laughter in her voice (I'm sure just my imagination!), as she told me to look once again at the Sureclick window and wave my hand behind it, and if I couldn't see any light coming through it, then the injection had indeed completed.

I obviously need less "mood lighting" in my apartment and more "task lighting." In fact, maybe something more "clinical"?

Not to mention a stopwatch...


  1. Ha, that sounds like something I would do. I'm glad it went ok- those Sureclick injections are pretty foolproof. I hope you start feeling better- I was able to notice a big difference within a day on my first dose of Humira! -Amanda

  2. Glad you think so, Amanda! It was pretty funny even though it wasn't, if you know what I mean. I'll stay in touch re how I'm feeling. Keepin' my fingers crossed!


    Hope that it works quickly for you

  4. I would have been pretty nervous to inject myself with any sort of medication, so a big WELL DONE! to you!! I hope that this helps to soothe any flare ups because of rheumatoid arthritis. Feel free to check out my site

  5. Thanks, Andrea; I'll be sure to check out your site!

  6. I got all nervous on your behalf! Glad it went well.

    I think the meth bit was particularly interesting. It's not the first time I've heard of someone doing the injection themselves - is it an auto-injector, too? I was on meth 6-7 years ago and had to get the shot by my doctor due to the toxicity. I wonder what changed?

  7. Hi Lene,

    Glad you dropped by!

    No, it's not an auto-injector; just a plain old syringe. It's actually very easy. The second time it was a bit more difficult to draw the medication into the syringe because there was less in the vial (each vial contains just two doses), and I had to keep the needle tip lower down so I didn't get air into the syringe, but other than that, not too bad.

    You just get things ready, then pinch your skin, dart the needle in at a 90° angle (and I swear I find it doesn't hurt!), and inject...

    The odd thing is that this time out, when I darted the needle in, I instinctively pulled it right back out then stuck it back it! Duh! I realize you definitely are NOT supposed to do that. Have no idea why I reacted like that, so I'll have to be extra-cautious next time to dart in and LEAVE!


    :) L