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547836 tn?1302832832

shot fear, still nervous before giving my shots

i always do my shot in the area under the navel (always avoided the thigh and other fat area for fear of hitting a muscle or sore legs).  already passed the halfway mark with Pegasys/Riba!  take that and add it to the # of Neup shots i've also given to myself i've probably given myself around 60 syringe shots so far during tx under the bellybutton.  

ironically though, i still feel nervous with each upcoming shot i give myself.. i hesitate with picking the area to give the shot, sometimes, i have trouble picking areas where there are enough fat, have trouble sticking the needle in (esp the Neup bc i have to draw the drug out of a vial) and end up hitting a capillary or two and getting sore after the shot.  my skin seems slightly rougher and more difficult to poke through since tx maybe bc it's been poked so many times.  it feels like i have to be mentally prepared for the "self-shot-giving" procedure.  i've had some good shots where it didn't hurt or bleed.  but other times, it's the total opposite.  soreness usually doesn't last past 3 hrs, tiny bleeding from hit capillaries don't last past 15 min.

also, i figured that if i give my shot alone without anyone watching, i take my time, do a better job and end up with less pain and sometimes no bleeding at all.  but i tend to "mess-up" more often when someone is watching me taking my shot.. i guess it's bc i get more nervous.

am i the only one feeling this way?  
maybe i'm thinking too much, i tend to do that a lot.

thanks
28 Responses
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547836 tn?1302832832
lol selling tickets on shot nights i wish :)  now that a good number of you have mentioned injection in the thigh, i might consider it.  i have a pause moment too, but it has to be a good one or else, i'll end up poking myself more than once.  yep, my skin's become that tough since tx.

thank you all for these WONDERFUL responses.  best of luck!
Helpful - 0
476246 tn?1418870914
It's okay to be nervous.... you are 18, I believe you must be the youngest treating on the forum... You should have a badge of honor, you are courageous and super proactive! You are even able to contribute to the forum.

Go girl, you rock and you're the bomb!!!
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476246 tn?1418870914
Since the time I tried injecting in my thigh, I completely stopped the stomach. I find it much easier. There are so many different spots to chose from. I always massage the area a bit before and after injection.
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427265 tn?1444076436
I shoudn't laugh, but I am only cuz I see "me" in all you wrote.....Now I'll have to try not to giggle while injecting.......

Well, I do shot 4 tonite and for the first time by myself since B/F has gone back home .....so we'll see how it goes. Good point about not holding the pinch too long.





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Avatar universal
I started TX on 9-5-08.  I definitely have improved from the first 8 weeks!  I still made it to work during those early months but I barely remember any of it because I was just really going through the motions both mentally and physically.  It was like I was a marionette.  I am to the point that I think I can start doing my indoor exercise machines again (it's below zero so outside it not an option)...as you said, slowly!  Thanks for the pep-talk because I really do like to exercise and I know it certainly can't hurt and it has always helped with the mental attitude if nothing else.

Justme53:  Re the pause time.  I had to giggle at this because my pause time was pretty ridiculous some weeks.  In fact, my first shot (that I did at the doc's office) went really well because I felt the pressure to not be sissy about it when they were watching me.  The 2nd shot caused some pause time and the third shot caused more pause time.  Prior to the 4th shot, I totally froze and just couldn't seem to get past the pinch and almost ready to jab part.  In fact, I evidently pinched so long prior to my shot that I caused the blood to pool in that spot and, once the needle was pulled out of my skin, I bled something awful.  I went into a panic (imagining that it was all the med coming out with the blood) and I called the Pegasys nurse hotline.  The first question she asked me when I said I bled was:  "Did you pinch that spot quite awhile before injecting?"  I thought..."How did she know that???   LOL.  So...now I make sure that even if I'm going to pause, I am careful not to be pinching a long time before jabbing because I don't want to see me bleed like that again.
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338734 tn?1377160168
I often go left or right of the belly-button over near and above the hip bone. I can usually pinch some blubber there. You really don't need a lot. Diabetics do this several times a day.
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577132 tn?1314266526
I always do my shot sitting on the couch next to my husband...  It started that way cos I had to get him to help me judge the correct entry angle and now it's just become par for the course.  I quite like him being there but I don't think he feels the same way!

I use the same method jim mentioned, rotating around my belly under my tummy button.

Have always wondered why we shouldn't inject in the waist line, could anyone explain why not?
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Avatar universal
Wow, you're more than halfway through treatment, nervous about your injections or not!  

Better nervous than negligent. Maybe being nervous shows how seriously you take your treatment and that you always want to do them right.

I'm impressed you can't easily do your injections in your thighs. That's a slimness I kissed good-bye a while ago. I'd happily do my injections in my stomach if I could say goodbye to the little pear in my life.

Sorry I missed your thread until now but I'm thrilled you're so far along.



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Avatar universal
I'm consider myself a brave soul too and my hands have shook while injecting from day one.  I had to stab myself three times when I took my first Neupogen shot because I shook the needle right of my tummy and it's tiny needle too!  I had been injecting peg for 8 months so why in the world did that make me more nervous?   I know it's a mental thing but I can't seem to get past it.  So I'll just shake my way through 7 more months and as long as I hit the right body part I'm a happy girl.
Trin
Helpful - 0
412873 tn?1329174455
LOL!  I get that pause time, too. It's like I'm aiming.  But I have no hand-eye coordination-so I inject where ever it lands.

Once in the beginning my hand was shaking so much that I pulled it out halfway thru injecting.  Not good.
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Avatar universal
Mekea – Did you start in October? If the course of your treatment is like mine, then you're in the high weeds now. I couldn't believe how rough it was at that point. But my pharmacist, who has a ton of experience, told me that it often gets more tolerable and for me it did.

So what I wanted to say is, you might be able to exercise before the treatment ends. You need to be very slow and gradual in taking it up. And of course you won't be doing the kind of extreme things you did before. But it's easy to imagine a point when you can work up to 20 minutes on an exercise bike. In my experience, this kind of exercise makes a huge difference in your energy level. I go to the gym every morning for my wimpy little routine. But it's the only thing that gives me the energy and clear head to get through the day. Also,  I find resistance weight work the easiest exercise to do. I think you can easily do too much aerobic exercise and exhaust yourself. You might want to get yourself some small weights and give it a try. My nurse used to say "I know you feel like total ****, but if you can get to the gym you'll feel better." He was right.
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Avatar universal
Are you selling tickets on shot night :) I don't remember ever having an audience while doing an injection although I offered to let a friend watch me do a B12 injection in my thigh (now that's a BIG needle) once but he declined, but I'm rambling...

If you prefer the belly area, you should be able to rotate multiple areas so basically the same skin is only pierced once every 4-6 weeks. Using the Belly Button as line I did upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left, left love handle, right love handle. Pinching the skin helps with the target if not much fat. Just make sure you don't inject along the waist line or into or near the belly button, but above or below that line is fine.

Then you have the outer thighs which women tend to have more meat on then men.
Helpful - 0
427265 tn?1444076436
I'm doing shot 4 tomorrow and even though the first three have been non-eventful and totally painless, I have this "pause time" ...you know...I'm psyched...but with the skin pinched and Peg in hand...I always balk. I tell myself, "now"...pause...then louder "NOW"...pause... then finally, "Just DO it dammit!" and in it goes. Maybe one day I'll be savvy enough to do it the first time 'round, but hey, it gets done in the end and I guess that's all that matters. I did scan my thigh for alternative sites, just in case, but for now I'll stick to the tummy since it's been working ok. Some redness a couple days later but no pain or itching.

Right now, I pinch an inch with my left thumb and last two fingers, slide the needle in bevel up with my right hand, anchor the syringe with the left first two fingers to pull back, then let the pinch go, inject slowly with the right, count to 10, pull out and swab. So far, so good.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
WOW  you are tall, I am jealous, I am short!  

THis is my 3rd tx, I am still scared,  Husband does it.   the closer i get to the end the more i hate it!    
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Avatar universal
The exercise stuff I mentioned was me pre-treatment.  On treatment I'm a couch potato and not because I want to be.  I try to walk a couple times a week and that's about all I can muster.  I am working full time though (but a desk job).  I'll get back all my fun exercise regimen after this tx **** is over...lol.
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547836 tn?1302832832
Ah!  You guys are great!  I post a question before bed and I get all these wonderful responses right when I wake in the morn!  Thanks for taking your time to share.  For sure, I’m feeling relieved seeing that a good number of you feel the same way.  Maybe I am normal.


-Marc1955-  great attitude there!  But lol killer abs, no.  but I am a little under 6 ft tall and 130 lbs if that qualifies as being skinny.  I eat a lot, but usually can’t pinch up much but skin in areas 2” from the navel.  Last time I did my shot there, there was significant bruising.  So basically, I alternate about 2 areas to give my injections, not much of a huge problem but scaly skin that gets slightly more difficult to poke through.  I do the alcohol press after the shot too if there is bleeding.  Great suggestion with the moisturizer. Thanks!  And you are not “huge.”

-Isobella-  haha, I cannot believe you do the shot in front of your husband just to let him “see!”  that’s pretty funny actually.  The parentals usually prefer to watch me give self injection just to make sure I don’t make a mistake and don’t get a major (life-threatening) shot reaction.  Right above my hip is gonna be a no-no for me, tickles too much!  Fat areas are great.  I have a diabetic friend and she had to do her insulin injections subcutaneously too, but she was naughty and decided to try it in her boobs once and didn’t like it very much, so she warned me to not do it there :P  I honestly hesitate to do it anywhere else other than  my tummy.

-Kristina538-  i remember I used to freak out everytime I bled at the beginning of tx bc I thought I’d hit a vein.  Silly me.  On my good shot days, I have trouble finding the spot I gave the shot bc the redness faded very quickly.  And it’s always a relief after each shot, I recently just realized that I’ve hit the 30/48th Pegasys.  Wasn’t aware of how long it’s been since the start of tx.  Thanks.

-pjpie-  oh no!  that’s why I never let the people who watch me get close.  They sit in a chair about 3 ft away from me and I always give my own shot.  And I agree, air bubbles can be a pain to get rid of.

-granitekonig- you’re right, in choosing to tx, we are possibly reducing and preventing and even getting rid of this nasty virus that can pose a greater threat to our health.  I do the pinch and hold thing too and it gets rid of some pain when I insert the needle.  Jealous you don’t get reactions.

-Proactive- well said “the sooner the better” indeed!  But I always feel like if I can push back or avoid my Neup shots, then I will.  Pegasys is no excuse, always have to be on schedule for me.

-meakea- ouch.  Sorry about your finger.   You sound very active, good for you with the exercise!  I think I need to up my exercising habits instead of sitting in front of the TV and computer most of the time.  I see I’m not along in the concern about the subcutaneous injection.  My stomach has room for 2-3 shots and I use 2 every week.  I find that my fat is a lot harder to pinch up compared to the beginning of tx.
  
-skersj- I don’t see veins in my tummy too often.  I just do my shots in areas under the navel, which is pretty limited for me.  According to the Pegasys instructions, you’re not suppose to inject into a blood vessel.  I always try to avoid the pull back (I know bad habit), but when I’m suspicious, I pull back after i’ve inserted my needle and release the pinch.
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Avatar universal
I don't have much fat on my tummy and  A LOT of veins I can see. I just did shot 20 and noticed a vein right AFTER I injected over it. I am scared everytime because of the veins!!  I don't even know what would happen if I hit a vein and the prefilled syringes are too hard for me to pull back with one hand while pinching with the other but I figure I got 52 shots to go so I hope I figure it out soon.
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Avatar universal
Meakea – My understanding is a little more like Granite's. I was told that given the length of the needles, it's virtually impossible to hit muscle. The point is not that you need to find a fatty part of your body. It's that the injection goes into subcutaneous fat. I assume (I may be wrong) that you could stick it in your arm if it weren't so awkward. You guys are making me feel huge – I'm 6', 170lbs. But honestly Mekea, you've got enough subcutaneous fat for the injection without worrying.

Technique wise: I bunch up the skin on my abdomen, insert the needle and then let the skin fall back before I start the injection. That lets me keep both hands on the syringe. Like I said, I was told there's virtually no chance of hitting muscle so I don't worry about keeping the skin bunched up like Granite does.
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Avatar universal
No matter how much fat you have, there is always subcutaneous fat (the moderately thin layer under the skin) and if you keep the skin pinched the whole time, so that it stands away from your body by about an inch, then you should be good. As for reactions....I'm not sure as I don't get them.
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Avatar universal
Maybe I'm a bit too concerned about whether I'm injecting into fat or not.  I'm 5'6" and I weight 118.  I've been very active all my life with bicycling, cross country skiing, swimming, canoing, etc.  I just don't have that many areas that pinch well but I'm finding them.  

I have read that for anyone that has reactions at the injection site, it is suggested to try taking benadryl 1/2 hour prior to the shot to help avoid a reaction.
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Avatar universal
Glad I could give you two a chuckle =)

On a serious note, as far as finding enough space on your stomach to inject, what's the problem? The needle is only a few micron's thick - there are almost an infinite number of places to stick it. I have hardly any fat on my stomach (yay me, eyeroll) but I make sure I pinch AND KEEP HOLDING IT PINCHED while I inject, so that the needle doesn't penetrate into the muscle. I ALWAYS wipe with alcohol pads before AND after and I wash my hands before every time.

So far absolutely NO irritation or soreness from any of the six shots I've done.
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Avatar universal
Grow some balls?  LMAO!

Lalapple, I have shot anxiety too and I don't consider myself a wimp by any means.  My hands shake and I can't wait to get the darn thing over with each week.  I have problems finding enough fat too.  My stomach area has room for about 4 shots and that's it.  My thighs have room for about 3 shots each.  This week I found some fat in a tiny "love handle" on my side just above the hip.  While pulling the needle cap off this past Friday, it was so hard to pull off that when I finally let loose, there was sort of a rebound action and I stuck the darn needle in my finger!!  I'm not a klutz either.  I took shot No. 19 and it was no easier than shot No. 1.  Oh...and I have it much easier than you because I only have one shot to do per week.
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Avatar universal
"Grow some balls" LOL! My shot day balls came in the form of 5mg of Clonazepam a 1/2 hour prior to my shot for the first twelve weeks!! ( I would literally be shaking (g)) I hated giving myself the shot on week one just as much as I hated to give myself the shot on week 72!! I think that was the main reason I slowly ended up doing the shots at 5 am on Thursday, the sooner I got it over with, the better!!
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Avatar universal
Hmmm, a stabbed bystander, and people having problems using these tiny needles.....hahah, really I have to scoff a bit. I hate to be so cynical or judgemental, but come on folks, it isn't rocket science and these needles are tiny. My eight year old daughter could do it. Sorry if I'm not sympathetic, but there are worse things to be concerned with, like end stage liver disease that some people must face, or a failed run through tx.

Grow some balls and common sense.
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