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Injecting Myself

I had a ton of anxiety about starting Humira injections. I wasn’t worried about the medical aspect of taking a TNF Inhibitor (Tumor Necrosis Factor… my mom keeps asking what I’m taking). What gave me anxiety was the fact that I was going to have to inject myself. Here’s a video I made with the Humira pen.

Well, I ended up using Simponi instead of Humira. It’s a once a month injection rather than bi-weekly. They’re quite similar in many ways, and Simponi appealed to my doctor for various reasons. It appealed to me because I was thinking that I’d just pay a nurse to do the injections for me. I figured it would cost a little bit of money, but that’s why we make it, right?

I’ve been really uncomfortable, like canceling vacations uncomfortable. I’m taking a boat load of medicine just to be able to move well, and now I’m gobbling Prilosec twice a day because we’re worried I’m going to get an ulcer from the number of pills.

So I got the Simponi. And I looked at the setup and thought, I can do this.

I told the kids I needed some time alone. I went upstairs, read the instructions, opened the pen up and sat down to inject.

I wiped my thigh a few times with rubbing alchol and waited for it to dry. I squeezed a bit of skin into a hump and placed the pen at a 90 degree angle to my skin.

I pressed the button until I heard a click, and then I held the pen tightly against my thigh until I heard a second click.

And then I had to double check the medication window because I didn’t feel anything. Not a thing.

It will be several months before I know if this is the right medication for me, but unlike the methotrexate I don’t have constant diarreah, and unlike prednisone it holds some promise for a more permanent remission.

Whomever came up with that delivery system is my hero. I’m not at all worried about the next injection. It’s quite likely that I’ll take a video when I do it, because I’d hate for anyone to feel as terribly afraid as I’d felt just a few weeks ago.

5 thoughts on “Injecting Myself”

  1. I had Methotrexate by weekly injection for a year or so. I’m probably going back on it soon or it may be onto Leflunomide/Arava which will be daily tablets. I started off with Methotrexate tablets, but I had so many side effects, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache despite being on maximum folic acid. There were less side effects with the injection. It was the old fashioned hypodermic and when I started the needle part was saperate and you had to assemble it. Later it came as an all in one and less liquid. Either way the old fashioned way seems much easier than the pens you have to use for your anti TNF drugs, which seem so complicated. I’d rather stick an old fashioned needle in my belly than use a pen.

  2. I’m so glad for you that the actual injection wasn’t as bad as anticipated! It’s amazing that you didn’t feel anything. What a relief that must have been.

    My husband gives himself Humira injections for arthritis associated with his psoriasis. It seems to work pretty well and he doesn’t have any noticeable side effects. I hope the same is true for you!

    In my 20s, I used to take injections for migraine headaches. Imitrex, which is now available in tablet form was only available via injection when first released. I used to put off giving myself the shot until the migraine got REALLY bad and even then I had to psych myself up for like 30 minutes to actually adminster the shot. My shot actually hurt (although nothing compared to the headache it was supposed to treat), but, it was sooo worth it. And, I got used to it knowing it would provide near immediate relief.

    I hope your painless shot also brings relief!

  3. Wow this brought back memories of when I had cancer, My blood counts were SO low I needed a daily shot. I practiced with the doctor and bought a whole box of hypodermic needles with the medication; all set to go. After 5 surgeries and chemo, I figured injecting myself would be a piece of cake. But I just couldn’t do it. My husband refused; so I wound up going into a doctor’s office DAILY just so a nurse could give me the shot. Glad they’ve improved the delivery system. I still have that box of hypodermic needles, and actually considered giving them away on Cluttercast.

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