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Old 07-22-2008, 06:49 AM   #1
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Oh, these shots!

Twice now I've wasted an injection because I'm becoming absolutely phobic about them -- and I use the injector! I've never been afraid of needles -- but now I just dread the pain of that shot so much that I panic and screw it up. I take Rebif. Last week I fumbled with the needle while loading it and it fell on the floor and got bent. The next time it took at least three or four minutes of getting my nerve up after the area was prepped. Last night I was getting ready to inject and as soon as I heard the "click" I jerked back and shot the meds all over the floor, even in my face -- it was so STUPID!!! The shots HAVE been getting more painful each week, so that's probably where the reaction is coming from, but GEEEEZZZ!!! I thought I was better than this. SO. If I can't get better at it by the end of the week, I'm calling my doctor and getting off the shots for a while. I need a break!

 
Old 07-22-2008, 08:03 AM   #2
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Re: Oh, these shots!

Lisa, you aren't stupid at all. No one would want to knowingly inject him/herself every week with a substance they knew would cause alot of pain. You're being human.

Thankfully, there are alternatives. I'm sure your doc will have other ideas when he learns of the pain you have been in.

Good luck!

 
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:49 AM   #3
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Re: Oh, these shots!

Lisa,
The shots were one more reason I withdrew from a trial I was in. I didn't mind the subcutaneous ones but I never really got used to the intramuscular one. I know exactly how you feel. I would prep the site and then have to talk myself into the injection. On too many occasions I would hit or be near a nerve and, damn, that hurts.
For all that I relapsed anyways,besides, doing a total of 8 shots a week got old after 2 yrs.
You're not doing anything stupid, giving oneself shots isn't a normal thing to do. Please be sure to check with your doctor before stopping for a 'while' as there may be issues involved.

Take care,
Neil

 
Old 07-22-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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Re: Oh, these shots!

As much as you may not want to be able to see the needle, I've always despised autoinjectors. I find it so much less painful and scary to use regular old syringes. You have control over the speed you inject the medication and the speed you insert the needle. I always thought that autoinjectors sound like you are shooting yourself in the stomach with an air rifle. I've freaked out and pulled the needle out spraying medication everywhere too. Give it some thought. It will take time to be able to get up the nerve for that first shot no matter what.

 
Old 07-22-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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Re: Oh, these shots!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallis86 View Post
As much as you may not want to be able to see the needle, I've always despised autoinjectors. I find it so much less painful and scary to use regular old syringes. You have control over the speed you inject the medication and the speed you insert the needle. I always thought that autoinjectors sound like you are shooting yourself in the stomach with an air rifle. I've freaked out and pulled the needle out spraying medication everywhere too. Give it some thought. It will take time to be able to get up the nerve for that first shot no matter what.
Definitely my take on it as well. AI's are there for a reason, and it's good to keep yourself up to speed on how to use them, but I inject manually.

With that said, you're not the only one having shot issues. I did mine today in my right thigh and almost went panic mode when I noticed the skin around the area 'puffing' up. It was between 2 veins that I could see through the skin. I guess I'll be avoiding that area in future!
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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Re: Oh, these shots!

Thanks for listening, guys! By the way, I chose Rebif BECAUSE of the autoinjector. Even during my training with the nurse, I stabbed myself in the thumb with the "dummy" saline shot. My depth perception is just awful, you know!

I don't know why I never had a problem with injecting Avonex. Well, for one thing, it didn't hurt at all and there weren't all these constant red marks. But the flu-like symptoms were SO bad! I was taking 500 mg naproxin once before and once after the shot and it was still a good 3 days before I was "normal" again. I quit that one because my insurance ran out (there was an annual "cap" that ran out in a few months). My internal dialogue was telling me that losing 1/3 of my LIFE to these side affects just wasn't worth it. I could have gotten on the manufacturer program, I'm sure, but... No thanks.

I tried Copaxone for a while but the red marks were also hard, tender lumps! Which was why I stopped THAT one. I just couldn't take it anymore! Rebif is better -- red spots, yes; no tender spots, no hard bumps... Just this darn phobia!!!! I am such a wuss.

 
Old 07-22-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: Oh, these shots!

You're not a wuss at all! I think that Shot Fatigue is inevitable for those who choose to take the DMDs. Yes, it's wonderful that we have some kind of treatment, but the bottom line is that it sucks! That's how I feel anyway, and I'm on Avonex, so I only do it once a week. Plus, my husband does the shots for me, so I haven't had to do it myself. I still get Shot Fatigue though, and last week I strongly considered skipping it, but I didn't.

The Shot Anxiety is the worst though. Like you said, Avonex doesn't hurt at all--but I always get a little freaked out before my husband injects me. Sometimes I jump a little, and the pain is never bad. I think the anxiety is the worst part. My husband doesn't get Shot Fatigue, although in my opinion he's entitled to it!

It takes a tough person to be able to handle these injections, the feelings that go with the whole process, and of course the side effects. There aren't any wusses here! No matter how scared you get, in my book you deserve a gold star for doing what you're doing. That's bravery.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:58 PM   #8
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Re: Oh, these shots!

Hi Lisa. Being a fellow Rebif-er, let me ask you two questions. How are you prepping for the shot? And, what is your autoinjector set to?

In the beginning, I had similar problems, to the point where I was in tears every shot night for an hour before and after the shot. I learned that I wasnt icing the right way- and that sometimes, heat is better than ice BEFORE the shot. Either one you choose, you should be icing the spot for NO MORE THEN 2 FULL minutes, or heating it- and then using an alcohol wipe on the area...the most important thing is to make sure the alcohol is competley dry ( I fan the area with a magazine for a minute) before you try to inject...Rebif does burn- so once you inject, make sure you massage the spot really well for a minute or two...sometimes, I even apply ice to the area for 30 seconds AFTER I massage and it helps. I also DO NOT get RED marks anymore, because I massage with something called Arnica- its a gel, found in any health food store- and it is competely natural. Its made from a root and is excellent for bruising and redness- makes it go away almost immediately. once I started using that, I never got the round red marks any longer. It also has a nice "slip" to it, so massaging the area is easy and painless.

now, I have to agree that using the syringe, without the autoinjector is easier and less painful; however there are areas on my body where I have to use the autoinjector to reach. My left hand is shot- so its hard to inject in certain places on the right side of my body without it...but the nurse at MS lifelines told me to make sure I didnt have it set any higher than 2....you DO know that you can adjust the depth of the needle, dont you? Try putting it on a different setting and dont push TOO hard into the skin with it- just enough to make contact- but not so hard that you are hitting muscle.
These tips might help you. I hope they do. I hate to see anyone suffering over somthing that might actually be helping them. It gets easier - I promise.
Hugs
nikki
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: Oh, these shots!

I've been using the #2 setting everywhere since the middle of June. No more bloody injection spots (not many anyway). I'll try the ice and heat. I forgot about that. I used to do that with the Copaxone and it helped. AND I'll look for Arnica...

I've stopped and started so many of these DMD's that I really want to make this work. I may have to get my partner to give me the shots... In any case I'll call the MS nurse.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 05:35 PM   #10
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Re: Oh, these shots!

Hey Lisa, good luck to you. please let us know what happens when you call MS lifelines...im really curious to see what they say. If you need to have someone give you the shot- do it. As long as it is someone you trust, it might help you get thru this intial bad period. As for not giving up- DONT. Youll be glad you got thru it...and yes, ice or heat will make a huge difference ( I prefer ice usually) but remember, too much cold is BAD- you only want to do it for two minutes, and another minute afterwards if it helps you to feel better. Arnica is easy to find- look for the gel- in any health food store. Its a green tube, usually...
hugs to you..hang tough. we are all rooting for you!
Nikki
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