What a day this has been, I went to my forteo classes and they were wonderful, the registered nurse gave a wonderful presentation and I walked away from the class feeling very empowered. I spent the day contemplating " the injection" I knew I didn't want to do my first injection on friday the 13th, so today was the day it had to be, now or never. The whole proceedure is quite easy, it's the mental and physical anxiety you feel, that I do believe (at least at this point) makes you feel a smidget woozy. My heartbeat so hard I thought for sure it was going to pop out of my chest, I felt like I was having a hot flash, remember this is all nerves, I haven't even injected myself yet. anyways, I finally did it, I am glad the first time is over, it's like all the first times, I know it will get easier after I calm down. I hate to take any type of meds, let alone inject myself with any med. however, I am more fearful of not being able to work out in my yard and garden with my flowers, not being able to enjoy my beautiful family for many years than to be fearful of injecting myself with a medication that will have the potential to build me a strong foundation. The only thing I noticed so far is at the injection site a big red blotch. I do believe it has more to do with inexperience than anything else. I do believe I pushed to hard on the pen, when actually it is not necessary. Thank you for listening to my ramblings, I am looking forward to a positive outcome. Blessings! Wildflowers
Congratulations on a job well done! Before you know it you will be able to do it with your eyes closed (ha ha). Anyway, the red blotch is normal, I've been on forteo for 2 years and I usually still get one, but it only lasts a few hours at the most. I know there are others out there (like you desert bloom) who probably know exactly why it happens, but I really don't. I always try focus on how much the medicine is helping me and visualize it going through my body and giving me brand new strong bones! Keep up the good work Wildflowers, pretty soon you will be coaching others who are just starting themselves.
I was nervous too Wildflowers...I'm sure we ALL felt challenged as we started this new journey! My doctor included a video with the little black travel case when she first started me on this new "wonder drug"...she told me classes and a support group were available, but I wasn't sure when to fit it in. The cute little old lady in the video explained everything and had suggestions even for taking the needle off after use with the cap.
The first several days I used the info sheet to make sure each time was exactly correct...then I realized the priming goes 2 spaces, then the actual shot needs 6 little spaces. Easy! Even tho directions say go to a count of "5", I go to 10...want to make sure I get every drop I'm supposed to!
My middle is full of bruises...but nobody sees that but ME! I'm also on heart meds for atrial fib (had a heart cath a few years ago), so I just do the shot when I take my bedtime meds...and have had no problems.
This forum sure helped me in many ways to feel confident about taking this drug...and I thank you all!..........Pam
("Ain't it interestin' how many of us are avid gardners!!)
Glad you guys did well... The red blotch is normal, I don't have a good explanation for it except that the med does collect in that area for awhile before it absorbs, I still get them too, that's how I know I actually got the injection. Since the injection is sub Q, just at the epidermis, you have to give it time to absorb, which I guess that's what I already said-tired Once it absorbs the red mark goes away. Mine sometimes itches, but goes away soon.
You'll all find that you'll be doing it without thinking about it in the real near future without having to read the instructions. I think the instructions are way too complicated. I'll explain later when I can sit longer. Cheers to you guys, you did a GOOD JOB!!!!!!
Glad it work out without any major problems.
Last edited by DesertBloom; 07-12-2007 at 10:05 PM.
HI Betty Lou..i knew you'd do just fine..new things are always scary till you do it once. Piece of cake right? Let's see..a red spot...you could call it your poppy mark, red zinna spot or rose glow...have a good weekend...take care...phyllis
thank you all so very much for the kind words and support, If felt so good to immediately run to my computer, tell someone who knew exactly what I was going through, all about my first experience. In many ways it reminded me of the times when I would share all my little experiences with my mom many many years ago, boy!! what I wouldn't do to have her love, support and big hug right now. Again thank you all!!!!!
The nurse at the class said that I did not need to use a achohol? pad to prepare my skin before the injection, she said that the constant use can actually cause the skin to break down, the fact that you take a shower or bathe is enough. The nurse also mentioned if we experienced back pain, forteo would help a great deal with our pain. When I was in class I sat next to a retired teacher, she was having difficulty with the pen etc, she said" here I am a teacher and I am so stupid, Ijust cannot get it." My remark immediately was " this has not a thing to do with stupidity, we all are so nervous and scared, it is wiping our chalkboard clean. It is hard for our mind to process when fear becomes dominant. We worked together and ended up exchanging telephone numbers, we asked if that was allowed, and the nurse said "no problem."
I am so glad I ordered 3 months of pens, it turns out one month can be a real hassel, considering you always have to order each month. It is a major major benefit to me personally, not to have the added worry, at least here in the beginning. Thanks again everyone!!!!!!!! Blessings wildflowers p.s. thanks so much for all the tips
Congratulations on your successful "initiation." The reply about lessening back pain interested me. I haven't noticed it doing so, but then, I also have osteoarthritis, so I guess it would be difficult to tell. What I've noticed is a feeling of empowerment someone else so aptly described. I, too envision the Forteo helping my body build new bones. The second best thing about it for me is the lack of GI involvement, which we all know is the bane of bisphosponates. My stomach still lurches when I think of the Actonel I took for several months. Hopefully the time will come when there will be a Foreo patch (which I know they're working on) or, better yet oral maintenance doses. Good luck to all, and thanks to everyone who posts such valuable info, not to mention needed reassurance, on this forum.:
Good morning shewolf, the nurse at the classes said indeed it's just a matter of time before the injections will be a thing of the past, she said forteo is the most natural medication you can take for your osteoporosis. I asked her if she took forteo, she said no, because she has osteopenia, I than asked, what are you taking for your osteopenia? The reason for the question, somewhere down the line I will have to make a decision on what to take after the forteo, that is if I am on it for the full time. The nurse takes evista and said it is working good for her, and that it was very interesting, that I would ask about what to take after the forteo before I even took the forteo.
A question, the test I take for checking my progress after 3 months, how do you know you are improving? the score, results, I guess what I am asking is how do you interpret it all. I know you have a baseline, but what number shows you are improving, going up, going down. I had a heck of a time with all the minus numbers in the bone density tests etc.
Regarding the relief of pain, she mentioned it would relieve the intensity of the pain if you had a combination of diagnosis, it may be so subtle because we learn very easily to live with our pain, the body adapts to a certain level of pain. Many individuals can tolerate alot more pain than others, but she said that forteo definitely helps with back pain. I will know immediately because I also have osteoarthritis of the spine along with osteoporosis. Take care! blessings! wildflowers
Hi Wildflowers: I'm glad you didn't have any trouble with the injection. Have you decided whether you'll take it at night or the morning? I thought you were worried about dizziness, but maybe that won't be a problem.
If you are talking about the bonemarkers tests, you want to see an increase in your number. I'll post an article below you can read. To read the article you have to register, but it's free.
Good luck, I'm so happy you didn't have any major problems, but I didn't think you would.
I just wanted to wade in about Forteo and the cancer risk. When Forteo was first suggested to me I had just started taking an immunosuppressant for my Crohn's disease and I was reluctant to start two new meds at the same time PLUS wasn't particularly impressed w/taking ANY drug w/known cancer risks even if just in animal studies especially when taking an immunosuppressant!
Fortunately, I had raised dogs for some 30 years so had had lots of contact w/veterinarians and seminars on canine health topics, etc. Because of the Crohn's disease I would not even consider an oral bisphosphonate and at the time was not aware there were IV infusable bisphosphonates. So, I really looked into Forteo as a future consideration. I was able to thoroughly read the information on the rat studies for Forteo.
What struck me very early in my reading the rat studies was that 1. the rats were on Forteo their ENTIRE life. 2. rats continue to grow bone their entire life, their growth plates do NOT close as humans' do and as dogs' do. 3. Our PRIME bone growing years are pre-puberty. Our bone growth plates begin to close at puberty 4. the rats' cancers occurred at the growth plates areas. 5. our bone cell death catches up to and begins to surpass bone cell growth after the age of 30. 6. our greatest bone loss occurs the first few years after menopause.
I wasn't aware of osteoporosis until I was Dx'd w/osteoporosis at 54 years of age, supposedly high risk for fracture, T-score -2.3 lumbar and -3.4 hip. Altho my family on both sides is long-lived, most all into the late 80s and mid-90s even as far back as the early 1700s I really didn't expect to live to be 108 years old! So I had lived at least 1/2 my life so far. Remember those poor rats were on Forteo from natal until death. But Forteo was unheard of in 1996 when I was 54. I opted to go untreated until 2003 by which time I was 61.
I am unable to take supplemental calcium and can't do a lot of dairy due to Crohn's. In late 2003 I was put on high scripted doses of vitamin D in preparation for starting Forteo. It wasn't that my vitamin D or calcium levels were low, it was that my Endo at the time wanted my vitamin D at a particular level and my parathyroid hormone (which also tested normal) at a particular level before starting Forteo. Due to LOUSY office staff and inability to get thru to the Endo I switched to another Endo. I've been on high doses of scripted vitamin D since first starting it. My new Endo didn't change that at all until just earlier this year. (From 100,000 IU once a week to 50,000 once a week).
I finally started on Forteo in August 2005. (It had nothing to do w/my vitamin D and parathyroid levels which had remained pretty constant prior to and during all the months on the scripted vitamin D). My 2005 DEXA lumbar T-score was -4.1 and my hip -3.0. I had no aches or pains or fractures.
After 10 months on Forteo (plus continuing the scripted vitamin D) my June 2006 lumbar T-score was -3.1 and hip -2.7
After 24 months on Forteo (plus continuing the scripted vitamin D - and LESS physical activity) my July 2007 lumbar T-score was -2.3 and my hip -2.7.
So in 11 years, 9 of them untreated for osteoporosis, Forteo (along w/the vitamin D and no calcium supplementation) improved my lumbar bone density back to where it was in 1996 and improved my hip bone density by .7
I still have no bone aches, no fractures. (knock, Knock, KNOCK!). Since all this occurred in just 24 months out of my 65 years of existence and those rats were on Forteo their entire life .... my Endo and I have opted to continue on Forteo another 12 months (whilst I pray for Strontium Ranelate to be approved in the US!).
Last edited by CrohnieToo; 07-13-2007 at 10:16 AM.
Hi Desert Bloom, I decided to do it in the evening before bedtime. The nurse at the class was pushing to do it during the class, however I was hesitant because of the side effects concern. At this point Desert Bloom, I think it's going to be o.k. I felt woozy, fast heart beat etc. but it didn't have a thing to do with the injections, I'll do believe I will have a better chance to sort it all out after a week, I was just scared out of my wits.
Thank you for the link, I need to take the time and digest the info, so I can go merrily along.
This has been a hot summer so far, but I have never experienced so many absolutely "perfect days" in the 70's, low humidity as well.
Wow! Cronnie Too thank you for letting us take a peek into the process you used with your history of osteoporosis and your decison to take forteo.
The nurse mentioned several times at the classes, people are taking forteo for longer periods of time without concern and worry, it's definitely a personal choice. I have some time to think about that later on down the road, if I had to make a decison today, right now, taking evista after forteo would be my choice. Again, thank you for your post. Blessings!
I'll add my congratulations on your first Forteo shot. I thought I'd faint from panic the first time I did it. Had to sit down and try to get control of myself. Then it was no big deal. When I started, I couldn't believe I was going to have to give myself an injection every day for two years. Now it's over and it just flew by. I'm on Actonel now, so far so good -- no side effects. Hope it's working to maintain my bone gains, which were very good on Forteo. If not, it's back to Forteo for me.
By the way, I also got the red splotch sometimes after an injection. It usually disappeared in a few hours. I took the shots at bedtime. It got to be so easy that sometimes, if I was wearing shorts, I'd just put one foot up on a chair and inject my thigh. Usually, I did the abdomen, though. It becomes so easy and second nature that soon you won't give it a thought.
thank you spinewhine when you described the way you felt, the word that stood out for me was panic, that's the way I felt panicky. I was all prepared mentally to take the injection, felt it was not going to bother me, but somehow when it actually came time to give myself the injection, a tidal wave of emotions took over. The first thought that came to me, " Are you sure you want to do this?" I knew I wanted to do it, it was going to make my bones healthier and stronger. I actually felt peace and confidant my bones were in construction.
I try to not take any kind of medication whatsoever, if I can get away with it, let alone inject myself with a med. Somehow, between feeling confident and scared I injected myself, was so glad it was over, then I did feel empowered that I actually did it. I so appreciate you telling me how you felt, I was beginning to really beat myself up for being so frightened.
I am so excited about my forteo journey now, I am keeping a journal to look back over after it's all said and done. At the classes for forteo injections they gave me a rubber band bracelet which reads, "Stand Tall for Osteoporosis," I wear it proudly now. I am so happy that your experience with forteo has been positive and uplifting. My doctor said that it was the most natural way to go from all the meds that are out there. I thank the folks who sit in the labs each day, that try to create a better, newer, and safer way to take our meds so we can live a more happier and contented life. Again, thank you for your post. blessings! Betty Lou