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Hey, folks. So this post is pretty well off-topic, since it doesn't actually concern diabetes per se. (I'm clear, as far as I know, but with one of my grandmothers has Type II, IIRC.) But it occurred to me that you guys would be the group of Fools most able to help me.

My back story, to keep it quick, is that my kidneys are failing. One of the functions of the kidneys (in addition to all of that pee stuff) is the regulation of blood chemistry, including signalling for more red blood cells. With my reduced kidney function, the signal's not as loud, so I'm being prescribed medication to help with this. Aranesp, to be specific.

Anyways, long story short, I'm going to have to self-inject on a regular basis starting pretty well any day now. I've made a lot of progress -- thanks to monthly bloodwork -- from having to be held down to get a blood test to being able to chat, and even look at the needle in my arm... but NEVER when it goes in.

I was going to post on LBYM, since there didn't seem to be anywhere related, but I remembered here existed, and, as near as I can tell, insulin is injected in a similar manner (intramuscular injection, abdomen or thigh). I don't have to worry about filling the syringe; they're pre-filled. (For $7-10K/yr, they BETTER be...)

So that's why I'm here -- needle expertise. Any hints, help, tips or advice, especially dealing with the psychological elements of self-injecting medication will be greatly appreciated. Hell, I don't even know how much it hurts. (For instance, as compared to a standard in-the-arm blood test.)

Thanks.

Kevin :)
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Kevin,

I am just waking up so forgive me if my thoughts are cloudy.When I first started going to my doctor, I would have her stick me instead of sticking myself. There is something very unnatural about causing yourself to bleed. I have four tattoos and still fell strangely about drawing blood. I usually just hold the needle next to my skin for a moment and then push it in. You can also count down: 3,2,1, inject.I looked at it as something I am going to have to do, so why beat around the bush. I made myself do it. The first time I used a lancette,I stuck myself over a dozen times trying to draw enough blood for a sample.Believe me, you will get used to needles. There really is not choice.Just tell yourself you have to do it. I am sure there have been more challenging things you have overcome in your life.Think of it that way.Better yet, is one short moment of discomfort worth your life? I'll bet it is.Good luck, J.P.
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Kevin,

Welcome to the board. You don't have to be diabetic to post here.

I don't know about the needles you will be using for your injections, but I use 29 gauge needles for my insulin. They are very fine and rarely hurt. I inject in my abdomen, and when there is pain, it is less than a finger poke.

And yes, you get used to it. It took me a while to get used to it, but now it is just a part of my nighttime routine now, no real biggie.

Hope this helps,
Susan
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>> insulin is injected in a similar manner (intramuscular injection, abdomen or thigh). <<

Negatory, mein Herr! Insulin is subcutaneous. We wrote a Commandment in the Bible somewhere....it must have been the Old Testament--prohibiting the muscular thing. Fortunately the author of the Bible went along.

However, my wife has to do a daily injection of a very expensive Israeli recombinant protein --I-M-- so this household has a lot of experience with it. Over the last 5 years, she's now graduated to her third method of injection. The first was just standard needle. That lasted a few months. She was 90% successful. But one of the nights she wasn't, she threw the syringe at ME...and we searched for something else.

Found it in the Biojector...the CO-2 charged, hand-held needleless injector. Stayed on that for three years....now is on the 'needle'd' AutoJector, which at least shoots it into you itself.

The 'bad' news? Well, besides expense....both of these require PRE-Filled syringes. When Teva, which makes Copaxone, stopped providing pre-filled syringes for the Biojector, that's when my wife (reluctantly) had to switch to the Autojector..which is still better than the plain needle.

My wife always has an 'ice-pack' (actually one of those refreezable) little bags, which she puts on the site after injection. She suggests that, in your case, applying the ice to the injection site BEFORE you inject might help.
Also: side note, the more needle-phobic you can testify that you are, the more likely your insurance company will fork-out for something like the Biojector..but only IF the med is pre-packaged for it.

Good luck.

JP

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>> insulin is injected in a similar manner (intramuscular injection, abdomen or thigh). <<

Negatory, mein Herr! Insulin is subcutaneous. We wrote a Commandment in the Bible somewhere....it must have been the Old Testament--prohibiting the muscular thing. Fortunately the author of the Bible went along.


JP,

Thanks for catching that! I can't believe is missed it. IM injections are going to hurt more.

Susan

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Thanks for all of your replies and help.

I reread my instructions, and turns out it is a subcutaneous injection after all.

Got the actual prefilled syringes, and they are pretty tiny - 0.4 mL, don't know what gauge the needle is. (C$250 for 0.4 mL -- now that's an expensive fluid. And there's only 80 ug of the active protein in it. $1.4 billion a pound! Man, am I ever in the wrong business.)

Tried the hint of using an ice pack to numb the area a bit, and I think it also helped me focus. The needle went in well; a bit of discomfort when I actually injected the Aranesp, but overall not bad at all. I certainly didn't freak out like I was worried I would.

So thanks for your help -- I did it!

Kevin :)
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Kevin,

Congratualtions on the injection!

You will probably soon be wondering why you were worried about it at all.

Good luck.

Susan
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