Monday, 19 August 2013

Confessions of a needle-phobe

OK, so I've been pretty bad at providing updates lately.  This is only partially because not much has been going on, but is probably more so due to the fact that M and I have been binge-watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix.  We've been plowing through at least two or three episodes per night over the past week.  Usually I'm a multitasker, tapping away on the keyboard or reading blogs while watching TV out of the corner of my eye.  But I've been totally engrossed in OITNB, so much so that I've had to put down my laptop and watch TV the old fashioned way, with both eyes on the screen.  It's probably because of all the lesbians.

Anywho...

In cycle news, I ovulated last weekend and started estrogen priming this past Saturday.  One little blue pill twice a day, mercifully taken orally (so no smurf cooch).  I've been instructed to wait until I "have a bleed" (so I'm assuming not really quite like a full period??) and call in to start my stims.  I was initially a little worried that the timing would mean that I'd be on stims this Thursday, when I'm scheduled to see Cats with a friend.  That now seems less likely, which is good because it means that I'll avoid having to face one of my worst infertility fears: shooting up in a public washroom.  By myself.

I may or may not have mentioned before that I'm very needle-phobic.  As a kid, if I found out that I needed to have a blood test or a vaccination for any reason I'd break down into tears and freak myself out for hours before it actually happened.  I've gotten better, of course, but my mother (who was the one to comfort me through most of these episodes as a kid) finds it pretty ironic that I now voluntarily pay large sums of money for elective medical treatment requiring near daily bloodwork and multiple self-injections.  And a big ass needle up my vag.

Anyway, when I first found out that ovarian stimulation required lots and lots of needles, I was determined to face my fears.  I was gonna do this shit myself, yo.  So I dutifully drew up my first Lupron shot, and subsequently sat in my dining room for about five minutes willing my hand to dart the needle into my stomach.  My heart was pounding the whole time, and my hand started shaking so bad I started to get worried I'd screw it up, but eventually I did it.  And it wasn't so bad.  So of course, having defeated my fear, I should have been able to do the shots myself from then on out, right?

Wrong.

For some reason I still can't comprehend, the next few nights the five minutes of pre-needle heart-pounding and hand-shaking stretched to seven minutes, then to ten.  Finally, the first night I tried to inject myself with Gonal-F (which is probably the least painful needle of them all), my arm just refused to obey me anymore.  It flat out was not listening.  It was like that scene in Evil Dead 2 where Bruce Campbell's arm goes evil and tries to kill him*, except instead of trying to kill me my arm was just steadfastly refusing to obey my brain's command to STICK THE FUCKING NEEDLE IN, DAMMIT!

With that, I was done.  I told M that the anxiety the self-injections were causing me simply wasn't worth it and that from now on, he'd have to do them for me.  Which he has, religiously, even going so far as to cut a night of drinks with the boys short so he could be home in time for the ol' pokey-pokey.  What a guy.  Awwwwwww.

So of course one of my biggest infertility fears is that there'll be a night when he can't be home for some reason, or I'll be out and will have to do the injection myself.  Say, in a theatre bathroom.  While some shrill dance mom pounds on the stall door screaming that I need to hurry up so her eight-year-old daughter in a one-shouldered 80s-style Cats sweatshirt can go pee before intermission is over, but my hands are shaking so bad that I accidentally drop a $450 dollar pen of Gonal-F in the toilet, and I have to fish it out and use it anyway because I don't want to screw up my IVF so now I'm injecting myself with remnants of stranger pee in addition to the old nun pee and oh fuck I still have to mix and inject the Menopur and the bell is ringing and intermission is over and WILL YOU STOP POUNDING ON MY FUCKING DOOR, LADY, AND GO TAKE YOUR BRAT SOMEWHERE ELSE TO PEE???  I'M TRYING TO MAKE A BABY IN HERE!!!

Whew.  So yeah, good that that's not gonna happen.

* If you don't know this classic 80s campy horror movie and/or this scene, we may not be able to be friends anymore.  Sorry.  Unless you go watch it.  Like, right now.

22 comments:

  1. tears are streaming down my eyes from laughing so hard...

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  2. okay, i think you're about 7 days ahead of me this cycle. glad the shots aren't going to interfere with cats. my hubby is a paramedic/firefighter so i have a trained professional administer my shots. LOL. I too have a thing with needles...it's not pretty. rooting for you!!!

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  3. You are truly awesome. Thanks for the laughs:-)

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  4. this was hilarious. i am so sorry you have a needle. needles do not bother me one bit and i have always said i cant imagine doing this if you had an issue with needles. because lets face it, it is alot of needles. bloodwork, procedures, intralipid ivs, pio....it just never stops! i am glad your cycle has started and i wish you only the best.

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  5. "even going so far as to cut a night of drinks with the boys short so he could be home in time for the ol' pokey-pokey."

    Remember when that sentence used to be a lot more fun? UGH. Glad you have a helpmate!

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  6. I will always and forever remember reading this blog and seeing "smurf cooch" LMAO!

    With the needles, you will always have a dislike for them, but knowing what needs to be done will always win over. Great job on injections though, you can do it!

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  7. Whilst at swimming this morning, one of my lanemates mentioned she had to pee, I started thinking about this post and started laughing so hard, I couldn't hold my stroke drying the fly leg of my 100 IM!

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    1. Oops. Sorry. :) (Also, look at you being all cute and British with your "whilst"!)

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  8. I wasn't afraid of needles until IVF, I now get anxious for even blood draws...

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    1. Wow, that's the reverse of how it should go! I am much better with blood draws now, but I still have to look away and do deep breathing to stay calm.

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    2. It was that damn PIO. Last cycle was the worst... It took 3 months for my butt to heal.

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  9. Brilliant (as usual). And I've been meaning to watch The Evil Dead trilogy. C and I have fallen in love with Bruce Campbell for his role in Burn Notice (um, did I really just admit that? on the interweb?) and I've felt like an impostor this whole time...

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    1. Love for Bruce Campbell is nothing to be ashamed of. The Evil Dead trilogy is horrible in the most absolutely fantastic of ways! If you have a healthy appreciation for cheese and tongue-in-cheekiness, it's totally for you. Also, highly recommend his biography, "If Chins Could Kill". Seriously.

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  10. It's great that your hubby can do it for you. Good thing I overcame my fear of needles. Otherwise, I don't know what we would do since Bob is so needle phobic.... We would never be able to do IVF if neither of us could stab me with a needle...

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  11. Oh my god, I'm dying. Good thing that little scenario doesn't have to play itself out! Hey, at least you can laugh about your phobia! And get your husband to do all the dirty work.

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  12. I can so relate! Actually, I have decided my fear isn't really of needles but of the physical reaction I have to them. I get light headed, pass out, turn white as a ghost...I even freak out nurses. I am impressed you managed to do any shots yourself. I couldn't. Not a single one. I have learned how to manage it and avoid any physical reaction for the most part, but I am certainly not over it. I pretty much spent 3 days panicking over the 3-hour glucose test because it meant 4 blood draws in 3 hours. Thankfully, I passed because I really don't know what I would do if I had diabetes.
    So glad you won't have to worry about doing it in the theater bathroom because I really would hate for you to have to inject yourself with a pee-water soaked pen.

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  13. Only you can make all of this funny :) xoxo

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  14. This made me laugh. Totally hear ya on the needle phobia... mad props to you for doing it yourself at all! The one time Eric fell asleep on the couch without doing my PIO shot (and he sleeps like the dead, once he's out, he's OUT), I sat there in the kitchen trying to will myself to jab my thigh, hands shaking, for like 15 minutes. And then I gave up. Thank GOD it wasn't a public bathroom. (And no, PIO was not given that night. Oh well).

    Crazy what we subject ourselves to, eh? It better be worth it.

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  15. Haha, you know I'm sure if your hubby told his friends he had to rush home for some "pokey pokey", they'd probably assume something much different. ;)

    I will say, it's a bit weird that all this exposure therapy hasn't done much to quell your needle phobia -- I had such a turnaround with all the injections, to the point where I almost found it fun... or at least fascinating, in a way. But you REALLY have to be fast about it. If I sat there for 10 minutes with a needle hovering over my stomach, I'm sure I'd end up just as frozen in place as you!

    Say hi to Mister Mistoffolees for me. :)

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  16. Yep, another needle-phobe here. I managed to do all the stomach injections myself, even with a few in public, but it was much like you described (minus dropping it in the toilet and the dance mom pounding in the door). Some nights it took a long time to talk myself into stabbing that damn needle in. When it came to the PIO injections, there was no way I could do it myself. I got it ready every night, but Hubby had to administer the shot. If he took the cap off before I turned around and I saw the needle, he would have to wait another 10 minutes or so for me to work up the nerve to let him do it. Blood draws, I totally have to look away and focus on my breathing too. They constantly ask if I'm doing okay, which I usually am, but only because I've learned how to get through it. JenS has me worried now for the 3 hour glucose test! I thought it would only be 3 blood draws, but it's actually 4? Ugh! Lets just hope I don't have to do that, but who are we kidding. I don't get that lucky.

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!