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The Little Trick That Makes Giving Myself Injections Bearable

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One of the hardest things with dealing with my chronic illness has been getting used to regular injections. To prevent my rheumatoid arthritis from ruining my joints and debilitating or possibly killing me, I have to be super-courageous, put on my big-girl panties and give myself not one but two weekly injections.

On my support websites, I often find other newbies joining and talking about the dreaded day they have to give themselves an injection. I know where they are coming from because I have been there. I was pretty intimidated the first time. Ask anyone who has to give themselves regular injections and you will find tales of rituals and mantras to motivate one to do what is necessary. Whatever it takes.

However, the first time I did this, my mother showed her solidarity and bought me my first children’s bandage pack. This package sported some of my favorite animated characters — The Minions.

Full disclosure — I am in my 40s.

I had the training from the nurse ahead of time and we practiced on fake skin, and she did the math to figure out how much my dosage would be. I use insulin needles which are incredibly thin, so I don’t feel it as much. But I was very thankful to have the Band-Aids because sometimes it bleeds a smidgen.

Knowing I had this tiny little reward at the end of my injection somehow made all the difference. After taking a few deep breaths and thinking, “you can do this,” I could successfully inject myself and cover my microscopic wound with a little Band-Aid, a tiny Minion waving up at me.

After several months doing that, it was on to biologics. These injections are in pen form, can hit your skin at a weird angle and a high velocity, and I bleed almost every single time. It smarts badly. I was forewarned ahead of time but that did not take away from the shock of the first time using an injector pen. However, as soon as it’s over, I have set aside a lovely bandage from my now extensive collection that includes Hello Kitty, Disney princesses, Star Wars characters, and my beloved Minions. I find great comfort in my little companions.

Getty image by Sergey Dogadin.

Originally published: June 18, 2019
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