Tips on Battling Needle Fatigue
Who ever thought we’d be injecting ourselves with medication for some strange disease called Multiple Sclerosis? Growing up, no one thinks about illness or medication or autoimmune diseases. Girls think about skipping rope, studying for exams and the intricacies of dating. We never dreamed we’d have to make decisions about what drug we’d need to take to help us live a better quality of life.
But the day arrives. Diagnosis day. After that, decision day.
I’ve been injecting myself with a needle for the past 17 years. Like many of us, I was terrified at the prospect of having to stick that sharp silver thing into my skin. I was afraid it would hurt, or I might do it incorrectly. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to stick (no pun intended) to a daily ritual of shoving that shiny piece of metal into my body.
So what did we do? We worried a little, complained a bit, researched a lot, and worried some more. When we were through, we all came to the same realization: we had to just do it (my apologies to Nike!)
We scheduled a lesson from a nurse who demonstrated how to inject. We did it ourselves for the first time in front of her. It ended up not seeming so bad. For the time being.
Pain, soreness, and shortness of breath – these were some of the side effects we experienced. We endured it because we knew we had to.
There are days we simply don’t feel like injecting. We’re too tired, too sick or simply don’t feel like it.
When I feel that way, I’m reminded of something brilliant a dear friend of mine once said to me. She said whenever she was tired of injecting, she’d think to herself that each shot brought her a step closer toward wellness.
So here are some tips for those of you who find yourself battling needle fatigue. Let me know if they help, or share with us your own tips:
- Create a schedule – Most people make their injection part of their daily routine. Whether you inject morning, noon or night, the time you inject should become a regular part of your day. I inject at night. I wash my face, brush my teeth and do my shot. It’s what is most comfortable for me. I’ve experimented with different times of the day, and I find nighttime works best for me. What time of day is the best time for you to do your shot?
- Make a comfortable space for yourself – Wherever you store your shots is most likely the best place to do your shots. I store mine in my bathroom cabinet. It’s a comfortable place for me to inject. If you find another room in the house works best for you, then use that room.
- Play your favorite music, video or television show while you inject. This may help to calm your nerves, and set the stage for you. I’ve gone from playing my favorite tunes to (this may sound ridiculous, but it works) listening to the hysterical videos of Don Rickles roasting anyone and everyone. Find what works best for you, and stick with it. It’ll make injection time a little easier for you.
- Speak with someone - Communicating your feelings to someone you trust is always helpful. Whether it’s a spouse, friend, therapist, MS specialist or Peer Resources offered by the pharmaceutical companies, talking over your issues about needle fatigue is crucial. Reach out to others for help.
- Social Media – MultipleSclerosis.net is here to help. We are a group of people who are also living with MS, and we want to help. Reach out to us, either on this website or on our Facebook page. Post your questions, and we will give you the best answers possible.
Remember, you are not alone in your MS journey. We stand together in this fight against MS.
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