Sung to the tune of “He’s a lumberjack and that’s okay”, I am now a human pincushion. Or at least an occasional one.
My diabetes isn’t as under control as I would like, too much sedentary behaviour in the last two years in particular, as well as changed meds that are better for me but have some side effects. My A1C number has crept higher in recent months so time to do something “different”.
No, not insulin, I’m not at that level of difficulty, but they do want to add another medicine to my regimen. Namely one called Ozempic. I was okay with adding one, no biggie I thought as I’m already taking four pills and one of them is hard on my stomach so can’t up the dosage any higher. Except the new one? It’s an injected one.
They started off saying that I would be doing injections IN MY STOMACH, but that wasn’t likely to happen. I couldn’t see ANY way I would be up for that, at least not before I tried my first injection today. Needles in my STOMACH? Pass.
On the plus side, it’s only once a week. But it’s a layer of complication I would rather do without. I did my “training” today by video with a nurse, she walked me through my first injection.
- Clean my hands, obviously;
- Clean the head of the pen (it’s like an Epi pen, sort of) with an alcohol swab;
- Add the needle to the pen;
- Prime the needle and remove any potential air in the needle;
- Clean my leg (small alcohol swab);
- Set the dosage on the pen;
- Insert the needle into my LEG (not my stomach) gently at 90 degrees;
- Press thumb on end until it resets slowly to 0 and then hold for ten more seconds;
- Remove my thumb from the end and remove pen with needle;
- Put small cap back on needle, remove needle from pen, dispose of needle in a safe container (free from the pharmacy);
- Store the pen + other needles, swabs back in my medicine cabinet.
Now, I generally knew the steps before I did it, and the only thing that was making me a little nervous was the actual insertion of the needle. It is incredibly small, sure, but it’s still sticking a needle in my leg.
I don’t really like needles, despite having them as a kid for years to deal with allergies. When I get one for vaccines or boosters, I try to look the other way and think of the Republic.
So I wasn’t looking forward to it today. How much would the needle hurt? And while I can’t put it in my shoulder (can’t reach around to reliably do it at 90 degrees), I figured the upper thigh would serve as my best option.
I didn’t even feel it. I probably COULD do it in the stomach if I ever need to do so. For now, I’ll just swap legs each week.
On the positive side, it helps with the diabetes, with a side benefit that it helps with weight loss too. It seems to do most of it by shrinking my stomach so I’m not hungry and don’t eat as much, so we’ll see how that goes. Doesn’t work for everyone.
In the meantime, I’m now a pincushion. And apparently, that’s okay.