Good evening, Ms. A.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves administering a subcutaneous injection into your own abdomen. You may select a team member, preferably Arthur, to support you, hold your hand, or help you prepare the supplies. As always, if you or any member of your team pass out, throw up, or cannot complete the injection, the RE’s office will need to be contacted even if you want to disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.
For the record, I hate receiving injections. I was one of those kids who needed four adults to hold her down and one to administer the vaccine when I got my kindergarten booster. I also got the worst scolding of my life when I was twelve from one of the nurses at my primary care physician’s office prior to my sixth grade booster shot. I was crying, pulling away, and carrying on, and this particular nurse wasn’t having any of it. As an adult, I learned to grit my teeth and look away.
After my ultrasound at the RE’s office yesterday morning, the powers-that-be declared that injections were a go, and the nurse gave me the dosages and instructions. I felt pretty confident.
Then I got to the designated hour, assembled the follistim pen, dialed up the dose, screwed on the needle, and got queasy. The needle, though in actuality a very small subcutaneous one, suddenly looked like a 1.5 inch intramuscular needle to my eyes.
As a distraction, Arthur and I were watching “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix, and the particular episode we’re on is the opener for season seven where Marshall and Lily announce to everyone they’re pregnant. During the episode, the whole gang is attending a wedding, and at one point, Lily picks up a baby and remarks on his cute “knee dimples”.
“See,” I announced to Arthur, trying to gather my courage, “this is why I’m doing this. Knee dimples.”
“Uh-huh,” Arthur agreed, though he also looked slightly green. If it’s possible, Arthur hates getting injections even more than I do. He was bravely trying to show support, though, and had even offered to do the injection if I couldn’t. I decided I’d probably rather take the chance on my own, more steady, trained hands, even if I wasn’t keen on injecting myself.
“Okay, here it goes,” I said, fumbling to uncap the needle. I looked at it the cap. “Nope, never mind. I need some ice to numb the spot first.”
I got up and grabbed an ice pack from the freezer. We sat for a few moments, both of us ostensibly watching the TV, but neither really paying attention.
I wiped down the spot with alcohol and let it dry. I picked up the pen. Stared at it. Realized I’d made a mistake in staring at the thing, and that if I was ever going to do this, I was just going to have to pick the thing up, uncap the needle, and go before I had time to think about it.
“You know,” I grumbled at Arthur, “I do this all the time on other people. But it’s not the same when it’s my abdomen.”
Arthur nodded grimly. I re-pinched the skin, re-cleaned the skin with a fresh alcohol pad, and grabbed the pen as quickly as I could, uncapped it, and pushed the needle in before my brain could catch up with my body and make me chicken out again. “Ow,” I grumbled as I injected the dose. “Even at room temperature, that stings.” The injection completed, I sat back. I’d done it, survived, and it hadn’t even been that bad.