Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's Rabies, Baby!

Last Thursday I started giving Partner "the shots." The morning shot done with the Gonal F pen isn't that bad. The needle isn't that long and I just dial up the dosage. It makes it very easy. I mean, look at it-- it literally looks like a pen. Since I am intimately acquainted with pens, this shot isn't that hard. Not to say it was easy the first time I plunged the needle into Partner's thigh, but comparatively speaking, this is now the easiest shot. Right next to the pen, you can see that little tiny needle. It's pretty innocuous looking, as I am sure you will agree. We have the choice here, of administering this shot into her thigh, or into her stomach. We've chosen thigh, for what we both feel are fairly obvious reasons.

Whereas the nighttime Repronex sucks. First of all, I hate having to mix up the medicine. I feel like a mad scientist at the kitchen counter, or worse (?) yet, a drug addict. (Worse? Sometimes I think a few more pleasant drugs could help us. Although, probably not since fortunately or unfortunately, Nancy Reagan's campaign really worked on me, and [recreational] drugs [exception of pot] scare the shite out of me.) Anyhow, I get the 1 cc of saline, squirt this into another little bottle with a little crystal inside it, suck this back up, squirt into another little bottle with a crystal inside it, suck this up, change the needle, swab off the outer corner of Partner's behind, plunge the inch and half needle in, pull back to make sure there's no blood (I hate this part) and then administer her the meds. Whew.

The first night of the Repronex shot, Partner was prone on the couch and I sat over her with the needle in the air and the instruction sheet at my side. You know, I just love her and it's never really seemed like a big loving act to put an inch and half long needle into my Partner's back side. She'd look over her shoulder at me, with big eyes. Remember, of course, that Partner has recently decided to be afraid of needles. I had a false start. I put the needle up to her skin and it didn't quite slide in as easily as I wanted it too. I pulled back. Shit. When I finally managed to get the shot done-- I think it took twenty minutes from start to finish-- I cried. I cried and cried and then Partner cried. And then I look my estrodiol pill and cried some more, just because. (Last night as I went to give her the shot, she has a bruise on her left side, but not right. Am I doing something wrong? I'd really like to know if other woman got bruises from this. The bruise gave me a pause, and more tears.)

I was a rather serious athlete in high school, and I suppose with playing a little rugby in college, I was rather athletic then as well. I loved competition, probably because I won. (I was a swimmer.) But one of the things I hated about sport was all the really stupid adages that coaches love to say, usually as I was gasping for breath, or thinking strongly about throwing up in the gutter. One of my favorites is, "If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger." Even at age fourteen, I could see this was a flawed social policy. Clearly some things that feel like they are killing you, do not necessarily make you stronger in the end. Don't we all know stories like this? Think about chemotherapy, or torture-- One may not be stronger at all at the end of such experiences. Of course, one might argue that someone might be mentally stronger after such experiences. And I think that's one of the sidebar perks (perks?) of IVF. In some ways, I do feel stronger. Four days into the shots, they aren't such a big deal anymore. This morning I had to jab Partner super quickly as she was dashing out the door to a closing. Saturday night we were going out for sushi with good friends of ours. As our pals watched us mixing the meds, they kept saying, "It seems like some experts should be doing this stuff." We went upstairs to give Partner her shot, and when we came back down, they were still talking about that, holding up our big bag o'needles.

But what's an expert here? How much training, really, does one need to give an intramuscular injection? Not much apparently. Now all that horrible hardness of the first few shots seems unbelievably silly.

Are we getting stronger? I don't know that administering shots themselves makes any one person a stronger person. I think that this whole IVF experience might-- whether it works or not-- there's a whole load of crap to deal with, and honestly the shots are probably the easiest part. I was telling a friend in the English department about the whole procedure (Hello, R!) when a professor walked in and heard part of the conversation where I was saying that the shots could go into the belly. He grabbed my arm, "Rabies?" he said, quite alarmed, "Does someone you know have Rabies?"

No, babies. Babies. Making babies. But honestly some days I wonder if Rabies might be easier...

(Another sidebar-- In one hour we'll be at the RE to see Partner's ovaries and get some blood drawn. Cross fingers, pray, whatever you do. Also, I want to ask them about the so-called follicles they saw on my ovary. I've been on the pill for four months and had a full dose of Depot Lupron-- why would there be follicles? Are they sure they are follicles? And why am I taking so much estrogen? The patch insert made me nervous with all its talk about "if you still have a uterus" and the myriad of concerns if that was the case. So many questions, so many drugs. Anyhow, I feel like we're going in for a big examination in an hour, and I just hope we're passing. No I don't. I hope we're getting bloody As.)


Blogger Emilin said...

Both IM and subcu shots can cause bruising. It's normal. If the bruise is really painful and doesn't go away, then it's worth being concerned. Otherwise, you needn't worry.

Good luck! We're keeping our fingers crossed!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Nico said...

Hope your RE appointment went well and Partner has lots of lovely follicles growing.

I'm interested that you said you chose the thigh over the stomach for obvious reasons. The tummy seems so much easier to me - lots more flab there ;-)

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm with Nico, I can't do my shots in the thigh. I have to go for the belly. Sometimes people bruise, sometimes they don't. I'm a nurse and I still find doing shots to myself hard (I won't let my husband do them).

1:29 PM  
Anonymous RachelH said...

Just found this site the other day and ate your archives for a midnight snack. I'll be keeping an eye out on "baby watch." Good luck!

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Manuela said...

Finally found a minute to make it back here after having read your DARLING coffee post...

Your account of the needle jabbing was so disarmingly charming... I've been dreading the needle thing... but somehow you made it seem so much more palatable! Thanks for that!

Have to run and read your next post now... dying to see how the appointment went...

3:08 PM  
Blogger dkp said...

I just have to tell you how much I admire you in going through all this. There are many reasons, of course, not the least of which is this whole needle thing. I'm so needle-phobic that I don't know how you handle it...well, obviously you handle it with grace and style!

I'm thinking of you both!

10:12 PM  

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