Holy poop, my sweetie is out of town and I need a PIO shot!

aka, how to give yourself a PIO injection.

Like most normal people, when we started down the IVF route there was absolutely no way I could ever imagine giving myself a PIO injection.  I had enough mental blocks about the Lupron injections (which my husband usually gave me, but I occasionally needed to do myself).  The PIO needle is giant, and even if I could somehow bring myself to jab it in, how the heck was I going to even see what I was doing?

But, the day came when Mr. Nishkanu wanted to go out of town while I was on PIO.  There’s only so many trips that can be cancelled because I need him to give me a shot.

Now obviously, if you have a very good, very brave friend you can ask them to do the shot for you.  If your very good, very brave, very willing friends are not around, then you or your dear sweetie can call around to local clinics and hospitals to find someone to do the shot for you.  In one case, I ended up in the hospital oncology ward where a nurse was willing to do the shots for me.  I was super embarrassed about holding them up with something that was so much more trivial than what they are usually dealing with until the nurse closed the door and told me about her own struggles with infertility.  That was a balm for the soul.

Nevertheless, the day came when I was in a strange town, alone, with the nearest hospital a few hours away, and needing a PIO shot.  And so I can now tell you: no matter how scared you are of doing it, no matter how impossible it seems, if you absolutely need to do it, you will find a way to do it.  And it is not actually that bad.

What I did was this: Mr. Nishkanu had drawn circles for me where I should put the injection.  I laid down in bed with all my supplies, wiped off my selected circle with alcohol, and prepares the injection.  Then I made sure I was lying pigeon-toed (this relaxes the mucle you’ll inject in), and twisted myself around slightly to get the tip of the needle more or less into the circle he had drawn.  Now, honestly, I really couldn’t see that well what I was doing, but my goal was not to give myself a perfect PIO shot, it was just to get the darned stuff in.  And… I stuck the needle in.  All the way in.  And it really wasn’t that terrible or painful.

Then I took a breather and after feeling a bit more mellow, I pushed the plunger down slowly to inject the progesterone (note: actually I should have checked for blood and you should too, but once again, perfection was not the goal for me here, it was just getting through it, and in the excitement of the moment it was hard to remember the proper procedure).  Getting the plunger down was the hardest part because my grip was a bit awkward at that angle, but it was not really that hard.   I gave the injection a few seconds to seep in and then pulled the needle out, and pressed down on the site to stop the bleeding.  Then I gave out a little prayer of thanksgiving.

Once I did it once, it was not so hard to do it again.  In the next cycle, I actually ended up giving myself a PIO injection in the bathroom on an airplane.   I definitely felt like a tough cookie after that.  It was not easy (and I think there every surface in that bathroom had been wiped with an alcohol wipe before I got going), but again if it has to be done, you can do it.

And with that I would like to give a small public service announcement: if you are waiting in line for a long time for a bathroom on the airplane, and are tempted to curse out the person who is taking so long, just remember that you are probably much happier they are doing whatever they are up to in the bathroom than back in their seat.

Note: for lots more great stuff on how to give IVF shots,  go look at the IVF Shoot Em Up, which is chock full of information and videos about how to do shots for IVF.

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1 Comment »

  1. Katie said

    This is hilarious! I feel much better after reading this. My DH will be out of town this weekend and I will have to give myself an Estradiol V IM shot. I was fretting about it, but you’re exactly right. If it has to be done, I can do it. Thanks!

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