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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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How do you spell Relief?

I got the needles and drugs from the pharmacy and was trained to properly inject myself yesterday. It was freaky.

I did one practice round on a soft spongy ball. The injection part was easy; what was confusing were all the little steps I have to take before I even commit to sticking myself with a needle. My medicine is a two-part thing and I have to mix one compound with another, and let the concoction sit and dissolve over a period of 10 minutes. After that, I can affix the needle, prep the injection site and stick the needle into myself at a 45 degree angle (itís a subcutaneous thing.) I have to pull back on the plunger a smidge and if blood gets pulled up into the chamber, I have to choose another injection site (TA reminded me of the scene in Pulp Fiction when John Travolta shoots up, and thereís that close-up of the blood kicking back into the syringe. Maybe playing the music from that scene will get me into character?) Once the needleís in, I push on the plunger and voila, medicine delivered.

Sticking a needle into a foam stress ball thatís on a table in front of you is totally different from looking down at your very own belly flab, pinching a roll of it between your fingers, and driving a needle into yourself. A bit of the medicine dribbled out from the needle because I somehow had managed to unscrew it a bit when I was prepping everything. The nurse thought it was fine, and that for a first try, it was good. I also was very clumsy with the plunger, inadvertently pushing on it with the palm of my hand, squirting precious medicine outside of my body. Oops. TA is going to help me with my works (junkiespeak!) from here on out, and I am going to mix my medicine early, and refrigerate it.

Funny, I wasnít expecting the needle to be so damn long. In my head, ďsubcutaneousĒ meant that the needle would be tinytinytiny, but in fact, it is a whopping 1/2 inch long. Thatís like 50 yards in needle years! Itís 27-gauge, too, for those of you that know what the hell that means. The tricky part is keeping the needle at a 45 degree angle so it just floats under my skin, and doesnít collide with a blood vessel or anything else.

I wasnít as intrepid as I thought I would be so it was nice to have TA there. He said he was trying to be brave for me, and he was indeed encouraging but I could tell he was freaked out. According to him, it took me three attempts before I held the syringe firmly, said ďFuck itĒ out loud, and stuck the needle in.

Anyway, I am now on a twice weekly regimen of shots, 25 mg each. If I respond well, I will be switched to a once weekly 50mg dose. Cross your fingers that this new treatment works for me. I donít want to have to move into phase III of treatment (what that is, I donít know, but I imagine it is way stronger, way gnarlier with way nastier side effects.)

In other news, I gave up on humane traps and have instead sold my soul for some ultrasonic anti-mouse electric plug-in thingamabobs. There are two units (one on each end of my studio,) and together, they apparently create a kind of mouse-repellent soundscape. So far, so good. There isnít any evidence of mouse activity in my studio (nothing gnawed at, no poop) and I feel such relief.

3:48 p.m. - 2005-12-22

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