Shots and more Shots

I went to the Rheumatoid clinic today for a cortisone shot in my hip to help my arthritis inflammation and to get different pain medications since Cymbalta didn’t agree with me. My Dr prescribed Gabapentin for the pain and is starting me off slow on it. In 6 weeks, she wants me to be taking it 3 times a day for nerve pain and anxiety. She is also running an ANA test to look for any possible autoimmune disorders they might have missed. If it’s positive, then more tests will be ran. I think I will be fine personally. My shot was not as bad as I thought. I am a little swollen from the cortisone shot, but am doing well. I just have to stay off my feet for the rest of the day so it can do it’s job properly. I asked how long these work for and was told anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.

When I got home from the clinic, I just happened to check my medicaid spend down for this month. I have a $983 medicaid disability spend down I have to meet each month before I can be covered for any medical visits or medication. I can do this by paying it each month out of pocket (I can’t ever afford that on our fixed income) or my hospital and medication bills each month can be entered in to meet it. I will not be seeing the Dr THAT much each month so, it will never be spent down unless I have surgery or have to see the emergency doctors.

This month, by some act of God, it was met before the end of the month and I got my Humira pens! I just had to pay $2. At first I was afraid to start because I have not been approved for Humira (AbbVie) patient medication assistance. I was afraid I would start and then not be able to stay on this. However, after talking to friends, family, the Humira nurse, and my own dermatologist, they all told me to go ahead and start. My dermatologist said they would do everything they can to help advocate for me with Abbvie to get my meds. So, hubby got the pens for me at Walmart, we ate a good dinner, and I set everything up on the table to do this. I had the two pens of Humira at room temperature, the cotton balls, the alcohol, and the sharps container. I wrote my lot number and expiration date in my Humira “diary” they gave me and noted which area of the body I would be giving my shots. That’s where the “fun” began.

I have watched all the videos, practiced with the practice pen given, and thought I could do this on my own. However, I was not ready for the kickback of the pen and messed up the first one. The plum button was harder to push than the practice pen and I wasted a whole pen. I got scared. These are not cheap! Even with GoodRX these things are over $14 THOUSAND dollars for the starter pack of 6 pens. I called my Humira nurse right away and she walked me through how to do the shots all over again. Again, I messed up because I didn’t hold the pen down hard enough and it pushed back on me. I only got 1/2 the dose the second time. Now, my nurse is going to try and order me replacement pens for free. I am also going to call the pharmacy and see if medicaid will cover replacements for me tomorrow. I gave up for the night until….

I called my daughter and begged her to come help me. I was a nurse aid and a home health aid and had given a friend shots before. I have even had piercings and a tattoo. For crying out loud I just got a shot in my hip a few hours earlier! I am just not good at inflicting pain on myself. My daughter came over and started to give me the shot. I stopped her. I was scared at this point and I was also mad because I wanted to do this myself! I took the pen and we just talked about things while I injected. I counted and she told me when the yellow indicator was showing to let me know it was finished. I did the second shot in a more fatty area of my thigh and that hurt even less! I am so very happy I got this done! BTW, my husband has tremors too bad or he would have helped me. He was a huge help getting things I needed and to give me support as well. I am now no longer a “virgin” at giving myself shots. I got this next time!

I am told the main side effects are feeling tired and needing to stay hydrated. I will be drinking tons of water and just sleeping the day away tomorrow. In 8 days, I will do another shot and then every other week from then on. If my HS does not start to improve in 3 months, my doctor said she would up the dose to once a week. I am proud of myself and will pray this works for me. I am also praying hard and trusting God that I will get approved for assistance.


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