I know I recently posted about finding the humor in injecting yourself with hormones as part of your infertility treatment (You’re Telling Me I Don’t Need A Degree to Administer These Shots?!?) I’ve been thinking about that post and the great comments it received. Since the topic seemed to resonate with a lot of people, I thought I would revisit and expand on it.
When I take a step back and look at the IVF process as a whole, I am amazed at two things. First, the continuing advances in medical science that have allowed me to have children. The fact that our parents’ generation didn’t have this type of medical assistance is mind-boggling. But what truly fascinates me is that these same learned professionals who perfected the science of creating life trust us simple-minded laypeople to play doctor and be responsible for precisely mixing medications and properly injecting them into the correct part of the body. So yes, it’s rather crazy to think that anyone who signs up for IVF is then given a prescription for hormone injections with a few instructions and a “good luck” memo.
I vividly remember the first time the nurse reviewed how to administer the shots. My husband and I, along with the nurse, were huddled together in a small room better suited for one, for our crash lecture on gross anatomy. With some sample syringes and vials, the nurse reviewed how to draw out 1 cc of water solution with a syringe from one vial; inject the solution into a second vial of medicinal powder; swirl it around [insert shaken not stirred joke here]; then draw out that liquid mixture into the syringe; then inject that solution into a second vial containing the medicinal power; swirl it around and draw it back into the syringe. Repeat these steps 1-2 more times (depending on the amount of medication prescribed).
While the tutorial was going on, all I could think of was where exactly will the needle go into? I couldn’t focus on the mixing because I wanted to be sure I knew where it had to go. I assumed I could download a video at some point to review. Or my husband had to be paying attention, right? So I interrupted her and said, “Wait, where exactly do you inject this? The middle of my tush? Towards the center or closer to the edge? Do you alternate sides?” Well, I guess I must have had fear and stupidity written all over my face because the next thing I know, the nurse asks me to turn around, pulls my pants’ waistband down a bit and then proceeds to draw a “target” on my ass. FYI it’s the upper quadrant of the tush (doesn’t matter which side but alternate to avoid bruising and pain). Needless to say I didn’t wash my tush for days till we finally got the hang of it … just like Marsha Brady didn’t wash her face after receiving a kiss from Davey Jones.
So we had the target but how to actually pull the trigger? Not to worry, I made my husband practice on an orange. Back then in our child-less days, almost every meal we ate was out, so we never had food in the house; although, thanks to a local high school band fundraiser, we had a month’s worth of Florida’s best naval oranges – perfect for injecting. Practice, Practice, Practice. So much to think about: Did my husband mix the right amount of vials and water? Did we get the air bubbles out because the last thing I need is to inject more air into my butt? Of course, while my husband is getting the air out, I don’t want him to push too much on the plunger to release all the medication and then have to start over and waste the precious, expensive meds. Thank goodness for YouTube, which came in handy as well. Check out these links for information:
Did you get all that? All clear now? Ready, set, shoot? Stay tuned for more thoughts on actually injecting those lovely shots and all the funny bits in between.