Last night was our first evil, dreaded progesterone in oil shot. I had really started to build up a lot of anxiety about this part of the cycle. I thought for a second I had mustered up the confidence to do it, but last minute, that backfired. As we were coming up with our game plan, I started to feel light-headed and nauseous.
In the end, I felt better knowing we'd done lots of reading online for various tips. I knew that we were prepping as much as we could and that we just had to go for it. Our approach is outlined below. I must give the disclaimer that I am not a nurse, nor claim to be one. If you are reading this and administering PIO, please consult your clinic and/or pharmacy for full, proper instructions.
- Pick a time in the PM, that's not too close to bedtime. You'll see why below.
- Numb area with an icepack before hand to ease the stick. I used those smaller freeze packs you put in lunches. Just stuck it under my pants (yes, I'll be sure to wash it before our next picnic) and walked around, replacing it with a new one every 20 minutes or so for about an hour. Looking back, that was probably a little excessive, but I my thought was I'd rather err on the safe side the first time around.
- Identify the correct area on the cheek/hip to inject. A proper injection site, from what I've read and been told by our nurse, is extremely important. The upper 1/4 quadrant of the toosh, to be exact. We were specifically told it shouldn't really be "in the butt" at all. If you go too low, you're at risk for hitting your sciatic nerve, which can cause semi-permanent nerve damage and I'm sure hurt like a mutha. To find the right spot, we drew a horizontal line at my crack over one cheek, and then split that cheek vertically down the center, which allowed us to identify the upper 1/4 quad.
- Take all of the weight off the muscle you're injecting into. I recommend lying face down. The more tense, the more it will hurt and the harder it will be for the PIO to disperse into the area. We did a trial to see what would work best. I tried standing and bending over slightly with one leg lose. I thought, at first, I would like that more because it would give me some sense of control, vs. lying face down. But, when I lied down on the couch, Jay was able to pinch a larger area of muscle and it really did seem to be considerably more relaxed. At this point I cried and literally cried out to God "Please, please help me!" I thought I was going to be able to hold it together, but right as he was doing it, I got so scared. :) Even still, we pushed on!
- Pinch a good chunk of skin and insert with a swift, dark like motion. Stick it in only as far as you think you need, simply to ease some of the pain... For us, since my butt is on the smaller side, we probably don't need to put it in all the way (a whopping 1 1/2 inches!) in order to hit muscle. Obviously, this wouldn't work for everyone. They tell you to test, anyway, to make sure you're in muscle, so our thought was we'll be able to know for sure by doing the test. The test I'm speaking of is, after you stick it in, you're supposed to pull back every so slightly on the trigger. If there is resistance, and no blood coming back through into the syringe, you know you've hit muscle. If there IS blood, you're supposed to pull it out, replace the needle and re-stick. Otherwise, you will be injecting PIO into an artery. Not good. What wasn't too bad though, was the injection itself. After working myself up to tears, once the needle was in, I was like "it's ok, it's ok, it doesn't hurt" just so he knew he wasn't hurting me. Half of this, I feel like, was him being able to actually give the injection to me. I, for one, am not sure that I could have done it. I am so proud of him!! After all of that worrying, it really wasn't a big deal for either of us.
- After sticking, hold still while the med is being administered. What a concept, huh. :) After he stuck me, which I barely felt most likely because of the icing technique, I could still feel the presence of the needle, but it didn't hurt at all. This is good, seeing as how it takes a bit of time to inject all of the PIO into the muscle due to the thickness of the solution. We are using the Watson brand PIO in sesame oil (got ours from IVP Care), which I've read others have had a better experience with. Who knows how much truth there is to that.
- It is over!! Now celebrate. I told Jay "this was our Mt. Everest!" Some people jump out of planes or take life-endangering hikes to the highest points of the earth - we give/get PIO shots. :)
- Massage, heat, walk around, massage heat and repeat! Ok, so maybe we didn't do all of that AND repeat, but you get the idea. The part, I'm told, of getting it not to hurt as bad the next day, is to do all of these things as much as you can. That's why you should chose a time in the evening that allows for all of this, vs doing it right before bed. Our time is 8ish.