Okay, first for those people who are thinking about or actually starting Humira, let me say that my experience with the shot was a real non event. There was no pain at all for me, but I’ll go into more of that in a minute. The worst part is that I scared myself reading all the blogs and watching the videos of the people who do apparently really suffer with it.
The blogs were helpful in that it gave me several tips on how to lessen any pain. I did take the Humira pen out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before I gave myself the shot so it could warm up. I also put an ice pack on my stomach for that 45 minutes (I was propped up in bed watching television). The third thing I did (thank you, nephew who gave me this tip) was about 10 minutes before I did the shot, I sprayed the injection site with a lidocaine spray which served to numb the skin. I made really, really sure the alcohol dried on my skin after I swabbed it before I did the injection. And finally, instead of pinching the skin up for the injection, I sort of cupped my hand around it which just gently lifted it away from the muscle layer. (You skinny people may not be able to do this, but some of us are more amply blessed.)
My husband was my official cheerleader and his job was to also be timekeeper. He gave me a 3-2-1 countdown and then when I clicked the pen on 1, he called time so I’d know when 10 seconds were up. As he called out the seconds, I kept waiting for it to start hurting and it never did.
My nephew told me when he used to get his twice weekly allergy shots the nurse would spray the injection site with something that numbed it so it wouldn’t hurt. I did an online search for skin numbing products and found several. I went to my specialty pharmacist and they had a lidocaine spray (called Hurricaine) and a benzocaine cream (called LMS). The pharmacist recommended the spray. I will tell you, it cost about $50, so you will understand how freaked all the bad blogs got me. But for those of you who do have pain with the shot, I would suggest you try one of these preparations to see if they help.
I also want to take a minute to thank my coworker who I learned yesterday had been doing the shots + methotrexate for over five years. She was kind enough to tell me that she didn’t have any problems, so that helped me calm my fears somewhat. Hopefully I’m paying that favor forward by sending this message on to those searching for information.
I didn’t notice any immediate side effects from the shot and this morning you couldn’t tell there had been an injection at the site – no redness, swelling rash, nothing.
So this is great news. I’m no longer afraid of the shots. And if this drug is the miracle worker they say it is, maybe I’ll start getting better instead of worrying about how many joints I’m going to have to replace.
END OF DAY UPDATE: It’s now the end of the first day after I took the shot. I’ve noticed no side effects whatsoever. Previously on Methotrexate, I’d be really fatigued the day afterward, and I haven’t even had that issue. All of this is good news.
I’ll update the blog if I notice any improvement in symptoms or when I do the next shot, whichever comes first. Thanks for checking in.