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I’ve related in the past how, when growing up, I swore I’d never be a drug addict because I could never stand to give myself an injection. Like most kids, I hated needles.syringe

As an adult you learn to deal with it, although it seems that most adults don’t have the myriad of injections that come with being a kid — all the vaccinations, antibiotics, etc. Other than the yearly flu shot and the occasional antibiotic there’s not a lot of occasion to get jabbed. (I love that expression. In England, they call injections “jabs” as in, “Get your yearly flu jab.”)

That is, of course, unless you have a chronic disease.

While I’ll certainly concede that there are conditions (such as diabetes with insulin injections) that require more pokes than RA, I must say that with RA, there are days where you feel like a pincushion. I could have sworn that last week was National Jab Carla Week. I’m sure there must have been parades and sales at large department stores to celebrate. Or at least fireworks and cake.

On Monday I went for a checkup with my PCP. Of course, he wanted labs and it seems like no one can hit a vein the first time, so on the third try, the lab technician finally drew blood. I’m currently taking a baby aspirin a day, so of course I’m bruised all over the “poke” sites as well as bruised from the tourniquet. Then that afternoon, I went to see my shoulder surgeon’s PA. My right shoulder (the one that has had two rotator cuff surgeries) has been bothering me. It’s been doing pretty well since last December when they did a steroid injection, but the benefits have worn off. So of course, we did another steroid injection, and it was in three different locations in the shoulder. So three more jabs.

Then two days later I had to go in for a screening MRI. What I didn’t realize is that my doctor ordered it with contrast, so I had to have an IV. The only thing harder than getting blood out of me is putting fluids into me. Amazingly, however, the technician hit the vein in the back of my hand on the first try. I don’t remember that ever happening.

And I’m almost due for my every-two-months lab work for my rheumatologist. Sigh.

I guess the good news is that I have moved from the injectable biologics (Humira, Simponi, Enbrel, Orencia, Cimzia) to the Xeljanz which is a pill. At least I’ve removed one jab from my life.

I hope whatever jabs that life has in store for you are filled with benefits. Thanks for checking in.

PS: Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my total knee replacement (TKR). I’ve updated the TKR pics page with the one-year progress shot.