Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"How to give your horse an intramuscular injection..."

In my search to justify my pain related to PIO intramuscular injections, I came across this weblink. I did a Google search for "intramuscular injections PIO" and the above quote was splayed across the screen under the title: useful links. I had no idea that learning how to give my horse (which I didn't even know that I had) an intramuscular injection would help me in any way, but who am I to judge? Isn't the internet a god in a sense...all-knowing? Isn't it supposed to provide me with all the answers that I seek? Ah...or do I actually have to disseminate the information that it so willingly provides? I am going with the latter. I will skip learning how to shoot up my non-existent horse for now.

My actual quest was to find information that would help me to rationalize and to justify my fear of the PIO shots. I kept telling myself that I was a being a total sissy....that I dreaded these shots for no reason. Everybody is doing it (well, everybody in the IVF world, that is), right? So - what is the big deal? I didn't often hear other people complain about these injections, so I thought that my fears and pain must be irrational. Apparently, though, I was wrong. Through my internet searches, I have learned that I do not lack for company at this party. Women across the infertility world are banding together to compare notes on the side effects of these injections and tips for avoiding the unpleasant ones (which, frankly, they all are).

I have learned that regardless of what you do beforehand, afterward, or in the middle, that you will end up sore. There will be bleeding. There will be bruising. There could be lumping under the skin. This will not get better during the duration of the time that these injections are necessary. You must only get more clever in your attempts to avoid hitting a previously injected site, as this will just make all of the side-effects that much worse (this feat, however, is nearly impossible given the potential timeframe for the shots). Some general tips for making the most of it:

  • Thoroughly warm the oil prior to giving the injection. This will thin the oil and make it easier to inject. You can warm the oil by placing it in your bra for ten minutes, or by running it under very warm (not hot) water.
  • Make sure that the person who is administering the shot gets the injection site pulled as taut as possible. This will help to eliminate some of the potential bruising involved.
  • Always remember to pull back on the plunger once the needle is inserted to check for blood. Blood would be a sign that a vein has been hit, and this can cause serious problems.
  • Inject all of the oil slowly and steadily.
  • Pull the needle straight out after completing the injection, and do this quickly.
  • Apply gauze or a bandage, and gently massage the oil into the muscle.
  • Apply heat (heating pad or warm washcloth) as you massage. This will keep the oil thin and help it dissolve into the muscle more easily.
  • Walk around, walk up stairs...do whatever you can to keep your muscle loose. This will cause less aches and pains in the morning (although not much less).
  • Avoid punching the person who has given you the shot. They are only doing their "job", therefore retaliation would be seen as less than called for. Remember...your partner is suffering through this process, too (yeah...right!)

Even by following these instructions, women have complained that they still have sore spots MONTHS or more after receiving their last shot. So - we pay a great price to gain a great reward. Hopefully any children produced via this process will appreciate later in life the true sacrifice of their mothers. If not, I do think it is fair to punish them for their insolence....well, ok, maybe not. But - I do think bigger presents would be in order for Mother's Day for sure!

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