I remember a time when you had to have a degree to give a shot, or at least special training. So when I learned that this new medication Jimmie has to inject into himself 3 times per week comes with a vial and a syringe that we have to fill I remarked to my sister that this chemo thing was getting too "medical". We both laughed . . . but that was before I actually opened a box and discovered that we also had to make the medicine. Dear me - way too medical. The nurse gave me a quick course in how to attach a needle to a syringe before I left the doctor's office yesterday with this huge Styrofoam cooler filled with ice and small prescription packs. But last night I was suddenly wishing for a nursing degree.
The packet that went with each dosage contained a syringe, 2 needles (?), 2 alcohol swabs, and a band-aid. (I was told to find my own cotton ball.) The prescription box held 2 tiny vials and some instructions - a very good thing since preparing the syringe fell to me. But the list of instructions was quite literally longer than my arm. The list of steps was very detailed, from first sterilizing my work area to disposing of the paraphernalia. I suppose my main concern was getting air in the injection - something the nurse had said not to worry about but I've seen all those murder mysteries where the victim is killed by a single air bubble. Naturally I got a stubborn one but it finally came out. Yes, the whole thing had me seriously stressed.
I really shouldn't be complaining, though. I had the easy part. Jimmie was the one who gave himself the injection. And Jimmie was the one who suffered the side effects.
The doctor had said the med might make Jimmie feel bad for a while. The prescription brochure said the most common side effect was flu-like symptoms. Neither really gave a clear picture of what to expect. Fortunately, the nurse told me that it was common to run a fever of 101 degrees or higher for 8 - 10 hours after injection and suggested starting Tylenol BEFORE the shot.. I'm very glad of that or I would have been totally freaked out at how sick Jimmie got through the night. The idea of sleeping through the worst of it really does not work.