Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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Confessions of the needle phobic

Posted by Haisla Thursday, 21 August 2014

Here's the thing - I thought I would get used to the needles. I really did.

But the truth is that I hate them; every single injection that I have to endure makes me want to vomit. I've always suffered from some level of needle phobia, but somehow managed to muddle through life, manning it up when it was time for the odd blood test or hep injection.

But this is different. I'm having to face my worst fear far more frequently than I'm comfortable with (and I've only just been through my first injectible IUI cycle; I can't even really make myself think of PIO shots and what not yet). And I genuinely thought I'd get used to them. I'd read so many blogs of amazing ladies who'd hated needles prior to treatments and after a couple weeks had become pros and started timing themselves etc to keep things interesting. I thought that one day I, too, would join this group of cool jab-confident ladies, but it doesn't seem likely anymore. I guess the good news is that it's highly unlikely that I'll ever become a heroin addict, such is my hatred of the sharps. Silver linings and all that..

Anyway. I hate the fact that I am having to go through this. I hate every needle, every side effect and discomfort, every medical procedure, blood test and speculum in my vagina.

I thought I could be a good sport about all this if I just kept my mind on the prize. But that just seems like such cold comfort, the possibility that this may work. Because right now I am putting myself through stuff that I truly, truly hate and all of this could lead up to a big fat nothing. And I feel like such a wuss and a failure even whining about this. I just feel like I want to give this up now, because I'm so sick of it and I've hardly even passed the start line. If this is how I feel during an indictable IUI cycle, how will I ever cope with IVF?

I really lift my hat to you ladies who've been through injectable IUI cycles and multiple IVFs - I don't know how you do it let alone with such panache and humour. Everyone else seems to be wearing their big girl pants but I seem to have somehow left mine at home.

I think I may be able to manage one more injectable IUI cycle and then the fresh IVF and a FET that NHS is offering free of charge, but I'm not sure whether I can manage any more than that. I mean obviously that will resolve all of our problems when it comes to deciding whether to go for private IVF treatments - if I can't hack anymore injections, then that's that I suppose. Our savings will be safe.

And yet I retain the right to change my mind. Perhaps it'll take a bit more than an injectable IUI cycle to get used to being injected regularly? Maybe it's a bit more of a gradual process? And it's not like I'm fighting some life threatening disease. I can decide to say no to this if it gets too much.. And like so many people have said before, if do get pregnant I'm sure all this 'suffering' will pale in comparison to the joy. It's just there's that big fat IF..

I would like to ask you my dear readers: How do you find the injections? How do you cope with them? And if you hated them before and these days find them easier to manage how long did it take you to get there and what (if anything) did you do? 'Cause I could really do with some tips/advice. Getting myself hammered every time it's injection time sounds like an appealing option, but may not be favoured by the medical community.. ; )



JCH4DCU said...

You're taking your shots in the bottom, right? I still hate that part with a passion. The trigger shot still makes me nervous and sweaty.

However, I might suggest to ask for an injection (like gonal-f) that you can administer yourself. You might think that suggestion is crazy but honestly, being in control made the world of difference to me. The injection needle is positively tiny and you do it right in your stomach. It might sound awful but it truly is a total breeze.

Nothing we can do about the trigger shot (I asked). That still has to be done in the bottom which means I have to trust someone else to do it for me (the last one my husband did for me took three attempts - he was in my bad books!).

I would at least ask because I think you'll agree that when you're in control of the shot, it is less scary.

Also, the first time I did gonal-f alone, I just expected to let my husband do it while I closed by eyes. But I started getting it ready and said to myself "no, I can do this". And, I was right.

Good luck!

Haisla said...

Thanks for your advice! Not sure I'll be ever able to do the shots myself (although never say never!) however, since I haven't seen a gonal-f needle, I might yet change my mind. I will ask the RE (if this one fails and we have to go for more treatments) whether gonal-f is available via the NHS.

The menopur needle is pretty average size and therefore M has graciously been doing the shots, and done them thankfully very well. It's just the sweaty anticipation and the stomach turning nature of the whole event. I think you're right though, if I could feel more in control, it probably would be better!xx

Northern Star said...

I hated them. My advice is to take it one day at a time and not project too far ahead.... This cycle could be your winning ticket to a baby. And if it 'a not , then you and DH can regroup and make some more informed decisions then.

Hang in there. You're doing great!

From a fellow needle phobe

Anonymous said...

It always just seems so insulting that we have to do these painful things to get something that should just require something fun.
It sucks to have to use needles and it must suck so much more to have to when you really hate them! I feel for you, and am keeping my fingers crossed for you this cycle!

The if is the worst. Sure, this will all be worth it. IF. I really believe we'll get there. Be good to yourself the next few weeks.

Haisla said...

Thanks so much for your comments. This needles thing is really making me feel like such a wuss, and is getting me down a bit, so it's nice to know I'm not alone in the needlephobics anonymous group..

And LabMonkey, you hit the nail on its head - the thought that some people actually fall pregnant just after one night of fun.. This couldn't be further from fun if it tried..!!

I think taking things "one needle at a time" is a good idea. I actually feel so much better now that the needles have taken a back seat for at least one full cycle. If this one fails though, they'll be out again in October. Ouch.xx

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