Afraid of Needles

Dear Ms. Meniscus:

Am I a wimp for not wanting to use my autoinjector? I like to go to my doctor and have a nurse give it to me.

Needle Wimp

Dear Needle Wimp,

Needles can be scary, but sometimes you need to take life into your own hands.  Granted, it would be ideal to not have the initial need of the shot, but the fact is, you need that “scary needle” in order to control your arthritis! Instead of letting your arthritis get the best of you, I strongly recommend saving yourself the added expense of going to your doctor, not to mention the time by doing it yourself in the privacy of your home or while on the job.

You didn’t say which autoinjector you use, so I can’t say whether you are using one of the newer ones or not. We call them self-injectors which includes some of the older models that require you to actually give yourself a shot as opposed to holding the plastic pen-looking thing to your skin and clicking. Your doctor can tell you about the different self-injectors available and whether it would make sense for you to  switch medicine in order to use one that you like. Right now your choices are Embrel, Simponi, Humira, and Cimzia.

CreakyJoints is currently in the process of finalizing a video that describes autoinjectors, shows how they are used. We’ve talked with a physician on camera and we show a shot being given.  Please keep an eye out for it on our website very soon. Like our other videos: Measuring Success and (need of the first one) (link them), this one will be available for download on CreakyJoints and YouTube. We will also be sending DVDs to Rheumatologists around the country so they can pass them on to patients.

Once you have gotten into the habit of using the autoinjector, you will wonder why you were afraid.  By this point, you will be able to do it where ever and whenever you need it.  Don’t let your arthritis control you, by making you jump through more hoops than you need to because of a fear that you can control. 

–M

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