Yesterday I had an appointment scheduled at 8:30 a.m. to do my hormone/Estradiol blood tests as well as re-screening me for any infectious diseases (they’re apparently easy to pick up in this town.) They were also going to give me all of my meds.

Now, I had to go to bed very early Sunday night because of the situation that would be facing me when I left for my appointment Monday morning. I’d be traveling at between the hours of 7 and 8 (the peak of rush hour), heading toward downtown (where everyone else is trying to go), on the 101 freeway (usually functions as a parking lot most weekdays), in the rain (oh boy). The drive is only 15-20 minutes, but I wanted to give myself plenty of leeway. Tyler posited: “If you were heading to a set, what time would you leave here?” I said 5 a.m.

I had a feeling, however, that fertility clinics were a little more lenient than film sets about people being late, so I gave myself just an hour. Having forgotten that Monday was MLK day and thus the freeways would be practically deserted, I arrived at my appointment much, much earlier than expected.

Fortunately I was able to get my tests done right away and just had to wait around for my examination and to pick up my meds. The nurse was relieved that she didn’t have to teach me how to do the injections, so after a quick review of my calendar (and a horrific anecdote that I’ll mention later) I was unceremoniously handed a bulging shopping bag and sent to checkout. Later that night my first injection went down without a hitch. This time around I only need to poke myself once per night, as I learned that the Follistim and Menopur can be mixed and injected simultaneously.

Now for the story. Before she handed over the meds, the nurse told me to make doubly sure that I switched to the smaller needles after using the mixing needle to reconstitute the Menopur. This was old news to me, so I sort of just nodded and brushed it off, but she was persistent. She told me that one patient was constantly complaining that the injections were extremely painful and was there any  way she could take the drugs in some other form? It took a while before they figured out that she was using the mixing needle instead of the proper injection needle. Just to clarify, this is the needle that you inject with:

27 gauge 1/2" needle: tiny but terrific!

And this is the mixing needle, the one this woman was using:

22 gauge 1.5" needle: gaaaaaaahhh!

Straight into the stomach too!! No wonder the injections were hurting.  Yeesh.

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