Most people say, “Thank God It’s Friday!” I say, “Ugh, It’s Friday.” Since our 4-year old daughter, Cassidy, was diagnosed several months ago, Fridays have meant one thing: injection day.
While I do believe that Cassidy is getting world-class care, I was still dumbstruck when her doctor informed me that I would be responsible for administering her weekly methotrexate injection. They gave me a demonstration and an instructional
DVD, and then I was on my own. Don’t these people realize that I am not medically inclined? I couldn’t even dissect a frog in high school!
For the first month I either took her to the pediatrician’s office or recruited one of my nurse friends to give her the injection. Unfortunately, this just seemed to add to the trauma of the event. I knew that I would have to take our rheumatologist’s advice and give Cassidy her injection at nighttime myself.
The first time I was a wreck. I couldn’t even figure out how to take the cap off of the needle – that wasn’t on the video! I practiced several times until I felt comfortable with it. My heart was beating so fast and my palms were sweaty. I put the Emla cream on her while she slept and hoped she would stay asleep during the shot, too.
However, as soon as the needle touched her arm, she jumped out of bed with limbs flailing. So my husband carried her to the living room and I gave her the injection. It was at least two hours before I could fall asleep after that.
Since then, it’s gotten easier. But it’s not easy. On the instructional DVD, the mother and daughter demonstrating the shot look so happy and relaxed. We’re not there yet, but I’m confident that we will be.
Learning to Give a Shot: An Update
While her methotrexate injections have become easier over the years, methotrexate has caused problems in other ways, says Cassidy’s mother, Tracy Freeman. “Because of Meth – I call it that as a sick joke. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry – her soft tissues have dried out,” says Tracy. “So she has six crowns in her mouth and had to have major dental surgery. The side effects are really a problem. ”
The upside is that Cassidy, now 9, has caught up with her peers in every way and is doing fabulously, says Tracy. “She is in full remission and has been for a year! Which is so exciting, but I can't help but wait for that next big scary flair. Nevertheless, we have found that blissful happy rumored place of remission and we try to not take it for granted.”