Friday, January 2, 2009

Injection Day

Today was our fourth injection day. It's not yet easy, but we're into a rhythm.

I got advice from lots of people on giving injections; some people at work are familiar with insulin jabs so I spoke to them. One person has a friend who's a paeds nurse so she spoke to her friend. And I mailed the lovely Kal at Trauma Queen for his advice. Plus I did a dry run on one of the nurses at the hospital with saline.

The process:
  1. Puffy Fingers checks out the injection box with all our supplies in it.
  2. Wipe top of methotrexate bottle with alcohol wipe.
  3. Get new syringe. Fill it up (this takes far more faffing to remove bubbles than I would have expected. I'm either very bad at it, or all the programs I've seen on TV lie).
  4. While 2 is happening the OH and PuffyFingers choose the spot for the jab and clean the skin with an alcohol wipe.
  5. While 2 is still happening (I'm really not very good with the syringe filling) PuffyFingers holds an Ice Lolly (Popsicle) against the chosen patch of skin.
  6. Get PuffyFingers to check I've got the right amount in the syringe.
  7. Lightly pinch about an inch of flab...
  8. While 5 is happening OH quickly removes wrapper from ice lolly and pops it into PuffyFingers' mouth.
  9. ...insert the needle, push in the plunger.
  10. Count to 3
  11. Take out the needle.
  12. Stick plaster (band aid) over needle hole - if I can see it, otherwise, stick it in general area. Scooby Doo plasters are preferable.
My observations
  • Skin is tough. Or rather a 5 year old's skin is tough. The nurse I learnt on at the hospital (how brave is that by the way? Letting complete innocents jab you?) had lovely squidgy skin (much like my own) and the needle just slipped in... But for PuffyFingers I have to put far more force behind the needle than I expected.
  • It's difficult to find a layer of fat on PuffyFingers to put the needle in. If she took after her mother this wouldn't be an issue.
  • 5 year olds are astoundingly pragmatic. She is amazingly laid back about it. She knows it needs to happen and helps us to get it done smoothly. This morning was the first time we'd had any fuss at all, and the fuss was extremely minimal - the OH was taking his time about extracting the ice lolly from it's wrapper!
Thanks to everyone who offered advice it's all working. Involving PuffyFingers in checking everything was a great suggestion; it's not me giving her an injection, it's all of us working together to do her medicine. The ice lolly was also a genius idea; I'm not sure that there's any genuine pain relief from the ice against the skin immediately prior to the needle insertion but the ice lolly in the mouth during the injection definitely works.

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