The dreaded PIO shot

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When I went through my teaching class with the nurse and got my calendar, I remember dreading the day that I would start the PIO shots. She was so calm when explaining how to do the injection and I questioned if she was crazy or not because of the side of the needle – 1.5″ needle…sure, no problem.

My pharmacy sent the PIO separately from the first round of meds and the box sat unopened for 4 days before I thought I should stop the avoidance tactic the the night before the injection was scheduled. I pulled everything out but did not see any type of directions with tips, etc on them so where did I turn? YouTube. Searching ‘PIO injection’ yields all sorts of videos and my husband and I spent 15 or so minutes watching a few of them before he suggested we stop because he could tell it was not doing anything for my nerves.

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The next morning we grabbed everything we needed and I texted and called a friend to help walk me through the steps and also give some suggestions. If you follow my Instagram account, you saw some of the text exchange 🙂 Here are some of her suggestions and some things I found on my own (all were lifesavers during this process):

– Roll the PIO bottle in your hand to warm it up a little bit. This makes it easier to draw it up in the syringe.

– There is going to be some pressure trying to draw the medicine back into the bottle. Either draw extra into the syringe (knowing there will be some that will go back into the bottle) or firmly hold the end of the syringe to not let any go back into the bottle.

– If the medicine is warm it makes it easier to go in. We soaked a wash rag in hot water and placed the syringe on it and then rolled it up like a burrito for ~ 30 seconds.image

– For the injection itself, she recommended I lean over a dresser or something of similar height and bent my knees while my husband gave me the shot. We have a tall dresser in our bedroom and our bed is tall so I leaned over the bed in the guest bedroom.

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– Either you or whoever is giving the shot should massage the area afterwards. This helps prevent it from staying in one area.

The last item that I never thought would be recommendation but turned into one would be to film video the injection (does this age me that I typed film first?). I use the front-facing camera, pressed record, and keeping only my in the shot, talked to her going step by step over everything I did that she recommended and then just talked to her about various things….including calling myself crazy because I never would have thought I would be recording my thoughts while get an injection. Talking through it made the process go by quicker and kept me relatively relaxed during it.

So after all the work-up and stress I put myself through in anticipation of the PIO shot, it was not bad at all. I’m only 2 days into the injections but they are less painful than most of the other ones I have done. In all disclosure, the area where we did the first injection is a little sore but I think that it is because I did not move around as much as I should have after the first shot (we ran errands but that also involved a lot of time sitting in the car). My opinion may change in the coming weeks if the soreness gets worse, but so far PIO is a breeze.

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