a love/hate relationship

Enbrel and I have a complicated relationship.

Without he extraordinarily expensive biologic, I barely function. Its beneficial effects are somewhat diminished due to the ongoing methotrexate shortage, but even so I’m doing better on it than I would off it.

Still, I really hate taking the shots. I mean really hate it. I put it off on Sundays as long as I possibly can because, well, it hurts. And I don’t like hurting myself on purpose.

But I have a system.


And that system includes spades on my iPhone and, at least for now, Disney princesses. Belle is my favourite, of course.

Anyone else have any tips for making the medicine go down more smoothly?

5 thoughts on “a love/hate relationship

  1. Ask if you can switch to the needle type and not the pen injectable with Enbrel. If this can be done, you probably will experience less pain with the injection. The smaller the needle (say insulin sized) the less pain usually. And icing before injecting might also numb the area some for you. I have heard alot of people having more pain with this new injection type of pen. I never used one so I can’t compare for you. And last, call the Enbrel help line…they may have other suggestions to reduce the pain of the injection with the pen.

  2. Is it the actual medicine going in that hurts so much? If so, you can switch to the mix-it-yourself version, which is what I did after deciding I really couldn’t stand injecting the stuff with the preservative. You are right, it hurts so much.

    If you’re braver than me and want to keep using the pre-mixed, the only other things that really helped me were swearing like a sailor and putting on the tv while I was injecting. If I put on a show that I really liked and tried to focus on it, sometimes that helped. But ugh – it stung.

    • Oh yes, swearing is a must when injecting Enbrel. Sometimes I’ll put on something funny—like Scrubs or How I Met Your Mother—while I’m doing the injection. Those are good ideas!

      I’m not so sure about pre-mixing. I really hate needles, and the good part about the Sure Click is I don’t have to see it.

  3. Oh, honey… I’ve never done Enbrel – but I did Methotrexate injections for years and they were never easy. EVER.

    I usually used a topical numbing cream first – it didn’t do a lot, but I think it helped psychologically to think that it would hurt less. And then I took 20 minutes to psyche myself up (no joke). And then I just did it. The funny sitcoms are a really good idea. Sometimes it helped for me to just be talking with someone – in person or on the phone – about something completely unrelated and being able to focus on something else let me distract my head from what my hands were doing.


    • The numbing cream is genius!

      I’ve been taking injections for almost eight years, so you think I’d be used to it by now. And something to keep my mind off of it is crucial. Super burn-y injections.

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