Learning how to do an I.M. injection

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Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  jwar on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:51 pm

Today my neurologist agreed to allow me to perform my own toradol shots. He thinks I'm too thin to do this in my thigh, so I have to do it in my glute. I'm not sure how I could possibly finagle doing a glute injection on myself - has anyone done this?

Otherwise, my husband is going to have to learn how to inject me. I have the needles, syringes and vial of toradol here at home with me, and a raging migraine. He wants to inject me, but he's never injected anything before and it makes me very nervous.

So I guess my question is: have any of you learned how to do this using the internet? Is it difficult? Is it really something that needs to be witnessed in person?
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  Paradox on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:31 pm

Hubby learned in one lesson from his niece who is a nurse. Hubby has no medical background. Two of my staff taught themselves from the Internet and did superb jobs when hubby wasn't available.
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  finnosian on Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:47 am

It's really no big deal. It might be tough at first, but it gets easier and easier. Toradol injections can be a life saver especially when narcotics fail. I push the needle in slowly, very rarely is there any blood involved. i shoot it into my upper arm, there are less things in there to hit, like blood vessels etc, than in the leg, which almost always bled. hope this helps, if i could be of more assitance just ask. i check the board daily.
Brian

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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  Petzi on Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:16 am

Jwar,

I injected my stepfather with all sorts of heavy duty painkillers when he was dying of cancer. My mother just couldn’t face doing it.

It really isn’t rocket science. Sterility of the needle is important as well as getting rid of all the air bubbles in the syringe. Tapping against the syringe doctory style and squeezing out a little fountain of the serum will do the job nicely.

If your hubby feels unsure there are plenty of instructions on-line.

I would rather get my hubby to inject me than doing it myself.

Good luck

P.
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  sailingmuffin on Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:45 am

Hi,

I have taken both injectable imitrex and injectable phenergan. Imitrex was easier- as it like an epi pen and you just inject it quickly.

I have, on occaision, given myself phenergan injections in the glutes. It is not that difficult. I learned by watching my father when my mother had to have antibiotic shots.

I would definitely reccomend talking to your dr or even your drs nurse about it. It is possible she could show you exactly how to do it. Your husband could go with you and you could both learn.

I am sure there are some good resources on line. It is not difficult at all.

Pain free days,
sailingn
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  tortoisegirl on Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:14 pm

I did B12 shots for awhile at home and was given hands-on instruction by a nurse. I probably could have been just fine learning myself online, but having the visual instruction on the stuff like cleaning the site (and the bottle since mine was multi-use) and the info that when I was doing it in my thigh even if there was a bubble it would just cause a bruise, not really hurt me, etc. You need to look up based on where you live (like the county website) what to do with the needles...sometimes they have to be in a sharps container and turned in, but in my county they said to put them in a 2 liter in the trash clearly marked. I would definitely learn to do it yourself so you don't have to count on your husband being there, and do a trial injection (ask your doctor about this as I'm not sure what you can test with?) when you don't have a migraine. You don't really have to see to do injection, so I wouldn't worry about the glute shot...just find a good position like kneeling or whatever. I actually think its a bit irresponsible for a doctor not to give instruction, but I guess for those who don't prescribe these IM injections often, they probably don't have the means to so it (my doctor prescribed the B12 shots a lot so they just showed me how to do it while giving me the first one, and had written instructions).

Its awesome you are being given this opportunity...I've asked several doctors about anything at home for a second line treatment, injectable or otherwise, and its always a no. One ER trip and several urgent care trips for pain have been plenty for me and I wouldn't go again unless it was like worst pain of my life (before it was more unrelenting than worst ever). Best wishes.

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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  Jangel on Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:39 am

The Toradol shots have been a lifesaver for me in the ER. I just asked my Dr about the possibility of getting injections for at home. Was told no due to safety issues.

This is upsetting since its the only rescue that is working for me and I feel out of options. I am so upset right now.
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  jwar on Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:57 pm

Jangel,

I would definitely talk to another doctor about this. Allowing you to get yourself out of horrible pain should be high on a doctor's priority list, especially since you aren't asking for narcotics or the like. I mean really it's ridiculous to have to trek all the way to the ER when you can do this yourself at home.

In other news, I still haven't brought myself to inject myself or allow my husband to do it. Laughing I'm really not sure how I will ever be able to finagle injecting myself in the glute. My thigh looks perfectly thick enough...

-J
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  tortoisegirl on Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:45 am

I'd try the thigh then. Is it a pretty small gauge and short needle? I wonder if there is some doctor's office you can go to where the nurse will give you some hands-on instruction...

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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  Greeneyes on Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:46 am

My hubby has given me Toradol injections which is unbelieveable because he is afraid of needles. Once when I had a severe migraine I was going to give it to myself. ... I couldn't even get it in the syringe.. sad but true.. I still can't do it .

I have given myself other injections..before I had an allergic reaction to Imitrex, but that was pen loaded, but I did manage to give our ceiling the meds..I know go ahead and laugh..Yikes.

I put it in my thighs..they are thin too...when I was young
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  sherri b on Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:17 pm

I do the toridal all the time. I just did one at 6 am. I use my upper butt! I squeeze it, then inject. Ususally don't feel anything, but on occasion I hit a blood vessel, and it smarts a bit.

The nurse at my dr. office always did them on my bottom, upper part. She would squeeze it into a bump, and inject. So I do the same, works well for me. And saves many trips to e.r.!

Good luck!
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  sherri b on Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:19 pm

It's normal to be nervous, I remember when I first got mine, i thought i could never do it, but the pain of the mig. was soooo bad, I didn't care if the shot hurt or not. I just knew it would help... Smile
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  jwar on Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:04 pm

Sherri,

Do you need a mirror to give yourself the injection or have you mastered the technique? The reason I ask is because we only have public restrooms where I work and I'd feel odd having someone walk in to me staring at my butt in the mirror with a needle in hand...

Thank you!

Jayme
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  sherri b on Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:23 pm

Well, I guess I kinda give it on the side, where I can still see.

I don't think I could work after having a shot of it! You better try it at home first. I'll tell you what works really good for those hard to manage migraines, is a shot of toridal, and a shot of imitrex (the generic imitrex of course) usually works really good for me. But i have to lay down for about an hour. knocks me right out! Very Happy
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re:learning how to do an im injection

Post  dailyha-rose on Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:28 pm

hi,

have not been on in a while.

i used to do the imitrex epi pen also.

after my 2007 M. hospital stay, the drs. gave me toradol to inject at home.

my thighs were thick enough, and although it was hard to do with a M. i was able to do it easier than i thought. of course with my luck, the toradol was not effective for me.

the good news to tell you is that your husband will be so surprised at how easy the needle goes in. you just have to take a deep breath and have confidence.

you got a lot of great advice already so i won't repeat.

good luck and better health.

rose

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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  stephgood on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:16 pm

I used to do injections several times a day. Torodol didn't offer me any relief, but for a few years I had the benadryl/phenergan cocktail. There were times I ran out of places on my thighs, which are 'thick' enough! LOL My husband saw them given to me countless times, and I showed him how in my butt, and he was wonderful at it! He has the dart technique down! I taught my sister and Mom how to do it as well, just to save myself. You can do it yourself, I did many times. Good Luck, it does take practice, but the relief is worth the few seconds of anxiety of stabbing yourself!
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  sherri b on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:48 am

but the relief is worth the few seconds of anxiety of stabbing yourself!

Sure do agree with that! That littlel stab it nothing compared to the migraine itself!
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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  sherri b on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:48 am

but the relief is worth the few seconds of anxiety of stabbing yourself!
Sure do agree with that! That littlel stab it nothing compared to the migraine itself!
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How to Inject

Post  winters on Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:50 am

Jayme,

I have daily cervicogenic migraines from a whiplash accident two years ago and have gone had to master this also. Injection at home and work are a life saver for me and I have to give them several times a week along with weekly Imitrex injections.

Here are my comments sugggestions.

1. It's not as bad as you think, expecially when the pain starts coming.
2. First the needle size makes a BIG difference. Fatter needles hurt more..... I use a 3ml 25g1 1/2 needle. You can ask for them at the pharmacy. It is a longer skinny needle compared to many and injects the tardol easily. Also it penetrates the skin in a very forgiving way at least for me.
3. Prep the needle with the amount of Tardol you are prescribed to use and do the usuall by removing the air by tapping on the needle as you hold the needle straight up and gently push the air out of the top of the needle.
4. Prep the site and site selection. Here is what I do. I sit on the chair or counter top and pull my bubuttock muscle out a bit to the side before I sit on it. This helps expose the injection area so you can see it better. I inject on the side of my buttocks as far back and down as I can comfortable see. Remember you need to see what you are doing. You can look down at your side sitting in this position and see everything very well. Pick the side that works best for whether you are left or right handed. I am right handed so I inject on my right. Now you can turn your head to your side and see the side of your butt muscle. Pull your shirt aside so you can see ok. Prep the site with alcohol and then insert the needle. I generally don't do the stab or throw the dart routine. I press it up to the skin and gently press in. I let the needle guide in 75% or so so that it gets into the muscle, Otherwise it might burn more cause you some injection pain if you are too close to the surface. FOr me deeper is better. I generall can only see about 1/4 pf the needle after insertion.
5. Once inserted. The worst is over. Now I asperate (gently pull back the needle plunger with my fingers slightly and make sure I am not in a vein etc. I have never in two years hit a blood vessel etc.) If so remove and insert again.
6. Then start injecting. . . slowely. The key here is to not rush the injection. Sometimes the initial reaction is "Let's get this over and you want to just push the plunger and get it over with". That can cause undue pain as the liquid is forces to expand the muscle too quickly. I have read that Tardol should be injected slowely. I inject 1 ml of Tradol each time and I count to 15 as I do. If you let it enter the muscle over 15 seconds most of the time it is painless. I am 6' 1" and of slight build so I don't have much fat to work with but this technique works well for me.
7. Occasionally I have hit a vessel with needle on the way in and if so you will get a red spot under the skin after removing the needle.
It is no big and nothing to be alarmed over. No worries they heal and go away.

Now for injecting at work. I use the same technique at work except that I do the same procedure in the restroom stall if there is no private office or room. I put the toilet seat cover down and sit on the (obviously cover/clean where you sit. remember you do/should have alcohol with you so that is an easy step to perform.

There you have it. It's not really that hard and once you have it down, it becomes second nature.

I hope this helps an good luck with you pain.

If you have any other questions let me know.

Randy

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Re: Learning how to do an I.M. injection

Post  milo on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:43 am

Randy gives a great explaination.

If it calls for IM it's intended to go into the muscle. If it's ordered SQ then it goes into the layers above the muscle. These are important to pay attention to, as the medication is ordered the route it's most effective.

The needle is longer for IM but usually the IM's hurt less then SQ. Weird but true.

It was practice for years to include an "air lock" on IM injections, meaning you purposely pulled up a small amount of air and gave it with the med, so you likely do not need to get yourself worked up over a tiny amount of air if you are injecting into muscle. The practice still exsists today, depending on where you get your training.

If you are giving less then two mls you can also consider your deltoid. This is the only successful place I have given them to myself.

You can practice the whole thing with an orange and any type of fluid. (just pull up and inject the orange a bunch of times)

Good luck.
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