Friday, July 12, 2013

under control

lovenox by Digital Heather
lovenox, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

So I picked up my 30 day supply of lovenox the other day. I inject it every 12 hours into my stomach-- so that's 60 needles. Actually it's the generic for Lovenox, Enoxaparin Sodium Injection. Our insurance covers every penny, otherwise it would cost over 4 thousand dollars for every month's supply. Yes. $4,000+. It's so much money. Blah.

I'm content staying on this for as long as they'll let me. I did Coumadin (which is a pill) for two years before this and I've been injecting now for about 3 months. I can't take Coumadin while pregnant, so I'd rather just stay on this from now til that happens and then continue instead of playing musical medicines.

People always ask me if it hurts. It does. The needle is small, so it could be much worse. After these past few months, I'm developing little areas of scar tissue in my stomach where I can no longer feel the needle go in anymore. The actual medicine hurts though too. It burns. I guess like poison? I have no frame of reference. Actually like a bee sting. It burns like that. And then for about 30 minutes after, I feel like I got punched in the stomach. Then it goes away and I do it again 12 hours later.

In the beginning, I couldn't do it and my husband had to. When we got the news that there might be something wrong with the baby, I told myself to just get over my hangup and do it for the baby. And I did. It still grosses me out. It's hard to do to yourself, especially when it hurts.

All of this probably sounds dumb when I have tattoos and slit my wrists both times I overdosed. Phlebotomists always make some kind of comment. "If this hurts, how do you have that giant tattoo?" But it's different. And I also don't remember doing what are now scars on my wrists and arms-- so I guess it didn't hurt at the time? Who knows. Your guess is as good as mine.

But I do know that I'll have to take some kind of blood thinner, whether it's a pill or these needles, for the rest of my life. I have two blood clotting mutations. Factor II and lupus anti-coagulant mutation. They affect how my blood clots. I didn't know I was so special until I wound up in the hospital a few summers ago with 15 blood clots in my lungs. It happened one more time after that but for the most part I can keep it under control.

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