Monday, July 22, 2013

Crohn's Chronicles :: The One in Which My Humira Pen Misfired

**Disclaimer: the misfire of the Humira pen was 100% user error and had nothing to do with the pen itself**

When I first began taking Humira, I received plenty of training. I had a training pen that talked me through each step {in English and in Spanish}, and I even had a nurse come to my house to train me on the self-injection. For the first few months, I received follow up phone calls from the drug company, asking me how I felt about my use of the pen, how confident I felt using it, etc. I have given a rating of 5 {very comfortable/confident} every time, because I really have found it to be fairly simple. While I still have to give myself a pep-talk every time because it still hurts like crazy, I feel confident in my ability to push a button and administer the medication.

I give myself an injection every 2 weeks. Last Wednesday was my scheduled "Humira Day," but I knew I would be busy during the normal time I take it, so I decided to give it to myself early. No big deal, except my mistake was that I was rushing. I wanted to hurry and take the injection before I ran out the door to meet everyone. And with the combination of rushing and my hand shaking from the nerves {again, I have to psych myself up to push the button, knowing what's coming when I do}, I pushed the button too early and the pen fired before I was ready.

I sat there for a second, stunned and watching all $100 worth of the liquid spilling out of the pen :( And then I started to panic. I didn't have another pen with me, and I knew I wasn't supposed to miss a dose. That reason is two-fold: missing a dose can cause a flare up and the medication is not intended to be stopped without your doctor's direction. 

I had to fight back the tears in order to make phone calls to find out what to do next. I had a freak out moment with Mike, and he ever so lovingly and patiently walked me through it, praying over me and giving me a hug. I had a semi-sleepless night, because I was just waiting to see how my body would react. And I am thankful that nothing major happened. I am also incredibly thankful for both my doctor and the drug company. The drug company replaced my pen at no charge, despite the fact it was user error and not a problem with the pen. And my doctor's office was wonderful in working to get me a pen the next day so I wouldn't have an extended time between doses. 

So lesson learned...don't rush through my dose :) And thank you Lord for Your protection and faithful care. 

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