Sunday, May 06, 2007

Thank God for Imitrex

Cluster headaches really stink. I'm in the midst of a new cycle, one that I thought ended with only mild headaches for a change. But the cycle seemed to start up again after giving me a few days off...

Imitrex is the only medication that even touches these monster headaches. I recently started using the injections, which work amazingly fast compared to the other versions (inhaler, which is reasonably fast, and pill, which is agonizingly slow).

The only problem: I have to inject myself.

I'm a bit needle-phobic, probably not too much more than the average person. When I have to get a shot, it's usually not that big of a deal, because most doctors know how to do it in a relatively pain-free manner.

I, however, do not. And really, the Imitrex injections aren't designed to be done the way a doctor would do it. It's actually a spring-loaded mechanism. You POP the needle in, and hold it in place for about five seconds. And man -- does it sting!

Even so, it's not THAT bad. It's just that, when you're doing this to yourself, and you know the pain is about to hit, it can cause a kind of weird paralysis, an inaction that arises from the conflict of two different kinds of pain (searing migraine vs. spring-loaded needle). Really, it's no competition at all. Searing migraine is going to be the winner every time (assuming that the winner is the one that is MUCH, much worse). But when I have one of these migraines, I can't seem to think straight, and giving myself this injection doesn't sound like such a great idea right then.

Thank goodness I'm not diabetic. I can't imagine having to give myself injections all the time.


Anonymous Jonathan said...

You're not the only one--I hate shots too. But they are better than not having the shot.

I had a cat who was diabetic and had to give her a shot evey day. At first I was real squeemish, but considering not giving it to her was unthinkable, so you do it. And the more often you do it, the easier it gets.

Good luck with the shots, Chris.

5/08/2007 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Things to remember:


Shoot fast on an inhale. Freezing up with fear only makes everything worse.

If it stings like a bear, ask your doctor if you can try your bottom. Thin people may not have enough meat on arms or thighs.

Focus on how much better you feel in five minutes. Five minutes.

I will trade a few seconds of sting for relief any time. And I have. Hundreds of times.

4/07/2011 8:52 AM  

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