Yesterday I had my first Humira treatment. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it all turned out fine.
The medication was shipped directly to my office, and when it arrived I hopped into a cab and went straight to my GI’s office, where a nurse had me watch a video about self-injections using the pen. It was very similar to the videos on their website.
Humira is one pen per month, but the first time you do it you have to do four, and then two more two weeks later. I was nervous, but the nurse insisted that I do it myself. She gave me the practice pen, which was great because for some reason, what freaked me out most was the loud click.
I was glad to have the nurse there to make sure I did all the steps right. First you look at the medication through the window to make sure it looks right. This turned out to be a pretty important step, because one of the pens did not look right and I ended up having to set it aside and use one of the extras instead. Next, you clean the area you’re injecting with the alcohol pad, which is included. You remove the grey cap, then the purple cap (they call it the plum cap.) Then you squeeze your skin, place the pen on it firmly, and press the plum button. It shoots the tiny needle into your skin and then the medication slowly goes in. You’re supposed to watch for a yellow bar to come down in the medication window, but I was doing this on my thighs, so it was a little hard to see. So the nurse said I should listen for a whoosh to make sure it’s done – and it’s true, you can hear a little whoosh. Then, you pull the pen away and put on a band-aid.
So, it hurt. It did. The needle didn’t really hurt, but the medicine stung. I had heard beforehand that you should leave it out to get to room temperature, but the nurse said she didn’t buy into that, so we did it straight from the cooler. Next time around I’m going to insist on letting it get to room temperature to see if it makes a difference.
In two weeks I go back to the same nurse for 2 more shots. After that, I’m doing it on my own!
Overall, I think it was a really good experience. I don’t have any bruising or redness on my legs, and I don’t feel bad in any other way. I really hope this medication works, and I’m looking forward to coming off the prednisone.