I have a pain tolerance of a superhero, so to me most of the time, these are not painful. They are uncomfortable and sometimes, if you go through an artery it can result in pain and a large bump.
Overall, the pain I feel daily, and the pain I have felt over the course of the last five years is far greater than these IM Bicillin injections. In fact I enjoy getting these, because I know how much they are helping me. There is always a little bit of nerves before a shot, because I never know if it's gonna be a "stingy one" or not. Currently, I go to a separate Dr. than my LL to receive the shots and I get them by a handful of different nurses.
Here's what I've learned...
1) Be bossy, you are about to get a 2 inch needle shoved in your ass, deep into the muscle. Know your stuff, and tell whoever is giving you the shot exactly where you want it, and how you want it done. Trust me, they love you for this. My nurses tell me often that they wish every patient was like me, because I know my stuff. I know what I want, and I know how I want it done, and where, every time I go in. If you are going to a regular Dr. for these, most nurses have never injected Bicillin, this is also an opportunity to spread awareness. So let the nurses know why you are getting Bicillin injections and how they help you. Talk about your experience with Lyme disease, they are in a position where they can help people, so EDUCATE them!
2) Warm up the Bicillin. It is stored in the refrigerator so it's cold and when it's cold you kind of feel a pressure building up during the shot. You may also feel the medicine travel down your leg. Warm the medicine in your hands, it doesn't take long.
3) Inject slowly. The slower the better with this medication, it is really thick. If injected quickly, you feel a lot of pressure and radiating pain afterwards. I had one nurse inject it in 4 seconds, this was after I told her it's way less painful to inject slowly. It was horrible, I didn't know if I was about to puke or cry after the injection; I cried.
4) Apply light pressure with your hand, if the shot felt more painful than usual. A vet friend told me the needle probably went through an artery. You need to mend the damage, if you roll it out on a foam roller right afterward fluid leaks out and a large bump may appear. I'm talking about a bump the size of a golf ball. I made the mistake of rolling really hard on a foam roller after a few painful injections, only to develop the golf ball bumps. It wasn't until I started to apply light pressure to the"stingy ones" that they turned into little marbles under the skin, rather than large balls.
|The golf ball hiding in my ass.|
5) Jump rope afterwards! It gets the medicine flowing.
6) Lightly massage the area around the injection afterwards, to spread the medicine.
7) Roll your butt out on a foam roller, not immediately afterwards though. Wait a little while. This breaks up the scar tissue that will start to develop.
8) Rotate injection sites
(Sooo many people viewed this video)!!!!
I have not done the shots in the shoulder because the needle is too long. Also, I have not done the thigh. I've stuck with the ventrogluteal and dorogluteal muscles. To rotate sights, you do, upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left. Repeat. Keep track and inform the person giving you the shot, where it needs to be done.
9) Clean the area with alcohol prior to injecting, wait until it drys, inject the needle. Aspirate! You must check for blood. If you don't do this, you could inject into a vein or artery, and that would not be good.
10) Heating the area afterward and walking around to spread the medicine after the injection. I stopped heating mine, because I usually went to work directly afterwards, but when I got to work I would jump rope and apply light pressure to the area. Heating helps the injection site feel better.
11) Ignore the weird comments, the injector says to you. They will say things like...
"Wow, this is a long needle" (right before they shove it in your ass)
"I have never done this before"
"This medicine is soooo thick, it's not going in"
"I really can't believe how thick this medicine is"
"Does it hurt"
"How long are you doing this"
Don't ignore these comments, because they make good comments too.
"Wow, you are so strong"
" I don't know how you do this" (because I'm a bad-ass that's why)
" You poor thing, you just stay here as long as you'd like"
"You really do so well with these"
"I thought about you the other day in a conference"
"You did a great job"
"I wish all patients were like you"
12) Find the biggest guy or girl at the gym and ask if they have any tips for you. :) Steroids are injected the same way, and I received some of my most valuable tips from a gentleman who injects steroids.
If you get a large bump, there is nothing really you can do about it, other than avoid hitting it. The golf balls are pretty painful to touch, but go away in a week.
Good luck with your injections!
I find that these shots have given me more mental clarity and more energy. I have done them for about 3 months and I am currently in the process of stopping them. I'm moving on to my next level of treatment...dun...dun...dun...
Here is an updated treatment video that goes into my new treatment plan.
Thanks for reading!