Monday, March 03, 2008

Site reactions and Beta Bruises

My weight went way up this last fall, and my clothes don't fit. So, I am counting calories yet again. The reward has been constant soreness at the waistline.

This is not a non-sequitur. Let's muddy the waters even further.

For my 50th birthday, a few years ago, I was gifted with the first pot-belly, beer-gut, tummy or what ever you want to call it, in my life. The flip side of that development was a loss of fat below the navel. Yeah, whatever.

After the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, my neuro talked me into BetaSeron. It worked, but soon I was covered with little bruises on my arms, legs, bottom and lower tummy. In the summer, I learned to shoot only on the lower belly, and stocked up on tank suits, gave up on shortie shirts, hip hugger jeans, the like. But, hey, the darned stuff put me into remission. And between the navel and groin there was plenty of soft, female fat to go around. Think Venus de Milo.

Unfortunately, BetaSeron zeroed out those important little numbers that indicate how well my immune system was protecting me. Neuro wanted me to go on Copaxone, but I resisted. After a while I lost so much ground that I relented.

Now I have little swollen spots all over my belly, and down into my groin. Frankly, I refuse to inject anywhere else. Flat out refuse.

So here's the thing. This time around, now that I am menopausal (God, that sounds gross...), I seem to only be keeping fat at the waist (in a strange raised circle around the navel), upper arms (kimono sleeves), and butt (a signature of the Paquette side of the family tree). I am losing the fat in my groin. Not "nicely thin," but skin sort of hanging from the area. Pooch, anyone?

The swollen spots really hurt, and they last, hurting all the while, for about a week. I can't shoot the upper arms, because off all the nerve damage, years before the diagnosis, done by shots to cure all my allergies. Those shots most decidedly did not work, were also very painful and lasted weeks and weeks, leaving me with underarms that tingle constantly.

And how the heck would I shoot the fat under my arm, anyway? I will not involve my husband, because I couldn't stand the sight of him during those upper arm shots, some 20 years ago. Not his fault, poor guy...

All right, all you successful, experienced shooters out there! Some help?

Little Pond

Angry Planet: the second honeymoon continues.



Hi there,

Here's some ideas.

Do you have any saddlebag fat? I've found this to be a useful area to inject.

I never do my arms either.

Do you use the autoject? I've found this to leave larger bumps.

I avoid that fat pouch above the navel because it seems to hurt too much.

How deep do you inject? I've found that if I don't go far enough in that the swelling and burning is greater.

Never ice. Try injecting after a warm shower. Skip the alcohol swab.

I've found Arnica Gel to be useful in dispersing bruises and lessening pain. My acupuncturist turned me onto this. I've found Arnica Gel at Whole Foods Store.

I don't know if any of this is new or if it helps. But I hope so.

Good luck.


The DOOR JAM everytime if you are using an autoinjector. Simply find a door jam, then push your upper arm into it while pulling the arm downward, exposing the fatty tissue BEHIND the arm now lateral in the jam. Then, stick it in...can't miss this way and once you get good at it, you're on your way to finding other torturous means of injecting! Moohahaha...but seriously about the technique.

Linda D. in Seattle

pb said...

Lisa, Arnica gel is now on my shopping list.

Linda, I don't use an autoinjector, because I can't stand the quickshot thing. I'm still trying to envision the positioning you describe.

(Actually, I've told enough guys to "go slam it a door jam," that I'm afraid the bad karma will get me!)

The saddlebags may be good: got plenty of that, all right.

I never use the alcohol until later, but the biggest trouble is all the swollen areas. Let's hope the Arnica does it.




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Bubbie said...

copaxone left me with large red welts after every injection. They grew larger and more sore by the 2nd and 3rd day. I never injected below the navel because of the road maps of stretch marks left behind by my 2 adorable children :)
I've been on a shot hiatus the last 3 months and enjoying it thoroughly. I'm sure it won't be long before I'll be looking for more places to shoot myself yet again.