Poking Holes in My Belly

I bet you don’t have a Sharps Bin in your home. This is our newest decoration. My preference would be to point at it and make it disappear like in the Got Junk Ads. Last Tuesday (October 20th) I learned that I will be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. Apparently most cancer patients are subject to blood clots. That was new news.

I also learned that most of the pills are absorbed in the stomach. Since I don’t have one of those anymore, there is no way to know if I’m getting the full dose I’m supposed to have from a pill. The alternative is to transition away from pills taken orally to daily self-administered injections in my belly.

Below is what the needle looks like with each part identified. It is a well designed piece of brilliant technology so I don’t have to be dependent on others give me a needle every day.

On Monday morning I went to the VON office to learn how to administer needles. The office and clinic is just a block from our apartment so it seemed easier to go there instead of having a nurse come to our home.

It was pretty simple:

  1. Wash my hands to reduce the chance of infection. It is unlikely this will ever occur as there is no need to touch any part of the needle which might cause an infection.
  2. Pick an injection site. The most common injection site, which is easy to reach, is the belly. The recommended area is anywhere below my belly button. The nurse suggested I switch sides every day as injecting in the same area can cause bruising.
  3. Pinch the skin to make a fold.
  4. Insert the needle into the fold and press the plunger. Wait 10 seconds and release the plunger. It automatically retracts to reduce the chances of an unwanted poke.
  5. Discard the needle in a Sharps Bin.

I need to visit the VON two more days so they can watch me administer the injection. This is just to ensure I am capable and safe of looking after the treatment on a daily basis.

I was surprised by the price of the medication when I picked up a months worth of single use prefilled syringes. Pharmacare covers 20% of the bill right now. As a Senior on the provincial Pharmacare Drug Plan, when the total of my annual payments passes the milestone of around $460, all future prescriptions are free until next year. My portion for one month of syringes was $265 so I will hit the maximum milestone quickly. On the upside, I earned 10,000 Optima points which translates to $10.

I count myself so lucky to live where everyone has access to medical care. If I had to pay this out of pocket, the monthly cost would be $1,325 and the annual expense $15,900.

As always, thanks for being at my side and a source of comfort. I feel privileged to have so many people as support pillars. With God at my side holding my hand, I know I have unlimited potential to cope with any challenge.

Peace, Love and Laughter

Coming Soon

Janet and I enjoyed a Staycation at Trout Point Lodge last week ahead of my birthday on Sunday. Look for a posting on that. We made some very special memories.

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