I was nervous. But I can take a needle. I’ve been poked and prodded so much over the last five or six years, and I’ve even volunteered my blood to a couple of blood drives.

No, I wasn’t nervous about getting the shot. I was nervous about giving it to myself. Four times.

Allow me to explain.

In my last post, eons ago, I wrote about starting a drug called Cimzia, an injectable immunosuppressant used to treat Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately, I was denied the Cimzia by insurance on the grounds that I did not try another less-expensive treatment first. After months of phone calls attempting to coordinate between doctor’s offices, nurses, pharmacies and the insurance company, faxing various records back and forth and (politely) harassing medical staff, I was finally approved for Humira, a drug that works much the same as Cimzia.

And yesterday, I had to have four injections of it, right into my thighs.

It’s not like seeing a giant syringe, or using an epi pen, though it looks like a smaller version of the latter.  The needle is small (I didn’t even try to look at it because it’s shielded by a little rubber protector).  It’s so small, in fact, that I couldn’t actually feel the needle going into my skin—success!

I could, however, feel the medicine.  And for the 12 or so seconds I was required to hold that pen to my skin at a 90-degree angle while pinching my thigh, it stung and burned like nothing else.

So when the cheerful nurse gave me my first shot, I was none too excited to take a stab—pun clearly intended—myself. I wanted to cry. But I remained calm, took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut, counted, and it was over.

After two more injections.

I have to say, I’m braver than this blog would have most believe. Granted, like anyone else, I was nervous beforehand. The date of my training session was looming over me. But more than anything, I just wanted the wait to be over and to start feeling better.

I don’t know if I feel any better yet. I may be having a side effect of heartburn, and possibly somewhat itchy skin. Or those things might be happening just because. I may already be feeling like my stomach is more relaxed because the medicine is working—or it’s a placebo, or I’m just having a good day.

Regardless, the wait is over. The drug is in my system. And though I have plenty more to worry about—I’m going to be immunosuppressed now, for goodness sake—this one thing is off my plate, and the fear, the not knowing, it’s all gone.