Monday, 5 October 2009

The journey of a thousand miles

The Chinese have a saying, "The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step".

This saying has a particular relevance for me, because when I finished my PhD I dedicated it to my parents with the words, "This truly has been a journey of a thousand miles, and my parents have been with me every step of the way." I gave them a copy with a bookmark in it which bore the original words of the saying.

Anyway, today I took a single step on my latest journey of a thousand miles. It certainly wasn't the first step, but I hope it was a significant one leading me closer to my goal.

I had my scan, and Nurse Perfect proclaimed herself satisfied that although my cyst hadn't disappeared altogether, it had shrunk to a mere 10mm. She then sent me off to the pharmacy to pick up my Gonal-F and bring it back for a quick lesson in how to give myself an injection.

The pharmacy only had one box left, and I needed five - on a daily dosage of 450 IU (the maximum recommended dose), a phial of 600 IU doesn't last long. I took the one box and went back to the consulting room, where Nurse Perfect lived up to her history of going the extra mile by offering to drop the remaining four boxes off at my house tomorrow on her way home from work. Fortunately, she won't have to do that, as a new delivery of drugs arrived at the hospital while I was doing my first injection, and I was able to leave with my prescription properly filled.

The box contains a little phial with a sort of white powder in the bottom of it, a syringe filled with some sort of solvent and six empty syringes. Nurse Perfect demonstrated how to mix the solution and fill the syringe, then handed it to me and invited me to pinch an inch of flesh and sink the needle into it. After a slight hesitation, I heroically stabbed myself and sank the plunger down - and let me tell you, 450 IU of Gonal-F is a LOT of fluid!

I now feel very proud of myself that I've got past the first hurdle, and very relieved that the injection turned out to be so easy and painless. I've been thinking of these injections as being on a par with ripping off your own plaster - easy enough to do to someone else, but not so easy to do to yourself, because you know it's going to hurt and have a natural tendency to protect yourself from pain.

I now know that the two things are not at all on a par - I may occasionally in the future hit a tricky angle or get a blunt needle or something, but I know for a fact that it's absolutely possible for me to give myself an injection without feeling a thing, and that's going to make it a lot easier to face over the next few days.

So all in all, I'm excited and looking forward to the next few steps on this journey.


  1. Hooray!!!! I am so happy to hear you get to start! Also I am very impressed that you injected yourself. My DH has to do it for me ... I am not a needle wimp but I just don't think I could do it to myself. I am afraid I'd hesitate and screw it up.

    I am so, so hopeful for you this cycle. I wish we were cycle buddies, but hopefully when I start IVF#2 (around Oct. 24th) you will be in your 2WW and on your way to a beautiful BFP!

  2. Wonderful to hear the cyst drama is over and that you're onto stims! So exciting! You're only 2 days behind me. Good luck in this cycle!

  3. Thank you. Myndful, I've been following your journey and identifying really strongly with some of the things you've been saying, but I can't work out how to leave a comment on your blog. Do I need a wordpress account to do it?