Administering Your Own Infusions
Your parents have probably been doing your infusions. But, maybe you've been thinking it's time to start doing them yourself?
That's great! As a teenager, you're gaining more freedom in your life. If you live in an area that has home delivery and home infusions, then learning to self-infuse (giving yourself your injections) is a big step towards having more freedom and independence.
Doing It Yourself
If, after proper training, you decide to go for it, then it is best to START SLOW. Like many things in life, it is best to take things one step at a time.
Step 1Talk to your parents about learning how to do your infusions. They need to be happy that you're old enough, and that it's safe for you to do it yourself.
Step 2Take responsibility for getting the infusion ready. Work out the dose (check with your parents that you have it right). Mix the concentrate and get the syringe ready. Clean everything up afterwards, too. This is a great way to get ready for self-infusing. After a few months, preparing the infusion will be second nature to you.
Step 3Get your parents or someone from your hemophilia care team to show you how to find a vein and insert the needle. There should be something you can practice on to make sure you're getting it right, before you try on yourself. Your team might provide something, or recommend you practice on an orange or similar object.
Step 4OK, now you're ready? Good. When you feel confident, give it a go. Make sure your parents are there to check everything's OK. Sometimes the anticipation of something is worse than actually doing it. So, don't think too much about it, just go for it.
If things don't go great the first time, it doesn't matter. Ask your parents. How much do you want to bet they were nervous the first time they gave you an infusion, too?
This is one of those times when the saying "practice makes perfect" really does apply. If it still hurts after a few times, ask the nurse from your hemophilia care team to watch while you do it. They can check that you're doing it correctly.
Sticking with It
If you are having infusions regularly …
Sometimes infusions may feel like a big bother and a waste of time, when you could be doing something else. Sound familiar?
But, it's when you stop taking your treatment that you will start to see what it was actually doing. And you really don't want that. Having a bleed can be a nasty experience when it happens, but that's just the start. It can also lead to major problems later in life — like joint pain and problems moving a joint.
So, while you may not always feel like it, take care of yourself now. You'll reap the benefits later on.
If you are having infusions only when you have a bleed …
If you are only taking treatment when a bleed happens (on-demand), it's important to take your treatment as quickly as possible. As you might know from experience, bleeds hurt and swell. By taking treatment straight away, you'll be right on the road to recovery.
Tips for Making Infusions Fit Easily into Your Life
- Make them part of your daily routine — do them while you're watching a favorite TV program, listening to music, reading a book before bed, or browsing the Web
- Accept the infusions as part of what you do — they're not optional, they're just something you have to do, like brushing your teeth