How to Inject Emgality Alone (YOU CAN DO IT!)
I’ve had a migraine since I was nine.
Sometimes, my migraine is quiet. It stays out of the way and lets me enjoy my life, be a person. But other times, my migraine screams, shrill like a kettle at boiling point. Scalding. Pointed. Ouchie.
What I’m trying to say is: migraines suck.
There are lots of options to treat a migraine. Personally, I’ve taken pills that turned me into a zombie, gone to the hospital for an IV, and gulped down so much Excedrin I’m shocked they aren’t sponsoring me, like some Olympic migraine athlete.
But my doctor recommended Emgality because it prevents migraines. I imagine the medicine soothing my migraine like a parent keeping a kid quiet on a plane: “Shhh, there there. Play with your tablet. We’re almost there.” Of course, the kid can still have a temper tantrum once in a while, but … if it sat still and distracted more often, I wouldn’t have to be so worried about it interrupting my life.
There was only one itty bitty detail that worried me.
Emgality is a shot. That you have to give yourself.
Well, the directions say someone can inject it into your butt for you, but I’m a fabulous single lady living on her own. So self injection it is!
The first dose of this liquid gold actually comes in two (2) shots. As in two needles. Two pokes. Two. One, but then … another one.
Giving yourself a shot is unnatural. Your body doesn’t know what Emgality is because (no offense) bodies are dumb. My body, especially. After successfully giving myself one shot, I freaked out trying to do the second one. The medicine shot EVERYWHERE.
So please learn from my mistakes.
Once I got a replacement shot (that’s another story for another time), I was extra worried about nailing the injection. It took me like three hours and a call to my mommy to gather the courage to even take the pre-loaded pen out of the fridge.
But I’m pleased to announce that I FREAKING DID IT.
Here’s how I finally managed to do my Emgality injection:
- I found the Emgality side of TikTok and watched a few videos of other people doing their own shots. Some of them were dramatic, which made me feel way better about being dramatic, while others reminded me how powerful and life-saving the medicine can be for people. The videos also put the time it takes to do the shot into perspective. I watched hundreds of TikToks daily, so if the injection takes the time of ONE of them, it’s manageable.
2. Ice, ice, baby. I held a bag of frozen fruit to the injection site on my thigh for five minutes before doing the shot. It numbed my leg a little!
3. I picked a soundtrack for my shot. My track of choice was Phantom of the Opera, and I pressed the button that releases the needle at the very end of the song when Christine hits the high note! Singing along distracted me, and I will 100% do this again in the future.
4. I Pavlovian-Dogged myself by eating ice cream immediately after doing the shot. To be honest, I got this idea watching my cat eat a Greenie. He would do anything for a Greenie. He would throw me into oncoming traffic for half a Greenie. So, anyway, I hope eating the ice cream creates a positive connection of Emgality and chocolate in my brain.
5. This might be specific to me, but I let myself cry. If you’re going to do this, remember that crying isn’t fully cathartic if you’re also calling yourself a baby. Be gentle with how you speak to yourself. Otherwise you could undo all the positive reinforcement and f*ck up your next injection.
My sweet, beautiful migraine-haver, you can do this. I hope you can feel me sending you love and luck. Let’s go get injections!
If you want to read more about mental health, living with migraines, and the hilariousness of being a human being, consider following me on Medium! It helps me more than you know.