Hey seb, 'sup -
Saw your title and knew I had to dig this one up from at least 10 years ago Strutsy's post about injecting MTX
I stopped MTX after a couple of years, and have had a long needle-free hiatus (was on remicade which was IV). Started Humira last autumn, so am back to injecting myself fortnightly.
I'm that many years on in my training, so realise that helps me a great deal, but I still think there's a bit of a mental block between injecting other people (if you're in a job where you do this) and injecting yourself. MTX was a particular stumbling block because it was bright sickly yellow. As if I needed another reminder that I was putting a poison in my body! My Humira is clear, which helps alot, but it hurts like *stink* no matter where I put it (and believe me, I have enough subcut tissue to go around!
The first time I injected my Humira I nearly fainted - part of it was the surprise of the pain of the injection (I likely went IM and like I've already said the device hurts like stink no matter where you go, though I do find tummy better than legs). Most times, alright everytime up until my most recent injection, my lovely husband with type 1 diabetes and psoriatic arthritis has been near for moral support. Some of the best times have been when he's been giving me a concurrent big squeeze. The most recent time I was post-call and couldn't care, and I barely noticed it (but it was a horrible night on-call and I don't recommend this as a method to improving injectability)
I realise this hasn't been very much about tips as much as it's been a supportive "hey self-injecting gets the best of us" sort of a post, so I'll sum up with some things that have worked for me.
1. if it's a needle and syringe don't stab it in (like I was initially taught), it doesn't matter if it's stuck in hard or gently and gently doesn't hurt as much (although I realise the rheum nurse was trying to encourage the momentum as much as anything else).
2. I still count to three before I do it - gives me something to aim for... and then I count to 10 to make sure the whole of the injection is in before I move the pen away.
3. Honestly, being squeezed or having some sort of a distraction (holding a loved pet) is helpful.
4. I've thought about (though haven't tried) getting a great song that I love on, and getting myself psyched to do it - although if you're mostly nervous and anxious then some music that is calming might be better for you.
Ultimately I suspect that when you start seeing the benefits, you'll have more incentive to do it. Humira is every 14 days, and I start having GI symptoms at day 12, so I'm just happy to get 'er in, and have better control of my symptoms (honestly, improved control by that evening). But in the short term, maybe associating it with a small reward would be helpful?
Hope this helps, but suspect it will be useful to think about what it is that's making you nervous / anxious and work with that (I used to have problems with infusion reactions with Remicade, so what I was most nervous about with Humira is that I would have a reaction on my own, and not be able to get help, easily sorted by ensuring someone else was around me for the injection and the first 30 min afterwards).