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04/30/2012 08:52 AM

Emergency injection - carry or leave at home

Sundancer
Posts: 264
Member

Hi, folks:

Today, my endo finally walked me through how to do an emergency injection of Solu-Cortef (looks like my pharmacy talked him into it). I still want to practice with saline solution, but I need to get extra supplies to do it.

Anyway, he told me to leave my emergency supplies in my fridge - not to bother carrying them around with me. I had thought that it was best to keep it with me at all times. What do you folks do?

I also asked him again if he would work with me if I wanted to try tapering down on the steroids. This time he said yes.

On another discussion board, I had someone tell me that her mother had developed steroid-induced SAI, and nearly died from an adrenal crisis. She was still able to VERY slowly taper down (stress dosing as needed) and successfully got off prednisone. I'm not sure if her ACTH stim results were as bad as mine, but it gives me some hope to try again.

My body has finally stabilized on my current dose of 7 mg/day of prednisone. BP and temp are pretty much normal. I think I will try tapering at just .5 mg each month, IF my body handles each change OK. I'll bounce between 7 and 6.5 for a couple of weeks, and then stay at 6.5 for a couple more weeks. Monitor how I'm doing. Only proceed if I can keep my body temp above 96.0 F and BP above 100/60. Wish me luck!

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04/30/2012 12:27 PM
bob3bob3
bob3bob3Posts: 4213
Senior Member

I keep mine with me, along with water, salted chips and chocolate. The logic I use is that if I can't get to an ED/ER in less than 20 minutes I should have the means to carry out emergency care myself. This more or less means if you are in a well populated area with good communications/hospital, you probably don't need to carry it.

04/30/2012 03:28 PM
LittleMissMerrySunshine
LittleMissMerrySunshine  
Posts: 1811
Group Leader

I think you absolutely must carry it with you. It does not need to be refrigerated to my knowledge. What if you are in a car wreck? Or if you fall and break your arm? Are you always within twenty minutes of being able to receive an injection? What if you are at work and develop a stomach virus or food poisoning?

I think about the hours I spend at home versus away. I spend more waking hours away from home than at home. I don't think your doctor is thinking this through!

The two times I have needed my shot have been at home, but both times have been the result of a longer-term illness situation/crisis developing...not a sudden situation.

Just my opinion...

Oh, and for practice? I did b12 injections. Some people get some energy from them, so they can be handy for newly diagnosed folks. (Didn't seem to help me, but didn't hurt.) Also, the serum is red, so super easy to see. They don't hurt at all.


04/30/2012 04:49 PM
Sundancer
Posts: 264
Member

No, it doesn't need refrigeration. I agree about preferring it keep it with me at all times. He didn't give me the Act-o-vial form of Solu-Cortef. I have separate vials of powdered plain Solu-Cortef and saline solution. He was NOT cooperative about giving me material to practice with. In fact, the vial of saline solution that he gave me to use with the HC has an expiration date of 11/08 - it's 3 1/2 years past expiration!

04/30/2012 06:07 PM
mamame
Posts: 208
Member

I don't usually carry mine with me b/c it is so bulky and the syringes are in flimsy little papers. In town it would be pretty easy to get to the hospital in less than 20 minutes.

I have not however been given any way to practice injections. The pharmacist went through it with me, but I'm nervous to ever actually have to use it... I so wish they would develop an autoinjector for this med.


04/30/2012 06:36 PM
LittleMissMerrySunshine
LittleMissMerrySunshine  
Posts: 1811
Group Leader

Okay, so for carrying it - I went and bought a black case that holds a diabetic's stuff - it is the perfect size for the vial, the syringe, the letter from my endocrinologist (that really needs to be replaced by one from my current doc, but I digress), etc. I bought an inexpensive keychain with the medic alert symbol on it and clipped it to the zipper so it stands out. My family and friends know it is in my purse and what it looks like.

As for giving the injection - I had a friend's mom, a nurse, show me how to do my first b12 injection. It took less than five minutes. She walked me through it, and I did it myself. No pain, no false attempts. It is really easy to do. I was taught to do it with all the proper preparation, but in an emergency, you can always just skip the alcohol wipes and stuff and just jab yourself. I taught my husband how to do it after I had only given myself two shots. He did great, too. If you can convince a doctor to give you b12 or something, I think it would be awesome. Mine didn't hesitate when I asked. I told him I planned to rotate family members on the shot committee.

My daughter is almost old enough for me to feel comfortable. Maybe another year? We'll see. Then I'll have her give me a few.

I too wish it came in an autoinjector, but since it doesn't, I don't understand why doctors don't push more for practice. Probably because they don't see AI often enough to think through the times it might be needed.

Keep in mind, too - solu-cortef is not carried on ambulances. The soonest you can get it, if you don't have it on you, is after you get to the hospital. However, if you have it on you, and you know how to give it to yourself, you can pull out the syringe and inject yourself whether or not the EMTs or doctors are taking you seriously or not. (By the way, based on experience, if you go to an ER with a half-crazed friend waving an empty vial of solu-cortef screaming at all the nurses that you are losing consciousness, only managed to give yourself half your shot, and you need corticosteroids RIGHT NOW, it is pretty effective!)

Sorry for the rambling. Phenergan shot...makes me loopy. LOOPY!!!! LOL


04/30/2012 08:33 PM
Sundancer
Posts: 264
Member

Smile LOL! That sounds like a pretty good method to be taken seriously at the ER!

I like your description of how you pack your stuff. I also like Bob's suggestion of packing a source of salt and sugar. (Chocolate helps everything! Hehe!) I think I will also pack some extra prednisone (in case I forget my morning dose), and some of my "dissolving in your mouth" tablets of Zofran - an antinausea med. They really help when I can't keep any medicine down.

What does your letter from your doctor say? I already have my medical alert tag, and I was able to specify directly on the tag the need for a Solu-Cortef injection for shock and trauma.

I think I'll ask my family doctor for practice supplies. I want to train my sister, too, as she will be moving in with me this month.

Good luck with your medical tests in the morning! I hope you can start feeling better soon. I take phenergan nearly every day with my pain medication at bedtime, and I find it VERY sedating - so I understand the loopiness! Get better soon!


05/01/2012 08:07 PM
hypomama
hypomama  
Posts: 772
Member

Sundancer - IMHO - if you are in a metro area, the shot with you, is up to you. However, you should never be without a supply of your oral steroids with you, always! Of course, if I followed Bob's plan, I'd have to replace my emergency chocolate and salt stash every day!

05/01/2012 08:48 PM
LittleMissMerrySunshine
LittleMissMerrySunshine  
Posts: 1811
Group Leader

Yes, I also have some extra HC in there in a little pill holder. I forgot to mention that. The letter from my doctor states I have adrenal insufficiency, exactly what to give me and when and why...I'd be glad to post the more specific information later if y'all want me to, but I really don't feel like digging it out right now. Just remind me next week or something! LOL (Really, if it's not between me and the bathroom, it's not on my radar at the moment.)

Why am I not asleep? Uggh!


05/01/2012 10:22 PM
bob3bob3
bob3bob3Posts: 4213
Senior Member

In line with giving useless but entirely correct information.. (aka "Where are you?" "I am in the front facing forward..."Wink

Becky, you should never use the stash. Always arrange your daily commute to pass at least 5 chocolate shops...

Aunt Cindy. You are not asleep because you are awake. Both conditions cannot exist concurrently.

That ends today's diagnostic effort...

PS I also keep my shot. HC, Pred, anti nausea meds and loratadine in my kit..

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