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How to PIO your thigh, step by step

When the nurse called me and said that my progesterone results were 114 (I think, it was something like that), I was nervous.  Believe it or not, I had not actually gone to look up normal progesterone levels so other than knowing 9 is bad, I didn’t know the range.  114, compared to my HCG level, seemed low.  After talking with the doc, however, I learned that the average for a normal pregnancy is about 20 and for IVF pregnancy is about 40-60.  Thus, 114 is very high and certainly high enough for me to lower my dose.  I am now giving myself a shot at night that is still 2ccs, but the one in the morning (which is usually in my thigh since I leave before anyone else gets up), is only 1cc.  YAY!  Oh, and one of the search phrases for my site was ‘how to give PIO shot in the thigh’.  Since I do not believe I’ve actually described how I do it, and since a lot of people seem convinced it is WAY too horrible to do that way, I will share.  This is all courtesy of my friend Jeanette, as she taught me.

Thigh PIO shots:  First, get the ice pack out of the freezer.  Do NOT apply this directly to your leg and leave it there while you are prepping your shot unless you enjoy watching your skin thaw out and feeling the crunch of ice crystals while putting in the needle.  Just leave the thing on the counter.  Next, put your flannel bag full of dry corn kernels that your very thoughtful friend Jeanette gave to you and is now filthy dirty and needs to be re-bagged into a new cloth cover into the microwave.  Set that to two minutes.  While it is nuking, get your giant scary PIO needle and the smaller thigh needle with the green writing on the package.  Grab your alcohol wipes and a paper towel or something to stop the bleeding after the shot.  Also, get your PIO vial and make sure that you haven’t run out AGAIN because holy salad dressing batman, you go through a lot of that oil.  Wait and wait and wait.  Take the hot pack out of the microwave a second before it actually beeps because sheesh woman, you want to wake the whole house?  Shake it up a bit and put it BACK into the microwave for another two minutes.  While this is going, get some water and take your vitamin and 3 Estrace pills.  Stand in front of the microwave right in front of the glass doors in your kitchen where you can see your reflection and note to yourself that your belly is sticking out way too much.  Wait wait wait.  Stop it AGAIN just a second before it beeps and take out the now very hot bag.  Set it on the counter and put the PIO vial in the center and fold it over to heat up the vial.  This makes the oil actually fluid enough to draw into the needle.  Wait for as long as you can stand it because you’d like to actually get out of the house sometime this morning.  Take the needle and syringe and open both of them.  Draw the syringe back to the amount you are going to give yourself.  (1cc if you are me now!!!  YAY!)  Take the vial out from it’s corn cubby and shake it up, then use the alcohol wipe and wipe down the top of the vial.  Put the big scary needle into the vial and turn it upside down.  Push in the air and while making sure the needle is below the surface level of the PIO, suck in the dose you want.  Do what you need to do to make sure there are no air bubbles.  Suck the PIO down out of the big needle, put the cap back on it, and twist it off.  Put the thigh needle on the syringe and take the cap off.  Push the PIO up through the thigh needle just enough to get all the air out again.  Replace the cap and put the syringe with the PIO into the corn cubby to heat it up again.  (Try to not actually inject yourself with burning hot oil.  I’ve done that.  Ouch.)  Bring the paper towel, a new alcohol wipe, the cornbag with syringe, and the ice pack with you to a place where you can sit down.  No really, you may be clever, but don’t do this standing up.  Go sit down.  Hopefully you are wearing something where you can access your thigh at this point, if not, go change and then sit down again.  Now you are ready for the shot.

Pick which side is the least bruised and painful.  On that side, place the heal of your hand against the fold of your thigh.  About where your pinky hits, apply the cold pack.  Leave it there long enough to numb the skin but not long enough to attach the cold pack to your skin via ice crystals.  Take the cold pack off, locate the area right where your pinky finger hits again for the shot and use the alcohol wipe to clean your skin.  Do this part fast before your skin gets the feeling back.  If possible, try to not do it in exactly the place you’ve used before or on top of any obvious bruising.  I’ve never tried that, but I imagine it would hurt more.  Take your needle out of the corn cubby and remove the cap.  Pull your skin tight enough on your thigh to put the needle straight in, and insert it all the way.  Really, make certain that it is ALL THE WAY.  Now, in theory, you are supposed to pull up a bit to check for blood which would mean you’ve hit a vessel and it would be very painful but since I find this icky and have no intention of aborting and resticking in a different place if I DID find blood, I skip this step.  Slowly push all the PIO in while trying to not wiggle the needle much.  Once it is all in, pull the needle out quickly (because who needs the mental trauma of pulling it out slowly?) and apply the paper towel to the area to hopefully stop the PIO leak and bleeding that can occur.  Once it stops bleeding, reheat the corn pack for another minute and apply to your thigh where you gave yourself the shot.  Ideally, you would have the next 2 hours to sit like this but odds are you will not.  Take what you can.  With any luck, as the day progresses, you won’t have much pain.   Odds in reality for me though say that about 1/3 times you will get it to work painfree for the whole day.  How long you get to sit with the hotpack on your leg really helps your odds.

So, yesterday I used some vacation time to head out to the Mall Of America with my sister in law, my mother in law, and our two oldest boys.  Apparently, there is a new trend with the MOA little kiosks where they are selling makeup or hair products to try to snag passing people and get them to let you play with their makeup or hair.  This is very pushy for Minnesota even if it IS the MOA and cheesy as hell but whatever.  So, this guy that we walk by asks me if he can talk to me about my hair.  He has this hair straightening booth with all these little irons so I don’t know what I was thinking but I was all excited to talk about Yuko.  (Which, BTW, is now 2 months old and still awesome.)  He asked what I used to straighten my hair and when I said it was the Yuko system, he clearly had no idea what I was talking about.  He wanted to show me how his amazing magic, I mean ceramic, iron would be sooo much better.  *eye roll*  He also smelled of cigarette smoke so I was completely annoyed by him quickly.  Finally I told him that I had straightened my hair with the Yuko system back in JUNE, NOT this morning and he clearly thought he had misheard me.  I said I didn’t even blow dry my hair this morning, let alone use a straightener on it.  I then said I had to go.  Oh, also, when I was talking to Gavin my son, he asked if he was my brother and I could’ve smacked myself for the look I gave him.  “Oh my, no silly man, thank you but he is my son.”  Hook.  Line. Sinker.  Moron.  I can’t believe I didn’t just sneer at the guy.  Thanks to my new street smarts for the MOA booths, I successfully “no thank you’d” my way through the rest of the hair straightening booths. 

I did find a nice new pair of casual shoes so that was fun.  I believe we are going to have some family pictures tonight and then go bowling.  I’d like to find some freetime to go visit my friend Michelle and her new baby, but we’ll see when I can coordinate that with her schedule.


7 Responses

  1. You should have known when a guy asks you if he can talk about your hair!!! He’s sooo obvious that he’s not funny 😦

    Anyhow, have not used PIO before. Always have been using the vag supp. I guess if we go for IVF, then maybe I will have to the much dreaded butt (or thigh) PIO injections.

    Wishing you well on your pregnancy and hope P becomes as thrilled as J soon!

  2. I’m a nurse and I couldn’t give the PIO myself, much less in my thigh. I’m impressed!


  3. I was creeped out more than anything for doing the PIO shots in my thigh. Also, giving myself the shot wasn’t nearly as bad as the feeling afterwards. It’s not really bruising, but that extra fluid in the thigh gets your muscles so irritated that it hurts more than in the back. I hope you don’t have to do it too many more times if your progesterone levels are that high.

  4. I’ll share it on Twitter.

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