Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nurse Dropped the $4000 Syringe!

Every Friday, after Super Chemo Day, I have been getting a regular Neulasta injection. This injection boosts white blood cell production. It is pretty great and I guess it is helping me feel better. I do not know how much I am being charged for this, but my pharmacist at Rite Aid said the injection "retails" for almost $4000.

In 2007, they used to send me home with the syringe so I could give myself the injection the day after Super Chemo. I used to shoot myself in my upper thigh because it was easy to reach. There is a lot of liquid in the syringe, it stings a little, and you have to inject it slowly. It is amazing what you can do when you have to.

But now, I just drive back to Duke the day after Super Chemo, and a nurse gives me the injection in my upper arm. So nice! The nurses tend to either tickle or pinch right next to the injection site to distract during the injection (I guess it confuses the nerves and disrupts their ability to send OUCH signals to your brain). Tickling works for me -- I cannot feel a thing except for the tickling! The pinching does not do anything for me. (The pinchers don't want to believe that, however.)

So this past Friday, a very nice pregnant nurse is about to give me the injection when she drops the syringe on the floor!

We both gasp and stare at each other.

"I dropped it!" she says.

"That's like $4000!" I exclaim, "We can't use it?"

She laughs. I guess that's a silly question. No five second rule in the injection room.

She jokes that they won't charge me, and they can take it out of her paycheck...

Then she orders another one. When it arrives, she is nervous. Another nurse comes over to offer moral support, and I lean over in the chair so that if the syringe does fall, it will fall into the chair and onto me and we can save it. But the injection goes without a hitch!

Except of course that she is a pincher, not a tickler.


omerandpat said...

In our combined 140 years of getting shots, no one has dropped a syringe to be used on us!!
Guess there is a first for everything.
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

You are a great blogger, Karen. I actually laughed out loud reading this one. Thanks, I needed that! Love, Carol Q

Anonymous said...


Funny funny story this morning and I can only say the same thing that Sheila H. posts on her gratitude list when describing how things are going with her five year old twin boys ............... Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Love you so much, Debbie

Daria said...

That is pretty wild but I guess it is bound to happen once in a while.

Nancy Hussa said...

Still really miss you!! I love reading your pages, it makes me smile! It doesn't seem right!

Big hugs,

susan said...

Hi Karen - just checking in to say "hi" - you should have seen Crysi last nite - you would have been so proud of her! Life here is semi-ok - one of Dick's cataract surgeries needs fixing and I have my second esoph. surgery fri with the new dr - so glad that I changed...somehow it seems a lil unfair to have to self-advocate at a time when it is the hardest (as you know so well)...hope you have a great week - love and hugs, susan and dick

Anonymous said...

To the multi-tasking Karen, thinking of you:-) I have learned so much from reading your posts and your attitude is awesome. I did have a nurse once blow the needle off the syringe (which means it probably wasn't on there tight to start with anyway) so I had to get a second shot, bummer. Kathy from Kent

Anonymous said...

Dearest Kay, Big hugs & thoughts and prayers for tomorrow! (See, I'm multitasking too!) Carol Q.