For the five days after my chemo infusion, I have to inject myself with a drug called Neuprogen. It helps boost my white blood cell regeneration to guard against something called Febrile Neutropenia. (essentially, the inability to fight against infection because of low neutrophil counts, the first sign of which is a fever)
I get five vials of Neuprogen, and five needles each time. It’s critical I inject myself, so each one of those needles has to be in perfect working order. This time, one didn’t work. It leaked. Crisis.
So, we headed out to buy a couple of needles at the local drug store. Imagine walking in to a drug store that is not where you normally get your chemo prescriptions filled, and asking to buy three needles (insurance against any others not working) to inject yourself with. Just to be safe, I brought evidence of the original prescription, and the ‘broken’ needle.
Success. The drug store had needles for sale. But, what gauge did I need. Huh? Gauge? Who knew needles come in gauges. We went for the 25 one, hoping it was the same as the one I get with each prescription.
But – the needles I get normally have little plastic safeguards on them so that it doesn’t go in too far. The replacement needle didn’t have that little safeguard – the shaft of the needle was about half an inch longer. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re sticking something in your stomach, every millimetre counts (at least to me!).
So, I MacGyvered the replacement needle. I treated it like a drill, where when you don’t want the drill to go in too far to the wood, you put a piece of duct tape on the drill where you want it to stop. I took a bandaid (which was sterile) and cut it to the right width so that the needle would stop at the same depth my normal needle does. Brilliant, if I do say so myself.
It worked like a charm. Sometimes I’m so smart I scare myself. 😉