A Journey of Clexane Injections

ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancy, Clexane injections

Feature image from MOTHEROFMAGIC

Clexane, also known as Lovenox and Xaparin, is made of Enoxaparin Sodium.  It is an anticoagulant used to treat blood clots, blood disorders, thrombosis and to treat Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (Hughes Syndrome).  Blood clots are a common cause of pregnancy loss.

Clexane is a daily injection used to break down blood clots as they form in the blood.  After finding out I was pregnant again, I was so eager to get those injections into my belly that I never considered it might actually be suck!

The First Needle 

The first clexane injection always goes well.  Of course it does!  It’s administered by either a nurse, your GP or a very diligent partner who is being overlooked by a medical professional.  Mine was done by a nurse, and I barely felt a thing.  I didn’t even feel the needle.  I walked away feeling pretty damn good about myself.  

10 minutes later the heat started to rise under my skin, and I felt a burning in the muscle, like a bee sting.  It hurt!  It hurt a lot, deep under the skin, like poison.  (I’ve started calling this the ‘After Burn’).

I found it hard to explain the feeling, because while it was hurting a lot, I was fine at the same time.

The Second Needle

I have some bad news.  The second clexane needle was much worse.  After the huge success of the first injection, I was overconfident about how easy it would be.

It only took one needle for my attitude had changed from “The Injection!”  To, “I’ll just quickly give you your needle before I…(Insert more important activity here)  Stupid.

This one was far worse than the first.  Less time was taken, we rushed because we thought we had it nailed.

The First Week of injections

By the end of the first week, we had discussed every possible approach to injecting the Clexane.  We tried different pinching techniques, different locations, cold packs, ice packs and laying in different positions afterwards.

It’s incredible how quickly our minds and bodies acclimatised to new information, new routines.  It only took a week for the needles to become ordinary.  The needle I feared a week before, was now commonplace, among my makeup and hair ties in the bathroom.

The Time Your Partner Forgets Your injection … 

We were in this together.  The clexane needle was such a big moment in my day, it was hard to handle when I realised my partner could forget about it.

So we set alarms.

Doing the Injections Yourself

It might sound dumb, but I didn’t want to do them on my own.  I didn’t want the Clexane to just be my problem, part of just my life.  But then the time came when I just had to do it myself.  I wanted the independence.  I had started to feel a little like a burden.    My partner had a life.  I had a life.

The first time I gave myself a clexane injection, it did not go well at all.  I thought I would be brave and strong and be able to handle it well.  I was not.  I thought it would be fine.  It was not.

I unsheathed the needle I counted to 3.  One two three!Nothing.  The tip of the needle bubbled with anticipation.  Hovered over my pinched fat.

Nothing.

The tip of the needle bubbled with anticipation and a drop of Clexane hit the floor.  I was too scared.  I panicked.

I didn’t count the next time, I just drove the needle in.  Then when I looked down at what I’d done, before I could tell my mind it was ok, I panicked and pulled the needle back out.  My instincts had kicked in – which I had not expected and I pulled the needle from my tummy.

Worse than that, by the time I had pulled it out again, I realised I had messed the whole thing up and freaked out even worse.

I was so embarrassed I’d pulled the needle out, that I shove it straight back into my stomach.  I pushed it so hard it actually bounced out of me.

And a third time.  I was panting, my fingers all sweaty and wet, my body was hot and I thought I was going to cry.  I couldn’t do this simple task.  The third time I stopped, relaxed and took a deep breath.  Pulled myself together and pushed it in again.

It was in, I had done it!

It took a moment, staring at this little insect, like a long praying mantis, with a long barbed needle like a mosquito, hanging limp from my guts.  Then I remembered I still had to press the Clexane in. 

This one obviously hurt the most. 

I knew later it would be funny.  But right after it happened I felt like an idiot.  So I sulked and moped about the house feeling sorry for myself instead.

After 7 Weeks of Injections

It had only been a few weeks but we had gotten good at it.  I gave myself the needle in a public toilet, in the bathroom at a cafe, standing on the beach and in the passenger seat of the car.  My friends have given me needles.  I’ve had them in my stomach, my legs and my bottom.

I started carrying a jam jar in my hand bag, to put the used needles into while I was out.

The Time you hit your Partner in the face Because the Clexane Injection hurt so much.

Yeah, I did that.  I hit him in the face I was so mad at the pain.  He took it pretty well.

5 Months of Clexane Injections

We are quite good at it now.  Despite the fact they feel different every time.  There are more with less pain than there are injections that hurt like hell.  I don’t know why.

A little while ago I started getting hard little lumps under the skin at the injection site.  We noticed that with a very gentle rub, they don’t get so big.  It hurts a little more, but the result is worth it.

7 1/2 Months of Clexane Injections

It started getting hard.  I wanted it to stop, I just wanted it to be over.

There are stray needles around my house, and a couple on the floor of the car.  I used to be really careful, but I stopped caring.  It’s very irresponsible, I know, but my sharps container was full and I hadn’t had a chance to take it to the hospital.

I did look for sharps bins in public toilets and service stations so I could empty the jam jar of needles in my hand bag though.

Every time it’s different … Waiting for my Last Needle

Every time I hold my breath, before the needle goes in.I don’t know what to expect.  Sometimes they hurt, sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes I get a huge bruise and sometimes I don’t.

I don’t know what to expect.  Sometimes it hurts like hell, sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes I get a huge bruise and sometimes I don’t.

I see people on Instagram posting images of their last Clexane needle.  I am so excited for that to be me.  I am filling my scripts one at a time at the moment so I don’t end up with too many needles left over after the baby comes.

by Meg

Meghan Brewster is a writer and blogger. She is an ITP patient and launched ITP&Me in 2011. She is a coffee lover and a try hard dancer. @meghan_brewster

2 thoughts on “A Journey of Clexane Injections

    • Meg says:

      Hey Bron, the Clexane injections are for Antiphospholipid Syndrome. It is pretty common to have this syndrome and ITP together apparently. The doctors can’t tell me which one is the primary one and which is the secondary…

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