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How I Gave myself Lovenox Shots to Avoid Bruising

 

In this blog post I will be discussing my experience with Lovenox shots during pregnancy. I will be talking about:

-What Lovenox shots are

-Why I took them

-How I did my Lovenox shots to avoid bruising and broken blood vessels

 

I recently had my first child, and during my pregnancy I had to administer Lovenox shots to myself from week 6 until 6 weeks postpartum. Since I had my baby 3 weeks early, this means that I gave myself a shot every day for about 250 days. 250 SHOTS!

You may be reading this post because you already know you have to take Lovenox shots, maybe you are about to start…. In which case you will want to skip ahead and read my tips and method for avoiding bruising and breaking blood vessels. If you are here for some other random reason, I will take a brief moment to explain what they are, and why I took them.

 

What are Lovenox shots?

In short, a Lovenox shot is a blood thinning shot. It is used for people with blood clotting issues. They are safe enough to be prescribed and administered yourself, at home. For more medical information on Lovenox shots, visit this website: Lovenox.com

 

Why I took Lovenox Shots During Pregnancy

I took Lovenox shots during my 3rd pregnancy, after the first two ended in a miscarriage. For me, my miscarriages were not a case of the uterus or body rejecting or dropping the pregnancy. They were scenarios in which the baby passed, and it took my body a long time to acknowledge this, and drop the pregnancy that was already lost.

After the 2nd miscarriage, my doctor ordered some lab tests and found out the I had two clotting factors. This means that my blood was thick and would clot easily. Because of this, she diagnosed that I probably formed a blood clot in the umbilical cord, hence cutting off blood supply to the baby.

She then told us that patients with clotting factors, or a history of blood clotting, are put on blood thinning shots during pregnancy to avoid both clotting in the umbilical cord, and also just for the mother, because of the extra blood volume.

With Lovenox shots I was able to have a successful 3rd pregnancy.

(To read more about my miscarriages, my journey to finding out about my blood clotting factors, how progesterone helped me, and how I had a successful 3rd pregnancy…. check out this blog post: My Health Journey: The Reason Behind My Unexplained Miscarriages )

 

How I Administered My Lovenox Shots to Avoid Bruising and Broken Blood Vessels

Okay! Now for the main reason you are here!

You may be taking Lovenox shots for pregnancy, or other reasons. If you have already been giving yourself Lovenox shots, you surely have already noticed the bruising and/or swelling at the injection sites, and you are wondering how to avoid this.

Or, you know you are going to have to take them at some point, and want to get ahead of it before it happens.

You can either develop normal, small to large bruises around the injection site because of trauma, or you can also hit a blood vessel or vein sometimes and have immediate swelling, with results in a lump and enormous bruise!

There are two reasons you want to avoid this. #1 is the obvious reason…. Why would you want to hurt yourself and have huge, ugly bruises all over your stomach? (Especially if you are pregnant and want to have a cute baby bump!)

The #2 reason is because the more bruises you have, and larger those bruises are, it takes up real estate on your stomach…. and you will run out of room to continue doing your shots! If you run out of safe space to do your shots on your stomach, you will have to move to your thighs. That was just not on my list of preferences. So, after trial and error, I followed this same step-by-step process for every shot and only had a handful of incidences with 250 shots!

#winning!

While following these steps each time I did my shot, not only did I avoid bruising about 75% of the time altogether…. I only had a very small bruise about another 20% of the time, and then there was a handful of times, about 5%, that I did indeed look like I had gotten shot with a paintball gun. Sheesh!

 

(DO know that these steps do not include the safe guidelines and rules for HOW to give yourself a shot. These instructions should come from your doctor. And Lovenox has an official website as well with the right places and such to administer these shots, which I linked above).

 

Step #1: Get Everything Ready.You will want to have everything collected and next to you before you sit down to do our shot. It is best to pick a time of day to do your shot when you usually have at least 20 minutes to sit still. The supplies you need to collect:

-the shot

-an alcohol wipe

-a washcloth

-1 or 2 pieces of ice

-your phone flashlight or a regular flashlight (weird I know)

 

Step #2: Find The Location. You need to find the location on your stomach that you are going to give yourself your shot this time. Get your phone or your flashlight, turn it on and hold it about 10-12 inches away from your stomach. (If it’s too close you won’t be able to see your veins). You are going to use your flashlight to look for all the small veins that are close to the surface of your skin that you don’t normally notice. You obviously want to avoid these. Do your injection at least half an inch away from any veins. (If you do hit a vein, it may sting worse than normal, and it will almost immediately start to swell up after removing the needle. It can look pretty scary).

Step #3: Clean the Area and Your Fingers. Use your fresh alcohol wipe to clean the area you have chosen. I would clean the area first, and then use the rest of the moisture in the wipe to clean my fingertips.

Step #4: Prepare the Shot. You want to have the shot ready immediately when you need it. Take the shot out of its’ individual packaging. Remove the cap. Knock the air bubble to the top and remove it from the vial, (your doctor will show you how to do this). Set it aside in a clean and safe spot.

Step #5: Ice the Area. This is key #1 for avoiding bruising. It’s also a perk because it takes away most of the pain from the shot! Use your washcloth to hold your ice cubes and ice the area you have chosen to inject the shot. The washcloth keeps your hands from freezing and also catches the water as your skin melts the ice. (Otherwise it will run everywhere). I would hold the ice in that spot for about 2 minutes, until my skin was red. You don’t need to move it around or numb a large spot. Literally just a spot as big as an ice cube will be sufficient.

Step #6: Time for the Shot! Once the area is numb, remove the ice. Quickly pinch the numb skin with one hand, (your doctor will explain this to you), and pick up the shot with the other. And administer your shot. ADDED TIP: inject the solution slowly, in spurts. Not only does this help with the stinging, but I really feel that it helps some with bruising and swelling afterwards. The shot will usually sting the worst the first few small squirts, then it often becomes used to the solution and the rest of the shot doesn’t sting.

Step #7: Ice Again! This is key #2 for avoiding bruising. I would remove the needle, close the safety seal on the shot, and put my ice back on and leave it there for about another 2 minutes again.

Step #8: Sit Still. And finally, key #3 to avoid bruising is to sit still for at LEAST 15 minutes after your shot. 20-25 is best. But I understand that is not always possible. This is why I recommended picking a time of the day that you will not be in a rush, as you are supposed to administer the shot at the same time every day. I would use this time to watch an episode of a show, read a chapter of a book, or just do random things on my phone. This can make you look more forward to your shot time, instead of dreading it.

BONUS TIP: I know it sounds cheesy to say bonus tip, lol. But this isn’t really a step, it’s just something that I noticed helped over time. If possible, I would avoid tight pants directly over the injection site for that day. Some days your injection site will be higher up, where your pants don’t reach. But on the days that I did my shot a little lower, I would wear loose-fitting bottoms as to not to squeeze that area or add pressure to it because it technically did experience a “trauma”. The times I wore something tight, I bruised.

Of course there were times when I had no choice but to do my shot on the run, due to an appointment or what not, and I would just do the best I could.

On top of the bruising perks, having a step process helped ensure that I did not forget to do something or get something. In the beginning, there would be times when I was iced and all ready to go, but then had not opened my shot. Or times when I didn’t have an alcohol wipe. Or times when poor planning caused me to have to get up immediately and then I got a huge bruise.

I really hope this helps you! I hope this saves you some trial-and-error time.

ALSO….I want to say, as much as you can….PLEASE TRY NOT TO WORRY OR BE SCARED of the shots. I really only minded them for about the first week, because it was all new to me. And then they seemed like no big deal to me at all! You get used to it. And with this method, the pain is really very little, and even none sometimes!

And, if you’re doing these shots for pregnancy reasons….. your little baby will make it all worth it!

 

If you have any questions, comment below, or send me a private message.

Until next time, take each day one day at a time.

 

Her Life In Season

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