After what I'd describe as a less-than-satisfactory Doctor's appointment on Tuesday I decided to order B12 from Germany on Wednesday, it arrived today (Saturday) and I successfully self-injected for the first time, and it feels great - could NOT have done it without the wonderful support and encouragement and advice and tips from everyone here, thank you!
I could hardly stand up when I went to the doctors on Tuesday - this was the second time I went back and they still did not follow the guidelines, only saying that if another second loading dose "didn't work" then they'd do them again. I figured out that meant there'd be another gap after the second set and at the time I had / still have no idea of permanent 'damage' - ATEOTD I'm "me" so I'm not expecting miracles lol but as my health was deteriorating daily to a degree I'd never experienced before I was duly scared and I wanted to know I had options as I'd read others who inject daily or every other day for months after getting to the subacute combined degeneration stage, and with the stress of trying to battle the NHS I knew that was going to be a hard option.
I used the recommended supplier list from the facebook group and ordered some from a supplier a few people mentioned here. It was *really* hard with the brain fog, and the more you stress, the more brain fog and memory issues you get. I set up a google spreadsheet and searched the forums here, the facebook group, and the net for what I needed. I've attached a screenshot of the two orders I placed.
As per a note on the recommended supplier list from the fb group said I ordered the folic acid from Germany too but I haven't taken that yet as for one I'm booked in a for a blood test in a week (only after I asked, doc didn't even want to see me after first blood test) for folic acid, and second my research is leading me down the MTHFR path and there's - well, if you haven't researched the folic acid / folate 'arguments' then I'll let you enjoy that one. From what I can see, folate is the 'natural', folic acid is the synthesised B9, folate better for MTHFR, maybe, folic acid can make things worse, maybe, and so on - going to do more research before I decide way forward on that one, seems it's trial and error, everyone's different.
The syringes - got 2ml ones because although my initial thoughts as a n00b were "ok you got 1ml you need 1ml" but you need space so it's easier with a slightly larger one, although have seen people use 1ml ones. Pretty much all this lot I got from the supplier list on fb, plus some plasters which someone over there mentioned and I thought would be a good idea, turned out it was - but not only for where I did the jab... The green needles are bigger, got those for drawing up the B12 out of the ampoule and when I took it out of the package I thought I'd have a look at the needle but I was shaking so much I managed to jab my thumb lol, thought haha what a great start Steve! I thought "ok calm down, there's no point shaking like a leaf when you're doing it, that's gonna hurt". So I put my serious face on and got down to business.
I used the empty wrapper from the syringe to protect my fingers whilst breaking open the ampoule - there's a spot on it where you push (both those 'tips' I got from watching youtube videos searching for 'b12 self inject'). I did order a SharpsGuard Ampoule Opener from Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00FMW4MGE) but it's not arrived yet and you don't really need it, just thought it'd be 'safer', we'll see I guess.
Then I drew up the B12 into the syringe, took a bit of time figuring out the right hand positioning to do this without tipping the thing up and keeping the hand steady. Chucked the ampoule bits in the sharps bin, then pushed air out of the syringe, making sure there weren't any bubbles in the liquid, gave it a couple of little flicks to make sure. Then I laid the syringe on the desk and slid the cover back on so it lessens the likelihood of me stabbing myself again - another useful tip I saw from the youtube vid on this page restartmed.com/b12-injectio...
Then I got the alcohol wipe out and cleaned the area - upper outer quarter of my left leg - I'm left-handed so guess that's why I chose left but planning to do it daily at the moment so planning to alternate legs. I thought I'd wipe and leave to dry for a bit whilst I swap the needles on the syringe but turns out you (well I did) completely forget what area I cleaned lol so I've no idea if I did inject there but literally just out of the shower so should've been clean, but still, next time I'll do it after I've everything else prepped.
So I removed the green needle, put it in the sharps bin, then put the blue needle on. I got shorter yellow ones as well as at first I thought I might subcut but after more research and seeing it doesn't work well for some and it works faster when you go into the muscle I decided to IM to start with. I got 1.25" length as I'm not the thinnest person in the world - saw one say if you're over 90lbs then 1.5" otherwise 1" but I didn't see 1.5" blue and TBH 1.5" sounded a bit too much for my brain to handle. I felt it go into the muscle so presume it worked ok.
So I stretched the skin a bit taught as that's supposed to help - was a bit worried as pretty hairy. Then I just kinda stuck it in, I didn't hold it far away from the skin to start, a few millimetres maybe, then it went in and felt a bit like going through blancmange! I felt the bit when it went from fat to muscle, admittedly thinking back perhaps it didn't go /that/ much into the muscle so maybe 1.5" would be better but perhaps I'm splitting hairs.
I tried to draw back a bit as that's what a few said on the videos to make sure you haven't gone into a vein but not sure if that worked or not, was a little awkward to do, many don't seem to do that, many do, anyway I guess it's good to check so did try. Then I pushed in slowly - 10-15 seconds per ml one vid said which I think I did about 10 secs - saw a post from someone who said they did it in 1-2 seconds and was wondering why it hurt...!
Then I pulled it out, it was bleeding a little so I stuck a plaster on as had to go out a few mins after - earlier I was like "should I do it before or after I go out" but turns out the self-imposed time constraint helped me focus & not come up with more excuses. I massaged the area a bit as another vid suggested to 'help it move around'. That's it really, it felt a bit 'weird', still does but nothing left apart from a couple of little red dots and I'm sure I'll get better at it as I do it more, glad I've got the first one out of the way, still nervous as hell about it but I can't think of many things I was 'good' at after only one try!
So if you are reading this and worried about SI let me tell you it's nothing compared to the sheer hell of trying to get the NHS to do anything, and there's places like b12d which will help if you don't have the money.
I'm still unsure on some of the issues like the hydroxocobalamin vs methylcobalamin debate as the latter is supposed to be 'better' for actual healing but right now I just want to get my B12 up, I haven't ever felt like I did earlier this week and never want to again, I feel for anyone who has to deal with that but have been encouraged by a lot of what I've discovered via the net in terms of both information and support, that's why I guess I'm typing all this as it may help someone somewhere sometime, if not then hey I get to talk about myself some more to randoms lol.
All the usual disclaimers, I'm a hacker not a health professional, this story is for entertainment purposes only and all that jazz.
Best thing? Heat in my toes. Been years since I had that - switching between hot and cold but since I haven't felt hot for ages it's great. Hopefully this is the beginning of getting better... long road ahead still, discovery, thyroid, no more gluten, and so on!
Thanks again for all your help and support, truly truly appreciated, I love you all xxx