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Posted Sep 27 2011 10:56am

We have a new piece of decor at home.

This stylish little box is where we will drop a used needle every night, after giving Daphne a shot of Human Growth Hormone. After a relatively quick and completely painless approval by the insurance company, we received the first shipment last week.

The company that makes the HGH assigned us a case manager and sent over a nurse to teach us how to give the shots. Understandably, we were a little anxious about the procedure, as the little Nugget is not known for sitting still around sharp objects.

Z and I have been somewhat numb about this new treatment. You may think that having to give a toddler a daily injection would be a huge deal, but we just see it as one tool in the arsenal to get Daphne to grow, or to perform a task her kidneys are neglecting. She will be in treatment until puberty, or until her own natural growth hormone kicks into gear after she has a healthy kidney.

The nurse went over the process in minute detail: Daphne’s dose, how the medicine needs to be stored, how to set the pen (similar to an epipen) to her correct dose, how long each pen should last, and how to give an injection. We each got to practice once on a little pillow, and then we were pronounced ready to roll by the nurse.

Z held Daphne and I got to give the first injection. D was incredibly offended when the nurse pinched her thigh to show me where the needle would go. Then I gave the shot and she didn’t notice. I kid you not. There were no tears, no screams. Two seconds and it was done. The needle is so tiny it almost looks like a toy.

The actual needle is half the length of the inner white cap.

I thought I was going to be emotional about sticking the soft and surprisingly chubby thigh for the first time, but not even. We are now supposed to observe her closely for potential side effects: head aches, joint pain, maybe a bloody nose. The nurse also recommended marking a growth chart monthly so we can track her progress.

At the very end, she advised us that in order for the medicine to be at its most effective, Daphne would need to sleep well (fine), get lots of physical activity (also fine) and eat well. Thud. Then the nurse started the dreaded “have you tried this…” line of questioning that makes my skin crawl across the state line. In almost unison we said “We’ve tried it all” and I think the tone was convincing enough that she stopped and sheepishly said “well, let’s give her time.” We’re good at that.

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