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Injections This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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What's in a person's refrigerator can tell you a lot about her. For example, it can tell you if she's a vegan, vegetarian, or a cannibal. Also, it can tell you if she is hiding a secret message, like in Swindle by Gordon Korman, where S. Wendell hides his money in a turkey. In my case, what my fridge says about me isn't nearly as interesting, although it is unusual.

It's time for bed, so I go to my refrigerator. Inside, permeated by the foul-smelling cheese my dad enjoys, are three things I use every day. They are a canister, a bottle of medicine, and a needle. I sit on a kitchen chair, pull up my pants leg, and wipe my skin with an alcohol swab to disinfect it. Then I jab the needle into my leg and dial the medicine up to the correct dosage.

Next, I slowly push the red button, click by click, until all of the medicine has been injected. Sometimes, while I am waiting, I read the label: “Inject 1.4 milligrams subcutaneously.” Other times I simply think – about how doing this has mostly helped me, but that it has also complicated my life.

For instance, I have to talk to my doctor every three months, and get blood drawn every six. I can't mention my injections to certain people because they'll start going on about how they hate shots and they get faint, etc. Having to give myself injections also means I rarely can have sleepovers with friends, since I take these injections every night. It's pretty embarrassing when someone accidentally walks in when I'm giving myself a shot. I also sometimes get bruises on my legs if I accidentally hit a vein, which isn't so great for gym class.

I started my long affair with this medicine and needles four years ago in fourth grade. At that time I was about as tall as a big kindergartener, which was embarrassing. After consulting doctors, my parents decided that both my twin sister and I would start taking a medicine called Somatropin, which is a growth hormone. We were born three months premature and had some early medical problems. Even now we don't make enough growth hormone on our own, so we have to use this supplement. Even though our insurance covers some of the cost, it is very expensive – about $1,000 per 10 milligrams.

Although taking this medicine isn't a big deal to me, it has influenced my perspective. For example, my cousin, whom we are very close to, said, “But it doesn't hurt after a while.” I disagreed, saying that sometimes it hurts less, but it always hurts. He replied, “But you get used to it.” There are some things that I can't explain to people who don't understand. He ­doesn't face the sharp sting of a needle every night, or regular visits to an endocrinologist. He may know about many things, but he'll never understand what this is like.

For now, I'll keep taking growth hormone. For now, I'll inject myself with a needle every night. For now, I depend on a medicine to help me grow. One day this won't be the case.

But not today.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 7 comments. Post your own!

eliana924 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm:
Wow, it's so brave of you to post this. I like how you don't disclose the details until the end, as it keeps it suspenseful. I especially like the very detailed descriptions of the injection itself; the level of detail you give it in your writing seems to reflect how much it affects your life.
 
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EPluribusUnumThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm:
First of all, nice hook at the begining of the article. The whole thing was really well written, good job. Second, wow. I won't bore you with a rant about needles, but I really admire you for putting up with what you do to grow. That's a lot to handle. And I'll gladdly give you some of my exess height if you want it :)
 
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CMoore5 said...
Mar. 21, 2012 at 10:00 pm:
I'm sorry I didn't mean to do that, my computer's messing up. What I meant to say is you are a talented writer and I am enjoying your articles!
 
KatsKThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm :
That's okay, mine does that all of the time . . . Thanks for the compliment(s)! I will continue writing-- you can give me as much feedback as you'd like (and be brutally honest; I can handle it).
 
KatsKThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm :
That's okay, mine does that all of the time . . . Thanks for the compliment(s)! I will continue writing-- you can give me as much feedback as you'd like (and be brutally honest; I can handle it).
 
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CMoore5 said...
Mar. 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm:
Please keep your comments positive and constructive. We'll remove anything inappropriate. Thanks!
 
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CMoore5 said...
Mar. 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm:
Please keep your comments positive and constructive. We'll remove anything inappropriate. Thanks!
 
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