That Time My Doctor Wanted Me to Try Victoza
Last updated: March 2022
Initially, my doctor put me on metformin. It seems to be the type 2 diabetes go-to prescription despite the side effects that are possible with it. My stomach could not deal with the metformin after several months. I was just constantly in the bathroom for no reason at all.
I informed my doc that the side effects were too much on my GI system. After we discussed my metformin experience, he agreed and prescribed Victoza.
Considering Victoza for type 2 diabetes
I had never heard of it. I immediately had questions and concerns when he told me it was an injectable.
At the time, I was not too far out from my cancer treatments. I was traumatized by all the heparin injections I received and having been poked and prodded for numerous reasons over the course of my treatments. (Strike 1 in my mind).
I live alone and do not have anyone else who can give me a shot. My palms were sweaty just thinking about trying to give myself an injection. (Strike 2).
At the time, in my state of recovery, it was all I could do to get up and out of the door to go to my job on time. I had concerns about remembering to take an injectable prescription. Most mornings I did not make it into the kitchen and usually got breakfast at work or made oatmeal when I got there, which I kept at my desk. It's not like pills that I could carry with me and take wherever I happened to land on any particular morning. (Strike 3).
Starting Victoza with hesitancy
I voiced my concerns to my doctor at the time. He still wanted me to give it a try. In my ignorance as being a newly diagnosed patient, I thought that maybe that was a normal second step in treatment and that there weren't other oral meds that I would be suitable for. (Boy! Was I wrong!) I begrudgingly agreed to give Victoza a whirl.
I picked up the prescription. Put post-it notes next to my bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, and on my apartment door so that I would see them every morning. I set alarms on my phone and marked it as a task on my calendar. I did everything I could to set myself up for success.
Dealing with the mental aspects
I just could not get over the mental block. It was like giving me flashbacks to my hospitalizations and horrible access experiences when I've gotten imaging and bloodwork done. I talked to my therapist. She gave me some techniques to try.
I was still having a lot of anxiety around administering my own shots the next month when I saw her next. She agreed that the prospect of administering my own shots was too much for me. She sent my doctor a message.
Creating a new treatment plan
The next time I saw him, we tried a different treatment route with a more strict diet, increased exercises goals, and, unfortunately, back to metformin, but on a lower dose. I wasn't thrilled with going back to metformin, but I could deal with that better than the injections.
I think I took a total of 3 or 4 doses of Victoza. I had no major side effects that I can recall. I just could not deal with the shots. Sometimes you have to speak up as much for your mental health as you do for your physical health.
Since that time, due to staffing changes, I have switched docs twice. I now have a wonderfully caring female doc who listens to me and considers all that I have already been through. I have been taking Januvia for about 6 months now. I have not noticed any side effects and am seeing improvements in my lab work, so the changes are paying off for me, as is speaking up for myself.
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