Hi Mystery Reader,
Good for you for starting treatment. The nurse will train you in how to inject in all of the sites, both manually and with the autoject. There are some tricks that you can use to reach all those areas by yourself, whether you choose the autoject or manual method (I am an autoject girl, myself J). Have you received the Copaxone bag with the injection training dvd in it? If not, here is a link to the online version:
I totally understand and share your nervousness about the IPIRs (the chest pain/shortness of breath), however luckily only a small number of Copaxone users will actually have this happen with any severity. If you do have an IPIR while you are alone, you can call Shared Solutions (the people who support Copaxone) and a nurse will stay on the phone with you until it is over.
As far as injection site reactions go, I think there is a good deal of variation in how many/how severe these are, depending on the individual. You will be given tips to help lessen the reactions, such as heat, ice, and if you use the autoject, changing the depth setting. I did get some pretty good welts at one point, but nothing that was unmanageable. Now, (6 months into treatment) I do still have site reactions, but the severity has lessoned with time. The day after my shot, it just looks like I’ve been bitten by a mosquito at the injection site, and does not usually bother me with pain and/or itchiness.
Like Gretchen mentioned, I too have found that the injections have become a part of my routine. I both hope and believe that this will happen for you as well. Best of luck with your training, and please keep us posted and let us know if you have any questions.