Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another infusion down and aftereffects

If you are one of us who routinely has to get "stuck" at the doctor's office you know that when you are flaring it becomes a more difficult process.  I am still at the tail end of the flare that began back around the fourth of July.  I have also been working my tail off and between the two I am swollen up enough that I am up a shoe size and my rings will not come off my hands. 

Generally I just go with it because it's such a part of my life that I can make minor changes to accomodate so I didn't even think about it when I went for my infusion yesterday.  I went in and got on the scale (blech) and then settled in to my chair.  Usually I take along magazine articles to read but this time I just wasn't in the mood to read them so I put them off to the side.  I got my "reward" Macchiato (*yay Starbucks) arranged on the little table next to me so I could reach it when it was time and the nurse brought me a water and offered PB crackers.  I love those stupid things but after discussing that they are SIX POINTS for that little package at Weight Watchers this past Wednesday I had stopped and picked up  Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel Sandwiches and even avoided the ever-so-tempting chocolate covered option so that I could join my fellow infusers in "snacktime" without going whole hog and wasting those 6 points. ** On a side note- if you haven't tried these pretzel sandwiches- they are a favorite of mine.  I can't even bring them in the house because I would very easily eat the whole 10oz bag mindlessly. After the visit- I left them in my car so that they are there for the next infusion**  Needless to say they were a treat and for half the points.  While I was at the store, I also picked up cookies for the nursing staff at the infusion center.  They are terrific and really make the visits pleasant.  But I digress.  Once I was all settled in, they came over to take a look at my veins.  I warned them that I was flaring and swollen- which was met with a sympathetic "Oh NO!" and the news that they also had to do labs at this visit.  After checking out my arms out came the heating pads.  I sat for about 15 minutes with the pads on my arms trying to get the veins to show themselves. 

Finally we got the visual of a vein on my right forearm.  The infusion nurse came over and popped in the IV line and got me all taped down and started the saline drip.  She tried to get my labs from the infusion line and it just wasn't happening.  She moved on to the next person and sent back one of the other nurses who was able to get a good stick first time from the left arm.  Since sleep has not been my friend for several weeks now, I was able to doze off during the infusion but when I was awake, I could feel the tingling from my thumb to my bicep as the medicine worked its way into my system.  Two hours later, I was done and they removed all of the apparatus.  Unfortunately- my arm was being uncooperative and didn't want to stop bleeding.  That meant that the nurse had to hold several guaze pads on there fairly firmly to get a clot and I had to be careful with it after so it didn't start back up.  By the time I was done I was fairly worn out so I went home and napped.  Each time I have had the infusion it has made me exhausted on the day of and the two hour nap helped a lot.  Also each time- the next day I have been very sick to my stomach- so this time I popped a fenergren before going to bed last night. 

Fast forward to this morning.  For the first time- I am not feeling sick!  That means the fenergren worked and that is a terrific thing.  I do have the immodium standing by just in case but so far- so good.  I have a fairly large bruise on my forearm and a much smaller one on the spot where they did my labs but neither are horrible.  I do still have tingling from my thumb to my shoulder which feels weird, but again- not horrible.  So far, this is the best "day after" of all the infusions. 

And on that note- I am off to do some last minute sprucing up before I head to the airport to pick up my friend! 


Living It, Loving It said...

I don’t wear my rings anymore and I own shoes that one and two sizes bigger. Fortunately, in recent weeks, my shoes have been making noise because they are actually too big. I know it is not hard to be entwined with feeling bad that we forget that we can feel good. Don’t give up hope that you will feel better. I hate the scale too but like you, I have started making healthier choices to rid myself of the guilt that the weight gain and swelling adds to my grieving over my weight so it is the little steps that make a difference. I am so happy to hear about all these changes and how you are feeling better. I had to get to that realization too. And I love the blog changes. Changes everywhere!

I have a little something for you at my blog.

Wren said...

First, LOVE the new blog look, Jules!

I'm really glad to hear that the infusion went so well and that you're learning the ropes as far as how to deal with the immediate aftermath. Is the tingling in the arm a normal side-effect of the medication? (Can't think of what it was, now. Embrel?)

I tend to be a hard stick for some phlebotomists (thankfully not ALL), too. Last time I had blood drawn, they took it from the back of my hand. Ouchhhh! I've never been particularly afraid of needles, but this is something I could sure do without!

Sounds like the whole thing was pretty positive. That Attitude of Gratitude you work so hard on is working! Love how that happens...

Best to you, m'dear...