Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My first IV

To say I was nervous would be an understatement.

I was nervous because of two known facts.

Fact 1. My veins are pretty horrible.
Fact 2. My phlebotomist is pretty good, but still has trouble with my veins.

So I got there an hour early to prep for my first IV since October of 2009. This prep includes drinking a lot of water (which began actually 2 hours before I got there at 6am) and using a heating pad on both arms. So after a while of warming, I sat in the chair that makes me pretty nervous. However because my favorite Phlebotomist knows me, my history and my veins ... it makes the process a lot easier. She tourniquets both arms and begins marking possible spots to decide which arm she'll probably use. Then she gives my arms a rest while she gathers supplies and then is ready to pick one of the spots. She chose a vein and I put my trust in her and told her I was confident that she would get it the first time. With a lot of prayer and a lot of skill, she got it the first try.

Because I had a bad experience once, I asked if I could wait until after she inserted the IV to start the Benedryl. She had no trouble with this, but of course it meant I would have to wait 30 minutes to begin the Iron. I had no problems waiting if it meant if she couldn't get a vein that I wouldn't go home exhausted feeling like a mac truck had ran me down. So I pre-pay and set up my next 3 IV's. Just so everyone is in the know, they will be every Wednesday in the afternoon the next 3 Wednesday's. I set up "Old Reliable" with the movie Seven Pounds and start watching.

Shortly into the movie, I was called over to start my test dose of Iron. When they start a person on Iron at my doctor's offfice, they put a small amount into a 10 ml syringe and infuse over 10 minutes. Then you have to wait an hour. So part of that hour I watched the movie and then the fatigue took over. So I put my things away and finished my snack of Almonds and Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I kept dozing off, but I had some chatty neighbors so I pretty much forced myself awake not to be rude to the kind ladies next to me interested in Lyme. I knew as soon as I hit the truck that I would be out cold.

Things went well with the test dose so I started the next infusion. It was put in a 60 ML syringe and it was infused over a 30 minute span. I was done by 11. I got there at 8 and was done by 11. I'm not sure what time I got home, but I woke up once hearing the dog barking. That sly devil knew I was home and wanted to go out, but I was too conked out to take him. So stumbled to my bedroom door and did something I *never* do. I let that little sly devil come into the bed with me knowing it would stop his barking because he'd think he was "sneaking" into the bedroom.

That did the trick. I slept solid for about 5 hours and then once I woke briefly I forced myself awake. I feel pretty good other than being extremely fatigued. I had one bout of diarhhea after the completion of the IV, but that was the only bout. It was probably more of built up nerves than anything. To tell you how solidly I slept, there was apparently a really bad thunderstorm here. I didn't know anything about it. I walked out to take Bark E Bark for a quick walk and the ground was soaked and the power went out at some point too.

I met another Lyme patient. I wish I had been more coherent, but there at the end it was all I could do to string one word to another to form a sentence. When I got home, I typed down her name to help me remember if she emails.


LymeFighter11 said...

Wow Jennifer! I'm glad they got it on the first try, i've had some bad luck with needles....I'm scared of them!! Hopefully that will help you feel better. I hope you are doing better.

That's a long time with the IV, did you feel any pain? Goodluck!!

Jennifer said...

3 hours seems like a long time, but it really isn't because the insertion didn't take place until 8:45. So really I only had the IV in for 2 hours and 15 minutes. I only had about 40 minutes of infusion and the rest was just sitting there waiting to see if I had a reaction of any sorts.

I also was armed with a heating pad if it hurt, but my lady was really good this go around and the IV only hurt for the initial few minutes. Once I settled in the chair with a pillow under my arm (which was mainly there to hold the device that timed out the IV), I felt nothing at all. If they were all that easy, it would be a great thing.

LymeFighter11 said...

I'm glad it didn't bother you that much. yeah to bad they're not all that easy and painless! :) you didn't have any major side effects?

Jennifer said...

Well I didn't sleep well last night, but I'm not sure if that was due to the Iron or just because I slept most of the day.

It was "only" Iron. So it wasn't something to cause a herx reaction.

LymeFighter11 said...

Oh, that's to bad.. It could be that you just slept to much that day. Yeah, i'm glad there wasn't a bigger effect on you. How are you doing now?

Jennifer said...

Other than a little tired, I'm alright. I have a small headache, but I don't think that has anything to do with the Iron.

LymeFighter11 said...

Wow, yeah. Well just rest :) I'm glad it didn't have any bigger effects.