Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mommy & Me (and the IV)

I finally had my first Remicade treatment on Thursday. After all the hoops I jumped through to get myself to that appointment in the first place, the treatment itself was surprisingly simple. The nurse did somehow manage to spatter my blood all over the floor when she placed the IV, which was lovely, but after that nothing really happened. I had the IV in my left hand, and it was connected to two bags of liquid hanging from a tall rack next to me – one of saline and one of Remicade. These were both slowly dripped into my system. I had a pulse monitor on my left index finger, which started beeping if I moved around too much, so I had to sit relatively still. I also had a blood pressure monitor wrapped around my right arm that took my blood pressure every half hour or so. And that was it. I just sat there like that for about three hours. It was actually pretty easy.

Still, I was pretty nervous about what the treatment would be like. The only other time I ever had an IV was when APL took me to the emergency room for a really terrible migraine about two years ago. I was so out of it that time that I barely remember it, plus they basically just gave me fluids and a little bit of pain killer. Remicade, on the other hand, is a pretty serious medication with a lot of nasty side effects. I was concerned about how I would feel during the treatment and afterward.

I also really don’t like hospitals or doctors. They make me really nervous. I actually have a condition doctors call “white coat hypertension,” where I get a temporarily inflated blood pressure just from being at a doctor’s office. And there was something pretty creepy about this room full of sick people hooked to IVs, especially since most of them looked a lot sicker than I did. The nurses kept asking me if I knew about the side effects of Remicade and had agreed to accept them, which made me feel like I was doing something dangerous. And it really made me feel like an invalid when I had to get up and go to the bathroom – a nurse had to unhook me from a bunch of different machines and I had to roll the IV into the bathroom with me.

So I am extremely grateful that I didn’t have to go through that first treatment all by myself. APL had to work, so he couldn’t be there, but my mom had the day off from work. So she decided to fly all the way from California to Colorado to take me to the treatment and spend the weekend with me. She came a long way for a treatment that turned out not to be a big deal, but I am so happy she did. We spent the three hours that I was hooked to the IV talking and flipping through stupid girly magazines. And while I registered that the situation was a bit creepy and made me feel sickly, with my mom there it wasn’t that bad.

The rest of the weekend was also really enjoyable, and my mom helped me do some errands I have been putting off forever due to feeling icky and having no energy. We went bra shopping. We went to Target and bought me some slippers to wear around the house since me feet are always cold these days. She did the driving when my feet were feeling too cramped and sore to drive. She helped me do some laundry I have been neglecting. She cooked me my favorite Polish food for dinner. It was awesome.

I don’t think I’ll ever be too old for a little mommy & me time. Thanks so much, Mom!!


~kelly marie~ said...

I'm so glad you got your first treatment. It is so amazing that your Mom came. So sweet!
I will keep my fingers crossed that Remicade is the answer for you.

PS. I hate when they ask you, "don't you know the side effects?" Yes, b*%&%, I know. Now leave me the F alone. I've never said that, but I've thought it :).

~Mariah~ said...

Yeah, it is really frustrating when they keep asking you about side effects. Especially with my legal training because I want to shout out "I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE NOT LIABLE FOR THE DECISIONS I MAKE!! STOP TRYING TO COVER YOUR ASS!!"

I mean, I read all the pamphlets, I talked to the doctor, I googled the damn meds on the internet, I had to jump through 95 hoops to get to this appointment in the first place...I think I'm pretty aware of the side effects. That is, I've already accepted the scary stuff and here I am anyways. Doesn't the fact that I am holding my arm towards your outstretched needle tend to indicate that I have accepted them?

And speaking of arm + needle, I have a large, ugly, brown, and very tender bruise over most of the top of my left hand from that IV. But, luckily, that seems to be the only side effect so far.

~kelly marie~ said...

I am so glad that's the only side effect so far!

My grandmother used to just flip off doctors who came to her and said stupid stuff. Pretty brilliant, as they left her alone after that! jaja!

Sylvia Zebrowski said...

You moma loves you so much. You are fantastic.

~Mariah~ said...

Love you too, Mama!