I had my first outpatient Remicade infusion today. It was actually my second dose, since I had one two weeks ago during my hospital stay. It seemed to go well. Before the Remicade, I got a big ol' IV dose of hydrocortisone, which is apparently supposed to lessen the side effects or adverse reactions of Remicade or something. This is in addition to the 50mg/day of Prednisone I'm already taking this week, so I'm a little wired today. We'll see if I have any funky side effects in the next few days from the Remicade. In the hospital I had night sweats for three nights after the meds, and a nurse looked it up and said that was a side effect of Remicade. I won't have the luxury of a call button here at home for someone to come in at 4am and change our soaking bedsheets, so hopefully sleeping on a bath towel will do the trick. Ah, my life is so glamorous.
I didn't really know what to expect from the infusion center (at Riverside Health Center). It's a smoothly-run operation, but relatively laid-back. It's basically an L-shaped room with a row of recliners and a few hospital beds, each one set up with an IV pump and some other equipment, plus a big nurses' station. The nurses were very friendly and patient and calm and everyone, even the chemo patients, seemed in okay spirits, considering. Most of the other patients were on a first-name basis with the nurses and some had apparently been there several times over the last week or two. A few had surgically implanted infusion ports because they have such frequent treatments, one was completely bald from her chemo, and others were just stopping in for a treatment before a long day of bone-density scans or other diagnostic procedures. It really put things in perspective for me. I may be in some discomfort, but I'm not battling for my life right now. I am so so so so so lucky.
Because of the timing of my appointment, I had to miss a big company luncheon at work. While I'm not usually big on corporate events, I do enjoy a good free, catered meal, and I was a little bummed to miss it. Two things happened to brighten my day a bit. First, an unexpected 'perk' of a mid-day infusion appointment is that they serve you a boxed lunch. While it was still hospital food, it was totally within the limits of my current dietary restrictions, which was comforting. Second, before leaving work for my appointment, I jokingly sent an e-mail to my friend/project manager Tracie suggesting that somebody attending the luncheon smuggle out a piece of cheesecake in their purse for me. Well, she did it. All old-lady style, wrapped in a napkin and everything! I was tickled that she did this for me. It was a pretty tasty slice of cheesecake, too (although, admittedly, probably a little richer than what I'm supposed to be eating right now).
One more bright spot-- while I got my infusion, I knitted a tiny pair of baby mittens for the niece or nephew I hope to be meeting in a week or so. They match a hat I knitted for the baby during my hospital stay. Now I just need to figure out how to get more knitting done with less illness-- that would be a better balance and I'd probably be less stressed, too.
P.S. Ezra liked the bandage on my arm from the IV, so we made him one with gauze and tape from the first aid kit. We wore them like twins to the library to pick up some books while Rob made us a delicious dinner (roasted chicken and potatoes!) That kid is so much fun. My family is so much fun.
- ▼ 2010 (3)