When your first nurse refuses to even try to start your IV and calls in two other nurses, you know it's not going to go well.
When the second nurse tries to tell you that it takes a little while for your veins to get better after prednisone and you explain it's been 16 years, you know it's just going to get worse.
I wouldn't mind if they just stuck me and, if they didn't get a vein, pulled the needle out and stuck me somewhere else. What I mind is the digging around my arm to try to make the uncooperative vein stay still. I also mind that, when I tell the nurse to stop, she keeps digging the damn needle into my arm!
By the time the third nurse stopped the third failed attempt to get a vein, I was crying. Not just a little misty-eyed sadness, either. I was sobbing, tears streaming down my face. I'm usually a tough cookie, but I did not have the patience for it Friday. My poor brother, who came with me so the hubby wouldn't have to miss more work, finally calmed me down. I kept wishing the nurse I had last week was working.
On the fourth attempt, we just gave up and went for the wrist. My vein in my wrist is really good, but I try to reserve it for last resort. I used to have a really good vein in my left arm until I let the nurses stick it every time they needed blood or started an IV. Now it's so scarred we can't use it for anything. I don't want my last good vein to end up the same way.
It took 40 minutes to get my IV started.
Once the IV was started, things were much better. My brother and I watched Fox News coverage of McCain's VP choice (AWESOME!) and an A&E documentary on Depression-era gangsters. My brother and I are both fonts of useless knowledge, and we spent most of the time pointing out trivia about the various gangsters before the documentary brought it up (the Lady in Red really wore orange).
My first infusion started at a slow rate and was gradually increased to make sure I didn't have an allergic reaction. This infusion was done at the normal rate the entire time, and I was worried I'd have the arm pain I had at the end of the last infusion. There was some pain, but it was not as bad as last time. Instead of having it during the last 30 minutes, though, it hurt the entire time. It still hurts a little today.
Seems that my blood pressure has a mind of its own again. Not sure if it's the Remicade or the steroids. Or maybe it's the fact that, every time I have an infusion, I'm completely stressed out. I need to keep an eye on it and see the doc if it continues to run high.
I had a good deal of nausea after the infusion, but, like last week, it was all gone by the next day. I'm still a little tired today, and my arm is hurting a bit. Overall, though, I don't feel too bad. Hope to be completely recovered by Monday.
My next infusion is four weeks away, so I hope my veins will be healed in that time. And hopefully my favorite nurse won't have the day off.