The hardest part of getting an infusion for me is when the RN has to put the IV in. Since my veins are not willing to be poked they run and hide. I have learned a few tricks in the last couple of years in how to make them go easier for myself. First thing I do before I even go to the infusion clinic is drink tons of water, more than usual. The water plumbs up and lubricates the veins to make the initial poke into the vein easier. The second thing I do is communicate with the nurse that I am a challenging poke and guide them to the best arm. I have not meet one nurse who didn’t appreciate my help with this knowledge. They still do their exploring of the arm. I have one arm that is right for the IV and one that isn’t. My right arm is always the best. It gives up the vein and lets the catheter slide in easier. Lynette my RN yesterday was kind, but she didn’t like my veins either. I don’t like them myself. I am grateful she only had to poke me twice in order to get the IV in. She did say to me that she things I should get a lump of coal for Christmas just because of my veins. I told her great that means I can make my own diamond. I like nurses that make jokes or have pleasant attitudes while propping my veins. It makes the process better. Attitude is everything no matter what the process is.
Once I got hooked up to the saline water bag and the 1000 MG of Rituximab then the slow drip begins. I have to have it slowly. The pressure on the IV final set is 150 units. It can go up to 200 units, but my veins freak out at that pressure. 150 units is the pressure that is used to get the fluids into your veins. I have learned so much and I didn’t have go to nursing school. One of the things that has helped me with this process is asking the questions to the RN’s and doctors. I have found that they don’t mind answering questions at all. Yesterday’s infusion took 5 ½ hours altogether. That makes for a long day. I found out why the give me Tylenol, Benedryl, and Solumedrol steroids before each infusion. These three things help your body with the side effects that could happen. These 3 things were missing the first time I got my infusion and had my reaction that scared me. I had to stop that first process after only 30 minutes.
The best part of yesterday for me was when I got to spend some time with my sister Carri. We talked about forgiveness and the power it has. She gave me a ton to think about. I also talked to her about me moving back to Longview. I have been worried about making that choice for three reasons. One, my sister Carri has a ton on her plate with taking care of my mom, her son, and my sister Joy. She has a lot of responsibility to where she isn’t taking proper care of herself because she feels she can’t. I did not want to add to that burden. When I asked her what she thought. She seemed to like the idea and even gave me some great hope about having the help I will need with moving. I know now that I have the support that I need. I realize that the second reason, the chance of running to a monster that had hurt me deeply. I realize that I am no longer afraid of him. I no longer value his opinion, his toxic and negative friendship, or even the pretend support that he had offered me at one time. I don’t need him. I never did. And the third was medically. I don’t not like the medical system in Longview. In order for it to change. People have to stop running from the negative system and start doing things to change it. I have been deeply thinking and considering becoming a teacher for the Living Well With Chronic Illness classes that they offered in Vancouver. While I was looking at the locations of meetings I saw that Longview didn’t have any. They haven’t the 2 years I have been looking at times and classes. The process will be for me to take the class and then the teaching class so that I am qualified to teach and then finding a place to teach it. The class is from Stanford University which is a leading teacher’s hospital for doctors and living well. I want to be a part of that. I think Longview needs that to help with the attitudes of nurses, doctors, patients, and our community. These are just a few of my thoughts. If anyone has any thoughts I would be happy to hear them or even suggestions of possible locations in the future to hold a class. They can be anywhere. It’s a 6 weeks program that goes through nutrition, exercise, and what it takes to take care of one’s self.