Quote of the week:

“They'd have to shoot me to get me back to Illnois."

~Abraham Lincoln upon going to WDC to become president

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Saline--It's just like beer

I have often said, "I don't buy beer, I rent it", as it runs right through me. I have come to the conclusion that saline is just the same. Today was my IVIG infusion day. The day each month I just want to be over. Travis came and got me to hook up my IV. I don't have a problem nor get freaked out by needles (good thing!) But I just don't like to watch it go in, so I always look away after he does the alcohol swab. All of a sudden, he's moving to get the tape to tape the catheter in. I didn't even feel it going this time. "Damn, you're good Travis!" I tell him this often. It's beneficial to keep the people who jam needles in your body on your good side. He hooks up the the first bottle of IgG, and they always hook up a bag of saline to drip along with the IgG. I have a small bladder to begin with. By the time the first (bigger 200 ml or 20g) bottle of IgG is done. My bladder is feeling it. The second bottle always seems to drip slower than the first. By the time it's finally done, I usually have to piss like a field horse. I always see the Dr. sometime during the infusion. He was running behind today, so when the second bottle had emptied, he still had not been to the room. So, I disconnected the line where it hooks into the catheter, and went to relieve myself.
My medical question is, why are IV fluids kept at room temperature and not body temperature? Aside from having to piss out a liter of urine, I'm corpse cold by the time the infusion is over. Last month, when the nurse went to get me a blanket, I found out they've gone high tech. No more big fluffy cotton blankets. It's the space age disposable blanket, that's the thickness of a paper table cloth or napkin. It's sort of like a large version of the bibs the dentist put on you. But surprisingly, very effective in the warming factor.
When I first learned I was going to start this lifetime of monthly rides, I decided I wanted to try and make these monthly contstitutionals as zen as possible. I was at my previous employer, out in the burbs, so it meant I would end up taking the whole day off. I did this for a few reasons: 1) It was not really worth the while to drive for over an hour, to work for 4 hours and then come back; 2) I loathed that job and place, so the anticipated monthly day away was as much a mental health break as anything; 3) In the event I had an infusion reaction, I didn't have to worry about work. (I've had reactions a few times.)
I'd schedule the appointments for late morning or early afternoon so I could sleep in. I'd take a book, and read while the drip ran. This can end up being problematic, as I have to get my arm in just the right position for the drip to go. Slight movements can stop it. The positions are never really comfortable, especially if the catheter is in the crook of your arm.
Now, since I work in the city, I can schedule my appointments for the end of the day, leave work early, be home by 7:00 pm. I'm usually pretty wiped. Instead of reading, now I try to just zone out, clear my head, and if the nurse/tech/ and/or doc are delayed in their frequency of checking in on me, I sometimes nod off. While not feeding my brain, I think it's good, because it's a forced rest. It's two hours + every month that I have to stop and just be, not do. I don't even put my MP3 ear buds in. A forced rest is not really such a bad thing. We should all 'schedule' that for ourselves. But it should really be more than 2 hours a month. It shouldn't require an IV and bag of saline to make me stop and just be. But sometimes it does. I just wish it didn't make me have to piss so much.

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