Infliximab #2

Two weeks came around fast. I could hardly believe it was my bloods check up last Friday, let alone how quickly the weekend came and gone, then it was Tuesday. Time for an all day stint at the hospital, sitting around waiting for time to pass.

This time, everything was delayed. I was on a later appointment schedule, so that I could make my already scheduled GI clinic appointment that afternoon, and from the start, it was running late. There was already three other patients on the pumps, so I had to wait for the first to finish, which was almost 45 mins after I was supposed to be admitted to the Day Room in the Endoscopy suite. Then there was the observations that needed doing on the other patients – Biological treatment dictates that the patient must have 30 min regular obs, where blood pressure and temperature are continuously monitored – not to mention my own. After that, I was given the chance to update my IBD nurse on the status of my IBD since my first infusion.

In all honesty, it’s not been half bad. But, following my infusion, I was sick. I took a day off work following it, I could barely find the energy to get out of the bathroom for most of the morning and afternoon, so I was exhausted. I was due to go away that weekend, and still didn’t feel that initial rush of good happenings, like I did with Humira back in December 2011. But, not being biological native means that my body has gotten used to the Anti TNF treatment more than I would like, so it’s a slower process. Not helped by my insane want for it to work and work fast. So, despite that, I went away that weekend, feeling not too bad and able to enjoy myself, and continued on through the next 9 days without much problem. Then it came to the two days prior to my second infusion, and I had sudden and shockingly painful abdominal pain. I considered going to the local A&E department, but after some soothing hot water bottle time and a salt bath, I felt marginally better. The next day was a pain, I felt uncomfortable and bloated and still painfully unable to go to the bathroom. This passed, with much annoyance and fruit juice on Tuesday morning, before my infusion. Still, it was a note for concern. This either meant my narrowing had got narrower, or this was my body telling me that I needed my treatment. Either way, I’m not comforted by it, and next time it happens, I will seriously be leading towards going to A&E, despite the likelihood that it will occur closer to Christmas and might lead to a hospital stay.

So, finally we get to the point of trying to cannulate me. And I say try, because it took six attempts and two nurses to get a needle into my vein to start the treatment before it was too late in the day. I have bruises and holes in my elbow crooks, forearms and hands, that reminded me of my hospital flare ups, of two years ago. In fact, the fourth poke, brought alot of tears and bad memories to the foreground. It was painful and very uncomfortable, but finally we got one in and started the infusion.

This time around, I didn’t feel the drowsy and head aching feelings of last time. In fact, I felt very positive and full of energy. Not as much as anyone else who doesn’t suffer from severe fatigue, but it was a good level that made me smile, the more confident I got with my ability to get things done without being in pain or needing to take a rest. It was shockingly wonderful.

Yesterday, I attended work and I was doing brilliantly until I started to flag about four hours in. So, taking it easy today, especially since the frequent  bathroom trips are making it impossible to go anywhere.

But I stand optimistic in the mist of infusion#2. My next one is scheduled for December 23rd. My GI spoke greatly about how positively I had responded to this treatment – THANK GOODNESS – and how he proposed that I stay on this for another twelve months, before he repeats my colonoscopy and MRI next December. Happy Christmas to me, 2014! πŸ™‚

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Infliximab #1

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