After trying Enbrel for over 6 months, my rheumy decided to put me on something else. The Enbrel simply did not work for me. It doesn't work for everyone. I hate the commercials for all biologics, like Enbrel and Humira. It makes it seem that if we take this shot, we will be cured. Ya, right. It takes about 3-6 months for them to start working, if they do at all.
Anyway, at my last appointment with my rheumy, he decided to put me on Actemra. It has the same side effects as Enbrel does but it could also raise my cholesterol levels. I have always had an issue with my cholesterol. He did lots of blood work and then called me the next day. Apparently my cholesterol is great, for once. It was 167, down from 264 from last year. Because of the cholesterol risk, he decided to put me on Remicade instead. Fine with me. I have herd lots about it and it works for them.
So, today was my first infusion. I got there a few minutes before my appointment, just in case. The infusion center is a big open room. We have recliners, our own tv's and our own headphones that will stay there. They offered me snacks and something to drink. I was kinda dehydrated so they gave me a bottle of water and gave me intravenous fluids before the infusion. I was even given a nice hot blanket.
My nurse, Cindy was so nice and explained everything to me. She started my iv in a vein in the middle of my hand. She missed the vein or went through it because the saline started to build up in the area around the vein. It didn't hurt but I started to get very light headed almost right away. IV came out and I got put in the blood pressure machine and layed back in the recliner. I was sweating and felt like I was going to pass out. Hate that feeling.
After a few minutes, I felt back to normal and Cindy went back to starting up the IV. Second time was on the top of my wrist. It didn't hurt but man when that tape came off, that hurt.
I guess it takes 30 minutes to mix my Remicade because it goes by your weight, so they gave me my fluids while I waited. I also got a Benadryl and a couple of Tylenol. Good thing I asked my neighbor, Nancy, to drive me. Benadryl makes me tired and I sure was once this was all done.
Once the Remicade was ready, that got hooked up to me. It took 2 hours for that to get into me. I had my phone, a book and come needlework to do while there. I tried to do some of the needlework, but I think me moving my hand, even the little I was, messed up with the IV. I think the alarm on the pump went off like 5 times because the needle kept bending inside my vein. Didn't hurt thank goodness.
So once the Remicade was done, I had to stay an extra half hour to make sure I didn't have any issues. They kept me hooked up to the IV and finished off my bag of fluids. The last hour I was really cold and dozed a little. I was really tired from both the Benadryl and the fact that I was there for over 3 hours. Long draining day. The next infusion is in 2 weeks and that one should go faster, plus I don't have to stay for the extra half hour after.
I took an hour and half long nap when I got home.I think the only reason I woke up was because I herd Matt come home from school. I would have slept longer I think. I am hoping that this stuff works. I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired.
First published 11/6/12