Remicade, for those who do not know, is a medicine administered through an IV infusion to control Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I went for my infusion yesterday, and had an interesting day.
Last month, after the infusion, I had a heaviness in my chest. I called my rheumatologist who told me that as long as it went away and did not advance to pain or difficulty breathing, not to worry. It did go away overnight, as she said it would.
So, my infusion started at about 10:15 am yesterday morning. I was a little delayed because we missed a vein getting my blood and then my vein blew just as they finished getting blood. Joy.
Thankfully, the IV needle went in good. At about 10:40am I started to feel the heavy in the chest feeling. I would describe it as similar to when you swim for a long time and then try to take a deep breath. The infusion room was hopping with lots of patients so, I didn't say anything at first thinking it was no big deal.
At about 11:15am, I decided to mention it to one of the nurses as things seemed to be quieter. Well, quiet no more! All three RN's descended upon me and began to question and check me, vitals etc. They stopped my Remicade and began to flush me with a big old bag of saline. I do take a benedryl as a pre-medication but just one 25mg pill, they quickly had me take another. They called my doc but she was on vacation so they called the covering doc who came to check me also. Before she arrived they ran a quick ECG just to be sure my heart was not involved, which I knew it wasn't and the ECG was clean. The doc listened to my chest, deemed me moving air well, checked my O2 saturation which was good also, and then had them give me a bag of Solumedrol (prednisone) via IV to stop whatever was happening.
After the bag of 'roids and about 1/2 a big ole' bag of saline and lots of pee trips the heaviness disappeared. I guess this was about an hour later. After a conference with the head of the Infusion Unit, or the Big Cheese RN as we like to call her, we restarted my infusion only super-duper slooooowly.
Thankfully, no more heaviness and I made it through the rest of the infusion and got my Remicade on board!!!
I really do not want to lose using the Remicade because it is working really well for me!!! Next month the plan will be to give me the 2 Benedryl, the bag of 'roids and then the Remicade super-duper sloooow. Prayers and positive thoughts would be appreciated that this will work!!!
It was a bit scary, although, I felt I was fine and they were all overly nervous. They assured me that they had seen this before and usually as a precursor to having to hit people with epinephrine and hospitalizing them to stop a horrible reaction. But, I never felt like I was heading into that. Either, that is my big ole'denial working overtime, or who knows maybe I am right and they were wrong. I will do whatever pre-meds they want though.
I am tired today. I usually am after my IV anyhow, but I think the added excitement and the fact that my hubby woke me to the sounds of demolition in our basement below our bedroom might have something to do with it.
Tomorrow, I should feel great! Remicade on board and some steroids to shut up my aching joints - Yee-haw!!!!
Be well my dear j-land friends,