2 steps forward, 1 back...
I experienced a bit of a setback today. I went in for my 6 week Remicade infusion this morning. No such luck. The nurses-yes, plural- could not find a vein in either arm, wrist or hand willing to take the needle. Very discouraging. After being stuck 4 times and blowing 4 veins the nurses stopped trying. This is nothing new. Each time I come in it takes a minimum of 3 sticks to get the IV started. Very frustrating.
My fabulous infusion nurse, Carla, is very sympathetic. She has been a real trooper thru all of this. Now, you may think I'm crazy calling her a trooper when I'm the one getting stuck, but she is amazing. She truly hates sticking you more than once. She usually calls the nuclear medicine department and has one of those nurses-Amy or Nicki- come to stick me. They are used to dealing with difficult sticks, but even they have to do several sticks. I am known in the clinic, not because I am so cute or stylish or even funny ;-) -- I'm known because I am a hard, hard stick.
So now, I see a surgeon tomorrow (Thursday). Dr. Lusby (my GI) recommended I have a port put in. A port is an IV sight below the skin, typically above the breast area. It is inserted thru about a 2 inch incision and provides a direct connection to a major blood vessel so I won't have to be stuck 500 times before an IV can be started. This port will be completely sealed under the skin so it is kept sterile. I can shower, swim and everything as usual. The worst part will be the 2 weeks or so it takes the incision to heal--the best part are the drugs I will get during the procedure (hee hee). Before each infusion I will use a topical numbing agent and then Carla can access the port and plug me into that miracle juice--Remicade!
I will update the blog after my appointment tomorrow. Thanks for your friendship and concern. I could also use some prayers for all to go well during the procedure. After my consultation tomorrow I should have an "install" date to post.