I had my third Remicade infusion yesterday. This time, the experience was not so good.
First off, it took 2 tries to get the IV in. Try #1 involved 15 minutes of digging around trying to find the vein (though, J, the infusion nurse, is the best wielder of a needle I've ever met, and even her digging around didn't hurt all that badly). I've had worse experiences, but I'm still not a fan.
I had an allergic reaction--not severe, but enough to warrant stopping the infusion of Remicade for a while and starting a benadryl IV drip. Turns out I get two of the less common reactions to the drug: headache and itchy skin/hives. Luckily, I reported the itchiness/tingling to the nurse soon enough that a major hives outbreak didn't happen.
Things I've learned from the experience:
- Always tell the infusion nurse anything that feels different or weird.
- Benadryl drips make me giggly. I'm sure the other people in the infusion room were getting annoyed with me after a while. I thought everything was funny.
- Benadryl drips make me really sleepy and barely able to walk. Hubby had to come get me and take me home. I'll have to go back this afternoon and pick up my car.
- Sleeping in strange positions during infusions is not good for the body. My neck still hurts from the strange way I was sleeping after the benadryl knocked me out.
So, from now on, I will have to pre-medicate with benadryl and tylenol before my infusions. Tylenol for the headache and benadryl for the itchiness. Bonus: oral benadryl doesn't really make me giggly, just sleepy. So, it's probably better for all the people I'll be sharing infusion room space with.