As nervous as I was yesterday, things went fairly smooth. The clinic and the nursing staff were awesome! You walk in and there is a great big nursing station with quite a few chairs around it. You walk in, put your paperwork in the tray and pick your chair. I brought a backpack full of food and things to do, plus a blanket and pillow. So I sat in my chair and waited. There was only one other person there at 9:30 am. It was a slow morning the nurses said.
They gave me some Tylenol and hooked up my IV. And started the Benadryl through the IV. All went fine. Could not feel the IV hardly at all. Once the Rituxan started going in, my fingers on my left hand (the one with the IV) started turning purple, so I grabbed my gloves and modified them. I now have a glove that only comes down to where the IV was. Nice and convenient for the rest of my treatments. Since the medicine is at room temperature, it was causing the Raynaud's to act up.
The next four hours went by no problem. They ramped up the drug from 50 cc/hr to 275 cc/hr, monitoring my vitals every 15-30 minutes. I had a small fever and my blood pressure was going up, other than that all was fine. But then after about 4 hours, I had a reaction to the drug. Nothing big, so it seemed. But I got in trouble for not reporting it soon enough. I just felt flush, my heart was racing and I had shortness of breath. They stopped the IV, gave me some more Tylenol and Benadryl and some steroids, and everything calmed back down about 45 minutes later. The bad news, was that we had to drop the flow rate down and could not raise it, so it stayed at 150 cc/hr. The rest of the afternoon went fine. The slow flow rate made it a long day at the clinic as they needed to get 1000 cc of the fluid into me. We ended up stopping at 5:30 pm with about 50 cc left in the bag. Not too bad.
The clinic was good for people watching as it would be packed for a few hours, then empty and then packed again. Everyone who came in was really nice and lots of different types of treatments were being offered. My dad even came by for a surprise visit!
I go back in two weeks and they want me to come in early. The second treatment should go smoother (less than 4 hours), but since I had the reactions they are worried it might be another long day.
Now it is just the waiting game to see how my body responds to the Rituxan. Today I got some weird aches and pains in my legs and my hands swelled up. The bf and I went for a walk, thinking I just need to get some circulation going from sitting around all day yesterday and then sleeping. But the pains got worse. They are starting to wain now.
All in all, it really was not that bad. I have had more traumatic experiences giving blood! I am hopeful that I will be symptom free soon and able to get back to my normal life.
But for tonight, I am off to see a friend's concert for a wonderful evening full of jazz, broadway and pop songs.