Thursday, September 22, 2011

1 down, 4 to go...

So my first iron infusion didn't go so well.

First I had to wait almost a half hour before seeing the doctor. Finally after that, it was time to start. My nerves were already off the charts. I started crying as soon as she brought the needles over. I felt like such a jackass, because here I am getting a simple treatment, and every other person in the room was getting chemo.

They went to put the IV in my arm, between the elbow and wrist. She put the IV in and the pain wasn't THAT bad. However after the IV was in, I starting feeling a lot of pain. Turns out I was infiltrating. Which means the saline isn't going into your veins, but the surrounding tissue and muscle. UGH. So she had to take it out and start again.

She went a little farther down my arm, stuck me with the IV, PAIN, and then almost immediately I infiltrate again. Which hurts way more than the actual needle does. Next they try my other arm. Guess what? Same thing happens.

At this point I'm in full blown meltdown. The nurse really wants to put the IV in my hand but I refuse. I am scared shitless of IVs in my hands. You would think, after 10 surgeries that I would be a pro, but it just makes it worse. The nurse also wasn't really working with me. She was annoyed at me for the fact that I have small superficial veins and she can't get a line in me. IT'S NOT MY FAULT LADY.

All of a sudden, without asking me, she puts the IV into my wrist. I swear to god I saw stars. The pain was blinding. The wrist way more painful than my hand would have been. Good to know for future reference. I totally cursed when that happened. However the IV was in and she was very happy with herself.

However I was still in a lot of pain. She's going on and on about how the wrist is delicate and the pain is normal and I'm not infiltrating. It hurts SO bad though. Finally she goes to ask another nurse for a second opinion. Surprise! I infiltrated! They take the IV out and there is a HUGE bubble on my arm from where the saline leaked out. Thankfully it wasn't the actual iron yet. Otherwise I would have a big brown stain on my arm now.

The new nurse I guess sees that I'm at my wits end. I'm about to leave and just call it a day. My nerves are shot and it hasn't even started yet. They decide to put my IV into the crook in your elbow where you usually get blood drawn from. I know that's a good vein. I've had IVs in there before. However the first nurse grouch refused because that's not normal protocol.

5th attempt is a charm and I'm finally ready for it to start. The infusion itself wasn't bad. It took almost an hour but there was no pain thankfully. Just slightly achy. I was there for over 2 hours though. I was exhausted and I cannot believe I have to do this 4 more times!

I agreed to do the next visit with the IV in my hand. I have a prescription for Emla cream which numbs your skin before hand. Hopefully I won't have the same problems again and I get out of there a lot faster. Next appointment is tomorrow so I need to be ready.

My one arm where she put the IV in my wrist is still pretty swollen and hurts a lot actually. I hope it's gone by tomorrow though.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Oh Carolyn that is awful.
If you see that someone is struggling with anxiety over this why the hell would you just keep poking them? Nice bed side manner right?

I'm glad a 2nd nurse came over and was better equipped to help you physically and emotionally. I think medical "professionals" forget we are people and everyone handles things differently.

I pray that tomorrow will be a cinch for you!

Karen said...

I always get the IV in my hand. It is just easy...AND I thought that if you are getting infusion or chemo and you are not in the hospital, a nurse isn't allowed by law to start the has to be the doctor. At least that is what my doctor says.

I know that brown spot soooo well. I can still faintly see it on my arm and my iron leak was 3 years ago!

erin - heart in ireland said...

big hugs! i'm sorry you had such a bad experience.

i can't believe the nurse - and that it took that many times for it to go properly. is there a way for when you go next time to get someone who is really good at finding small veins so you don't get a nurse who gets frustrated and takes it out on you?

hope the 2nd one went better!