Monday, August 9, 2010

Self-Advocacy, Phlebitis, and Infusions

"Ouch! Sorry I didn’t mean to jump like that.  The pain was unexpected."  The infusion nurse Kay (not her real name) said, “that’s okay, we don’t need to flush the rest of this saline.”  It was the end of an extremely long and stressful day.  Let’s start from the beginning.

There I sat in the chair, cheerfully ready to greet a long day.  Kay checks me in and hands me the lunch order form.  It is Rituxan infusion day and I’m ready to get some B-cells depleted.  Symptoms had begun to return after a lovely remission and I was anxious to get to that point again.

Kay got the supplies ready and prepared to get an IV started.  I had promised myself at home that I would not let her try to stick me again.  Her track record was 0/4.  And my previous visit took two nurses and six sticks to get an IV started.

“Who was the other nurse which the head nurse tried to call last time but wasn’t here?  Can we call her to get the IV started?”

“Oh, she’s really busy.  She wouldn’t be able to come down here for this,” says Kay.  Darn it if I let her try three times to get an IV started.  That’s 0/7 now; and yes, I’m keeping track

Read this post in its entirety:

Living with RA: Infusions, Phlebitis, and Self-Advocacy

I also discussed this situation three weeks ago on the blog in the post Phlebitis after Intravenous Treatment.  BTW, I'm on my 2nd round of antibiotics as the 1st round was not quite enough and the infection noticeably began to grow again.  I have three more days remaining and there shouldn't be any other little infections ANYWHERE in my body now.

1 comment:

  1. I cringe at the thought of having any sort of proceedure that requires an IV, or going to have blood drawn, etc. You are definitely right that it is all in the nurse. I can get a good nurse, and they can hit my veins on the first or at most the 2nd try. I can get someone that is inexperienced and they will stick me and blow out veins, and turn me into a pin cushion.
    I was unable to have an MRI with contrast of my brain last October because they couldn't get an IV started. They had trouble in my arms (they always have trouble in my arms - say the veins will roll, or that they are deep, or whatever), so they moved to my hands, they blew out the vein in my right hand, after 2 sticks, then moved to my left, blew out the vein there (1 more stick), then she called in her supervisor, who tried again on the right and jabbed me, and then went on a hunting/fishing expedition - moving the needle around while in your flesh, talk about painful - then when I flinched and said ow during a particularly painful jab, he looked at me, and asked "does this hurt?" no... I just enjoy getting stuck, I mean really. How would you like me to take a 3 inch needle, jab it into your hand and go fishing? sound fun?
    Last surgery I had, the nurse remembered me, she had tried and blew out a vein the surgery before, and had to get help on the 2nd stick, this time she didn't try, she went for help first. I thanked her. Some of them seem to take it so personal. It isn't a personal rejection for them to realize they need help I wish more of them would realize that.
    Any time I go to have blood drawn or have an IV, I remind even the nurses that seem to remember me that everyone has trouble with my veins. I think if I had the other issues you had as a result I would be even more addament that they get someone who knows what they are doing before they try the first stick.