Remicade Protocol

It’s been a while since I have written about my health. I had an uneventful colonoscopy, that at first didn’t show much inflammation. Then the biopsy result did end up showing inflammation. As a result, my Remicade dose was increased. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Today was Remi-Day. I usually ask for the earliest appointment of the day, just to be done with it. I will sing the praises of Remicade any day, but I really, really wish it was available as an injection pen, like Humira or Cimzia. The Remicade infusion usually takes 2-4 hours for me (I have heard of people that have to stay all day). I go to my regular Doctor’s office, where they have an infusion room. It’s three or four chairs that are separated by curtains. This means, no privacy. Which to me means- I take my laptop and work, or a book, or generally something to be quiet. But, apparently, this is just me.  Here’s the protocol of today’s Remicade day.

7.30 am: arrival. Nobody’s at the desk yet, going and grabbing coffee at the cafeteria that opens at six am.

7.45: arrival, II. Yay, they are here. Seven, yes, seven signatures, then I am checked in. Now I am being weighed. I hate being weighed. I always feel so judged (when really, I am not, it’s needed for my dose).

8.00-8.15: Three attempts at getting the right vein and blood (I am due for bloodwork as well). The nurse is sweet and apologetic. Finally, it works.

8.20: Patient 2 comes into the infusion room. He is dating a former colleague of one of the infusion nurses, so hilarious banter ensues.

8.25: Nurse: “I can’t believe you stole my girl from me”- “Technically, she is “my girl” now.” Eeeeew.

8.30: When she asks whether he wants something to drink, he asks for “some alcohol”. So funny. Haha. Then he asks for a pumpkin spice latte, or gingerbread.

8.35: Nurse 2: “I don’t go to Starbucks, everything there is full of sugar. I am sweet enough.” More hilarity ensues.

8.45 am: New Patient arrives. He seems nice. I find out that his wife is pregnant. I smile, until I hear the name of the baby. Wesleigh Joy. You heard right. Not like super hot awesome Wesley Snipes, but Wesleigh, like “we -sleigh”. “Joy” like- we live in Portland, no explanation necessary. I am a horrible, judgmental person.

8.50 am: Patient 2 goes on and on about how he hates Christmas, gift giving, decorations etc. I get it, you’re a cool dude. He doesn’t want to get roped into buying stuff for people, out of guilt.  Then don’t do it. Also, according to him, there are only six Christmas songs. Get Spotify my friend.

9.00 am: Patient 3 (Wesleigh Joy’s Dad) starts snoring loudly. I am annoyed until I remember that Wesleigh will be born soon. Not much sleep for you then, man.

9.08 am: “Last Christmas” is on the radio. Ok, Patient 2, you’re right. This song should be prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Two more nurses come into the room, and sing along. Am I in an asylum?

9.20 am: New Patient arrives. It’s getting full here. He seems nice and friendly, greets everyone. I have hope.

9.28am: Patient 2 (Christmas Hater) talks about how he and his new girlfriend (the one he stole from Nurse 1), took her daughter to Disneyland. Aww. Ok, maybe I was too mean earlier. I mean, taking your stepchild to Disney for five days?!

9.35 am: Nevermind. He just spent seven minutes bitching about how the child apparently only likes the lamest ride in Disneyland, and how bored he was all the time, and really, she could have been a bit more considerate. He spent all that money to go to Disneyland! I totally get you, bro. I mean, how dare a little kid think that Disney was about what she liked?

9:50am: Patient 4 decides to “get comfortable, cuz Imma gonna be here for a while” and kicks off his shoes. okay.

9.55 am: A delicate smell somewhere between Manchego and Limburger cheeses starts wafting through the air.

9.57 am: One of the nurses stealthily turns on the fan. THANK YOU, SWEET WOMAN.

10:00am: I overhear the nurses scheduling everybody’s next appointments. It looks like I may be seeing you guys in eight weeks again, unless I re-schedule. I have heard people talk about their experiences in the IV room as bonding, creating a sense of community and camaraderie. Where is this place? I want to go there!  Either they were lying through their teeth, or I am just unlucky.

10: 06 am: One of the nurses talks about a date that she went on. Patient 2 (Christmas hating stepfather of the year) is rearing his head and offering dating advice. This should be good.

10:07 am: “He should be lucky, I mean you’re pretty and sweet.” Okay…..

10:07: 12am: “But it’s always give and take. If you want to keep him in good spirits, always have a sandwich ready. Men tend to get hangry.” First off, Dave Chapelle made that joke years ago. Second, you do understand that these nurses literally have the power to kill you, right?

10:10 am: OMG, almost out of here, five more minutes it looks like.

10:11 am: Patient 2’s heartrate is a bit up. “Of course, with all the lovely ladies around here.” This is why I am not a nurse. I’d be fired on day two for assault.

10:12 am: I am finally off the IV. At the front desk, I ask whether I can get a different appointment for the next infusion.

 

 

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