RArainbow

A resource blog for young women living with (Juvenile) Rheumatoid Arthritis

Infusion tips

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[Disclaimer: Today’s discussion points come from my personal experiences as a patient. Always seek medical advice from your doctor.]

Hi everyone! Many of you may be aware that certain biologic medications are administered via intravenous infusion to treat autoimmune arthritis. Perhaps you are at a point where you and your doctor are considering some of these medications. Today I’m going to discuss some tips to make infusions a little more comfortable and a little less scary ;).

Before I started getting medication administered via infusions, the notion of getting my medication through an IV every month really did not appeal to me. But once I got accustomed to the process, I realized there was really nothing to worry about. I actually started to look forward to my infusion day every month, because it was the one day I had a chance to simply relax and catch up on my reading for a few hours! If you are going to start infusions soon, there is no need to worry. I’ve put together some tips which will hopefully make the process a bit more comfortable:

1. Dress comfortably
Since you’re probably going to be lying on a bed or sitting on a chair for a few hours, you may as well dress comfortably. Personally, I like to wear a simple shirt and leggings, as they are soft and allow for easy movement.

Another reason to dress comfortably is the fact that you may have to use the bathroom during your infusion time. The steps to this glamorous dance involve dragging along the IV pole and trying to use the bathroom while trying not to disturb the tubes on your hand too much ;). The first time you use the bathroom will be challenging/hilarious and then you’ll become a pro at it, trust me ;).

2. Keep warm
Hospitals can often be cold, so make sure you come prepared with socks, a hoodie, a scarf or blanket if necessary.

3. Use your time
Since you may have to stay at the hospital for a few hours, it’s a great opportunity for you to catch up on your home-work assignments or readings ;). If you prefer to keep school/work out of the mix for the day, bring along your favourite books, magazines, music or your laptop to help pass the time. For the more artistic patients, make use of the time by working on an art project or painting or drawing. There’s nothing wrong with bringing a little glitter into the infusion room ;).

4. Bring snacks and drinks
Pack a few of your favourite snacks to keep you from getting hungry and drink fluids to stay hydrated.

5. Bring along a favourite toy
This point is aimed toward younger patients. Since infusion time can be a scary experience for younger ones, bring along a favourite toy or story-book to make them feel more comfortable.

6. Alert your doctor or nurse if you suddenly feel sick or notice anything unusual
There is potential for an individual to develop an allergic reaction to biologic medications. Therefore, make sure that you let your doctor or nurse know if you suddenly feel light-headed or notice any itching or rashes.

For all those who undergo infusions, feel free to leave your own tips for others so that we can all learn together. Thank you!

I also found some great articles which I’ve shared below:

All the best,

Ms. Rainbow

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