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In Focus

There is no better place to faint than in a hospital.

I receive an infusion every eight weeks to treat my Crohn’s disease. As time inches closer to the next infusion I can feel it wearing off. Usually, the week before my infusion is the worst.

While I may be in remission, there will always be symptoms and issues.

I went to lunch with a friend and had some cheesy hash browns. They were quite tasty. The rest of the day seemed to go well. I worked, did some cleaning, and was attempting to work in the garden while being mauled by mosquitoes. (I have issues with some bug sprays. Usually, they will leave a rash even if it hasn’t touched the skin.) Fed up with the mosquitoes, I drenched myself in bug spray, finished my task and went inside to sit down and cool off.

It didn’t take long for the smell of the bug spray to set me off. I quickly took a shower and put on different clothes. But the sudden nausea would not go away, even with an anti-nausea pill. The weakness and fatigue got much worse.

I like to stay busy. I have several projects around the house I would like to get done. This past week it has become so bad that all I can do is just crawl into bed after work and do nothing. My appetite is greatly reduced as my gut becomes more sore and sensitive. Food doesn’t even sound good. Most times I will settle for rice or cereal...something light and easy to digest.

It doesn’t take much to become light-headed with this disease if you don’t get nutrition. We are prone to malnutrition due to our broken gut not absorbing nutrients as well. I help offset this with supplements...a lot of supplements.

Infusion day finally came. My stomach was still sensitive from the nausea and other bowel issues. I packed my usual snacks and beverages and headed to my appointment. Everything was going fine until the IV was placed. I’ve been doing infusions for nearly five years now. I have no issues with needles and often watch it being put in. I will even give the nurse some direction as I know how my veins work. They seem to appreciate that I know where the best spots are to stick me.

After I was all set up I got comfortable in my chair and took the medications I was given. Shortly after my head started to get dizzy and my vision tunneled. I told the nurse what was happening before I could no longer hear anything and I was out.

Why? I have no idea. I broke out into a sweat followed by getting really chilled. The nurse said I was only out for a second and it could have been because I was dehydrated from being ill. She asked if I wanted to continue with the infusion. I told her yes I needed this.

Thankfully, I also get fluids at the same time, which I didn’t realize how badly I needed them.

The wonderful nurse brought me a cold rag for my head. I spent my infusion sleeping with the heat on in the chair and a heated blanket. I don’t ever remember sleeping that hard during an infusion.

After returning home, I became quite painfully bloated. That is something that hasn’t happened since I was first diagnosed. I feared the Crohn’s was making a comeback.

A hot Epsom salt bath, several anti-gas pills and a heating pad finally began working around midnight. I woke up the next day tired from lack of sleep but mostly deflated and feeling much better.

Thankfully, I get to work from home most days and can stay in my comfy clothes because fitted jeans and gut issues just don’t mix.

Chronies are prone to building antibodies against medications after a few years. Thankfully, there are many varieties out there. It’s possible I may be building a tolerance to this medication and may need to switch. Only time and symptoms will tell.

Now I just get to ride the roller coaster the next eight weeks...of feeling better then feeling not so great...until the next infusion. Oh, yay!

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