Burning For You (IVIG #9 Rash).

Today I had the horrendous lovely experience of receiving my 9th (technically 12th if you count the hospital treatments over the summer) IVIG treatment. I’m not going to get into why I need IVIG treatments, and what they are, because I already have entries about that ( <– linkies).  Let’s focus instead on the amazing title of this entry: “Burning for You” – a classic Blue Oyster Cult song.  Ah, I’m so clever! Just kidding! More like noob fan, but I digress…

Today’s IVIG treatment was a little different than most because I had a bad reaction during it. I’m no stranger to side effects – and usually have a multitude thrown my way – but that’s usually after the treatment and NOT during.

I always receive a mixture of Morphine and Gravol prior to the treatment to ease the impending side effects, and to make the 3-4 hours (ugh) I have there the most comfortable as possible.  I noticed that during this infusion my arm had started to burn more than usual.  I assumed the IV site was bad, as that had happened to me many times before, and I knew how that felt like.  But when I pulled my sleeve up, I was alarmed to see a small rash developing.  My arm was covered in little pinkish red marks and veins.  Eww.

The first sign of the rash.  It had been burning pretty badly at this point.

The first sign of the rash. It had been burning pretty badly at this point. The camera didn’t quite capture the rashiness (a Dianism).

Freaked out, I called a nurse over.  Since I have (or so I have been told) tiny, flat, moving, collapsible veins, no one wanted to start a new IV site unless it was mandatory.  It was suggested that I wrap a heated blanket around my arm to see if that would calm the irritation.  At that point, it was going to be my third heated blanket, and I love them, so I had no objections to the newly proposed remedy.

My arm bundled and cozy in a heated blanket.

My arm (and the rest of me) bundled and cozy in heated blankets.

Feeling snug as a bug, I laid back to let the Morphine/Gravol kick in.  It wasn’t until the site had to be flushed with water that we saw just how irritated my arm had become.

Swollen red blotches engulfed my arm.  It wasn’t burning at this point, but it definitely looked like my arm belonged to a Charger (a character from a video game that has one enlarged arm) rather than little ol’ me!

We kept the existing site and combated the swelling with another heated blanket.  It worked, and I was all bundled and warm, so no complaints from me! ;)

Red and swollen - it hurt bigtime! Oww!

Lovely lady Charger arm!

The remaining 3 hours were the same as all other treatments, with me:

  • trying to fall asleep in the incredibly comfortable La-Z-Boy recliner, but to no avail.
  • taking stealth photos of the dude that looks like the poor man’s Colin Firth that usually sits across from me.
  • holding in a full bladder because it’s too difficult to transfer to a chair and drag my IV pole into the bathroom with me (even though the door to the bathroom is literally 3 feet away from my chair. Oh non painful mobility, where art thou?).
  • browsing facebook, instagram and random web sites until my phone’s battery dies in the middle of my treatment.
  • enjoying, and appreciating, a pain free moment from the morphine drip.
  • being bored out of my mind and swearing that I’ll bring my cellphone charger, laptop, etc.  to the next treatment (but never do).
  • having blurry vision, headaches, back/leg pain and burning sensations in my thighs/hips/back begin as the morphine wears off and the side-effects kick in. :(

Happy to be home, I changed my sweatshirt and went to lay in bed.  I caught a glimpse of something red from the corner of my eye and saw THIS:

The bloody aftermath!

The bloody aftermath!

It didn’t hurt, but it apparently bled a lot (Captain Obvious right here, folks).  I had to change the dressing and noticed that a huge bruise was slowly materializing.  Ahh, one more ‘beauty mark’ to add to my collection of awful enjoyable IVIG visits… ;)

The one good thing about today’s treatment was that my IV pump was making purr-like sounds similar to what the Predator makes in that CLASSIC Arnold Schwarzenegger (I love how the auto correct doesn’t mark ‘Schwarzenegger’ as a typo) movie.  I recorded a video of it, but please, don’t judge me for the camerawork. I’m usually not that much of an amateur! ;)

Thanks for reading.  Diane.

  1. 10 years ago

    it sounded more like a kitty! I know how much u hate these treatments honey and im sorry your arm got so boobooed! Im here with you every step of the way and you can count on me. I love you with all my heart! mwah!!

    • 10 years ago

      Thank you sweetheart. xoxo


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