Day 5 went pretty much the same as Day 4, starting with all the same pre-meds plus my anti-biotic which is due three times a week.
Experiences of note include the utter steroid-induced madfest that started the day. I stormed out of the house with no breakfast while the other half was showering and walked to the hospital by myself…. Yeah, tolerance levels like a woman with PMT on steroids! Ho hum. Can’t even remember what I was upset about, but I know it is was proper terrible. At least I think so.
On arrival, the spot I had come to think of as mine was taken – in fact the whole room was filled with other people having other treatments and I had to go into the second room. (The wife, having escaped the doghouse to arrive at the hospital shortly after me, thought I’d done a bunk until she eventually found me there.) At least the second room was quieter, and also housed the tea trolley so no more scrapping for a cuppa either.
Well, I settled in and had a chat with MS nurse about next steps – appointment due in 4 weeks at which he will say it all again as I knew I wouldn’t remember much. He did confirm from the bloods taken Wednesday morning that my lymphocytes were pretty much gone at that point – so the drug is working!
I was cannulated by the best cannulator on the ward. She got it right first time and I barely even felt it. (Given that it was my eighth cannulation of the week, I have become quite discerning.) Aletuzumab underway with very little fuss although the effect of the week was starting to tell on me – my energy levels seriously gone. Three hours in, though, I trundled to the loo with my drip stand and the cannula fell out! Eep! A bit spilled, but I picked it up quick and shut the line, had my wee (priorities!) and a wash before going in search of a nurse to sort me out.
Sadly, the new cannula was done by a different nurse only 4 months qualified but she taped it up good and proper to save a second failure so she gets points for that at least. However, half way through this – my ninth cannulation of the week – I suddenly felt incredibly dizzy and weak and almost fainted! Blood pressure quickly taken and I can’t remember the number but was around 70 over 40 which was low enough to cause quite a stir! I was put on 15-minute obs and given the special blue Dyson fan, and the ward sister brought me a new jug of water all to myself. Once I’d recovered enough to enjoy the attention, I even managed to blag three gingernuts.
Apparently this is a thing that can happen during cannulation – usually to people who are a bit freaked out by needles, as a sort of panic attack – I’m pretty blase about needles so I’m not sure why it happened. The sister said something about a collapsed vein and a subsequent google suggests this can happen if a cannula pierces the vein all the way through. (I still say I want daily cannulations over having to sleep with a needle in my arm, even if they do have to have more than one go more often than not – so I’ll just have to hope there’s no repeat when I’m in for Round 2 next year!)
After all the excitement, I didn’t fancy walking home – nine walks out of ten was good enough for me, and a £1 parking charge after five full days in hospital struck me as a pretty small price to pay for insisting on a chauffeur home on the last day.
There – Round 1 is done!