Today it was time for my second Tocilizumab / RoActemra infusion and it couldn’t have come soon enough. I’ve been struggling with my joints even more than usual for the past few days, especially my right knee and hip but also my neck, elbow and shoulder – the pain is getting so bad it makes me feel nauseous and woozy at times. I’ve been trying the Tens Machine on my neck/shoulder, just in case it’s down to muscle tension, but although it helps while it’s on the relief doesn’t last.
I was hoping that I’d see my Rheumy while I was there, to get a couple of cortisone shots in the worst joints, but he was on leave and the rest of the team unreachable (typical!). We got to the ward and I was given my own room again, much easier for the person accompanying me! The nurse came to take my obs (pulse high, BP low, temp high – but nothing unusual for me) and then she went about fitting the cannula in my arm.
It went in fine, but when she tried to draw blood from the line nothing was happening, so of course there was a bit of wiggling and pulling and plunging and some blood… not something that has ever bothered me before; in fact, I’ve had much, much more uncomfortable procedures done. So when I came over all funny, I was a bit surprised and figured it would pass quickly but no… a few seconds later I felt sick and saw stars but unable to get my words out I just tried to get myself closer to the ground before passing out completely!
If that wasn’t bad enough, I came round on the bed wondering what had happened and where my other half was (and why wasn’t he showing me any concern?!), only to find he’d passed out too and been wheeled away to another room, where he was in bed recovering! What a pair! An hour or so later though we were both fine, although both episodes had to be written up in my medical notes – I’m sure that’ll give my doctor a chuckle, even the nurses were giving us stick for the rest of the afternoon.
I understand why my other half fainted – he’s very squeamish and so shouldn’t have been looking! However, things like that don’t usually phase me at all and didn’t today, so it’s a bit of a mystery to me. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been feeling particularly grotty recently? Who knows. I still can’t quite believe it; I mean, what are the chances of us both passing out at the same time?
Anyway, after a bit of a wait, for blood tests results to come through and then for the prescription to go off to be mixed, I was hooked up to the Tocilizumab infusion. The infusion itself was uneventful; it took an hour in total and this time there were no strange reactions, I just felt a little bit warm. I was soon on my way home, with an appointment for four weeks time – 8th Decemeber! – during which I’ll need a fasting blood test. That should be fun after today’s events!
I’m disappointed that I didn’t see my doctor but if things get unbearable I will give him a ring to see if he can fit me in for a joint injection. It feels like I’m dragging a wooden leg around at the moment, just one that is very painful to move! Hopefully I’ll feel some benefit from the Tocilizumab this month anyway, so I’m going to give that a chance to do its stuff first.
Keep your fingers crossed for me 🙂