In February of this year, I had two Rituxan infusions at Presbyterian’s Infusion Center on the West Side (Albuquerque). So I knew what to expect when I returned for an Orencia infusion. Pleasant faces at the reception desk checking me in. A short wait. Two experienced nurses (team nursing) introducing themselves settled me into my room. Making sure I was comfortable in the recliner.
- First I was given several pills including Tylenol and Benadryl. BP, temperature, pulse , O2 sat recorded.
- An IV was started. That entailed a tourniquet around my arm and my nurse finding a suitable vein in my left arm. (Since the breast cancer, I cannot have needles stuck in my right arm; with RA I don’t like to be stuck in my hand.) Once the needle is in, she attached a little gizmo that had several ports. Blood was drawn for lab tests. I was ready to go.
- After a short wait, the pharmacy delivered the plastic IV bag that held my Orencia. My nurse added tubing, threading it through the machine that would regulate the drops. She plugged the tubing into one of my little IV ports.
- She gave me a TV controller that had a big button with NURSE on it. Call me if you don’t feel good. Next the nurse brought me a much appreciated diet Coke. She went by my room a lot and kept an eye on me while I read my latest James Rollins book, The Sixth Extinction. The infusion took 30 minutes.
- After the Orencia bag was removed, I was then required to stay with my IV still attached for one hour. This was to be sure that I didn’t have serious side effects which will occur in this time frame if they are going to happen (rare).
- At home I felt a little tired in the afternoon. I took the advice of a patient and rested.