Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rituxan v. Sjogren's Syndrome

Yesterday was my day to relax. Forced relaxation, though, because it was Day One of my twice-yearly two-session Rituxan infusion. Without going into extreme detail (which I couldn't if I wanted to, not being either a doctor, a pharmacist, or apparently, a well-informed patient) the drug is supposed to "kill off B cells" which play some part in my body's propensity to attack itself--I have the autoimmune disease Sjogren's Syndrome.
So yesterday, I sat in an easy chair from 8 am placement of the IV catheter inside my elbow to a 1:30 removal. Throughout the day, I was infused with Benadryl (which knocks me for a COMPLETE loop, even though I get a child-sized dose) and then a steroid, and then the Rituxan. And I am monitored, constantly, for temperature, blood pressure, and appearance. 
As my blood pressure dropped to new lows, I tried to do the Sunday New York Times Crossword, a favorite pastime that occupied me through the entire infusion. Yes, I am not only not very well-informed, but I'm also not very bright. 
In two weeks I'll repeat the process, right down to the crossword. And then I'll wait for what I hope will be enough relief from my symptoms that I'll feel like the infusions are worth it. So far, it's been pretty subtle.

1 comment:

  1. Being able to do the NYT crossword = not very bright?