Friday, November 19, 2010


Hmm... Where to start, where to start.

Well three days after my last post I went in for my 6 weekly Infliximab infusion. As I have had a mild reaction to this drug in the past I was given an injection of Hydrocortisone in an attempt to prevent a recurrence. Unfortunately this didn't work as well as they had hoped, and I had a mild reaction within the first 10 minutes of commencing the Infliximab infusion. I was given another Hydrocortisone injection as well as some oral Phenergan and the infusion continued without further problems to it's conclusion.

The next few weeks were relatively uneventful.Mostly pottering about the house, painting the new patio area and repairing any niggling little problems which arose from time to time.

About two weeks ago things took a little turn for the worse. The joint pain began to flare and I began taking more Oxycodone to get by. As I was limited to 3 tablets a day and these were wearing off within 2-3 hours, I found that I was having to pace intake as much as possible or suffer the possibility an evening in agony. Still, we managed...

Which brings us to today and yet another Infliximab infusion date.

Today's started differently. For a start I was weighed and discovered I have been loosing weight again. Down to 52.1kg from 59 a month ago. I was given a pre-medication infusion of 500 ml of Methylprednisolone which has prevented any negative reactions to the Infliximab in the past. (It also explains why it is now 1am in the morning and I am unable to sleep!). The Infliximab infusion was started and things went normally until about 45 minutes in. Kerry was the first to notice that I had turned a bright red colour and my eyes were bulging. When she asked me if I felt alright, I suggested that she should probably get the clinic nurse, QUICKLY. This was without a doubt the strongest reaction I have ever had to the Infliximab; along with my attractive new ruddy complexion and bug eyes, my blood pressure dropped to 63 / 35 and my pulse increased to 212 bpm. Not good form...
Peter was called and instructed the remainder of the Infliximab not be Infused, then headed off to consider our options. When he returned, it was decided that I would be swapped over to Rituximab for future infusions.

As a result of my little hissy fit, I have only managed to get a quarter of my Immunosuppressant therapy and I am not scheduled to begin Rituximab until the second week of January. I do however, have a clinic appointment with Peter in the middle of this period, so we will be monitoring any possible flares.

In terms of pain management, Peter has lifted my daily limit of Oxycodone to one every 3 hours (as needed) to a maximum of 8 a day. Hopefully I shall not reach that number...

Oh, I also spoke to Peter about Cellcept and learnt that the two drugs are interchangeable, the only advantage of Cellcept being a lower chance of Renal dysfunction which to date (this time) I have not had a  problem with...

Well, that's pretty much news for the time being, I'm off to have a mug of hot cocoa and a Tamazepam. Hopefully sleep won't be far behind.


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