I am on my fifth week of treatment for Lyme Disease. Here is a summary:
1st week – I received 3 IV’s. No side effect for any of the IV’s. At the end of the first week, I started getting extreme headaches. They felt like sinus headaches, but they were really bad.
2nd week – Had a little trouble finding a vein for the first IV because we couldn’t use the two veins we had used the previous week as they had hardened. Apparently, that is one side effect of the Argentyn – it hardens your veins for a few weeks. But I was able to get the IV. However, the headaches grew worse. I called the doctor and ended up on steroids to help my headache. They finally kicked in overnight, and I felt somewhat better. The next day I went to receive 2 IV treatments. We had a really hard time finding a vein, but the nurse was able to find one and I got my first IV treatment, but the catheter was very close to the surface. Well, I somehow pulled the catheter out between IV’s, and after that we were not able to find a working vein.
After 5 or so tries at various sites, the nurse thought she had one and started the drip, and I started to feel a burning sensation. We looked down and the IV had infiltrated. Honestly, the burning was so intensely painful, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I apologized but said I would just have to try again later. Luckily, my first IV was the Argentyn I need, so at least I had received that. My arm hurt for a few hours after that infiltration.
I had some more headaches, even though I was still on the steroids. My scalp also was very tender to the touch, and my temples would get this sort of squeezy feeling. I wasn’t sure if these were Herx reactions, or just some sort of weird sinus attack.
3rd Week – I went in first thing on Monday and was able to get 2 IV’s with no issue – we found a good vein right away. I was still having sinus headache issues, but not with the same severity. I went in on Thursday, and after 5+ attempts at finding a good vein (and another infiltration), my nurse called in the head nurse. He was able to find a vein and I got my IV. I was crying and so upset. I just felt like, “Why God? Why is this happening? I need these IV’s in order to get rid of the Lyme Disease. What am I going to do if I can’t get my IV because the nurses can’t find a vein?” And I also felt like “Poor me. The doctor says I’m supposed to feel so much better after week 4, and here it is at the end of week 3 and I’m not feeling better. How is so much going to change in one week?”
But God is able! Nothing is impossible for Him. Not only did it not take a whole week, by the next day I was feeling amazingly well. Almost back to normal kind of well.
4th week – I saw the doctor on Monday, and I was able to tell him that I felt GREAT. I was just a-praising and a-praising the Lord. The doctor made a plan for my future treatments. He explained that there really is no cut-and-dry test to determine how many treatments I should have. He said if I was feeling better, I could finish the current week and stop.
But then he mentioned that there was a possibility of the Lyme coming back. I was like, “Oh, no no no. I want this gone. I don’t want any kind of relapse.” So then he detailed another 9 weeks. I immediately thought, “Well, MM and I will have to pray about that as we go forward. I think my treatment will be somewhere between 0 and another 9 weeks.”
My first treatment went as what seemed to be my new normal. Several pokes in several locations, followed by a call to the head nurse who was able to find a vein after 2 tries. The IV was in my left hand. It burned a little more than usual, but he explained that the veins in my hand were smaller than the ones in my arm, and the IV burned a little from the transfer from smaller to larger vein. It stopped burning midway through, and I had gotten another successful IV.
Then comes Thursday. I went early and only the head nurse was there. I told him flat out that he couldn’t do my right hand because my left hand was swollen and seriously painful. He tried one location, but even though he was in a vein, the IV wouldn’t drip. So then he found another location. He started the IV and it worked. After about 20 minutes, the drip just stopped. He tried to finagle it around the vein a little, but he couldn’t get it going again.
He stepped out, and the other nurse then tried. She was actually able to find a vein on my other arm on the first try, and we got a good drip. But after about 20 minutes, the same thing happened. The drip just stopped. Neither nurse could explain why that was happening. It seemed very odd to them, but this was now the 3rd time it had happened to me.
The nurse tried several veins, I endured several pokes and a few infiltrations. And I finally just couldn’t stand it any more. I said I was sorry, but I really thought I needed a PICC line. We had discussed this option several times over the past 3 weeks, and everyone (including the doctor) didn’t think I needed it. But not only was every vein we had previously used now hard and unusable, but they couldn’t find any new veins. And I need these treatments. So the doctor wrote a prescription for the PICC line.
To be continued…