Today is Remicade Infusion Day. (For those new to my blog, I get a 2.5-3 hour Remicade infusion every 8 weeks to keep my Crohn’s Disease in check.) While I would love to stop getting them, I am grateful that I have good insurance which covers these expensive infusions, and that I have a job that allows me to adjust my work schedule so I have the day off to go to infusions every 8 weeks without negatively impacting my vacation and sick time accruals.
All things considered, it’s a relatively pleasant experience, for a medical treatment. Aside from having to spend a few hours here every other month and get an IV placed in my arm (and also having the adhesive tape removed from my hairy arm – ouch!) the nurses here are usually pretty friendly and pleasant, the other people seem to respect that we’re all here together in a small room getting treatments and behave accordingly (no outrageous behaviour or loud or obnoxious conversations) and I can easily entertain myself with all my electronic devices, since they have free wi-fi and plenty of power outlets. On occasion, there’s even a handsome fellow here to secretly ogle (but not today.)
I have become quite adept at withdrawing and “disappearing” in a room full of people for 3 hours while my infusion drips, thanks to my portable technology. While here, I usually grab the chair in the corner, if it’s available (so my back is against the wall, which allows for the most privacy for my laptop screen) where I read (and reply to) blogs, answer any sitting personal e-mails, and monitor my work e-mails on my laptop. I also like listening to music or podcasts on my iPhone or through iTunes on either device, to block out other people and conversations. Today, I am using my new Bluetooth ear pods, which have replaced my corded earphones (I love them) and I’m listening to EW Live, which is streaming on Sirius XM radio app. I usually listen to this show in the car in the morning on the way to work, (if the Fresh Air show with Terry Gross on “NPR Now” is a repeat) because they chat about pop culture, movies and TV shows, which is a welcome change from the depressing news on other news talk stations. I also brought my iPad in case I want to read digital comics, and I could watch TV shows or movies here on any of my devices if I really wanted to (but I never do.)
I really don’t know how people got through these types of things on a regular basis without so much entertainment and distraction at their finger tips. I see people at every infusion appointment who just sit here and stare off into space during their infusion. Wouldn’t you at least bring a book or magazine to pass the time?
Having a chronic illness sure sucks, but having the Technology to make it more bearable is wonderful, isn’t it?