Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 4: Leave the Drama behind

Okay so it turns out I was just being dramatic. Big surprise. So here's the deal, there are side effects to IVIG. They are flu like and they are cumulative. So the reason I felt run down and fluish is because I was run down and fluish. The nurse today looked at me like I was a few antibodies short of a full immune system when I told her that everyone had said there were no side effects. She let me know that maybe the first day or so, but after it gets into your system there can be some ramifications. After all you are inundating your system with a bunch of foreign invaders, it only stands to reason that there is gonna be some sorta backlash. Hmmm....anyway, The aseptic meningitis is a possibility, however it is a remote one. Leave it me to be a reactionary.

So day four has come and gone. I decided to not be so antisocial today and sat in the "common" room. It was a large room with 6 IV stations, and a common TV. Through out the 6 hours most of the seats were filled, I was by far the youngest person there. Everyone was real pleasant, and all but one had full function. So I guess that's a bit reassuring. The only real downside of sitting in the common room was that I didn't sleep and while I didn't sleep my new buddy Joe enjoyed an episode of Jerry Springer.

I haven't seen Jerry Springer in quite a few years and let me just tell you that the show does not age very well. There were midgets (little people, which ever), badly tattooed brothers fresh from prison throwing punches over the women they say they both love, strippers dancing at the "pole" that just happened to be there, and wait for it wait for it......Sheep. Yep, dudes who like sheep was one of the topics. What more needs to be said? In a time of foreign war, economic crisis, heightened tensions with Russia, of course the American people need a guy who likes sheep on day time television. It's one of those things that lets us know that no matter how bad, how ugly times get at least their is a dude who likes sheep. I suppose it makes one wonder....can't we all just get along?

But I digress. Besides the minor side effects and the length of time I need to sit, the IVIG, isn't so bad. Far more stomachable than the Avonex. I had a hell of time with Avonex, they kept telling me the side effects would subside and 6 months later I was still a mess for a few days a week. I had to move on. I don't want to cast any dispersions on Avonex. I know that it works very well for a lot of people, I unfortunately was not one of them.

Anyway, IVIG, the greatest side effect I am coming across is the cost. As the very friendly nurse told me, "that's liquid gold we're draining into your arm." This was of course after the 9 attempts at finding a vein, but I'm not bitter. $5,000.00 per bag of IVIG. If you are doing the math that would be $25,000.00 just for the medicine this week. This of course doesn't include all the other fees that will undoubtedly arise. They tell me it may cost up $100.00.00 for five days of treatment. Seriously. In the immortal word of Bono, "The rich stay healthy and the sick stay poor."

Now most people look or think that I am nuts with such thoughts, "What are you worried about the insurance will take care of it." I hear ringing in my ears. Oddly enough I don't trust insurance companies. They are an industry to make money, helping people is a side effect. So, I started my job only 6 months ago, I only started on their insurance 3 months ago. This is the first time I am really taking it out for a ride. In the immortal words of Quint from the film Jaws,"Wait till the taxidermy man see what I brung him!" He of course goes on to get eaten by the shark. I do not want to get eaten by the shark.

On to the last day tomorrow and onto the future.


Heather said...

Here's to swimming with bow-legged women. Congrats on making it to Day 5.

Kristen said...

Hang in there! I've been getting IVIG for about 12 years now, the last 8 of those being every thirty days. The side effects can be horrific at times, but the benefit makes it worth it all. BTW, I don't have MS, but I get IVIG for Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. Best wishes to you and your family.
With hope,