Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG).

Today was supposed to be my day off and it would be filled with sleep, writing and general resting. But then winter reminds us that life can be bounced around its schedule as is todays case where grandma was booked to take my daughters for their monthly ivig treatment but with the snowfall I am now the go to guy. Hard not to complain but I hate to also considering I’m not the one getting multiple needle pokes and dealing with the struggle that it all is. My job is to give hugs, stay conscious, buy food (because the food system is messed up here offering zero choice), talk to the many nurses and docs and answer their questions and generally look pretty. This is ivig day.

We arrive around 930 and by 10 the hope is to be poked and the drip turned on but this rarely is the case. Both my daughters have tiny, timid veins that normally require 2, 3, 4+ pokes in various arms, hands and wrists and sometimes the anesthesiologist is called in who seems to be the resident expert. In prep each ivig morning I push fluids on the girls because the more hydrated equals fatter veins. Another trick they do here is wrapping warm blankets around the girls arms, drawing out their veins. Today they got it right on the second poke, though in both their hands and the girls weren’t pleased with that. Next the nurses draw bloodwork for the pediatrician and then the iv drip is turned on.

The ivig takes 6 hours to run it’s cycle (2 bags). The hard part of the day is over for my girls and the rest is basically filled with laying or sitting in bed, watching tv, reading, eating and napping. Could be worse right? Agreed but the throb of the needle in the vein and that fact of having to stay there like some high class prison albeit a prison keeps the mind in check. While I’m fielding questions with the pharmacist, the nutritionalist, the GI doc, the hospital director on occasion and anybody else in the medical profession, my girls are waiting for the day to be over.

Around 430 or some time shortly after when the drip is done they do a 30 minute flush and the countdown to freedom is on. Treats are picked from the treasure chest, various games, toys, hair accessories etc. Lindsey often colors a picture and gives it to her favorite nurse of the day. We collect coats, water bottles, stuffies, treats, requisitions and whatever else we can carry outta there. Next thing you know it’s after 6pm and we’re home schweet home. I’ll be administering tylenol the next 24 hours or so mostly to Lexis who gets headaches after the ivig. They will be tired tonight then back to normal in the morning.

And then their systems will be close to yours and mine, able to fight off sickness and disease. Life will go on with work and school and all the other lovely moments a day beareth until the eve before the next ivig which Lindsey will be again quoted saying “Tomorrow will be the worst day ever” to which I remind her it’s not so bad and soon will be over. Truth and lies but regardless we know the drill and now you do too.