Infusion-related Vein Collapse
Now that I know I am signing up for the IVIG long-haul, I have been thinking about the inevitability of vein collapse. Up until my CVID diagnosis last winter, I had always though that collapsed veins were limited to junkies and chemotherapy patients. They occasionally made it difficult for the executioner to find a good place to inject the condemned. They happened to others.
My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer about four years ago and was put on an aggressive and lengthy chemo regimen. Her veins collapsed one by one and she had to get an IV port implanted. The port allowed drugs to be infused close to her heart. The very idea gave me the creeps. I couldn’t imagine having a permanent opening into one of my veins. I had nightmares that someone would try to inject me with Pepsi or whiskey or Drano while I was sleeping. Of course if they were going to do that, a port wouldn’t really make it any easier than doing it with a plain old syringe! It just seemed weird and somehow dangerous.
Now that I have two uneventful infusions under my belt, it looks like I will need one every month for the rest of my life. Over time, losing the use of veins in my arms and legs is no longer a possibility, it is a virtual certainty. Certainly the primary immunodeficiency forums are replete with reports of this problem.
There are several options available to me:
I will weigh the pros and cons over the next couple of years. Hopefully, I won’t need to make a decision for a long time.