I’ve been in training! For the past month my IV nurses at Dr. K’s infusion clinic have been teaching me to do my first subcutaneous home infusion (commonly referred to SubQ).
I trained at the clinic for four weeks before I did my own SubQ infusion at home yesterday! Today, I’m going to share with you my whole SubQ process via video. But first…
Some Important Definitions
Subcutaneous (SubQ) means under the skin.
Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Therapy (SCIG) is a method of delivering Immunoglobulin medicine through small needles (usually 2 to 4) attached to tubing and a syringe that is placed in either an automatic mechanical pump or an electric programmable pump.
SCIG is usually infused under the skin of the abdomen, thighs
or outer buttocks. The Immune Deficiency Foundation provides an in-depth guide to IG therapy that I encourage you to read.
SubQ & Me!
I have been on IVIG infusions since I was diagnosed in 2017. I received 40 grams of IG every three weeks through an IV at Dr. K’s clinic. Recently, I asked Dr. K if I could try SubQ infusions for several reasons.
1. I Hate IVs
Historically, I nearly pass out everytime I’m in the presence of needles. I know many people jokingly say this, but for me it is true! Just ask my infusion nurses! In order to administer my IV every three weeks, Alice and Ashley had to do anything they could to distract me from the process.
2. I Was Having Major Side Effects
During each infusion, I received 40 grams of IG medicine all at once. During and after my infusion I had major side effects that would last at least 24 hours after my infusion. I would have migraine headaches, major fatigue, joint pain and would be laid up in bed.
3. IVIG Was Time Consuming for Me
My nurses had to drip my IG medicine through the IV at a slower rate in order to keep the side effects I was experiencing to a minimum. Driving to the infusion clinic, taking vitals, setting up the IV, administering the IG medicine, taking vitals again and then driving back home took about 5 to 6 hours for me. Then, because of the side effects, I’d head straight to bed for the remainder of that day and the next.
It’s SubQ Showtime!
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail in writing because I do so on the video. So, grab some snacks and a pop and let’s go to the movies! Enjoy!
I hope the videos help you to be successful at your SubQ infusions or answer any questions for you if you going to be starting SubQ infusions also.
If you didn’t download my checklist above for creating your own SubQ Home Infusion Kit, go ahead and do that now! It will help you to organize all your SubQ infusion supplies. Then head over to this post that will go into detail on how to create your kit.
Stay strong my Zebra friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Though DIVA as she may be, her path to success was not easy and is always evolving. Go here to read about her journey in “Becoming the CVIDiva.” If you want to send Susan Alynne a quick message, then visit her contact page here.