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Just thought I'd post how my first Venofer infusion went as I know I spent a LOT of time searching forums for other people's Venofer experiences (and completely freaking myself out in the process). Hopefully this will help to put another anemia sufferer's mind at ease about getting iv iron.

First let me say, I arrived at the infusion center this morning already wound up into in a semi-panicked state. Reading online about all of the possible horrifying outcomes had made me a nervous wreck. I mean, totally cuckoo. One would think I was heading into an appointment to stand before a firing squad. My heart rate was through the roof (and it already works hard on account of the anemia). Morbid thoughts hijacked my brain. Will this be my last day on earth? Did I forget to tell anyone that I loved them this morning? Will it be over quickly if I am one of the unlucky ones or will I suffer for a long time in my anaphylactoid state? Seriously, off the reservation panic had gripped me. I'm surprised I didn't turn tail and leave.

But it was all for nothing.

This morning's infusion was such a non-event, I'm still in a pleasantly surprised state of shock about it. In fact, I'm *almost* looking forward to my next one as I really want to feel better, and I look forward to not dragging myself through every day in a dizzy haze once the iron kicks in. But back to the infusion . . .

I had a wonderful nurse. Couldn't have asked for anyone better. She wrapped my arm in a hot blanket for a few minutes to get a vein to show easier (i'm a tough stick--female, small veins). Then she inserted the iv. I hardly even felt it. She hooked up my iv to a little machine that mixed the 200 mg Venofer solution I was scheduled to receive with a certain percentage (not sure how much) of clear saline. That's all I got. They do not give Benadryl, Tylenol, steroids or anything else before or with the iron unless you have a bad reaction.

Then she started the machine--and my panic soared to new heights! My semi-calm facade quickly melted, and I was near to hyperventilating once more, worrying about what would happen the moment the iron hit my veins. The nurse was so concerned that she took my oxygen level (using the thing that clips onto the finger) just to make sure it was still good. It was even though I felt like I couldn't breathe. By this time she was probably considering slipping a Valium into my drip!

I stared wild-eyed at the brown liquid going into the iv. The seconds and then the minutes ticked on, and I was still alive. I didn't feel any different. Everything was fine. I did notice a slight metallic taste in my mouth, and the nurse said that's fairly common so no worries there. After a few minutes I also noticed my left hand was tingling a little (the iv was in my right arm). But that was it. And it was a very mild tingling sensation, almost like it was just starting to fall asleep. The nurse said that was not a problem. Nothing else tingled, itched or hurt. After about 5 minutes my iv arm started to sting where the iv was. The nurse said that iron can often be irritating to the vein. She added more saline to the mix and slowed down the infusion rate a little. So what was supposed to be a 10 minute infusion ended up taking about 20 minutes--not that I cared. When it was done dripping, they unhooked me but left the iv in because they always monitor patients for 30 minutes after the iron finishes *just in case* there are any delayed reactions. I had no side affects at all. My left hand had quit tingling almost as soon as the iron finished. I left the infusion center and went straight out to eat lunch. I have felt no ill effects from it at all. I will be much more relaxed when I go for my 2nd of 5 infusions next week. Not my first choice of how I'd like to spend my morning, but nothing to get so worked up about either. This post is not meant to make light of the people who do have bad reactions as I know they do happen and it's an individual thing. But I wanted to put something positive out there to balance out the bad reports.

Do it without hesitation if you need it!

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