Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Plasmapheresis - a fancy blood thing

Today I had my first second round of


 also known as Plasma Exchange.  

First time around blog account found here in archive: http://sparklebutonce.tumblr.com/post/25201647753/plasmaexchange

According to the National MS Society:

The vast majority of people experiencing acute attacks respond well to the standard high-dose corticosteroid treatment. According to the guidelines, plasma exchange should be considered a treatment alternative only for the few who do not, and only for a short time.

I love how my MS always falls into that little percentage catagory.  #princess

I was fortunate enough to have this procedure done with the same doctor and nurse as the last time, which I loved, because they are very nice.  

What was weird about the adventure was that the procedure was done at Mercy, where I was in rehab for about a month.  Last night as my parents were going through their head the best route to get there, I realized I had never actually driven to Mercy.  I'd been taken by ambulence, went on a field trip in an ambulence and then left.  

So today while choosing the valet route, it was very surreal.  And weird.  And made my stomach hurt.  That was a good yet rough patch of The Sparkled Life journey and in a flashback I was there again.  Because I wasnt better.  

Yet we hope.

So what does this fancy blood thing do?  It takes out your blood from one arm, puts it in this loud, shacky machine, takes out my plasma, puts in a donors and then goes back into your body through another IV in your other arm.

 The hardest part is squeezing the ball for 2 hours straight.  
The first picture is the taking out blood arm, the second is the plasma and the third is the blood that runs across me. #stunning

It doesnt hurt.  It's more yucky because there is so much blood.  Everywhere.  Running through tubes across you. 

 Yes they keep the pressure cup on you the whole time.  It helps with the blood flow.

I prepared properly for the event by listening to the Twilight soundtrack.  I made sure to wear comfortable yet fashionable and meaningful clothing.

What I wore: Comfty breezy shirt (American Eagle), skirt and leggings (Victoria's Secret), BFF pink forever zip-up, trusty hospital Toms and the essential Starbucks.

The Doctor wanted to get an extra .2 portion of plasma in me however, like always, my veins decided they were done and collapsed.  I have a pretty ugly battle wound growing on my right arm that is sore and hurts.  

 My veins hurt.....

This will be done every other day for 5 treatments.  The last time we did this we did see some relief and we are hoping for the same.  

A year ago we were saying the exact same thing but....hell, I guess someone really wants The Sparkled Life to become a "thing".  (PS: the new blog has hit over 3400 page hits since its "opening" in March 13.  THANK YOU so much to all your MS Sparklers.  You have no idea how much the support means!!!! Keep clicking away!!!!)

Arriving home I put on my Team Edward shirt and called it a day.  Mom kept on her sparkly shirt in support.  And everyone has been so wonderful texting and messaging.  It means so much.  

I want to thank everyone who donates blood and plasma, as well as those that work in blood banks and the such.  I wouldnt be able to do this procedure without your help.  It really does save and change lives.  Thank you and keep it up!! 

Love, Eliz