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Some Tips for Your First Iron Infusion

I've been sharing my infusion stories now for a few years.  I've gotten quite a few messages mostly from women nervous about getting their first infusion. 

I get it.  I remember being a bit nervous and having no idea what to expect.  You can read about my first iron infusion experience here:  Intravenous Iron Infusion and Me

Since my first infusion just over three years ago, I've had a number of rounds.  I'd like to pass along a few tips to hopefully make the experience a bit easier for you.

  1. Drink plenty of water beforehand.  I've found it is much easier for them to get the IV in when you are hydrated.  
  2. Find a chair close to the restroom.  Yes, this goes back to tip #1.  You can wheel the IV into the restroom and I find it is just easier to be somewhere in the vicinity.
  3. Bring a pillow.  You can bring your own blanket but often, if you ask, they'll bring you a blanket.  If you are having Benadryl, it is just easier to nap with a pillow.
  4. Dress in layers.  Even if it is quite warm outside, they keep those rooms chilly to help keep down the spread of germs and illness.  Even on warm days, I'll bring in a sweatshirt.  
  5. Bring snacks and water.  I've had infusions that have lasted for up to four hours.  Having a little something to eat helps.
  6. Bring something do to.  Yes, you may end up napping the entire time but, other times, I've found having my notebook computer or a book helps pass the time.
  7. I don't know if this is just me but I find that once they take the IV out and bandage my hand, the longer I leave that bandage on, the less likely I am to bruise.  I usually leave it on an hour.  Maybe it has been a fluke that the times I've taken it off quickly, I've had bruising but I figure it doesn't hurt to keep it in place.
 Have you had an infusion?  Would you like to add any tips?   I'd love to hear from you.


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