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Something New for Something Old

IV bag
Make a lot of pee? Or help me recover?

Right now, I am five weeks out from my second discectomy surgery. On top of recovering from that, I picked up a cold the boys brought home from summer day camp around July 4th. The past two weeks have been brutal. The cold and the recovery process left me completely exhausted. I have to take a nap every afternoon, not just my usual rest on the couch watching TV. I actually have to climb in bed with the room dark, relax my body and let it go to complete rest - just to make it to 8:30 to put the boys in bed! And by that time, I’m so tired again. I’m snappy and short while rushing them through baths, teeth brushing, etc. Trying to get them down quickly so I can take a hasty shower, take my meds and flop in to bed.

I am tired of being tired! I detest feeling drained. I’m mad at myself for not being able to be the best mom I can be because I don’t have energy. I’ve been working to cut myself some slack and let myself rest. But this is more than that. I think something more is going on with my body.

Suddenly, I remembered something. The morning after my surgery in June, the post op nurse told me about something I’d heard about but thought only celebrities did. The nurse had my exact surgery in February. When she was 10 days out from surgery, she had a Post Surgery IV cocktail at a place not to far from the surgery center. She filled me in on the details of her experience and said it really jump started her recovery and she thought it helped her heal faster.

I ran the idea of vitamin infusions by the Pain Girls filling them in on what was going on. I love getting feed back from four other ladies who are in my same boat. Sara replied back wondering if I was taking supplements. I told her the supplements I was taking. She suggested I get in touch with a functional medicine doctor to see if there was an underlying cause. I’m thankful she suggested that because my fatigued mind hadn’t gotten that far. I was only thinking of a quick fix. Laney concurred with Sara.

Jasmine empathized with me as she still has children at home. But thought it was a good idea to look in to and find out more about the IV vitamins.

I decided to do both. I quickly texted a friend who is a functional medicine doctor and told her I was in need of her services. (I will fill you in on my past work with a functional medicine doctor in another post. In short – I very much recommend them!!!)

That evening, I got out my phone and started to research vitamin infusions. I found out it’s called IV Nutrition or IV Therapy. The location my post op nurse suggested had shuttered the month after her surgery. As you can imagine, after what I’ve been through, I’m a bit wary of trying something medically new with out the recommendation of someone I trust.

I had to trust Google reviews instead. I found an IV therapy business located in a prime part of town and read their reviews. The first one I checked didn’t have any reviews, so that was a no-go for me. The second did and they were positive. I also checked out their website to make sure they were legit. (I’ll do another post on how to vet unconventional medicine therapist and businesses.) I reviewed their site to learn about their offerings and see the prices.

I decided to book an appointment through their online portal. (I’m a little suspicious of online bookings, because I’ve been burnt a few times. The other end doesn’t get notified of my appointment and I get hung out to dry. Or they aren’t legit and I just got screwed. More on that later.) I didn’t pay online so I knew I wasn’t being scammed for my money.

I got a text reminder for my appointment an hour before I was to arrive. That was reassuring that this was a real business!

I arrived to the glass fronted business in a strip mall with a modern green and white sign over the top. The cool air rushed past me as I began apologizing for being a few minutes late. A smiling older lady with a great complexion checked me in. I looked around as she located an iPad for me to fill out the paper work.

The color palate was gray and black. Very clean and tidy with supplements lining one wall opposite the check-in desk. A dark curly haired lady in black scrubs introduced herself as my nurse and both ladies escorted me back to a very comfortable recliner in an open room with three other recliners to fill out my paper work. I carried my trusty water bottle and seat cushion.

After the usual medical questionnaire, the nurse took me to a private room to discuss my treatment options and start the IV. I told her my current maladies and she suggested I do a full liter drip which would work to repair my body from surgery. The drip had Trace Minerals (Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Selenium), Essential Amino Acids, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Biotin, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12. It cost $155. I was onboard with that.

She was a good poker. Not the best I’ve had. But at least she didn’t puncture through the vein like some I’d had in the past.

Back out in the lounge chair, I laid back and got comfortable with a blanket over my legs, a book playing in my earbuds and sipping the fizzy detox drink they gave me when I arrived. Then, I waited for my IV bag to come. I waited. And I waited.

Two other ladies had come in by this time. I had been there an hour now. I was glad I didn’t have any other appointment scheduled for the day and I was able to lay and not sit. I was getting antsy and a little frustrated. The older lady, who I learned was the owner, told me she was sorry, but she couldn’t mix my bag to get me started.

Finally, the nurse turned the corner holding two limon Gatorade colored IV bags. She came to me first and started mine. I could feel the cold fluid go in to my right arm as she warned me I may feel nausea or light headed, unsure of how my body might react to the high dose, straight in to the blood stream, vitamins.

Here is a short video I found that shows the process: My experience wasn’t as clinical being that it was not in a doctor’s office.

I felt fine the whole time as I peeked occasionally up at the bag comparing how quickly the bag was draining to my watch. After about 40 minutes my bag was empty and my bladder was FULL.

I’ve heard the pros and cons of IV vitamins in the past. Some say you pee it right out. Some say it helps. I thought if I was peeing out the concentrate of vitamins then my urine would be darker based on my past experience with high doses of vitamins. Well, my urine wasn’t any darker. I rationalized that I had a lot of saline put in too which would water things down. Oh, who knows if I’m peeing this out, I thought.

The nurse gently pulled out the IV catheter and wrapped my arm. I was more than ready to go after being there just under two hours. The older lady apologized profusely for the length of time I was there while I slid my card to pay. I wondered if I would be charged tax or if this was considered a service instead of a product and if there was a fee added to my $155 for the bag. I was very surprised that my entire bill was $155! This was a service and no added fluff to screw the patient. She told me in the future, the whole process was supposed to take 45 minutes, which was very encouraging.

Even though I was there a long time, I was pleased with the process. I just had to wait and see if this would help me.

By 5 PM, my splitting sinus headache was still there but I did have more energy. Was that from the large Chick-fil-a unsweet tea I drank or from the IV? As the boys’ bedtime approached I wasn’t tired, but once again – caffeine or IV?

This morning, The Hubs says my mood is better and I act more energetic. Is that because I finally slept through the night for the first time in months or the IV? Did I sleep through the night because of the IV or just coincidence? I don’t know. The jury is still out 😊.

As I get ready to tackle a new day with two energetic little boys, I will see how I hold up and report back. I will also contact my functional medicine doctor friend and give her my finished food and supplements diary and get an appointment.

Next day update:

As I progressed through the day, I did have more energy, not having to stop as much to lay down and rest. I did lay down for a nap at 3PM for about two hours. By the evening I was tired, but not completely worn out like before. I think the IV vitamins did help me.

I made an appointment with my functional medicine doctor for this week and need to fill out the long questionnaire.

I’m almost 48 hours out from the IV therapy. I have slept well both nights waking up more refreshed. The muscle pain in my low back was not there this morning either. Bonus! I wonder if that is because of the high dose of Vitamin C? I stumbled on an article yesterday talking about the nerve healing and pain benefits of taking high doses of Vitamin C. I need to talk to my PT about that and do more research.

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