My Visit to NIH for Mepo Infusion
Updated: Mar 19, 2018
A couple of weeks ago I visited the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland for my routine quarterly infusion of mepolizumab (“mepo”) to treat my hypereosinophilic syndrome, or “HES.”
This visit was a little different and more exciting for me than the past years of visiting because I went alone. My mother was out of the country and my dad was at work so I had no choice but to take myself. My first visit on my own was a success!
First I started off at the day hospital where I got my IV placed and blood drawn. After that, I headed up to the 11th floor and visited my doctor, Amy Klion, MD. There she checked me for anything new or unusual until I got the okay for my infusion. But before I could get my infusion I had to get my echo cardiogram exam and pulmonary function exam. These tests are to monitor and assess my heart and lung condition for any effects from eosinophils. Those together took about an hour and a half.
Finally I was good to go! I went back to the day hospital and got my infusion. It was very easy and painless.
I’m so very thankful that the mepo medication is available for me and so close to home. I really do think I am fortunate to receive this painless treatment that, for me, has none of the side effects of the steroid prednisone.
After being diagnosed with HES I worried that life would be a lot different for me and I wouldn’t be able to do everything I wanted to do. But now I’ve had HES for almost 10 years, and am a senior in high school. I’ve never felt different from my classmates or felt held back.
A lot of information available on the internet about HES is scary, and often it is just plain wrong. Early detection and treatment from a doctor who understands HES certainly made a difference for me. Being diagnosed was the hardest part, but after that, having HES just became part of who I am!