Monday, February 3, 2014

Anti-Nausea Cocktail

So, we got pregnant.  Which is awesomely cool and all, except that my body hates being pregnant with a fiery vengeance.  Doesn’t like to get pregnant, doesn’t like to stay pregnant, DOES seem to like to get every symptom known to womankind for the past few thousand years of recorded history.  Awesome, right?

Around 5 weeks or so, I started barfing.  At first it was usual-morning-sickness-barfing, then it got a little worse.  And a little worse.  My IVF doctor put me on the 4 mg of Zofran, an anti-emetic.  They worked for a few weeks, and then I hit 8 weeks.  All hell broke loose.  I started puking every five minutes.  On 1/16, I started vomiting around 5:00 at night, and couldn’t hold down water all night long.  By morning on 1/17, I got Pickle ready for school and sent her and my husband on their way, knowing I wasn’t going to work that day (at the very least).  I just lied on the bathroom floor for a while, then called my mom… only to puke in her ear for about five minutes because another wave of nausea hit right as soon as she picked up the phone.  I was too weak to drive myself to the doctor, so she rushed right over and got me to the doctor.

The view of a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum for several months.

The doctor spent a few minutes examining me, and decided to send me to the hospital without even taking the time to test my blood, as it had been hours and hours since I had last peed or been able to hold anything down (dehydration was pretty obvious).  The OB unit was full, so they got me checked in on the Peds unit.  I was so dehydrated that they had trouble getting that first IV in, but there I stayed for the next six days with hyperemesis gravidarum.  They first got me rehydrated, then hung IV bags with multivitamins, then got me on a fluids + IV Dramamine mixture, also taking Reglan half an hour before every meal, 8 mg of Zofran twice a day, Prilosec, Benadryl, and a few other things.  Minus the IV form of the Dramamine (still taking it orally), that is the cocktail they still have me on to try and keep the puke level at least controlled (not gone, but controlled).  All of the meds are safe for pregnancy, which is a huge relief, and are able to get me through the day.  We were also doing the regular B6, B12, Seabands, ½ of a Unisom, etc., but those things aren’t doing anything to help, so they have been discontinued.

So, what’s the point of this review?  My review of anti-nausea meds is that they are a godsend if you really need them (so, sort of a public service announcement).  So many people will cast judgment on those who have uncontrolled vomiting as “just some morning sickness,” and will preach that meds shouldn’t be used at all in pregnancy.  And in ideal circumstances, obviously we would avoid medication – but there is a point at which the mother and the unborn baby are put at risk by severe dehydration, and the rest of the family also suffers.  At that point, all of the preaching about “just eat crackers” and “you’re overreacting” are harmful.  A woman with HG has already tried crackers and everything else natural under the sun, and is at a point of desperation.  

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