I recently became well acquainted with an illness I really wish I knew nothing about. When I was pregnant with my son, one of the girls on my babycenter.com birth club kept talking about hyperemesis and how it had taken over her life. She was in and out of the hospital an hooked up to IVs and other things to help her survive. I felt bad for her but had no idea what she was going through.
October 10th I found out I was pregnant. I had gone to the ER due to some complications from a medicine I was put on for a UTI. They did a pregnancy test and it was positive! I was in shock. My husband was over the moon. I was 3weeks, 4days (I had no clue since it was earlier than what I would have tested at home).
October 14th I got a text from my mom at midnight saying she was headed to the hospital with my brother. They were following the ambulance with my dad in it.
I arrived that afternoon to find Dad in a drug induced coma, clinging to life with the help of a ventilator and two blood pressure medicines to keep his BP up. Our family was faced with a tough decision. You see, Dad had cancer. It wasn't going away and he had been living with a lot of pain for a long time. Even if he survived the infections that had taken over his body and put him into septic shock, he would wake up still with cancer. He would be too sick to receive the stem cell transplant they had lined up. We all prayed God would give us the wisdom and peace we needed and Mom and I went to her house to get some rest.
October 15th was a chilly morning. We spent it trying to figure out what was wrong with Mom's gas line. We finally arrived at the hospital at 11am. As we stood and talked to the doctor, our decision became clear. There was no hesitation. No "is this really the right thing to do?" There were lots of tears. Lots of hugs. But no question that it was time to let him go. We waited for his older sister to arrive and once she did she took one look at him and agreed. It was time for Dad to go home. Truly, I believe he was already gone. He was with his precious Jesus whom he loved so dearly. Dad was a light to all who knew him. When Mom and Dad's pastor arrived, we all gathered around his bed. We read some scripture. The nurses unhooked the IVs and as we stood waiting for the inevitable Mom, my two brothers and I choked back tears and we sang. We sang old hymns and some songs Dad loved. At 4:10pm the Lord took Daddy home. Home to heaven, where he has a new body. Home where cancer no longer plagues him. Home where his beautiful voice can ring out loud and clear, singing praises to his Savior.
Thursday brought the visitation and Friday the funeral. They were hard but at the same time, we rejoiced for Dad. He won his ultimate prize. The race, for him, is over.
Now back to me. Saturday (October 20) I woke up with the dreaded morning sickness. Hoo boy, here we go, I thought. I knew I had a long drive ahead of me the next day and I prayed I would get through it with ease. Thankfully I had little sickness during the trip.
Since that morning (I was five weeks at that point), my morning sickness grew progressively worse. It went from being controlled by the standard go-to remedies (ginger, crackers before getting up, lemon lime soda,etc.) to overwhelming my life. I had no relief from the nausea and when I wasn't vomiting I was having other issues which are equally unpleasant and just as dehydrating. I called my OB office and they gave me zofran, 4mg every six hours. It helped some but never took the nausea away. I called again when I was about to run out. They gave me 8mg every 8 hours that time. It helped but still that feeling of nausea lingered.
After fighting that feeling, throwing up almost everything I ate and getting to the point where I was afraid to eat or drink anything for fear of it coming back up, I had had enough. Thursday Nov 29th we went for an ultrasound of baby. Baby was healthy and kicking away. I was relieved that my poor diet wasn't hurting my child. We told the ultrasound tech that I was really sick and I wanted to speak to the nurse. She said no, you need to be seen. I left my sample in the bathroom and sat in the waiting room. When I was called back and talked to the nurse practitioner I was given one option. Go to the hospital for IV fluids and medicine. I was so relieved!
After sitting in outpatient recovery for two hours of IV fluids and zofran and reglan intravenously I felt a lot better. We went and filled a prescription for reglan to take with the zofran and went home. By Tuesday the 4th of December I was not keeping things down. My doctor had called in phenergan Monday and I took that instead of the zofran and reglan. It had done no good. So Tuesday found us once again at the hospital. We arrived at ten pm. I received three bags of fluid, zofran and Pepcid through a second IV.
Wednesday I had my scheduled appointment with the n/p at my OB office. They decided at that point it was time to pull out the big guns. A subcutaneous pump was what they suggested. The hope was that since it is a different delivery method it would get me ahead of the sickness so I could begin to get nutrition again.
Yesterday evening a home health nurse came and helped me install the pump. I almost passed out...I don't like needles! Last night I was able to eat some chicken broth without feeling like it was going to come back up. A small victory!
Today I had some pancakes for breakfast. I figured they are bland enough and I need the carbs. Five minutes after eating them I was running (well, hobbling really) to the bathroom gagging. Thankfully not much came up. So I'm still getting some nutritional benefit.
If I'm lying down I seem to be OK with my symptoms. If I sit up they flood and overwhelm me.
85% of HG patients have relief by week 14. I pray I am in that 85%.