8.13.2007

Update on me

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has come on this journey with me. I have had several ask how I am doing. I think it's only fair since I have lived on your prayers and kind wishes and words for some time that I share. There will definitely be too much information involved, so if you don't want to know about enema5 and such, I wouldn't read any further.

Things were terrible for a long time. I do need to mention that DH and I and the girls are all insured, however, pregnancy isn't until we hit the bargain price of $5000 at which point the insurance is supposed to kick in. I don't have a problem paying the $ for this baby, I do have a problem with the insurance company that refuses to pay for me up until then but refuses to approve any of the things that I need done. You see, in order for them to pay above our agreed amount, all bills have to go through the approval process and then be denied. So even though we are self-pay, they still regulate what kind of treatment I may or may not have.

I have been on so many drugs. Unisom and B6, Phenegren, Reglan and Zofran. When I was pregnant with The Pea and I got sick during the last half, Zofran was the only drug that allowed me to function. We had to start all over again with this pregnancy. The Phenegran worked for a while and then puttered out. Then my insurance decided that even though I knew Zofran was my wonder-drug, they insisted that I try Reglan. Reglan is a known anti-psychotic. Scary stuff. I took one dose and could feel myself having suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts when you are already down because you are so sick is not a good thing. So the Reglan was destroyed. Finally when my throat started tearing and I was vomiting pieces of my esophagus, did the insurance finally give me the drug I needed. Ironically, they only gave me a Rx for 13 pills in a 24-day period. When you need three pills a day, that doesn't quite cut it. DH and I found a way around it and ended up going across the border to get me the amount of drugs I need so that I can function.

Yay! Right? Zofran was my cure-all...right? Well, in a sense. One of the side-effects of Zofran is bowels of cement. Not just your bowels turning to concrete, but the inability for your bowels to actually move anything along the digestive tract. We tried fiber (which only made the poop inside me bigger), Mirolax (a laxative), stool softeners, prunes, prune juice, etc. None of it worked. It just all sat in my system making me sicker and sicker. DH's brother is a urologist and although he deals with a different tube, we thought he may have a solution. So I swallowed my dignity and we called him. He was a Godsend! He told us that in the hospital they would make an enema...not just any enema, but a dish soap enema. 18 ounces of water with a teaspoon of dish soap that has to be held in for 10-15 minutes. If you have EVER had an enema, you know that asking you to hold it in for 3 minutes was a big deal! I thought I had some dignity left after my first two pregnancies. I was wrong. Having your brother-in-law tell your husband what to do to make you poop and then having your husband fix and administer a dish-soap enema was the end to any dignity I might have thought I had left.

We had to keep our sense of humor about it. Dh asked me if I wanted my bum to smell "lemony-fresh or spring apple". We laughed and laughed over it and cracked potty humor all night long to help us cope. Needless to say, it worked. The thirty-pound cinder block that was sitting on my stomach was gone!!!

Okay, that is great and fine. I can poop now. But enemas reduce your potassium levels. Yikes! I don't need any more charlie horses than I already have. So now we had to figure out a way to get my bowels to stimulate from the inside and not have to rely on enemas. Too many can cause lots of problems. Now, because of my religious beliefs, we don't drink coffee. That doesn't mean that I don't roll down the window of the car when I drive past Starbucks, or breathe deeply when I walk down the coffee isle of the grocery store. But after consulting with my medical team, it is decided that I should try it because it is a natural diuretic. I did, it works and when I start to feel that brick in my stomach, I alternate the coffee and the dish soap. It is a lovely process. Lovely I say.

From all of the literature I have read, it states that HG eases up sometime around 20 weeks. I waited and waited for that 20 week mark. It didn't happen. I was still throwing up 15ish times a day without the Zofran, 7ish times with it. I was crushed. That was supposed to be my finish line! Instead, 24 weeks was my magic number!!! Without Zofran, I would only throw up about 6 times a day, with 2-3. My bowels started moving again because of the reduced amount of Zofran. I could stop the enemas and the coffee! I felt human again!!! It was fantastic! I still have some problems. The varicose veins that run underneath this baby, the headaches from the medication and the HG itself, the emotional trauma and my inability to handle stress (thank heavens for a doctor that prescribed Xanax for my anxiety through all of this). The Mallory-Weiss tears in my throat never healed and so when I have heartburn it is amplified because it feels like someone is pouring acid down my throat. My hair stopped falling out in clumps, but I developed rashes from the massive amounts of medication. I still take a good ninety minutes to get going in the morning and I get pretty severe contractions if I don't drink enough and I irritate my uterus.

Dh still can't microwave popcorn or cook noodles. I can't be in the room when anyone brushes their teeth. I can't go into a bathroom within ten minutes of someone peeing. The smell of someone coming in from the outside and the smell of sleep all still send me running to the bathroom. Anything processed or with sugar makes me vomit, my spit still makes me throw-up. I can't decide if I have just gotten used to living that way or if it easing up a bit.

Surprisingly this baby is okay. At least that is what they tell me. I still have a fear in the back of my head that something will be wrong because of the massive amounts of medication I have had to take.

This baby is due two days before Thanksgiving. If it follows my other pregnancies, that means I will have her closer to Halloween. I can tell you though, I will have never been more grateful for a trial and to have that trial be over than I will be this Thanksgiving.

14 comments:

Kelli said...

Wow. What a ride.

I'm glad you found out about the Reglan fast. I was on it for 4 months, and thought I Was losing my ever loving mind. A friend happened to mention the side effect and I got off but fast.

On the potassium thing, if you don't want to take Klor-Con (a prescribed elephant pill)eat the food you can handle, like potatoes, bananas, tomatoes (if you can manage tomato juice, the WalMart brand is cheap, yummy and low sodium compared to others). I have a dangerously low Potassium count, and start every day with a big glass of that. It helps me get started on a better note.

Some other high potassium foods are here:
http://tinyurl.com/2xe5md

I suffered some of the same issues you are having til week 30 in my pregnancies as well, so I'm praying for you.

If I can do anything to help, really- ask.

Oh- and thanks for the tip on the constipation thing. I'll check with my nephrologist to see if that is healthy for me. The prescribed stuff he gives me? My system laughs at it. HaHA!

Char said...

HOLY COW! You poor thing! (((HUGS))) and prayers coming your way! Hang in there!

LovingTheChaos said...

You are Wonder Women in my book! My prayers are with you, baby, and family. :)

Tori :) said...

Bless your heart. That just sounds horrible. I am so sorry!!!

((HUGS)))

Heidi said...

WOW. Thanks for the update. You'll still be in my prayers as well as the health of your little one.

Thanks for your comments - I'm so ready to be done with this pregnancy too and I haven't gone through an eigth of what you have. Yikes girl! I'm glad you're hanging in there.

The Rookie said...

My prayers are with you! You are one tough cookie! And may this child nurse you as if you were a queen well into your old age...she owes you big time!

And, on a side note, I loved your description of the coffee aisle. I do the same thing! I stop in the middle of the aisle and just breathe for a while, then continue on with my shopping.

utmommy said...

Holy Moly girl. I am SO sorry you are going through all that. I hope that you and the baby are well and I send you many hugs!!

Gabriela said...

Hang in there-you can make it. I wish I lived closer-i would do something for you-but know you will be in my prayers. I'm sure your beautiful little girl is up there so grateful for what you are going through to get her down here. :)

Yvonne said...

My heart goes out to you. I spent 2 months of my last pregnancy in the hospital with severe dehydration--so I know some of what you're going through.

I remember when I delivered one baby and the doctor held her up and said, "Look mom, no more nausea!!!"

I will keep you in my prayers.

Sketchy said...

Thanksgiving...sounds about right! Oh goodness, I'm glad you are doing better or at least coping better. Hang in there, sweetie.

Loni said...

I didn't know about the Reglan side effect and started taking it about the same time that my insurance company suddenly said that I wasn't supposed to be insured since January. It was July. I'd already had eight hospital visits. Fortunately, I didn't take Reglan for very long because I didn't feel like it was helping. And the insurance company happily kept me covered after we got a lawyer.
I am glad that you have been able to take other meds. Pretty much every med except phenergan and zofran (8mg) made me worse than I already was.
Great tip on the constipation thing. I could only survive on zofran and would sit on the toilet for thirty minutes, rocking back and forth, trying to get something out.
I am so glad you are starting to feel better, that is great, great, great! Just remember to take it EASY and don't overdo it!! Everytime I felt better I'd overdo it and pay for that one afternoon for the next three days.
And can I say one thing? GOD BLESS YOU! I had HG (is that obvious?) with my first and only child. And she will be my ONLY child (unless we decide to adopt one day).
So God bless you and know you're still in my prayers.

Tigersue said...

You might want to try taking some magnesium to see if that helps. Magnesium and calcium are two minerals that help regulate bowel function. Calcium increases the probability of constipation, and Magnesium looser stools. Start with low doses and gradually build up and see what happens. Just and idea that worked for me.

CHEL said...

That was a great story! You've gone through so much. You are the strongest person I know!
I love how your DH kept it all in perspective and even kept you laughing... what a great guy!
When I get mad, sad, complaining, whatever, Damien starts throwing out the Japanese and we both start rolling on the ground... Not sure why, but it sounds funny.

Zoe said...

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to hear about this!! Zofran was the only thing that ever worked for me . . . or at least took the edge off. Isn't is a miracle that we even bring these babies into the world?! They are sooo worth it though!! You look beautiful in your picture too!!!