Two blogs in one week you ask? Why yes! Lots has happened in 24 hours. Namely a trip to the ER yet again. All of the events lead me to reflect on all of the bad doctor advice out there to women with HG. Today was a prime example.
Let me take you back to 2.5 years ago when I was in the throws of my first pregnancy. I was so excited and looking forward to be a happy pregnant mama preparing for her first little one and ready to start obsessing on all the little things I was unsure if I needed. When my morning sickness hit, I was ready for it. I sort of expected to get the same morning sickness that so many other women get. Vomiting every morning became a regular occurrence and the nausea just never seemed to go away. At my first appointment my midwife assured me that I would be fine to just eat small meals and often and not to worry too much about nutrition. I didn't know to ask about fluids. Not yet.
Fast forward 2 weeks. I was privileged enough to have 3 pre-interns help to teach my class. This allowed me to curl up in a ball behind my desk all day in just short of tears. I had tried crackers, ginger ale, ginger pops, ginger gum, small meals, and then just trying to survive. I remember in tears calling my midwife in defeat. "I just can't make it through this." I had said. "I guess I have to try the meds or quit my job." I felt like such a failure for not having been able to make it through morning sickness without the aid of drugs. My friends and family were in part also a little dissapointed to find out I was on meds. No one thought it was healthy and that I was going to harm the baby in some way. I was so torn. I tried to take the meds as little as possible and hence began to waste away. At my next appointment my urine was brown. Not kind of brown, but DARK brown. No one said anything. The midwife seemed to radiate calm and just assured me that everything would be fine and to keep doing the best I could at eating and drinking. At this point I was concerned with the dehydration. "How do I know when I am having an emergency?" I remember asking. She told me if I was so dizzy I could barely stand then I should come in for fluids but she was sure I wasn't that bad. She of course had seen much worse. This by the way is all advice NOT to give a women in HG. Very bad things can happen to women who get this dehydrated. The meds are suppose to prevent more radical intervention later.
Finally, 20 weeks into this agony of day after day of literally wanting to die or terminate or knock myself out for the rest of the pregnancy. I found myself crying on the phone to my grandma. One person who I trusted to tell me like it is and who I know has had enough experience with incompetent doctors on her own. She and my SIL talked me into going in for fluids. The best decision I could have made. It wasn't until later when I was actually feeling a little better that I learned what I have is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is NOT normal morning sickness and there is support out there for women with this disorder. No one knows what causes it. It's sort of like waking up every day with that kind of hangover that keeps you swearing to your toilet that you will never drink again. Every day. For MONTHS. It's horrible.
I was so traumatized from this first experience being pregnant that just the thought of getting pregnant got me binge eating because I could. I felt entitled to food free of guilt and I gained a lot of weight. I had an absolute breakdown in an eye doctor office when I felt my doc was writing me off and not listening and I had nightmares. But looking at my child grow supported our families need for another child. So I risked it again but I did it as educated as possible this time. My husband called it obsessing over the internet.
Ok, fast forward to last night. I woke up thirsty last night so drank a glass of water. Harmless, right? Wrong. I spent the next 5 hours vomiting. Every time I lay down and rolled over, I would throw up. I tried sleeping sitting up but would find myself fallen over and thus throwing up. By 5 am it was clear that I was not going in to work. I called the on-call doctor who told me if I couldn't keep fluids down this morning then I should go to the ER. The office confirmed later as did my grandma. When I asked them about reflux they told me they were not responsible for my reflux and if I had reflux then I would need to see another doctor. Thanks. Jerks.
The nurses in the ER were nice. I didn't get as nice of a room this time and had to share one with 6 others. My doctor this time was also too cheery for my liking. He did listen to what I had to say and came to the conclusion that I had a touch of the stomach bug based on my new found lack of constipation (thank you Jesus). I got 2 liters of fluids and a dose of zofran. Later he came back and wanted me to drink an apple juice to prove the meds were working. What!? Are you kidding me? I think I must have looked at him like he had just grown a third eye because he laughed and asked if I was afraid of the apple juice. I told him that well yes I was and I haven't had juice in months because it makes me sick - with or without zofran! I was polite and took a few sips. I informed the nurse that a few crackers would be nice to absorb the apple juice that did go down. He agreed that I shouldn't drink the juice. Then the doctor came back and told me to eat bland foods like apple sauce and rice. Doc, I got this. If it is one thing I can do, I can care for my vomiting body. And this body throws up apple sauce and rice. When I told him I was doing fine on cereal he started talking about how the oils might be bad etc. etc. dude, I have HG. I know when you have HG, you eat what you can and just don't worry about the rest of it. When you start ranting that non-sense you freak women out and get them all worried. Or you just make them think your a true idiot. He also let me leave with my blood pressure really low. The nurses were shaking their heads at that one. So I left in a wheel chair with bp 98/47. We are well and home though.