Tag Archives: drugs

16 weeks 5 days

I’m so frustrated with our health insurance. Well, for the most part our dealings with his company from the patient perspective have been pretty good.

This whole Zofran thing has just been a huge mess of bureaucracy though and I don’t think that this is the way health insurance should be.

So on Monday I called my case manager. She basically told me that she couldn’t do anything about the prescription problem or get me any information about my new insurance, but that she would have someone from another department call me.

The lady from the other department called me and told me that I should call the the insurance companies myself because the management company doesn’t handle approvals for drugs. So I called our (now) old insurance company and they basically just told me what the pharmacy told me which is that they only cover 9 doses a month. Which I still don’t understand because when I was first prescribed this stuff a couple months ago they didn’t put any restrictions on my dosage. So I still don’t know what has changed since then. I didn’t get any answers on this from any of the people I talked to.

Well then I got our new insurance cards in the mail and decided to call that company and find out what they cover. They too only cover 9 doses a month. This representative then gave me the number to the pharmaceutical approval department and said that I should call and talk to them about it. That department repeated the 9 doses a month thing and said that if I needed more that I should have my doctor file a “prior authorization” form and they would possibly approve coverage of more doses.

So then I called my doctor’s office and had to deal with the impenetrable bank of receptionists. They took my message and said that someone would get back with me. I didn’t want to be a pest. I had enough Zofran for Tuesday and went medicine free on Wednesday. I hate dealing with those receptionists so I wasn’t going to bother them until it was necessary.

This morning started off on an inauspicious note and I knew I couldn’t wait longer for my answer to whether they had taken care of the prescription problem because I had exactly one dose of medicine left.

I called the doctor’s office again and was actually transferred to the nurse that assists my doctor. And she gave me her direct line! Finally! She said that I needed to go get a refill under the new insurance and when the insurance only approved the 9 doses their office would receive some paperwork and the doctor could make sure they approve more.

So I just went to the pharmacy and got a refill started. In a couple hours I’ll have 9 more doses. When I pick it up I’m calling the nurse back to let her know that I got the refill like she said to do just to make sure that their office really was notified and that this paperwork thing could go through already.

The thing is I’m fairly stubborn and somewhat persistant. I’m not sure your average person would wait on hold over and over, try calling around to various departments, be OK with being told that I was talking to the wrong person and that I needed to call this other number, etc. How many people actually go through all these steps to make sure they get the care they are supposed to get?

And I just don’t get why, when the insurance company has access to my whole history of this condition, they would think that it is somehow prudent for them to limit the dosage of the medicine that is keeping me out of the ER and off of home IV care. It is much more cost efficient for them approve the medicine which allows me to function like a normal human being (eat food, intake fluids, etc.) than to have me not get the medicine I need and wind up with a $3,000 ER bill so I could get an IV and the same medication that I was supposed to take anyway.

Sorry that this post really doesn’t have much to do with my pregnancy, but I am just frustrated.

One other thing about medicine and this pregnancy that I’ve been thinking about a lot. I guess I’ll just say that this is another thing that was completely unexpected for me.

If you know me, you know that I like to eat as much natural/organic food as possible. I try to avoid fast food and processed junk.

I always thought when I was pregnant that I was going to be as natural as possible and not put anything into my body that was weird. I was going to try and avoid uneccesary medications, have a natural birth, etc.

It’s just a lifestyle that is important to me and has been important to me for some time. I don’t even go to the doctor unless I am really, really sick because I know they’re just going to hand over antibiotics and I don’t think that those are the answer for everything.

If I had a choice I wouldn’t be so dependent on this medication. I wouldn’t even take it.

I guess through this whole process though I am learning that I can’t just be in control and everything can’t always go completely my way. I’m not even guaranteed a natural birth. The baby could decide not to turn or something else and I could wind up having to have a c-section. I guess pregnancy, and life in general, isn’t predictable and it isn’t in our control.

I want to be completely better. I really do. I don’t ever want to throw up again. But that’s just not where I’m at right now. Right now I have to take the medicine on some days to feel normal. And I’m learning to be OK with that.

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13 weeks 5 days

So I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. My thyroid levels this time around definitively showed that have hyperthyroidism. So my doctor is going to put me on a drug called PTU to start treating it. He thinks that the hyperthyroidism is what is causing my nausea and vomiting. He says the PTU should help me to start feeling better.

The drug can sometimes cause hypothyroidism in the baby at birth, but he says it typically is only a temporary occurance as a result of the hyperthyroid drug that I will be taking. The baby will have the thyroid levels tested at birth.

So I’m going to be on the lowest possible dose for PTU and I’ll have my labs done again in 7 days to check and see where my levels are.

I really hope that this is finally the answer and I’m finally going to start feeling better.

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10 weeks 2 days

Well this past weekend really just proved all theories about hyperemesis that I’ve been given are wrong.

Namely:
#1. If you get enough protein you will feel better.
#2. If you get enough carbs and increase your blood sugar you will feel better.
#3. If you stay hydrated you will feel better.
#4. If you get enough rest you will feel better.
#5. If you stay on schedule with your medicines you will feel better.

Thursday, the day after I went off home IV care, I woke up feeling terrible. I managed to get through it that morning though and ate a bunch of food throughout the day. I got plenty of hydration, protein and carbs. I didn’t actually throw up once.

Friday, however, I woke up vomitting and I couldn’t stop. No matter what I put in it all came out. So I went back on the home IV care. We almost stayed home the whole weekend because I felt so terrible. Even once I was back on the drugs and the hydration I felt terrible.

Once back on the IVs I didn’t miss a dose of my medicines. I stuck to the schedule perfectly. So the theory that missing your dose times was quickly ruled out.

Saturday I had a great day. I woke up a little woozy feeling, but I quickly quieted my stomach with some ginger snaps. The rest of the day I managed to get plenty of food and protein in. I had several small meals throughout the day. I even did OK during the cooking of our Chinese dinner. Something I had been worried about because of my recent aversion to sesame oil. The only thing that bothered me briefly was the smell of onions which I quickly tempered by peeling a tangerine and practically sticking it in my nose. I even took a nap that day.

Sunday I woke up and felt awful. I had gotten plenty of food and rest the previous day. There was no reason for me to feel like crap. I ate a few ginger snaps which didn’t help. Stephen gave me a dose of my medicine. I smelled and ate half a tangerine. Nothing seemed to really help. I got up. I ate some oatmeal. Still didn’t feel great. I obeyed my cravings on the way home and had a burrito from Taco Bell on the way home. Still didn’t feel great. I tried to sleep in the car. Nothing was helping. We got home. I tried a few snacks. Nothing helped. There was no reason for me to feel this way. I was eating plenty and getting plenty of hydration. I wasn’t missing my medicines. I took a nap when we got home. I just kept feeling like crap.

This continued this morning. I had a bowl of cereal. I continued to feel like crap. I took my medicine. I continued to feel like crap. Stephen brought home another burrito for me. I still feel like crap. I took a bath. Nothing has helped.

This is just ridiculous. There’s no pattern to it. No theory that explains it. Bland foods or no, protein or no, carbs or no, medicine or no, I still feel like crap.

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9 weeks 6 days

Well the bladder feeling went away. So I’m not sure what that was all about.

I’ve thrown up 6 times today so I had to get an IV started again. Not sure at this point if we will be making it the Barone Chinese New Year celebration which I’m sad about.

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Home care

Yesterday was another day of not being able to keep anything down.

Last week my doctor said if this happened again that I should come in. So Stephen came home at lunch and we went there. My doctor was actually out for the day so I had to see the next available doctor.

The first thing he tried to do was find the heartbeat with one of those little doppler machines. He couldn’t find one, but said that wasn’t necessarily cause for concern especially considering that I may not be as far along as they think I am. Still, I’m freaked out about it.

He said that being sick is a good sign and I shouldn’t worry.

He also decided that my ultrasound to correct the due date ought to be moved up. So this Thursday all my questions will be answered at that ultrasound appointment followed by an appointment with my regular doctor.

To alleviate my nausea and dehydration, he ordered home IV care. So last night a nurse came to our house, got my IV started, and showed Stephen and I how to change out the bags and add medicine and vitamins to the IV.

I don’t know about the nausea just yet. Each hydration bag already contains a dose of Reglan and lasts 24 hours. Every time I try to move too much though I throw up. Even just scooting across the couch to get my laptop so I could write a couple blogs caused it.

I’m just tired of feeling this way all the time.

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Status

1. Throwing up: It happened 3 times yesterday morning, but each time I didn’t let myself just get into the cycle. I kept trying to eat stuff and it payed off. Later that afternoon and evening I stopped throwing up.

2. Cravings: I had a huge craving for corn bread yesterday. So Stephen bought some Marie Callendar’s mix at the store yesterday and that has been staying down better than crackers even.

3. Medicines: The combination of Zofran and Phenergan together is working much better than just one or the other apart. It wasn’t just that I kept trying to eat stuff yesterday, I took a Zofran in the afternoon in addition to my Phenergan. This is what my doctor wanted me to do, but I thought that since the Zofran hadn’t been working it just wasn’t worth it. I was wrong.

4. Some ‘kooky’ advice worked: On one of the pregnancy message boards I found, there was a lady who said that it helped if she set her alarm for 3 a.m., took her medicine, ate a little snack and drank something sweet. When I read this I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. Well I tried it last night and it helped a lot. I think yesterday part of my problem was that my blood sugar had dropped really low overnight so I started the day out feeling crappy. This morning I’m a little nauseated, but a little nibble of cornbread helped and I think I’m going to be OK.

5. Sour taste: I still have the sour taste in my mouth even without the Gatorade. It’s just always there, like I’m sucking on an indefinitely long-lasting piece of sour candy. I brush, use mouthwash, suck on mints, etc. and it just doesn’t go away. Ugh!

6. Smells and some sounds are overwhelming: I’ve never noticed people’s breath before, but I can be four feet away and still smell it. This is making sharing a bed very difficult. However, Ruth and Cara’s citrus smelling tip is working. The fresh smell makes me feel a little better. Sounds are enough to make me sick now too. Stephen belched yesterday from across the room and the sound nearly made me throw up. His excuse for not being embarassed by said belch is that seeing me throw up numerous times in the past two weeks has brought us to a new level of closeness in our relationship. Another sound is from the dogs. They have a tendency to lick their chops and one another right after a meal and this licking sound makes my stomach churn every time.

7. No weekend hospital trip so far: Yay!

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Hospital part 2

I could not stop barfing yesterday. So Stephen skipped out on church, came home right after work and rushed me over to the hospital again.

I started out in Urgent Care at about 7 p.m. They gave me two bags of saline, Zofran and Reglan. I was still dry heaving at 9:30 p.m. Urgent care closes at 10 p.m. so the doctor on call got me a bed in the ER. I got another bag of saline, Phenergan, 2 smallish bags of magnesium, and a bag with vitamins, potassium, and gluclose.

I was so bloated! My fingers were super puffy. I could barely bend them.

After the Phenergan the nausea finally went away. But I still had to stay until all my IV bags were finished. I finally got discharged at 8 a.m.

I had follow up appointment with my OB this afternoon. He upped my dosage of Zofran and wants me to take that in combination with some Phenergan suppositories. Yeah… not fun!

He said I should try and at the very least keep eating crackers. If my carbs get below a certain level I am going to barf no matter what.

If I’m feeling even the least bit crappy tomorrow he wants me to come in and he’ll have me admitted for the entire weekend. I don’t really want to do that, but I don’t want to get down to emergency mode either. So we’ll see how I’m doing then.

I have another appointment scheduled for next week for followup.

Also the cat is out of the bag so to speak. More and more people were having to be told because of my having to go to the hospital and stuff. So we called the rest of our families tonight.

The most interesting conversation of all was with my mom. I was always told that my mom loved being pregnant and that’s why she went through it four times. Well tonight she told me that she had pretty severe morning sickness with me. She lost 20 lbs her first trimester. My dad said he remembered it being bad with my sister Paula too.

So it makes sense because while a whole lot is not known about Hypermesis Gravidarum, they do think that there may be a hereditary link.

The other nice thing about telling some more people is that we have a lot more support. Since we have to go to the hospital all the way on the other side of town, Stephen’s parents said he could come over and crash if he needed to for a bit if it happens again. My friend Megan and Stephen’s mom also volunteered to trade shifts with Stephen too.

One of the reasons Stephen didn’t want to leave is that they really are not super attentive there at the hospital. In my Urgent care room I was dry heaving for like 10 minutes before anyone even came in. I couldn’t bend my arms because of the IVs. So Stephen had to hold the basin for me. What if he wasn’t there? And when my IV bag finally finished in the ER this morning, the thing kept beeping and no one did anything. Finally, a nurse came over and just shut off the machine so it wouldn’t beep anymore. After about 15 or 20 minutes my doctor came over and got the process started for me to be discharged. The funny thing is that they really needed the beds too. So I don’t know what took them so long.

I’m just grateful I have such a caring and attentive advocate though.

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