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No, really! - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
No, really!
Every nurse who has come on-shift since I was admitted on Wednesday has been shocked that I'm not eating. I mean, I get that it's not normal, but there's bound to be a notation in my chart somewhere that says "hyperemesis gravidarum" right? They give each other report at the start/end of each shift. And yet? Every nurse that's come on shift has said, "You ate [dinner/breakfast/whatever], right?" Um, no. I haven't had a tray in my room since I came in here (a couple of nurses have offered trays - so it's not that I'm being neglected, it's that I have no desire to have a tray of food in my room that I know I'll never touch).

It's not limited to the nurses, though. The OB on call came in today to assess me and let me know "the plan" - which is to keep me here at least until I get my 17-P injection tomorrow and a new PICC line (one of the lumens on my existing PICC line is completely obstructed and the medication they usually use to dissolve issues like that isn't used in pregnant women). But she paused and asked where the terb pump was running - it's subcutaneous. "Oh, well, you don't need the PICC line then." Um. Yes, yes I do. The Zofran pump runs through the PICC line and I can't run that one subcutaneously even if I wanted to - because doses as high as I'm getting would tear up my skin if done sub-q. Oh, and there's that hydration thing. "Well, you can't take the Zofran ODTs? You need the pump at home, too?" Yes, I need the pump at home, too. I can't keep the ODTs down. (Also, they don't work as well as when the drug is continually infused). "Why do you need the fluids?" Because I can't drink anything of substance? "Really? How long has this been going on?" Um. September. I get that she wasn't my doctor back in September when this started, nor in October when I was hospitalized for dehydration due to hyperemesis gravidarum, nor when my first OR second PICC line were placed. But I still find it hard to believe that there's NOTHING in my chart ANYWHERE that mentions that I'm hyperemetic. The doctor conceded that I do need to keep my PICC, so it'll be replaced tomorrow.

Seriously - the nursing staff keeps very close tabs on my "I's and O's" (Ins and Outs). They know what I'm taking in. They know I'm not drinking. They *should* know I'm not eating (no food trays have come into or left my room since I've been here). And yet, they seem shocked when they hear that I haven't eaten since before I was admitted. How do I make it more clear? I really hope I get to go home tomorrow. I'm growing weary of the hospital (a.k.a. the worst hotel EVER).

In other annoyances:
  • My skin is so dry that it's becoming abraded. My knuckles are cracking. My legs are itchy. My lips are chapped and split. Apparently the air is very dry in hospitals - and more importantly, I'm not getting a lot of fluids, so my skin just can't stay hydrated. This is annoying, but hopefully I won't be here much longer. If I had to move in for the duration, though, I'd have to get a humidifier or something.
  • TMI Alert: One of the best things about getting OFF the magnesium sulfate is that they removed my catheter and let me resume "bedrest with bathroom privileges". Except, it's really a pain in the neck to get up to go to the restroom. I have to unplug the toco monitor (contraction monitor) and wrap the cord around my shoulders so it doesn't drag. I have to untangle my Zofran and Terbutaline pumps. I have to undo the sequential compression stocking things. I have to unplug the IV Pump. And then I have to carry everything to the bathroom. Then I come back and I have to plug in the IV Pump, untangle the Zofran and Terb Pumps, and plug the toco monitor back in. And get myself back into bed, which is a much more difficult task than it sounds. I am ready to be home where it is less of a production just to get up and pee (mind you, even at home it's a production, but at least there are SLIGHTLY fewer things to unplug).
  • I have the toco monitor on my belly 24/7 to monitor for contractions. It stays on with a softish belt that straps around me. It's not tight, but it *is* against my skin 24/7 and now the skin on my belly is abraded from the constant contact. At least at home I'll only have to have have the toco monitor on for an hour at a time (minimum of 2 times per day). That will definitely be an improvement.
  • Several times per day, they do NSTs (nonstress tests) - this means that in addition to the toco, they put a fetal heart rate monitor on also. This evening during one such NST, the baby's heart rate decelerated with every contraction I was having. This is... not good. Fortunately, I'd just recently gotten Procardia, so the contractions went down shortly thereafter. Hopefully, this will not reoccur because I'm... not actually sure what all the implications of it recurring would be. I'm pretty sure it's far too early for me to want to find that one out the hard way.

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21 comments or Leave a comment
osewalrus From: osewalrus Date: February 8th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
You've lived with a pharmacist how long, and you still expect Drs and nurses to read charts?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 8th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
point taken.

But it IS getting old to have to tell every single nurse and MD that walks into my room that no, I'm really not kidding - eating=throwing up and it's just not worth it for hospital food.
marag From: marag Date: February 8th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
::snort:: What is this "reading charts" thing of which you speak? I swear, I don't think a single doctor or nurse read my chart in any of the times I was there for either kid. I nearly threw pillows at a few of them.

I have especially not fond memories of the need to unplug everything to go pee. I think you have ::peers:: at least, what, two more cords than I did?

No, wait, they had me on a continuous blood pressure monitor for almost the entire time (because I had a tendency to, uh, set off alarms), so maybe you just have one more than I did. ::counts again:: No, I think you're still two ahead of me. Way to go!

How many grams of mag did you have? I had 3, but I just didn't want the catheter (although later I kind of wished I'd let them put it in).
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 8th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I forgot about the blood pressure cuff - that too. I don't always have it on, it seems to depend on which nurse. My BP keeps crashing, so they do keep a pretty close eye on it.

I had a 4gram bolus followed by 2 grams per hour for about 30 hours. They didn't give me a choice about the catheter, which was somewhat annoying.

Do you know Dr. Skinner? She's been on all weekend and she's very nice, but the PICC thing really annoyed me. Also she made a comment that after adding the second antibiotic, my white blood cell count came down - but I hadn't known it was elevated in the first place. Would it have killed anyone to tell me when there are irregularities in my blood work? She wants my PICC line cultured before it gets replaced tomorrow - so I hope this can be done in a relatively timely fashion... and, you know, still informing me of the results.
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estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 8th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I rarely eat. I only eat if I think it's "worth" it. Mostly, the thought of food makes me ill enough to deter me.

I do realize that there are degrees of HG, and I do realize that some people will eat anyway. But I've been telling my doctor's office for weeks that I'm not kidding about the not eating thing.
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estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 8th, 2010 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
You would think that, wouldn't you? And yet? It still seems to come as a shock to everyone around me.
magid From: magid Date: February 8th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Can you put lots of hand cream on your skin? I've found that the stuff billed for feet is super hydrating for skin. No clue how that works without much fluid intake, but it might help a bit (and hey, if there's still nothing to read, it could use up a good 3 or 4 minutes right there :-).
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 8th, 2010 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I can - though, I don't have any hand cream here at the hospital. I'm also told that it won't really help given the fluid intake. Hopefully I'll get to go home tomorrow. We'll see.
magid From: magid Date: February 8th, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dang; I'd've hoped that a hospital might be able to give you hand cream. Say, instead of the meals you're not eating...

I hope you make it home today, and can get good rest.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 9th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Seth gave me some hand cream yesterday - it helped for a couple hours and then... not so much. Sigh.
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estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 8th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
you probably wouldn't knock heads together over it - patients are rarely strong advocates for themselves. It's too vulnerable a position to be in. Thanks for your thoughts - we're doing fine, just not sure how to handle the logistics of the next couple months given that I've been pulled out of commission.
mindycl From: mindycl Date: February 8th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
how bout using a bedpan to go #1 for while?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 8th, 2010 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
first, because I hate bed pans and they leave me feeling unclean. And second because then I'd have to know that a nurse would be in here promptly to remove said bed pan after having been used. I definitely would not get that kind of care. Finally, because technically it's good for helping to avoid muscle atrophy to get up and walk a couple feet to the bathroom a few times a day. I was in such bad shape after the triplets were born in terms of muscle atrophy that I just don't want to go through that again.
lec210 From: lec210 Date: February 8th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I highly recommend Aveeno Intense Relief Overnight Cream, if you get a chance to get something! My legs were itchy and flaking and sore from being so dry and this stuff worked miracles!

Hope you feel better soon!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 9th, 2010 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks for the recommendation. :)
magid From: magid Date: February 8th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, hey, you're out of the first trimester, so at least you don't have this concern!
humor, nothing eek-ifying
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 9th, 2010 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
heh. The FUNNIEST thing about that cartoon is that about 6 people sent it to me yesterday. :)
jeannegrrl From: jeannegrrl Date: February 8th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read every entry you write and I *always* want to comment but can seldom do, because I so rarely find words that express myself the way I want these days...

Not sure how much it's "helping" but you are in my thoughts and prayers often as you go through this (thankfully temporary, albeit frustrating/annoying/again-with-the-not-finding-the-right-word) hell. Hugs from Glazer central.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 9th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It's nice to know I'm in thoughts and prayers - and you certainly don't ever have to worry about saying the "right" thing with me.

I'm really okay - but I'm ready for this to be over (but not in the scary, hey let's deliver a baby before you're even in the third trimester kind of over.... just ready for it to be May already). I feel bad that I don't have these happy fluffy images of pregnancy, but it certainly doesn't mean that I love my kids any less. And at least now I know that I can say "I am DONE" without any reservations after this little one enters the world for good. ;)
gishmak From: gishmak Date: February 9th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow - you're really going through a lot! I hope things get only easier from here now and you & baby should remain healthy BE"H>
I know i'm far off in New yOrk, but is there any way I can help - mailing you something that would be helpful or something?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: February 9th, 2010 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I could really have lived without the decels, but otherwise everything so far has been ... manageable, if not my favorite experience so far. At least I know that the baby, so far, is growing and thriving. I just miss my kids is all. Hopefully I'll get to go home tomorrow and see them. Thanks for your thoughts - I'm really fine, but I definitely appreciate the offer.
21 comments or Leave a comment