Saturday, June 14, 2008

Don't Mess with the Zofran!

Today is my ninth day on the Zofran pump...and, because it's me, you know it's been an adventure!

Matria Home Health Care came by last Thursday with the pump. It's an 8: by 4" contraption that holds the syringe of Zofran. The nurse was hear for almost 2 hours the first time, showing me how to put in the infusion set (like a IV) and change the syringes. I have a whole book of instructions for the pump, as well as helpful information about Hyperemesis Gravidarum (extreme morning sickness). Each syringe gives me about 20 hours of medicine, about a ml/hour. The idea is that by having it constantly, I won't be sick.

The first time I put the infusion set in, it was put in too high. It's supposed to go in your stomach or legs, but since it's a little hard for me to see what I'm doing, I put it in just below my rib. BIG MISTAKE! The medicine couldn't absorb fast enough so instead it just pooled under the skin and made a rock hard red spot about 6" x 2"! It was extremely painful. I had an OB appointment the next morning at 8am and I came in bawling from pain. It felt like a broken rib and I couldn't bend or move without shooting pain. The nurse moved it but because the meds were pooled there, I didn't have any relief. I called Matria when I got home and they told me to stay in bed with a heating pad on it to break things up. I was in bed for two day until I could finally sit up without tears!

Before the pump, I was throwing up a few times a day. With the pump, I'm only throwing up every two days (though hopefully it will diminish soon!). The whole thing is awkward. It comes with a little fanny pack (high fashion!), though I usually just lay it next to me while I'm home. I've learned the hard way that I need to always be aware of where it is, because having the infusion set pulled out of your skin is NOT a sensation I wish to repeat!

The most assuring thing about the pump is that every morning I have to call in to Matria for a check in. They ask about my weight, ketone results (I do a little test every day to measure my ketone levels. In pregnancy, ketones are bad, they let me know that I'm not getting enough nutrition), what I ate, how much I threw up, how much I dry heaved, how often I was nauseous, etc. It's a bit much, but it's good to know that there's a daily record of my progress.

Yesterday brought a new adventure when my pump broke. It had a full syringe and yet was insistent (with a high pitched beep every 60 seconds) that it was empty. We tried all the tricks in the book, but ultimately, Matria delivered a new pump. One cool thing about that, both the nurse who came yesterday, and the regular nurse who came the day before, are both Family who attend our same Gathering place. So now I know I'm in good hands even when we go to Dad's house!

The best part of the pump is that I've actually had a few good days (which I hadn't had since Memorial Weekend) where I've been able to go out and be social. For the most part, I've been staying pretty close to home (and bathroom!) I would love to be off it, but I'm told that it can be weeks or months. Before they even start to wean me off, I have to: 1) stop throwing up, 2) stop losing weight and 3) be eating regular foods in regular amounts. After being down 13 pounds, I'm holding steady between -11 and -12, which seems to be a major victory to me, but I'm still in a cycle of eat real food one day and be sick the next, so I've been pretty cautious about what I try.

Niels and I still planning to go on our anniversary cruise to Alaska August 9, so my goal is to be off it by then. My OB said she would write my permission note if I can be back to regular Zofran by then. It's good to have goals!

So, my spirits are back up again. We have goals and best of all, baby DJ is getting lots of attention. I have heard his heart beat several times in the last few weeks and am well assured that despite all the grief Mommy is getting, he or she is doing great!

Looking forward to giving you all an update about my boring pregnancy...6 weeks til the BIG ultrasound...where we find out if baby is a boy or a girl!!!


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