Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pregnancy sickness, part 2

I went to see my doctor again around 8 weeks because I was so sick. [Note: I wrote this post when I was barely out of the sickness-woods. I find it quaint now that I considered holding out until 8 weeks (meaning I had been experiencing pregnancy sickness for only about three weeks) to have been such a long time to wait to see the doctor about the sickness. But time passes slowly when you are pukey.] She prescribed a little drug called Zofran. Perhaps you've heard of it? If not: it's an anti-nausea medication that was originally developed for chemotherapy patients but which is now often prescribed to pregnant woman to help them combat "morning" (hahahahahahaha) sickness. Honestly, when I picked up the pills from the pharmacy, I was not very hopeful. I thought nothing could help me, that I was doomed to a half-life of sluggishness and pukiness forever...or at least for the next 32 weeks. The thought was so overwhelmingly demoralizing. I know it sounds like I'm being dramatic, but when you feel sick to the point of not being able to function - but still, somehow, you function, because you must - for a long period of time, well, you get a little dramatic.

Anyway, it was Thursday, 14 February. I remember the day well. At around 1 o'clock I took a Zofran and then resumed my pitiful bed/workstation in the majlis. About 30 minutes later, the most amazing thing happened: I didn't feel sick. The nausea was weirdly still there, and if I thought for too long about certain foods or if I smelled a certain smell then it was still really uncomfortable, but basically, I took up my bed and walked. It was that amazing. Majd and I walked to the store together. Miriam came home from school and I was not irritable and/or lying down on the couch trying to keep it together. Jeremy came home from work and found me happily preparing dinner. I stayed up past eight o'clock that night! It was like some bizarro world where I was, you know, my old self again. Zofran gave me my life back.

Unfortunately, Zofran also taketh away. I won't get into too much detail here except to say that one side effect of Zofran is that it, uh, completely stops the natural digestive process, specifically the elimination part. I took Zofran happily for a few days and then paid the price with a different kind of crippling stomach distress. I still think of those three nausea-free days as a kind of break in the clouds. From then on, though, it was a delicate balancing act between half-doses of Zofran - enough to get me through work and class, but not enough to actually make me feel better because I couldn't afford to spend entire mornings in the bathroom. As happy as I had been to start taking Zofran, I started looking forward to the time when I wouldn't need it anymore...

...which turned out to be around 16 weeks (mid-April). I knew I was coming out of the woods while we were in Germany because I was able to eat so much FOOD. A few weeks after we got home, my nausea and food obsessions (at least the pukey ones) were much reduced. Hallelujah. (Though I still can't look a package of Fritos chips in the eye. Ugh.)

So that is my tale of pregnancy sickness and the knight in shining armor, Zofran. Who turned out to have an evil side, but I'm still grateful I had it to get me through the hardest times.

11 comments:

Katie Lewis said...

Oh man, Zofran has saved my life so much this pregnancy. Sadly, I'll be 17 weeks this week and I'm still taking it (boo), but thank heavens it exists. Also, I'm sad for you that your doctor didn't just tell you to take stool softeners along with it. Totally cures the, uhh, other problems. :) You know, in case you don't have access to the diarrhea box at your parents' house. ;)

Bridget said...

She did tell me, and it didn't help. :( The UAE doesn't have the exact ones you can get in the US that I read about online from all the ladies saying what had helped them. The stuff I was able to get was a little TOO helpful, if you catch my drift. It was just awful extremes. I am so glad this drug exists, though. It is a life-changer!

Kristen said...

Caught up on all your wonderful posts about the big surprise. I am so happy for you! And just delighted with this whole episode, a secret very few people would have the opportunity to keep. You did it right and did it well! Kudos and congrats. Can't wait to hear about the birth and hear the little guy's name! Love, KW

Kristen said...

Oh, and I'm sorry to hear you've had such terrible all-day sickness. :( Could be the gender thing, but I wasn't really sick with either one, so...

Liz Johnson said...

That's so horrible, although I'm so glad that a little Vitamin Z helped you out (sorry about the poop problems, though). When you said your miracle started with "Z" in the last post, my immediate response was "Zoloft?! I LOVE THAT STUFF!" Hahaha. Projecting much? :)

Amanda Ball said...

Weird, I was taking double doses of zofran (8mg) and I didn't have any digestive problems. For me when I took it, it totally took away the vomiting, but I still felt like I was going to vomit all the time. And I totally get your dramatic flair, it is completely warranted. "Morning" sickness is completely grinding and dispiriting.

Bridget said...

Amanda, I remember reading on your blog/fb about all the Zofran you were taking and I couldn't imagine how you were handling the side effects. I guess the nature of side effects is that they don't affect everyone, right?

elliespen said...

Oh, Zofran. I remember that feeling of choirs singing after the first dose kicked in. I'd had horrible problems with morning sickness and vomiting, and the docs prescribed something else that made it worse. After losing 7 lbs over one horrible weekend, I picked up my new Zofran prescription on the way to the grocery store for more Gatorade. I took the pill in the parking lot of the BYU Student Health Center and 20 minutes later was walking down the aisle of Smiths and saw a box of Easy Mac and thought, "Oh, that sounds good."

And then I realized what I'd just thought and knew that if I thought even Easy Mac sounded good then I had just gained a testimony of Zofran.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

How cool there is relief for morning, evening & all-day sickness! It's about time the dark ages of pregnancy be past.

Jen said...

I think I'm going to call this The Netflix Pregnancy.

You see, we don't have to wait for updates as they come in real-time...we can just binge-read all of your pregnancy adventures all at once! It's like starting 'The West Wing' one day, and two weeks later Jimmy Smitts is the president....except this time we find out you're pregnant, and 8 weeks later----POOF!----a baby!!

Why aren't REAL pregnancies like this??)

Cait said...

This is the best comment ever.

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