Posted tagged ‘morning sickness’

Morning Sickness Remedies: What Worked for Me

December 16, 2009

The name Morning sickness is such a misnomer. It lasts ALL DAY everyday, for weeks. And, at least for me, it was so much more than just a little queasiness. It was like nausea on steroids. And no matter what I did, it just won’t go away. It threw me into bed every night, exhausted and miserable, and greeted me first thing in the morning as soon as I woke up.

Luckily, I seem to be through the worst of it now. It still hits me now and then, but I am SO much better than I was three weeks ago.

One of my goals with this blog is to share what I’m learning on this journey with the rest of the Diabetes OC. So I thought I would dedicate this post to the things that worked for me (and those that didn’t work, too) when I was trying to survive the worst of my morning sickness.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Things that worked

    • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. I found that if I nibbled on these tasty little candies a few at a time throughout the day, they helped keep my stomach from gnawing a hole in itself. An added bonus: they also helped keep my plummeting blood sugars out of that dangerously low range.
    • Macaroni and Cheese. You know, the good, old-fashioned Kraft version with powdered cheese mix. This  dinner time go-to turned out to be just bland enough to allow me to keep down a decent quantity, and calorie-dense enough to help inch my weight back up into its pre-pregnancy range.
    • Apple Cider. I can’t explain it, but I tolerated and even craved this fall-time drink, which came in especially handy when trying to treat those late-night and early-morning lows.
    • Saltine crackers. True to their reputation, these little gems turned out to be the best nausea reducer for first thing in the morning. Believe what you read in the books: keep the saltines on the nightstand and eat one or two before you even attempt to put your feet on the floor.
    • Salty potato chips. I read somewhere that a handful of salty potato chips could settle morning sickness. I was doubtful, but was also desperate. This one turned out to work pretty well, but the limit is just about 15 chips, or one carb exchange. After that, they started contributing to that full tummy sensation.
    • Almonds. A handful of almonds helped take the edge off when it was too soon to take another anti-nausea pill. An added bonus is that they do not affect my blood sugar.
    • Ice Water. It had to be ice-cold, but a few sips would quell my queasiness at least enough to help me get ready for work in the morning. Of course, the additional fluid was also key to keeping me well hydrated.
    • Phenergan. I don’t know why my doctor initially told me that the only anti-nausea drug I could take was Zofran. Once I switched to Phenergan, I could finally start to eat again. The side effects can be debilitating, though. It does make me feel tired and loopy in high doses. If I can manage with the lower dose, though, it works pretty well. An added bonus: it is available in generic form, so it is much more affordable than Zofran.
    • IV Fluids. When all else failed, I checked myself into the hospital for some good old saline. Two days and three bags later, I felt like a new person. It sure was a nuisance, but it really did help me turn the corner.
    • My husband. He did EVERYTHING while I was stuck in bed. From laundry, to dinner, to waking me up to test my sugar,he has really taken a lot of the burden in this new journey. Thank goodness for him. I don’t know how I would have made it this far without him.

      Things that did not work

        • Bananas. Forget the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast,) which the doctor suggested when I was in the hospital. Bananas contributed to my full and queasy feeling and added a new symptom: heartburn. Applesauce was not much better. Rice and toast worked out alright, though.
        • Ginger and lemon. Whether in the form of tea, ale, or candy, these remedies just did not cut it.
        • Scrambled eggs. Yuck. This sounded like a good idea, but just did not work out. I couldn’t even finish one egg. Ever since, the thought of any type of egg makes me a little queasy.
        • Zofran. I can’t believe I paid so much for a drug that did so little. I could have been taking a sugar pill. Just to prove that everyone is different, I have a friend who is taking this right now and it is working like a charm.
        • Reglan. This drug is supposed to help the stomach empty, which should help the full-tummy sensation. Unfortunately, its side effects contributed to my incredible fatigue and helped to make me feel loopy. It did not help much with that full feeling, either. THe good news is that this is available in generic form, which helped keep my drug costs down.

          Do you have any secret weapons for morning sickness? What worked  (or didn’t work) for you?

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          Back from the (Near) Dead

          December 14, 2009

          So the first trimester has turned out to be quite a roller coaster. After the initial tubal scare, and the relief of a peanut with a heartbeat, we received a third bit of good news … our fourth ultrasound showed a still growing peanut and a heartbeat that was over the 150 beat threshold. We could finally consider this peanut “viable”.

          The relief was short-lived though. It was followed almost immediately by morning sickness that would not die. It laughed in the face of the $50 Zofran prescription I took religiously. I was miserable and actually starting to second guess this whole pregnancy thing. Would I actually live through this??

          Around week nine, after three weeks of increasing sickness, I finally broke down and had myself admitted to the hospital for IV fluids. I received 3 bags of fluid over two days and a new prescription for the nausea, this one for generic Phenergan. For the first time in nearly a week I was able to eat, even if it was just toast and ginger ale. I started to feel better almost immediately.

          The nausea is stubborn, though. It is still hanging around now in week 12, but I am feeling MUCH better than I did back in week nine.

          The big D is also doing it’s best to kick my butt. I have never seen so many lows and they come on fast and hard. Despite all of my efforts with temp basal rates and the suspend feature, I still find myself sometimes hovering in the 50’s and 60’s with quick dips into the 30’s and 40’s I have even seen a few numbers in the 20’s … wow, that’s scary.

          My low-blood-sugar-treaters-of-choice have become apple cider, Carnation instant breakfast, and Jelly Belly jelly beans. In fact, I am forcing a pint of apple cider into my over-full belly as we speak.

          As the first trimester nears its end, I am preparing for my 12-week ultrasound, and feeling nervous yet optimistic. Sometimes it is still hard to believe that there is a baby in there, and I am still worried that the technician will find something on the ultrasound, but I am getting a little more used to the idea of being pregnant. At times, it seems like the time will never come when I will finally hold this baby in my arms, and at other times, it feels like the time is just whizzing by. 12 weeks already! And I spent most of it curled up in a ball in bed. There is so much to do and so little time!

          Sick and Tired

          November 12, 2009

          Nothing new today. Just more of the same. Sick and tired.

          Real (Pregnant) People Sick

          November 11, 2009

          I’m still struggling with nausea and the remnants of that stupid H1N1 flu shot.

          Yesterday I called the OB to ask if there is anything else we can do besides the Zofran. It seems that my love affair with that little pill was very short-lived. It turns out the only other thing we can do is IV fluids … which I would have to receive at the ER. Yuck. So I am forcing the fluids and testing for ketones. Luckily I’ve only had negative to trace amounts so far.

          I read Lee Ann’s post over at the Butter Compartment this morning about guilt and I could really relate. My husband had planned to stop at Walmart last night to pick up some things for his lunch this week. I asked if he would pick up some Ketostix, Pedialyte popsicles, and chicken broth. He went to three stores, never found the popsicles, and forgot his lunch items altogether. I am so glad to have him. What would I do without his help at a time like this? But it is definitely hard to let him accept some of my burden. The guilt is indescribable. I have been building a post about this topic in my mind for some time now, but I want to give it the time it deserves.

          That’s all from here for now. It is taking all of my energy just to get out of bed this morning.

          Zofran, I think I love you

          November 10, 2009

          Our visit with the OB was relatively positive yesterday. The heartbeat is up from 97 to 119. I still have to go back in a week to make sure everything is growing.

          We got another ultrasound picture … a white blob with a blinking black center suspended from a white yolk sac. I’m sure that it doesn’t look like much to the outside world, but it is beautiful to us. We hung the picture on the refrigerator. I am getting less and less nervous with each visit.

          One of the highlights of the visit was the prescription for anti-nausea medicine. The doctor prescribed Zofran and I am actually starting to feel human again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel normal, but this stuff is definitely taking the edge off and I am preparing for a day at work (and out of bed) for the first time in almost a week.

          Of course, it makes me a little leery that the drug is not actually approved for use during pregnancy, but there is a lot of good anecdotal evidence out there, so I am just hopeful that everything works out. And for the first time in five days, the scent of my own deodorant (powder fresh?) is not making me gag.

          H1N1 Shot and Morning (and Noon and Night) Sickness

          November 9, 2009

          I got a H1N1 shot last Thursday afternoon. I waited in line for three hours at a clinic run by the county health department at the fairgrounds. It was just like what you see on the news. Gobs of “Tier One” people and small children waiting in long lines outside in the cold.

          Don’t get me started about how broken our health care system is.

          The bad news is that between the effects of the shot and my morning sickness-turned-all-day-sickness, I can hardly get out of bed. I have already missed three days of work. In a row.

          Our appointment to check the heart rate is this afternoon. We are looking for a number higher than 100. Last week it was 97. After  the whole tubal pregnancy scare, this seems like just  a small concern, so I am not too worried about it. The doctor mentioned that he might be able to give me something for this nausea, too. I am definitely going to take him up on that.

          Digestive Woes

          October 26, 2009

          Ugh. Who would’ve thought that pregnancy would lead to such drastic digestive issues? I think I’ve experienced them all…

          One minute it’s constipation. The next it’s diarrhea. Complete with gas, cramping and pain. Then it’s indigestion, burping, and hiccups. And then there is the on-again-off-again nausea. And to think most of it will probably only get worse from here.

          I assume this is associated with my everyday digestive struggles which were most recently diagnosed as “probably a little bit of gastroparesis, a little bit of IBS, and a little bit of constipation.” Really. That was the professional diagnosis from the most respected gastrointestinal specialist in the area. Even more impressive, he said there wasn’t really anything he could do to help.

          Nothing seems to help the intestinal issues, but the nausea does get better if I eat snacks every couple of hours.

          The struggle, of course, is to find something healthy to eat for that snack that doesn’t make my stomach turn. Most proteins sounds just repulsive right now. And if it’s not covered in salt, it doesn’t exactly sound good. So I am eating a lot of pretzels and crackers. Not exactly the best meal for a diabetic with insulin resistance, right?

          Speaking of insulin resistance, my basal needs went through the roof yesterday. It is amazing how fast these things change. I am using a 130% temp basal rate this morning, and still struggling to stay in range.

          In other news, I’m hoping to try out a new yoga class tonight. I am not very good a sticking with an exercise routine, but I am going to really try to keep with it during this pregnancy. I have fought insulin resistance and “flab” for the last couple fo years, and I am concerned that the hormones and cravings of pregnancy could put my weight over the edge.