Wednesday, July 29, 2009

F-ing Miserable

My stomach is messed up. Really really messed up. I can't stop puking and gagging. And even when something stays down, I spend HOURS completely nauseated and on the edge. You know what I mean? I have that feeling you get just before you puke -- watery eyes, lump in my throat, metallic taste --, but I don't puke. It's gotten so bad, that I've gagged up Pepto Bismol, the smell of food makes me gag, and now I'm afraid to eat. Good news: I don't have a fever. Bad news, I haven't lost my appetite. It's cruel really. I'm having all these cravings and if I think about the food too much, the gagging starts. I'm absolutely miserable.

Now I'm thinking that the hiatal hernia is getting worse. Did I mention that before? Well, while I was in the hospital, Dr. Cooper ordered an endoscopy to figure out why my stomach was reacting so violently to the steroids. The result was that I had a hiatal hernia, but I was told that it is small and a month or two on a few (three) stomach meds would alleviate the nausea and heal the hernia. Until the wedding day, I took the pills religiously. There's one I take 4 times a day, 1 hour before food or two hours after. The second has to be taken before eating, three times a day, so I take it with the first pill. The last one is easy peasy, I take it once a day with my vitamins. There were a couple days where I didn't get them all in, but something is better than nothing. And honestly, once or twice out of a month shouldn't have led to me being so ill.

So, I'm going to make an appointment with the gastro that did the endoscopy and try to figure out what's going on. I'm having a lot of anxiety around this because I don't want him to say that I need surgery and I really can't afford more care right now (I already owe him money). But I can't continue like this much longer. I'm currently force feeding myself chicken soup because I nearly passed out in the shower a little bit ago (a shower I wouldn't have needed if my MS wasn't also playing with my bladder control today). Hopefully, they can see me tomorrow or Friday.

In other news, I've decided that I need to start working again. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous after everything I've just written, but what I get from the state isn't enough to make ends meet. And honestly, the anxiety from all the debt and bill-worry is making me sicker than sitting behind a desk a few days a week. Plus, I think it will be good for my brain and general mood. Unfortunately, finding jobs is incredibly difficult right now and then when you add in my limited stamina and abilities, my options get pretty slim. But, I'm gonna stay positive and if anyone local has leads on part-time desk work or telecommuting jobs, please email me.


  1. by far the best nausea medicine is the disintegrating zofran known as zofran ODT. Because it dissolves in your mouth you don't have to keep it down. Unfortunately not a lot of insurer providers pay for it. I also like phenergan. Stay away from reglan, that one has some nasty side effects.

    Having been malnourished for a long while I can tell you that it does NOT take long to become malnourished. Keep it up with the vitamins, and eat what you are able even if it is not healthy. There is a point where getting 'bad' calories is better than getting in no calories. I lived on scandishakes, boost plus (more calories than regular), gatorade, and good old fashioned milkshakes until I gave up on eating.

    It pains me to see you going through this as I can obviously relate. :(

  2. Is it bad that I think of you (in a "what would Susan do" sort of way) when all this stuff is going on? I always hope you comment cause you have so much experience that I can't get from my google searches.

    I'm actually on reglan (it's the second pill that I mention) and haven't had any side effects. I have noticed the commercials and all the warnings though, so it's definitely on the list of things that I need to discuss with the gastro. I also want something for the nausea, because my usual tricks are failing big time.

    I know what you mean about eating what you can when your body will take it. It's just so hard to get myself to try food because I'm afraid of the pain, nausea, or vomiting. I'll keep trying, though, because I definitely don't want to be back in the hospital. I was able to get my vitamins in today, but I can't say the same about the soup. Nilaja thinks I should try something thicker than water, but still a liquid and it sounds like you're recommending the same thing. I'll try it.

  3. I take reglan and have zero side effects, however some of the side effects can be very MS like which is why I said be careful with it. I've taken it for years on and off. I find that it works better on stomach emptying than nausea but everyone is a little different when it comes to nausea. Some people pop a zofran and are good to go, for me it took the edge off but still didn't make me very mobile (I didn't want to move when horribly nauseous). Phenergan is way cheaper than zofran but can make you a bit sleepy.

    The glory of liquid calories is that they exit your stomach relatively quickly, which means if you can keep them down for 30 minutes, then there might be nothing to throw up. ;) One random fact: people think milk is good for acid problems -it's not. Milk actually increases acid production in the stomach, but if you are on a PPI (which you are), you should be okay. But if you start drinking milkshakes to keep your calorie count up and things get worse, it is something to consider.

    Be careful with pepto bismol, not to get too personal (too late!), it contains an antidiarheal and therefore can really constipate you which will exacerbate nausea. You can get carafate by prescription, which is the same as pepto without the antidiarrheal. Don't take it or pepto with other meds as they both can affect the absorption of other medications.

    I got my IV out two days ago and have been on a 'normal' diet for like two weeks :)

  4. Congratulations!! That's really great news. I'm so happy for you.

    I noticed that about a lot of the symptoms. Actually, most of the medicines I take are like that ;-) I still want to be off it though. They have me on it for the emptying properties. I guess when they did the scope, my stomach was full though I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. I don't know if it's working or not, but I guess I didn't know my stomach wasn't emptying either. I will talk to my doctors about the nausea drugs, though. I'm not afraid of a little sleepiness since I sleep all day as it is.

    I'm actually starting to do OK with solid foods. I'm still getting the nausea and pain, but everything's staying down. We tried a milkshake last night and that went OK. I'm well aware of your random fact and that was in my mind the whole time, plus I hate milk so the creaminess wasn't the best thing to have to deal with either. I think that if this happens again that I will look for liquid drinks that aren't milked based. But I'm eating solid food and my energy is back up. I'm actually writing this from the couch!

    Thanks for the tips about Pepto. I think it's one of the things that I know, but never think about when I take the stuff. When the vomiting starts I panic and reach for anything that might give me some relief. Hopefully, this doesn't happen again, but if it does, I'll talk to my doctors about something a little better for my overall health.