Before I got hooked up I looked online for information on home-care and the Zofran pump. I had no idea what to expect and all the info online wasn't enough to calm my nerves. I wanted pictures, personal experiences and step by step how this pump worked. I found a blog by a women due 4 day after me, she wrote about her pregnancy experiences and she has Hyperemesis. She documented everything, gave pictures, suggestions, step by step instructions, along with a good natured sense of humor. She eased all my nerves and actually made me look forward to the process.
I asked on CM about this pump and home-care, no one could help me. I hope that by this someone who needs the info might come across it.
Before my infusion therapy my Ketones were 160+ (severe dehydration) I was unable to drink, not even little sips at a time. I was unable to even swallow my saliva without spending hours in endless vomiting cycles. I slept a total of 3hrs per day, my kidneys were infected, I was feverish, in pain, and was depressed. I reached out for help several times to hospitals and my OB. Hospitals wouldn't touch me, I went to 2 in my area and since I had an OB, they just told me to call her and discharged me. My OB wanted to exhaust all other options before jumping to home-care. After seeing me in her office vomiting so much I couldn't get any information out to her. She gave me a shot of Phergan (if you have someone to drive you home, you can get this shot if needed) After 20mins I was able to sit down and talk to her. She gave me suppositories, oral meds, and antibiotics, checked my Ketones and said it's bad, but try to drink fluids- otherwise youll have to wait in the ER for IV fluids. ERs in this area have a waiting time of 8+ hrs because of West Nile (My dads friend is in the hospital now with West Nile) Swine Flu and others with aches and pains.
I went home trying my best to make myself better, but nothing oral would work, I simply just vomited too much to keep ANYTHING down. My muscles all over my body were so sore from dry heaves, gagging and vomiting. My apt was on August 28th and by Sept 2nd I was hooked up with my pump.
I am 14wks pregnant and have been suffering since I was 8wks. I was not a good advocate for myself. I was not forceful enough. If anyone is suffering and needs help- SCREAM! No one will listen until your begging. It's sad but actually getting help for severe Hyperemesis is life or death, you have to not just be an advocate for yourself, but your helpless innocent baby. During these times of rapid growth, they need certain things, and if you have this sickness you can't give your baby those needs. No matter what you do- that baby will always need more than anyone with Hyperemesis can give. I had this with my daughter, it started much earlier- 3wks, I was sicker than a dog before any HTP would give me a positive result. It can strike at any time.
Ok, off my soapbox
This is a little of what my life is now. I am on bed-rest for 4wks. I am not to move from my couch unless to go pee, bathe, or go to bed. My dr called my insurance company to tell them that I needed infusion therapy, that she Dx me with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. My insurance company covered this service offered my Alere 100% with no deductible (its possible to not pay out the ass for this treatment, that was my first concern when I first heard about home-care). I got a call from my Dr's assistant twice a day to check on me until my Alere nurse was with me to take over my care. It was very caring of my Dr's office to do that.
First came rush delivery medical supplies within 24hrs. 1 IV pole, 8 IV bags, 2 IV starter kits, 2 IV tubes and valves, 10 IV Flushes, 5 Syringes of Zofran (has to be refrigerated), 5 Infusion site kits, 10 alcohol swabs, medical tape, 2 9v batteries, 1 can of Ketone strips and a guide book.
That night my Alere nurse drove 2hrs to show me how to use and care for all this equipment. This process took about 2 hours, along with her she brought the pre-configured pump and the case that comes along with it.
(if anyone is wondering what Alere is, that is the company that provides the infusion therapy)
This is what is needed to get set up on the Zofran pump.
(Left to right: Pump case, the little white thing kinks the line, Hand Sanitizer, Alcohol swab, Syringe of Zofran, Sharps Container, Infusion site kit, and that on the end is the pump.)
Inside the Infusion site kit is blue tubing that attaches to the end of the Zofran syringe and the other end snaps onto the infusion site. Also inside is the infusion site, which looks like this:
Yes, you see right- thats a needle that you gently stab into your thigh. After you (or get someone else to do it for you) place this into your thigh, the needle is then pulled out and a catheter is left in its place. This doesn't go into your muscle, just into the Dermis of your skin, your fatty tissue. Once thats in place- it looks like this:
Thats an Infusion Site, all hooked up and ready to go. Each site lasts 2 days, then you have to remove it, and do it all over again on the other thigh. The Alere nurse did my first one, and my husband did my second- he did SO much better than the nurse lol.
After you have this in place and working, your thigh may be really sore, it may become hot, red, irrated and may even bruise. You can remove them at any time and redo another site on the other leg- going back and forth on your legs, you can even do your stomach.
Once it's been two days- you have to remove it. Your leg may look like this:
then you just put another on the other leg....
After the nurse left, the next morning Fedex came with even more medical supplies. 12 Zofran Syringes, and 10 more Infusion Site Kits.
Along with this service I have 2 free phone numbers to call in case i have any questions, or need an extra dose of Zofran, need advice or anything at all. A nurse also calls at 10am on the dot every day to check on me, I have to check my Ketones every morning and let her know what they are. She wants my weight every few days, asks how often i feel sick, vomit, rating from 1-10 (10 vomiting) how I feel at the moment of the call. I also have a nutritionist.
I was hooked up to IV fluids aswell, but today I'm not- my IV came out of my vein and was putting the fluid into my arm and it was swelling- the nurse didn't do a good job. Since I live so far from Alere, they cannot come and redo it. I have to go to the hospital and have it placed again...or just wait until its time for the nurse to come by for a visit. My Ketones are at a nice enough level to wait, but could become bad fast- so we'll see.
I still vomit on this therapy. 3-5 times a day. I still feel sick a few hours out of the day and Zofran can give headaches. I still have a kidney infection and I'm trying to keep antibiotics down to fix the problem.
This is me the night the nurse came to hook me up.
I have no makeup on, I was on the edge of vomiting- I just look like shit lol But that is how it is...
I hope in some way this has helped. If anyone has any questions PM me.