Falling Through the Cracks…

Unfortunately, many HG sufferers fall through the cracks due to a simple lack of knowledge about HG in the medical community. We expect doctors to know a lot but many haven’t dealt with hyperemesis so they can be quite unhelpful or even harmful to the patient.

With my first HG pregnancy, I had no idea that I had hyperemesis but I knew something was very wrong early on and when I talked to my OB about my excessive nausea/vomiting, she simply reassured me that it was “normal” morning sickness of the first trimester and that I would feel better soon. It took two visits to urgent care for hydration treatment and eventually an admission to the ER for my doctor to realize that what I had was not normal morning sickness and that I would require long-term IV treatment in order for me to survive.

All that time that had lapsed before I was diagnosed with hyperemesis was time in which I was rapidly losing weight due to the excessive vomiting. This could have all been prevented had the doctor been more cautious and informed me about hyperemesis, its symptoms and what I should do if I kept vomiting. Because hyperemesis symptoms can worsen so rapidly, it’s very imperative for aggressive treatment to be started right away.

This time around, I made sure to inform the doctor right away about my previous HG pregnancy and treatment. Thankfully, I was able to start in-home IV treatment immediately so that I didn’t have to go to the ER for fluids.

I have heard of horror stories in which the doctor refuses to order home health care and so the HG sufferer ends up going in and out of the ER numerous times for IV hydration. I have also heard of doctors getting angry with the patient and blaming them for losing weight! Some insurance companies deny coverage for home health care for hyperemesis which places an enormous financial burden on the HG sufferer. My bill for home health care (2 months of continuous IV treatment) came out to be $20,000! Thankfully, our insurance covered 100% of it!

In the past when there was no IV treatment or proper medical care available for HG, women have died from malnutrition and dehydration. HG is not something one should take lightly but many doctors still tend to minimize HG.

I wonder…what will it take for doctors to be well-informed about hyperemesis so that HG sufferers do not have to suffer any more than they already are?

4 thoughts on “Falling Through the Cracks…

  1. Wow! It truly seems like the whole area of high risk pregnancies needs more attention/focus. In the case of HG, I can imagine how frustrating (and dangerous too!) it is for a medical professional to tell you it will pass on its own and is nothing more than morning sickness. Morning sickness doesn’t tend to kill people and their unborn babies (as yuck as it is)! Thank goodness for your insurance!

  2. Yes, if you know that you’re prone to HG or any other type of high risk pregnancy, I definitely would recommend finding a doctor who has previous experience with high risk pregnancies! It would make such a big difference. Hope you’re hanging in there with your pregnancy!

  3. My OB was clueless. I kept thinking it had to be normal because everyone told me it was. I should’ve gone to the ER more, fought for better care, but I was so very sick. Next time I will!!!

    • Hilary – it’s so frustrating how many doctors are completely ignorant about HG. Yes, definitely advocate for yourself the next time. Hope you can find a good OB who has experience with hyperemesis!

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