Thursday, November 27, 2014

HG & IVs Post 1: The Supplies

This is the first post in the HG & IVs series.  If you found this on accident, super!  Follow the links to move to the next post in the series, or head back to the intro post if you want to know what to expect in this set of posts.  If you are looking for the HG Treatment Series about subcutaneous Zofran or Reglan pumps go here for the intro post to that.  

Before HG and regular IV therapy getting boxes in the mail was exciting.  Now, well every Tuesday my FedEx guy waits for me to haul my pole to the door so he can drop both of the 30 lb boxes inside the doorway instead of leaving them outside -- because he is nice and pities me LOL

This is the first set of stuff I got, including my pole.  Its slightly less stuff now, but not by a lot.  I get that many bags of fluids weekly.  

To begin with, I had to get sick enough that my doctor evaluated I needed fluid treatment, this was assessed at the same time I was prescribed the pump.  I know that home fluid treatment is not normal everywhere, so I am incredibly grateful (no matter how much grumbling I may do about he IVs once I have them) for the option to not need hospitalized to get the fluids I cannot take in otherwise.  Once home health was ordered IVs at home became an option that I could simletanouely utilize with the pump.  It has made one heckova difference.

I know I need an IV based on part of the info I have to check in with my nurse regularly with.  One of those stats is my ketones.  Ketones are something your body produces when it has to start eating itself to replace the calories you aren't getting otherwise.  Essentially they are a warning bell for both starvation and dehydration and you don't want ketones.  You test them with these little pee tests.

Figures, you got into this pregnancy by peeing on sticks and eagerly awaiting the color change ... why not do it the whole bloody way through?  LOL

{Side Note: They sell stuff like these on Amazon but know that brand makes a big difference.  I have another brand not provided by my home health care company and it routinely rates my ketones worse than the brand in the picture.  One is clearly more sensitive than the other, which is important to note in case you are using them and getting results that do not match your symptoms.}

So if you have anything lower than a 2+ my home health care company won't freak out.  But if I am at a 2+ or more according to the side of the bottle I need an IV.  Generally speaking, if I am well hydrated, I am capable of eating so the IV is a helpful tool no matter what.  

The IV itself has two main parts: the pole part and the arm part.  The IV pole is a slightly flimsy little cart that collapses down and has the most pathetic little casters on the bottom that don't withstand much regular use.  The pole is needed though, as my IV is gravity fed it has to stay up high so that pressure draws the fluid down the line into me.  If the bag gets too low ... well that will be brought up in the last post of the series.  The bag hangs on the pole and I control the drip rate with this little knobby dodad.  

Usually they have it set to 125, but when I first get it "installed" sometimes I get a bolus (AKA boost dose) of 165 of sometimes even on "open" for a little bit if I am really dehydrated (like if my ketones are at a 4+).

Prior to my nurse coming out to "plug me in" I get out these supplies:

Once all of those are out I just wait for the nurse they send out to come and hook me up.  The home health care company and the nurses who come actually "install" the IV provide all of these supplies.  I do not "buy" them (I am provided them and pay insurance costs) myself, technically.  Given the nature of medical care int he US I certainly pay for them. LOL

Once I am hooked up I am independent with the IV, but that is for the next post.  Click here to go to the next post in this series, HG & IVs: Getting Hooked Up.

None of this is designed to be medical advice that should replace the expertise of a doctor.  I am merely sharing my experiences and knowledge, not advising you.  I only call myself a "rocket surgeon," I have never been to medical school of any kind and would recommend you get checked by a real professional in the event you have any actual questions.  That said, if you would like me to clarify some part of my experience for you, please feel free to ask in the comments!

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