It has been a month now since the miscarriage and it has flown by due to the inconvenient/convenient timing of my brother in law breaking both his arms... inconvenient for them as my sister's first baby was due last week (still waiting) but convenient for me as it totally took my mind off our situation and I have spent the last few weeks going back and forth to London to help them as much as I can.
I am blogging today because tomorrow I am going to the annual PregnancySickness conference in Nuneaton which I am excited about... I'm hoping to make contacts, both professionally and for personal support and I am hoping to learn more about current research and developments.
There is such a lack of research into Hyperemesis Gravidarum as the pregnancy aspect causes researchers and pharmaceutical companies to shy away; understandably as Thalidomide was given as an anti-emetic!
There are however other aspects of Hyperemesis care for which there is no excuse for such ignorance! A great example of this is the straight forward care of a bed bound patient with the added complication of pregnancy. In my last HG pregnancy I asked my previous GP if I could get some compression stockings for my legs as I had been bed bound for weeks and was therefore at high risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a serious condition which pregnant women in general are at higher risk of anyway and which is significantly reduced with the simple and cost effective compression socks. I was told “Oh Caitlin, I should think a DVT would be the last of your worries!” and was refused the socks... I have since found out that in the last few years there have been two women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum who have died as a result of developing DVT's whilst bed bound due to their condition... The last of my worries indeed!!!
I am well aware that a cure for HG is unlikely to be found in my lifetime, however there is simply no excuse for the poor standard of care for hyperemesis sufferers in the UK today. And there is certainly no excuse for the overlooking of complications of HG; the increased risk of DVT, the risk of bed sores; dehydration; depression & anxiety. And there is certainly no excuse for the undermining and belittling attitude of Health care Professionals towards this debilitating and dangerous condition.
I am hoping to raise this issue at the conference tomorrow with people I meet there. I would like to see evidence based standards of care sent out to all GP's in the UK outlining Best Practice for Care of women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum; to include leg compression if bed bound, fluid balance monitoring, pre-emptive regimes for 2nd+ pregnancies, referral guidelines, medication protocols and so on.