NPR-The Danger Of Anti Nausea Drugs While Pregnant
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This is a story about the time when I found myself locked in the looney bin in an unflattering gown and padded slippers. I was pregnant and I went into the emergency room one night with some really weird symptoms. Little did i know they would take my shoes, lock the door and put me in a room with glass windows. I was offered dinner though, which I accepted.
It all started a few weeks earlier when I went to the doctor for treatment of my nausea symptoms which were causing me to hurl tomatoes three to four times a day. The doctor gave me a drug called Compazine which I wasn't comfortable taking being pregnant and all but I was desperate
A day or two later I was standing in my mother's backyard and my thoughts started racing. I panicked and started walking around the pool really fast, over and over again. I must have gone around ten times before my mother called from the upstairs window.
The next week I was at home walking down the stairs and I noticed that my arms seemed to float up as if i was a marionette. I wanted to grab onto the bannister so I wouldn't fall but I couldn't seem to send the message to my brain to put my arms down. The next day it happened again. My mother saw me walking out the front door to check the mail with my shoulders and elbows up and my arms dangling down.
"Oh My God, Gina, get in here. You look insane! The neighbors will see you."
"That's the least of my problems" I said.
There was a show in the 70's called What's Happening. There was a character named ReRun who used to do a dance that used to be referred to as Poppin and Lockin. Some of the moves involved raised shoulders and dangling arms. I was ReRun on crack. This was not good. Perhaps I was having some sort of pregnancy hysteria.
Without thinking I jumped in the car and with raised shoulders I drove myself to the hospital and straight to the Labor Unit. When the doctor finally called me I was not doing well. My shoulders were practically up by my ears and my thoughts were racing a mile a minute. I told the doctor if It didn't stop I was going to jump in a lake. Wrong move.
The next thing you know I was escorted downstairs to the looney bin where my shoes and personal belongings were taken. I was given a white gown and padded slippers. By now my shoulders were all the way up to my neck and I looked like a total lunatic. On top of it I couldn't keep still, I had to keep moving. I was separated from the rest of the group because I was pregnant and put in a room with glass windows so the whole staff could see my crazy dancing. I thought to myself "You've had some low moments but this Gina Gold is the worst." The doctor finally came to see me with a nurse who sat down and I started to talk. I knew how I looked and I wasn't sure how I was going to convince the doctor that I wasn't crazy, especially since I wasn't sure I wasn't crazy.
"Listen doctor, this is not how it looks, I am not crazy" I said as I paced back and forth.
"I don't know why my arms are doing this, I don't know why I'm walking so fast (I was crying now) but you have to believe me, I am not crazy I'm just having a really bad pregnancy. I'm not suicidal, I'm just uncomfortable"
"Do you have a history of depression?" he said.
Oh shit I thought. "well I had some depression but this is not depression, this is something else" I said.
Then I thought "okay Gina, just start throwing out any thing you're doing that could be causing this."
"I had broth this morning and a prenatal vitamin oh and the Compazine for nausea..."
"Compazine!" the nurse said. "Oh my god you're having a dystonic reaction, stop taking the Compazine and we will bring you some benadryl."
I thought "What the hell was a dystonic reaction. For god sakes, I'm pregnant. Are these doctors out of their minds?"
"It's not harmful to you or the baby, just stop taking it and you will be fine" the doctor said.
When I woke up the next morning my arms were back where they should be and my thoughts weren't racing anymore. I was really relieved but also angry that I had taken something that made me look like I was doing a puppet show while I was pregnant. I went back to the doctor who prescribed the medication and told her what happened. She said " Oh that often happens with Compazine, did I give you that?" I clinched my teeth so I didn't say "ya bitch, you did." Instead I said nothing. I figured it was best.
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