Gransnet forums

Health

Coping with chronic illness and nausea. Any advice?

(76 Posts)
Grandyma Tue 28-Nov-23 11:21:03

In September I was taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. I was told I’d had a heart attack caused by a blood clot. I was critically ill and transferred to ICU. I will spare you the details but after a few weeks in hospital I am home with myDH is caring for me as I’m very weak, not very mobile and taking a lot of medication. I have had gastric problems for years but the medication I now need for my heart failure are causing terrible nausea. In particular I’ve just been switched from Warfarin to Apixaban and the nausea is awful. I’ve lost a lot of weight and, although only about 8/9 stone pre-illness I’m now just over 7st. I’ve had good advice from the dietitian but because of the nausea I’m struggling to get food down. I get extremely anxious about all this, which obviously isn’t good for me. Has anyone suffered similar nausea issues with medication and is this how my life will be? I don’t like leaving home due to fearing being sick. The only time I go out is for hospital appointments. If I have to expect to have to live with the nausea, does any have any advice as to how I can cope. Sorry this has been a bit long.

Baggs Tue 28-Nov-23 11:46:55

This sounds horrid, grandyma. Talk to your GP was my first thought. You obviously can't recover properly while feeling so ill. flowers

Aveline Tue 28-Nov-23 11:57:34

Sounds awful. I have to say that I was on Apixeban after an op and had no side effects at all. DH takes them permanently and also has no problems. That's just us though. I just wondered if there could there be another explanation for your nausea?

pascal30 Tue 28-Nov-23 12:09:23

I wonder if your GP could prescribe anti nausea medication? Have you discussed this with him/her...

Grandyma Tue 28-Nov-23 12:20:07

Thanks for your replies. I am taking anti sickness medication prescribed by my GP. In hospital it was given intravenously and worked better. I guess I just have a sensitive stomach.

Wendy46 Tue 28-Nov-23 12:45:39

Grandyma my husband had problems with apixaban. Please talk to your GP or the hospital soon.

Marydoll Tue 28-Nov-23 13:09:26

I have had two heart attacks, serious multiple comorbidities and constant nausea caused by medication. You really need to seek help, there are medications for this, it's just a matter of finding the right ones. It has taken me six months to resolve this bad period.

At one point recently I hadn't been out of the house for six weeks, due to nausea and vertigo. The most difficult part was losing my independence and not being allowed to drive.
On many occasions, I have been miserable, thinking this is what my life will be, then with support life got better.
I went to the supermarket today, had a nausea episode, but took medication for it, when I got home. I will rest until it passes.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, but you can't do it on your own, but you also need to decide that you will help yourself. Small steps at a time. Set small, achievable targets.
I"m surprised you don't appear to be on a cardiac rehab programme. Part of it is psychological counselling, which I reluctantly accepted. It changed my attitude enormously. I find that cardiologists are very blunt and don't mince their words, which doesn't help your mental and emotional health at all. Mine told me I would die of heart failure, due to my RA. He then walked away, without another word. Compared to my other kindly consultants that was hard to take.

I hope your situation improves and that you actively seek help.

Dickens Tue 28-Nov-23 13:13:36

Grandyma

Thanks for your replies. I am taking anti sickness medication prescribed by my GP. In hospital it was given intravenously and worked better. I guess I just have a sensitive stomach.

Intravenous medication for nausea work much more effectively - but there are a number of different drugs, so maybe discuss with your GP, they must be able to find one that is more effective.

When I suffered from nausea (after abdominal surgery) a passing consultant in the hospital gave me some Mint Imperials - they helped enormously, I was surprised to discover. He also recommended mint tea. And bland food as a starting point.

pascal30 Tue 28-Nov-23 13:15:48

lemon and ginger tea might also help

Marydoll Tue 28-Nov-23 13:39:52

I have been three anti nausea meds over the last few months, the most recent ones are definitely more effective. I kept contacting my GP about this issue, until someone listened.
I have had the added bonus of daily and nightly vomitting, caused by my RA biologic injections on top of the constant nausea caused by heart meds.
I wanted to die, but I've changed my mind, now the nausea is not so severe. 😉There is always hope, it just takes a blooming long time to feel better.

Grandyma Tue 28-Nov-23 13:45:30

Marydoll sorry to hear about your own struggles. My heart failure nurse has referred me to cardiac rehabilitation but I guess there’s a waiting list. I’m seeing the consultant in a couple of weeks so maybe he’ll suggest something.
I’m going to try mint imperials and ginger tea!! Thank you for all your messages.

Caleo Tue 28-Nov-23 13:45:31

Are you taking anti-nausea medication?

Marydoll Tue 28-Nov-23 14:07:17

Grandyma, I felt there was a stigma to accepting psychological counselling and initially refused it.
However, I realised I had nothing to lose. It did open a few old woulds I had buried deep, regarding my mother, but in the end it helped me enormously to come to terms with my prognosis.
I followed a healthy diet, had low cholesterol, clear arteries, no leaky valves, but that insidious and cruel RA was damaging my heart and there is no resolution. I felt it was so unfair.
I do hope you get the help, you obviously need. 💐

Grandyma Tue 28-Nov-23 14:29:22

Marydoll thank you. I think counselling will help me. I have a lot of concerns that I don’t want to discuss with my nearest and dearest. I wish you well 💐

V3ra Tue 28-Nov-23 14:42:56

I like peppermint oil capsules.

Another suggestion that may be worth a try is Stugeron, the travel sickness pill.
Available over the counter, but obviously talk to the pharmacist about your other medications as well.

Marydoll Tue 28-Nov-23 15:34:00

Grandyma

Marydoll thank you. I think counselling will help me. I have a lot of concerns that I don’t want to discuss with my nearest and dearest. I wish you well 💐

That's how I felt! I didn't want to upset my husband, (who already keeps his feelings to himself) or my children.

Marydoll Tue 28-Nov-23 15:36:57

Everyone is so kind and sympathetic, but unless you have lived this, you can have no conception of what it is like. Not only regarding the physical problems, but the emotional and mental issues and the fear it will happen again. It changes you for ever.

Georgesgran Tue 28-Nov-23 15:49:37

I have no advice, but I’m so pleased Marydoll has popped in with some excellent comments and advice.

Grandyma Tue 28-Nov-23 15:51:26

Marydoll
Everyone is so kind and sympathetic, but unless you have lived this, you can have no conception of what it is like. Not only regarding the physical problems, but the emotional and mental issues and the fear it will happen again. It changes you for ever.

Very true. I have lost a lot of confidence, especially in my own health/ability to do every day things that I would take for granted before my illness. Feeling sick all the time is awful. I have a bag containing kitchen roll, plastic bowl and wipes which I won’t leave home without “just in case”. If there are any longish walks involved I have to be pushed in my wheelchair. Joni Mitchell said it best “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”!

Marydoll Tue 28-Nov-23 16:26:20

The worst thing that happened to me recently was was throwing up all ove rmyself, just before a doctor's appointment. I was mortified.

It happened again, out of the blue, when talking to my DD.

It's like childbirth, you lose all your dignity. Give me childbirth any day! Well maybe not, that wasn't without its problems. 😉

LOUISA1523 Tue 28-Nov-23 16:53:05

Maybe you need to try a different antiemetic op? There's plenty out there ...ask your gp

Katyj Tue 28-Nov-23 18:50:25

Have you tried lapsoprozole my mum was like this when taking Apixiban, she’s also just oven seven stone, apparently it protects the stomach from all the medications. She also has cyclizine for the nausea, and fortisip to drink when she can’t face eating, at least that way you’re still getting the vitamins. Hope you feel better soon .

grannyactivist Tue 28-Nov-23 18:55:29

It’s very hard to adapt to such a significant change and I have every sympathy with your situation. Baggs’ suggestion to talk to your GP is a good one.

I am in a similar situation and my life has changed drastically, but on my good days I make myself get out and about and am determined to adapt to the new me as best I can. I’ve had counselling which has helped and I get a lot of support from my husband and family who encourage me to do what I can, but with a careful eye on making sure I don’t overdo things. On days when I’m especially nauseous I use buccastem and find it very helpful.

Grandyma Tue 28-Nov-23 19:21:44

*Katyj I do take Lansoprazole and Cyclizine but don’t seem to be having much effect. It’s almost impossible to get food down on a bad day. I really feel for your mum. 💐
granny activist I definitely need counselling as I’m battling the depression too. Life can be difficult 💐

Marydoll Tue 28-Nov-23 20:02:14

Grandyma, along with the anti nausea meds, I take Lansoprazole along with Peptic Liquid and on bad days also Buscopan and Mebeverine.

It doesn't help if you already have a hiatus hernia.