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The SpinsAugust 1, 2007

I am miserable. But instead of whinging, I'm looking for a little help this time. I'm on this codeine/acetominphen syrup called Lortab. I called yesterday to see if I could take something else instead, but this is the only thing the doc wants me on, and indeed, when I missed the dose by an hour yesterday, the increase in pain level was intense. So even if I'm not noticing that it's doing a good job of pain management, I guess it is doing something.

But the other thing it's doing is making me QUEASY. I am nauseated most of the time now, and I feel like I've got the spins, combined with a constant mild heartburn.

Any easy holistic ideas to help me? Emphasis on the easy -- if it requires brewing something in a something-else, I won't do it. I am eating religiously when I take the dose (every four to five hours), trying to get some protein in, scrambled eggs or chicken broth or tofu. I'm drinking enough, I think. I want crackers, but unless they're soaked in soup, they're too pointy. Any good ideas on what could help with the nausea?

The saddest thing is that I started Harry Potter yesterday, got about half-way in, and I'm too sick to go on reading it. When I doze off and have those feverish nausea dreams, the last thing you want is Harry Potter anxiety, flashes of spells and potions, and Hermione and Ron going the wrong way and I can't catch them, and OH NO! Ick. Going to find a light romance instead. Very sad. (And now I have Black Magic, "oh what a spin I'm in" running through my head.)

And still? This continues to be the best medicine:


    Tomorrow the cone comes off! Hooray!


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Oh, Rachael, I'm so sorry. I can't tolerate codeine at all and most meds make me queasy, so I feel your pain. But other than having something in the tum when you take it or drinking milk to coat your tummy -- I don't know.

I bet Digit will be THRILLED to get that cone off? I'll bet you're good medicine for him, too.

The only thing I can think of would be mint or ginger herbal tea. I suppose you could suck on those ginger gummy candies from Trader Joe's as well, but they're pretty firm and you might not want to swallow them. You could also try some ginger ale - if the bubbles hurt, let it go flat and try it then.
Good luck, and feel better soon!

Ginger tea or real ginger ale might help - ginger's good for nausea.

I don't have any suggestions other than some mint or chamomile tea, those seem to help me. I had to take Lortab after my surgery in April and I was in a big hurry to stop, hated that stuff - weird dreams, lots of itching and since I couldn't hardly eat or drink because of the surgery, it just sucked. I am so sorry!! I had my tonsils out at age 22, and it was awful.

But, yay to the future cone-less miracle Digitman!!

I have intense morning sickness right now, which seems like it might be similar, but the best remedy I know of might be too painful. A herbalist friend of mine suggested lemons or limes cut up in seltzer, and it really helps. Also, maybe ginger tea? This doesn't help me, but it helps a lot of people.

The other thing that helps is not holistic, it's to take a drug called Zofran. It's a medication that's orally disintegrating, and it is a miracle drug. I've taken it for migraines and morning sickness and I can take it while I'm gagging, and most of the time it will prevent me from the seemingly inevitable next step.

Unfortunately, you're experiencing side effects of the medication, most likely the codeine. I can't take anything with codeine in it or any synthetics, either. I skip nausea and head straight for "The Exorcist," found that out the hard way when I had my tonsils out, then again when I had chicken pox 4 years later. As far as I know, the only way to make it stop is to stop taking the offending chemicals, which your body is treating as poison. I don't know why your doctor won't put you on a different painkiller - there are a TON out there that don't have codeine in them. Call again (or have Lala do it) and reiterate the seriousness. No one deserves the bad kind of spins on top of that pain. *hugs*

Actually, I don't know what your sobriety status is but, there's a reason it's called medical marijuana...


Maybe this will make you feel better (and I apologize if I've already told the story here!). I had my tonsils out after my freshman year in college, in the summer of .... ah .... 1980.

For a brief period of time (maybe a week?) the prevailing winds in tonsillectomy-land changed to say this: Gargling with salt is good. Keeping the scab from building up is good. Warm damp is bad; stirring things up to keep infection at bay is good.

So just GUESS what they made me eat when I got my tonsils out? Literally PRESCRIBED for me: Pretzels and potato chips. I am NOT KIDDING! The salt was good (if gargling with salt water is good, then eating salty potato chips must be good, right?), the hard pointy-ness was good, making the muscles move around was good...

..except that pretty quickly "the industry" decided that in fact the whole idea was just terrible, that it tortured patients and apparently didn't do the good stuff it was touted to do.

OUCH. And, wait, there was one more awful thing. "They" had also decided that anything cold was bad (it constricted blood flow and thus slowed healing) and sugar was bad (it encouraged bacteria growth) and so they WOULD NOT LET ME EAT ICE CREAM!!!

Really ... I was suicidal.

So, see? It could be worse!!!

XOXOXO and thinking of you!

Okay, for nausea and spinning here is a non medicine suggestion.

Have someone get you some sea bands. They are in the drug section at the grocery store or at your pharmacy, whatever. They are an accupressure type of thing and you wear them on your wrists and they apply the right pressure in the right place and the nausea, dizziness gets better maybe not goes away, but it is worth a shot.

I bought a pregnant friend some one time and she swore by them.

Good luck.

Hey girl, sorry you're feeling sooooo crappy, but really happy to hear Digit's on the mend. I gotta pipe in about the ginger too, it should help, and yeah, Faith's totally right - I've seen it work for many people - although given your job it's probably not a good idea (I'm assuming you're randomly tested)

When I have an attack of the blegchs I suck/chew crystallised ginger. The sugar gives you a bit of energy and the ginger calms your stomach. You can also get ginger tea, if the other's not to your liking.

Ginger tea (capsules would probably be difficult to swallow) and Nux vomica (a homeopathic remedy) may help the nausea. Acupressure may work too -- Sea-Band is a seasickness wrist band that is available at a lot of drug stores. Glad you and Digit can keep each other company while you both get well.

Benadryl. I have the same reaction to anything codeine and benadryl really helps with the nausea (often nausea due to opiates is a kind of allergic reaction so benadryl works for that too.) Take it about 10-20 minutes BEFORE you take the codeine. And soda crackers. DOn't worry so much about the protein, go for bread or crackers in your tummy. My deepest sympathies.

Its not holistic, but Emetrol is an anti-nausea syrup that is safe for pregnant women and medicinely intolerant people - or so said my doctor when he 'prescribed' it. (its over-the-counter).

Of course, what everyone said about ginger tea is good too...Celestial Seasonings used to make a very nice ginger chamomile blend. Good luck!

Ginger is definitely good for nausea and the prevention of (such as in motion sickness). Ginger ale is good. So are ginger snaps soaked in milk, maybe even warmed up and/or blended. You can get ginger in capsules, too. You might even already have ginger in your spice rack; adding some to applesauce or yogurt might tickle your fancy. Gingerbread anyone?

one thing that really helped me when i was doing the queasy thing from chemo was to take small sips of water constantly. it fooled my tummy for a bit, and since food tasted awful, it really helped. good luck!

If you're not lactose-intolerant, check out the Hyland's homeopathic remedies for digestion. You dissolve 'em under your tongue. No swallowing! I made a TinyURL for the main product page:

Under "Digestion" the formulas that sound most useful are Indigestion, Motion Sickness or Upset Stomach. Motion Sickness might be what you're looking for, but you can check all the descriptions to match your symptoms the closest. I can say their stuff really works; the Calms for the nerves helped me a lot when I was a kid, and I use the Sinus pills now. First it was to get me off the damned 12-hour nasal sprays I was *addicted* to for like 8 years; now for congestion when I have colds, 'cause with blood pressure meds I can't take OTC decongestants. A little slower than OTC meds, the sinus pills are, but once they kick in, really really good.

Up here, Safeway carries Hyland's in the natural foods section. There's a store locator on their site, too.

Ok, so this is long enough for a post itself, but had to add that Digit is *just* where he should be. [g] That is the sweetest picture... Congrats for getting the cone off tomorrow; good man, Digit! (And luck to you in feeling better!)

I agree with the previous post about checking again with the MD. I can't believe there is not an alternative drug. I had a really bad heartburn reaction to a prescription last year and (not to scare you, but the truth is the truth, right?) it took about 4 months for my esophagus to get back to normal. Don't fool around with the heartburn/acid reflux stuff.

You poor thing! Lots of people have already suggested ginger, but you're going to get tired of it in tea and ginger ale -- why not have it in soup? Most Thai restaurants have a good coconut chicken soup with ginger in it -- I've even made my own version at home and it's always very easy and delicious. It was one of the few things that consistently perked up my appetite when I had morning sickness.

Vicodin does the same thing to me - my oral surgeon said to eat a cup of yogurt 1/2 hour before taking the meds, and that seemed to help.

For the heartburn and nausea.
In an 8 oz. glass
1 tbsp. of cider vinegar
Add 1 tbsp. honey
Dissolve in 8 oz. of cold water and sip slowly.

Feel better soon

So sorry you are feeling poorly. I want to enter my vote for the ginger in any form. It works.

It is the codeine that is getting to you. Some people (me included) can't metabolize it and are terribly nauseated. It always makes me feel worse than whatever I was taking it for. And I don't imagine you want to barf, either. I was told (in '89) that nothing else would work so I took nothing. Hopefully, they have some alternatives by now.

Has Digit always been this cuddly? Or have the traumatic events of the last few months made him appreciate you more and be able to show it? Whatever, it so nice you can recuperate together.

I hope the pain goes away soon.

It is the codeine that is getting to you. Some people (me included) can't metabolize it and are terribly nauseated. It always makes me feel worse than whatever I was taking it for. And I don't imagine you want to barf, either. I was told (in '89) that nothing else would work so I took nothing. Hopefully, they have some alternatives by now.

Has Digit always been this cuddly? Or have the traumatic events of the last few months made him appreciate you more and be able to show it? Whatever, it so nice you can recuperate together.

I hope the pain goes away soon.


Sorry to hear that you're feeling sooo ugghhy. When my mom had chemo, we did the fresh ginger in warm water, which helped, and the benadryl (which REALLY helped). I suggest flat coca-cola. It may sound gross, but it does help.
If you go the ginger ale route, ask Lala to drop by TJ's, as they have ginger ale made with real ginger, not just flavoring.

Feel better soon!

have nothing to offer but sympathy. When I had my tonsils out (about the same time you did, the first time, I guess) I discovered a codiene allergy. My only option was baby tylenol, about a bottle a day.

I also had hay fever, and you do NOT want to sneeze with your throat torn up! Wild cherry benedryl (again, the baby edition) was a bad idea: it stings going down.

The one thing I found that made things better was fruity sugarless gum. Helps clean up the nastiness in your mouth, keeps you swallowing (which hurts, but heals) and equalized the pressure that built up in my ears after having my teeth clenched for five days.

gah, this wasn't meant to be an "at least you get codiene!" post, it was meant to be an "I've been there, I feel for you!" support post.

Rach, codeine makes me sick too. Yuck.

Hope you feel better soon.

Love that photo.

I have the same problem and found taking Gravol was the only thing that worked. But, Tylenol comes in a syrup form. That is one of the ingredients in your current syrup. The other possibitlity is ibuprofen syrup. I'm in Canada, so I'm not sure what is available in the US, but I think the ibuprofen might be a good idea. it is an anti-inflammatory, which is exactly what you have going on. If nothing else get Lala to buy you some acetaminophen syrup and try just that. If it hurts too much, then I guess you are stuck.

ginger ale is pretty good - maybe let it get flat so the bubbles don't hurt - or get some seasick meds - they also knock you out...

My first thought was a little Mary J in some form. :)

When I was nauseated with my pregnancy, I tried ginger tea (fresh slices in hot water) and found it awful. What did help was good ginger beer, the spicier, the better. I think I liked the kind with tropical scenes on the six-pack. So sorry you're having to go through this.

Peppermint oil, diluted in water, on a wet towel on your forehead. The smell helps nausea immensely and you don't have to brew anything or try to drink. In fact, I have some at home. You might get something at your door tomorrow.

See if you can stretch out the pain medication with acetaminophen or ibuprofen liquid (kids), so you're on less codeine. Nasty stuff.

Okay...I don't have a lot of suggestions for queasiness - when I was pregnant - coke and cheesies, but that was just me! With regards to the Harry Potter dreams, I don't have the excuse of drug-induced bizarre dreams. I kept finding myself saying spells as work and thinking - ok - that won't work! Hope it gets better soon...j

1. Check with your doctor again, emphasize just how nauseous you are, the fact that you have the spins, tell him you are afraid you'll fall down/get hurt/have fallen etc. to see if he can come up with something different.

2. I second (third) the suggestion of SeaBands. To see if they might work for you, take your left thumb, press firmly in between the tendons of your right forearm, just about 1" or so below the crease in your wrist. Hold it for 30-60 seconds. If your nausea is not so bad while you are pressing, the sea bands should help.

3. Ginger tea is also a great suggestion.

Fingers crossed that some of the advice your loyal readers give works!

I don't have any good suggestions that haven't already been suggested. I usually go for ginger ale or an herbal tea. The one time I took codeine, I fell asleep at the dinner table and woke up the next day. You also might do better if you go easy on the protein and stick with bland things like bread, mashed potatoes, crackers, etc.

I know Digit will be glad to get that cone off.

Your doc might not want you on ibuprofen because it can have an anti coagulating effect, which can be trouble after surgery. The other benefit of Benadryl is that it might help you sleep...

Otherwise, I've got nothing except sympathy. And a smack upside the head for the doc.

I'm sure it's the codeine. I would take half of the prescribed dose, and then supplement with some more Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Lortab has Acetaminophen in it so you need to make sure you look at the amount and only supplement up to the correct dosage. Tylenol is actually a pretty good pain reliever and if you get a little codeine on top of it you'll probably do great.

Any antihistamine can help with nausea. But I would be careful piling on meds without talking to the pharmacist about interactions.

Ginger is good for nausea. Real fresh ginger, not gingerale. It is used medicinally in Japan for nausea.

Feel good.

I think Digit is the best medicine ever- you are healing each other. happy happy

when i was younger, i had gotten a terrible cough and my doctor prescribed a cough syrup with codeine in it. it worked fine for the first 2-3 doses, then i started with the nausea and the hallucinations. my mom called the doc and he said to stop giving it to me immediately. he said i was having an allergic reaction to the codeine.

i'd call the doc again if you're still having the symptoms. i recently found out that allergic reactions to medications do not necessarily show up right away. i had an allergic reaction to 2 different antibiotics earlier this year. i broke out with a rash about midway through taking the cycle of the pills. i have taken both in the past with no problems. my doc said that you can develop allergies to meds after a while.

and ginger has always made me feel better. altoids has a ginger candy that's pretty good for the tummy. my boss got some and she said they worked wonderfully for her.

i hope you and digit recover quickly!!

The pictures of you and Digit healing together are so sweet, I had to go back and read your post of Digit's return. So very sweet.
I hope you feel better soon.

Sorry Digit went through such a rough time and now you. I'm afraid I don't have any nausea remedies to offer, just thinking good thoughts for you and hoping this ordeal will be over very soon. Love seeing the pics of the two of you.

Ginger tea. Ginger anything. Ginger ale. Ginger will calm your nausea. My mom used to give me ginger ale when I was sick as a kid, and now that I have weird digestive issues, I always have ginger tea around (currently it's a ginger/lemon blend that's not bad). I've known of morning-sick mommies who've drunk ginger ale and ginger tea to get through months of particularly bad nausea. I just buy whatever box tea is at the store even though I know brewing my own from ginger root would be more effective.

Also, sometimes extreme temperatures can upset a stomach, too. It's OK to wait until it's room temperature to drink it, or put ice in it so it's not hot on your poor little throat-holes.

Oh, and seconding Beverly A. My mom's allergic to codeine and she gets really sick to her stomach when she takes it (it also makes her skin itchy).

I can't think of any liquid painkillers that don't have codeine in them (Roxicet has oxycodone, and I think that's kinda the same, since it made Mom sick).

Oh oh, I'm so sorry you're feeling so awful. I hope it goes away soon and you heal quickly. Thank you for all the great pictures of digits and the kittens.

Sorry about the blank.

When pain meds give me heartburn, the best holistic intervention is slippery elm. You can get it in capsules or brew it in tea. The usual dose (for me) is 1 capsule for every over the counter (in Canada) tablet - so the equivalent for your liquid would be 1 capsule for every 8mg of coedine. Slippery Elm coats the stomach and lets the meds pass into the small intestine without irritating it, which is where they are absorbed anyway.
For the nausea, which sounds really bad, I'd suggest the holistic sea bands - but get yourself some oral dissolving Gravol (or drops), just in case. The last thing you want to do is throw up now.
Poor baby, wish we could all take it away. At least it's end of cone-time!

Try sucking on pretzels until they dissolve. Seemed to work for me when I was queasy... and they don't hurt so much to swallow when they're soggy.

And I had my tonsils out at 14, so I totally sympathise. Honestly the best advice I have is to talk as much as you can. Seems to work the throat and the soreness goes away faster. (Yeah, it does hurt though.)
Just hope you don't develop a bleeder and have to have your throat cauterized. That freaking hurts.

Good luck!

I know that for pregnancy nausea, ginger tea is good. They sell the stuff in tea bags, but, you can also boil a few chopped up chunks of ginger root in water to do it. It's pretty tasty in my opinion. Kind of peppery/spicy. You could try that, but I can't guarantee how it would feel on fresh wounds.

I vote for cutting back and supplementing with something easier like Tylenol. My last surgery got me oxycodone. It made me unable to eat or drink or think about anything except my next pill. I cut the dose in half and added Tylenol 3. The doc okayed it, and it worked well enough. Oxycodone was overkill anyways. No more oxycodone ever.

If it's lortab, it's not codeine, it's hydrocodone, which is similar, but different. There are lots of other pain meds out there, so I'm sure your surgeon can give you a different one. If you end up puking, that is NOT good for your tonsils, so perhaps you might want to mention that.

You also might call your pharmacist and ask if he/she has any recommendations.

Hey...Of course, there's nothing Digit can't do...but even he can't slow the nausea!

But, anything ginger is good, and because I have a wimpy stomach, I never leave home without some anise candies with me (licorice root). Yummy to boot!

Feel better soon!

Everyone says ginger and I concur! Ginger is good for all digestive issues (I know cause I have them) - also take probiotics - not only to counter the antibiotics, but to heal your stomach problems.

For heartburn Tums works perfectly well if you can't take zantac - but ask the doc about the tums cause sometimes they don't want you to mix calcium with certain antibiotics. But you can suck on them - there are fruit flavored ones that taste exactly like sweetarts if you don't like the mint ones.

Also - cider vinegar works for some (those who have acid deficiency) and raw honey is also good for heartburn.

Feel better and love to La and Digit,

You've gotten lots of suggestions! When I was suffering morning sickness, my doctor recommended this very sweet syrup that you can get in the drug store. Sorry--can't remember the name, but it really was just a "syrup" with a fruity flavor. I took it a few times--it soothed things a bit. I feel for you--when I have any surgery, I can't take those codeine products. Ugh.

I wish I had advice, but I can only give you sympathy.

Digit is the greatest.

Wow, your comments are so thoughtful! What great readers you have. I was going to suggest ginger too but it's been covered. Candied ginger is super yummy.

That halve the dosage of the evil elixir sounds good - I majored in fashion desing tho so pay no attention to me.

Feel better!

Yay! Soon-to-be cone-free snuggles! I'm so sorry about the codeine woes. It just knocks me totally out, so I have no clue. Sounds like you've gotten great advise, though. Better soon - it's time! :D

I don't have any new recommendations - I'd say try calling the doctor again would be my first choice, and cutting back on the lortab and adding ginger and/or benadryl would be my second. Mainly I just wanted to chime in and say I hope you feel better soon. :)

Another ginger fan here. Plain old ginger ale with a peppermint dropped in it seems to work for me. I suck on peppermints when I have a sore throat or nausea. They seem to elicit just enough saliva to soothe the throat.

I'm going to jump on the ginger bandwagon too, and suggest that you get it into you in whatever form you can. I like to make ginger tea by chopping ginger root coarsely and then simmering lightly in a pan of hot water until it tastes as strong as you'd like it, skimming off the chunks, then adding about the same volume of milk, and honey to sweeten. Bonus: the milk might also help with the codeine heartburn. Codeine and its synthetics are nasty...I can't take it in any form either, I get hallucinations and stop sleeping! (my mom SAYS that there weren't actually bugs crawling all over me...)

I feel your Lortab pain. When I broke my wrist the dr put me on Lortabs. I followed the directions and became some crazy woman. My kids still refer to this as the time I was on drugs.

Hope you're feeling better soon and I so love your Digit. We have a cat like him,Got Milk, and he disappears for months at a time. This is the longest he's ever been gone. He is old and mean and we always got through his absences with a story about him being a cat version of the traveling salesman that has two different families. Just as I had decided we'd never see him again, your Digit came home. That gives me hope.

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