Friday, 17 April 2015

The truth about HG

(This is an angry post. I apologize in advance.)

I'm going to come out and say it - I don't have morning sickness, ok? Its a mild case of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and its horrible. Even though its 'mild', its absolutely horrible. And don't even get me started about the state of people who suffer from the severe form of this debilitating disease.

Right now, I am so angry and hurt and disappointed and generally low that for the longest time I didn't know what to write. I even thought whether it was worth writing. But it is, so here I am. Because the world needs to know how HG destroys the woman from the inside out. People need to research about it and support their loved ones during this hard time instead of making them feel worse than they already do.

Going through this a second time I have lost all patience with 'good intentions'. Educate yourself, people. Its not that hard.


You know you have HG when...

1) No amount of saltine crackers/ginger/peppermint even touches the nausea.
2) You need a bunch of pills just to 'survive'...and by survive I mean curl up on the couch like the living dead and watch your toddler destroy the living room.
3) You are unable to function like a normal human being - taking a quick shower requires herculean strength and makes you so sick and exhausted you just want to curl up and die and wonder why you bothered in the first place.
4) Doctors think you're just making it up and you stop using the term 'hyperemesis' just to avoid those sarcastic looks and comments.
5) Family members think you're just being overly dramatic. But when you try to explain they don't want to hear any of it because its all your fault because you didn't do XYZ or didn't eat such and such a thing and so you probably deserve it.
6) You struggle to keep food down, any food at all for 4 months straight, and the thing that stays down just happens to be a very specific brand and flavour of chips and soda. But people still think its ok to tell you that you're going to put on too much weight because you were already overweight to begin with, remember?
7) You spiral downwards into the worst kind of depression because HG renders you completely and utterly useless and people think you're lazy and irresponsible - and you don't even have the energy to correct them.
8) The weakness/debilitating nausea stays long after the vomitting subsides. Just because you're not vomitting does not mean you are 100%.
9) Being hungry worsens the nausea but eating makes you puke. Catch 22.
10) You can only keep down random things such as instant noodles from a particular company (safe foods) so as soon as you have a new safe food you stock up on it. Only to find it is no longer safe. So it seems prudent to not hoard food, but then when you have a craving for that particular thing you beat yourself up for not being far-sighted enough to keep extra. Catch 22 again.
11)There are times when you're too sick to eat and too hungry to sleep, and when you finally cry yourself to sleep you dream about food - only to wake up and puke your guts out at the mere thought of it.
12) Food aversions are your new best friends. The smell of fish cooked today makes you throw up several times daily for the next two days - and whenever you are unfortunate enough to think of it. Also, the revulsion to certain foods stays long after the baby is born - these smells become a reminder of a bleak period of time you would rather not think about.
13) Even after the worst is over, the smallest of puke session sends you into a full fledged panic attack.
14) Water becomes your worst enemy.
15) You want to cry tears of joy when you find a doctor who believes it is possible to still be puking your guts out beyond the first trimester.
16) You are not completely surprised when a doctor says angrily, 'What do you want from us?? What do you expect us to do?" because the medicines they gave aren't working and she thinks you're just wasting her time.
17) Suggestions/hints at lifestyle changes push you over the edge because you just want them to know HG IS NOT MY FAULT!! It is NOT caused by lack of sleep and eating vitamins/fruits/veggies will NOT make it go away!!
18) HG support groups and websites like http://www.helpher.org/ become your lifeline.

P.s. Have an HG story? Share it! I'm all about HG awareness these days.