Thursday, 24 October 2013

Absence, sickness and a worthy cause. Has anyone heard of Hyperemesis?

This is a short off-topic post to update people on why I've not been around for such a long time.  I haven't even managed to get into my sewing room to tidy, play with fabric or even switch the computer on for about 3 months.  Which is, incidentally, the length of time that I have been growing a baby for so far.  Which is fantastic, as we've been trying for 4 years to get past the 9 week stage. 

However, the reason I've not been around is that I've had ridiculous sickness.  Everyone's heard of morning sickness.  Not everybody though has heard of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG for short), which is much more serious and is the reason I have been flitting between a hospital bed and my mother's sofa.  Loosely translated, it just means 'extra sickness during pregnancy', but the latin makes it sound much closer to the severity that it actually is.  I was in hospital from week 5 to about week 8 or 9 (I actually can't remember, the weeks have all blurred into one by now) on a drip and unable to even drink sips of water, let alone eat anything.  I was home for a few days and back in a couple of times, by which point the drip sites were all used up and I was having trouble even allowing them to try and put one back in.

I have to say an amazing thank you to my mum, step-dad, mother- and father-in-laws for looking after me all this time, and even more importantly sometimes, walking the dog for me while I was unable to stand for more than a minute without being sick.

Today is my first day on my own.  I finally feel well enough not to rely on my mother to bring me food and drink, and look after the dog on my own (after my lovely husband has walked him of course). I have reached 15 weeks today.  I am one of the lucky ones, as many women that have HG do not get respite this early on.  Having researched it, I was fully prepared for it to carry on past 20 weeks and possibly even for the entire 9 months.  I don't know how I would cope with that, but many women do. 

It's a bit of a hidden illness because the poor women that have it cannot even get out and about to be seen to be ill - they just have to hide away in bed or on the sofa.  Many lose touch with their friends, and I can understand why.  It's almost impossible to keep in touch when you are constantly afraid that the said friend will turn up with perfume on, or smelling of coffee, or will be excessively sympathetic just when you are at an emotional low and can't cope.  Also, just looking at a phone or computer screen can make the sickness worse or bring on a vomiting session, so even responding to text messages can be almost impossible.

If this sounds like hell to you, believe me, it is.  So when I came across a charity that is all about supporting women with HG, I got all excited and have been using their support network to help keep me sane, reading blogs, getting advice etc.  It is a charity called Pregnancy Sickness Support, based here in the UK.  If anyone would like to help them raise money to spread awareness in both the public and medical professions, please follow this link and pledge some money, or even just offer support if you have been through it yourself.

Thank you all, and rant over. xxxxxx