Hyperemesis- just like chronic illness, it’s real

A few days ago I laughed when I got a text from my dad “check the internet, you and Kate Middleton have something in common!” In fact I had read about Kate that morning. I could care less about royals (I like to think it’s for high minded reasons like because my ancestors were chased out of England with pitchforks, but it may just be jealousy, who knows), but when I saw the words Hyperemesis I was curious. I was curious because I had Hyperemesis with both my babies, even though I didn’t know there was a name for it until I had my second baby.

I wish I could adequately describe the hell that is Hyperemesis. Pregnancy for me was a million time worse than chronic pain I experience now. For one thing, pretty much nobody cares, they think you are pregnant and throwing up some and exaggerating a lot.  I’ve noticed people have even said this about Kate, but Hyperemesis is much, much more than throwing up. With my first child I threw up on a regular basis for the full nine months. Literally the second they pulled my daughter out of me, the nausea I had for nine months disappeared.  I felt like a new person and was really annoyed I had to wait a full day to eat, I hadn’t eaten in nine months and I was starving!

I wish there were adequate words to explain what throwing up 75 times a day for nine months can do to your body. I used to laugh when people asked me about prenatal pills, I couldn’t even keep down a sip of water, much less an entire pill.  People don’t understand why you can’t just get up and get over it, after all throwing up is a normal part of pregnancy. But for some incomprehensible reason, people can’t seem to understand that when you can’t stop throwing up, you can’t get any nutrition, and when you don’t get nutrition there are serious problems. I was hospitalized twice with my son and even then people didn’t seem to understand why I couldn’t get over it.My home health nurse told me I was the sickest person she had ever seen and that included all of her cancer patients. I got so dehydrated that when I would have conversations with people they wouldn’t be able to understand what I was saying, it was totally nonsensical even though I thought we were having a perfectly normal conversation.

So why am I bringing this up now? 

My son is 2 1/2 and my puking days are finally behind me as I plan on not having any more children. Well, obviously Kate has shown a light on Hyperemesis and there has been tons of criticism for her not bucking it up like other pregnant women and getting over it. But my real point is the point that I strive to share every day with regards to chronic pain, be sympathetic and don’t judge, because you don’t know what someone is going through. If someone is puking their guts out, don’t dismiss them. If someone has chronic pain issues, don’t dismiss them. If someone has a undiagnosed illness, don’t dismiss them.  Don’t treat them like a pariah because they have something wrong with them.

 Love them, believe them, help them.

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3 thoughts on “Hyperemesis- just like chronic illness, it’s real

  1. You are one tough cookie! And I'm very impressed how you related your personal health challenges to any challenge anyone else has. You have a great perspective.

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