Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What the.... A good day?!?

Call it crazy pregnancy hormones. Call it dramatic. Call it luck. But I think it was God.

 Yesterday, I was in the pits.  I felt horrible. I was crabby and extra discouraged for many reasons.. one being I took a bath and could only shave one armpit because of how tightly mom wrapped my PICC arm in Glad press and seal wrap and I couldn't bend my one elbow... haha. ( It seems funny now to me, but it really wasn't then!) My medicine didn't feel like it was working as well...I felt lost and hopeless.

And angry at God. Really angry. I didn't really want to bring this up, but I've been obsessing over the Sandy Hook shootings since Friday. Being a teacher and mother I just played the scenario over and over in my mind - to the point that I was having anxiety attacks over it - heart pounding panic... that I of course caused to happen because I couldn't stop watching or reading news online. (I literally have nothing else to do all day). Sometimes I don't know when to stop. Of course my main question to God being "Why?? Why children?? Why didn't you stop this. You could have!! And while we're here, God, why are you allowing me to feel this way? Why aren't you letting me live my life so I can fulfill my duties that YOU gave to me - teacher, wife, mother?" And, like I do with all people I'm mad at, I asked him all these questions, then shut him down so he couldn't answer. You see- that's the easiest way to hurt someone you love....

Someone has really been praying for me and it hasn't been me.

Nolan and I both had doctor's appointments today - his being almost 2 hours away (he had surgery last year to remove a big birth mark so it was a scar check up) so he didn't go to his sitter. This morning, at 6:45am, he got out of his bed and came into my room -and climbed into bed with me and Luke. Since Luke wasn't going to have to drive him to the sitter, he had a few extra minutes as well. I wasn't hooked up to my IV yet, so my arms were open and free to welcome Nolan into bed. I quickly turned on the TV to some cartoons so he would maybe stay with me (and forget about his lovely G-Ma in the next room for just a second!) He stayed! And while he was watching cartoons, he turned to me and said "Mama, I want to cuddle you!!" And so we did. The kid melts me. What a blessing to start my day this way - Luke on one side, Nolan on the other. Blessing #1

Getting ready for our field trip to the doctors, I had the motivation to wash my face and even put make up on! I couldn't stand for too long, so I had to improvise to FINALLY take care of my unibrow since it was going to take...a while. I found a CD and used that as my mirror so I could lay in bed at the same time and got 'er done! I got super nauseated considering my preggo jeans, so opted for my trusty go-to leggings, sweater, and boots instead. I kinda felt a little cute-ish. Hmm... interesting. I won't call that a blessing necessarily, but I did feel more like "me" you could say - which was refreshing.

My mom drove and the appointment for Nolan's scar went well - he will get laser treatment on a keloid in two months which is painless and quick. We then drove through Buona Beef for lunch before our trek home, and I was a little worried about what to eat. I've been pretty faithful to my bland diet and pretty much nothing there is bland. A cheeseburger seemed....intriguing... so I went with it. It STAYED down and was DELICIOUS!! This was a big deal to someone who struggles with eating/drinking! I was SO happy to enjoy such a wonderful and yummy treat!! Blessing #2??? I think YES.

We then had an hour or so lag time until my OB appointment (going every 2 weeks currently) so we decided to attempt a little shopping. I've tried walking around a store a few times before and usually can only last a few minutes before I'm miserable. PLUS, I absolutely despise shopping to begin with, but I didn't want Nolan to go crazy in the car  and we didn't really have another option, so went with it.  I was a little winded at first, but it was great!! I was able to pick out several presents for Nolan that I know he'll just adore. For the first time in 4 weeks, I actually forgot I was sick - and didn't even pay attention to my PICC cords hanging out of my jacket (I had the running bag and Gemstar in my purse). How great to be able to buy some treasures for my little guy, and enjoy this time OUT of the house! BAM! Blessing #3!

My OB appointment also went very well! My doctor wants to extend my PICC line usage until I'm 16 weeks, in which case we will reevaluate the status. Who knows where I'll be then, but what a relief... they were talking about taking it out next week and I was really worried about spiraling during Christmas and then having to go through the whole PICC nightmare again. I also didn't lose any weight since my last visit 2 weeks ago, which I had been doing! Intervention Mom Room Service has proven to give positive results! Plus I got to hear the baby's heart beat so I think I can live this life just a little bit longer now... :)  Blessing #4!

I was worried about grossing people out with my "spit bowl," so before we left for our appointments, I decided to try using a tall travel coffee mug. It was a major winner! While walking around the store and going to both appointments, I was able to blend in without repelling people. It looked like I was taking a sip of coffee, when I was actually spitting! Muahahaha. Really.. you may not think so but Blessing #5 - not grossing people out in public - because it means I can function around people.

After my appointment, I was feeling well enough in the car that we could extend our trip and drive around to look at Christmas lights. It was FUN and I haven't had fun in a while! Blessing #6

When we got home, there was LOTS of mail and even... a package!! My sister sent me tulips, a bear, and some chocolates for whoever could eat them! How lovely! Not only that, but I got 4 (FOUR!!) letters from Beyond Morning Sickness volunteers from across the country - none of whom I have met. Hand written and personal notes of encouragement and understanding. Unbelievable.

Flowers from sister Melinda from California- Blessing #7
Card from Kristi B from Michigan - Blessing #8
Card from Mel S from Maine- Blessing #9
Card from Meredith J from New York - Blessing #10
Card from Amanda P from Minnesota - Blessing #11


After opening all of the "fun" mail, I still had some bills to truck through: 2 Blue Cross, 1 hospital. Usually I ignore these types for a few days, but decided just to get it over with. The 2 Blue Cross were approvals to increase my Zofran quantity. Awesome! The hospital bill .... was.... a .... check??? YES definitely a check written to ME for almost $200!!! Apparently, after an audit the hospital had, they found I was owed that money! Ho.Ly.Cow. Blessing #12

I was probably blessed more times today and just didn't look for it.. but 12 are what I counted. And the day's not over. :D  Why so many blessings today?? Odd that it immediately followed such a bad day.

Tonight, I heard God's reply to my questions yesterday: "You are not alone. I am here with you in all things."  In regards to the Sandy Hook devastation: "They were not alone. I was with them too, just like I am with you."

It's appropriate and okay to be upset about things...life, tragedy, etc. But I think I need to trust that God is taking care of things. God is the ultimate comforter. He is now comforting those children more powerfully than even their earthly parents could.Hard to fathom a love more powerful than a mommy's and daddy's.  I have a feeling that if I allow God to comfort me now, even close to what I'm allowing my friends and family to,  that I won't be disappointed....

I knew that... I just needed a little reminder. :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hello, my name is Debbie Downer

If you're looking for some sort of hopeful and upbeat post, you are in the wrong place today, my friend. The wrong place. Sometimes a girl just needs to let it all out for random readers in random places that she does not know. ;)

Today I feel..... angry. At the world. At my situation. And also scared. It's a mixed bag of reasons really. I miss me and I miss my life.

I miss the routine of showering, rushing around in the morning saying to myself, "I have nothing to wear.." but actually having TONS of things to wear (simply because they fit!), maintaining my eyebrows each day (again with the brows... I guess they really matter to me!!), my baby boy being delighted to follow me around as I get ready - talking my ear off, giving kissies and hugs goobye (doesn't want me to leave when sitter gets there), turning on my car radio, getting my large mocha in the drive-thru - and sayin "hi" to the workers that I see daily, and praying that God will help me to be a fair and firm teacher today and will reveal to me what He wants me to accomplish. "Open my eyes, show me who I can show your love to today. Help me to show grace to (multiple students' names go here...ha)."

I miss seeing the sunrise on my drive to work, the beautiful corn fields, horses, farmers.  I miss yelling at all the slow country drivers... and cussing them out/trying to pass them in my minivan.... and then the feeling of  guilt/remorse  when I remember that I'm listening to Christian radio and in the middle of my morning prayer. (I suffer from road rage... it's a problem) And then finally getting to work and preparing things for my students, leaving some of them sticky notes on their desk to remind them of their daily behavior goal... or of some other reminder like "You're a car rider today!"  AND then their smiles in the morning! Buzz in the hallway..."WALK!! TAKE THAT HAT OFF!"  Being productive!!! Making a difference each day, laughing at my kids' jokes all day, rushing to get home to spend time with my 2 year old ... even though much of the evening is a tantrum...., and THEN:

The Calm.

Baby is down. Kitchen is clean (maybe). And it's just Luke and I and we finally get to do what we've been waiting ALL day to do: watch TV together and eat snacks. When you have kids, this is your sanity as a couple! We save our funniest stories - we're both public school teachers so this is a given each day - for this precious time. Or maybe we dealt with a ridiculous parent?!? That's always a good story as well. And finally comes the weekend - going out to eat together as a family, out and about running errands, taking naps - before it all starts over.

And now. This.

Everything has changed. Did I mention that the weekend the Hyperemesis kicked in full force, we also moved into a new home?  All those good memories are in our "old" house and so far I have no good memories in our "new" house. Since we've been here, I haven't worked, and I've noticed about 1,000 disgusting smells in various rooms. There aren't enough lights in our living room... it's dark. The kitchen is painted this horrible fire truck red on ONE wall (why, WHY?) and pukey sea green on all the other walls with hideous cutains to match. And Luke, my mom, and my close friend J have all tried and tried to find the smell in the kitchen that I can't identify with words and have been unsuccessful. The kitchen is trying to kill me!!

My son doesn't know me anymore. I can't do anything for him at all, and can't even be alone with him. He spent all weekend at my husband's parent's house, while I went to my parents house because we both need babysitters and Luke had to work (bless his heart- he's working 3 jobs currently), so this morning I tried to get up extra early so I could get him ready. My mom has been staying with us to help, but I went downstairs and got my own bagel and apple slices (pre packaged) and came back upstairs to eat them. I gave myself enough time to try to digest them, while being distracted watching tv. (that helps me keep food down sometimes). I went in to go get him dressed and ready and....   he didn't want me. :(   He wanted his girlfriend, Grandma. I tried to keep him quiet so she wouldn't wake up quite yet, but the truth was that I couldn't do this on my own. I was winded, lightheaded, and exhausted - all from getting my own breakfast, and walking 2 feet into the next room pulling a clean outfit out for him. Grandma to the rescue.

Oh, and let's not forget that I'm also a joy to be around because of my spitting habit now. I am not exaggerating when I say I need to spit every 30 seconds. And this isn't regular spit - it's thick and foamy at times. My mom is a genius because she put a paper towel inside the spit bowl so that it's not just spit sitting there... I kept spilling the spit bowl on myself...ew, ew, ew... so the paper towel solved that problem. Except that there's no chance I can go in public with my bowl. I guess I could use tissues or something, but that would still look gross. Although, I have become quite good at aiming my spit. I can lay in the bed and spit to the bowl below and make it (most of the time...).

So in a day, my life and my family's lives changed. And it's all for a little baby I do not yet know. And  here in welcoming Negative Land I keep thinking about  how I'm going to miss sleeping through the night when the baby is born! And... I want to go to the beach!! And ... get me out of this body!!!! I just don't feel like "me" these days, and I don't like who I am becoming. And I'm selfish. I'm missing Christmas parties, birthday parties, and other joyous occassions. I'm not making cookies, wrapping presents, singing Christmas songs, or seeing people. I'm not scrambling around!! Who am I????

I miss me, my husband misses me. And Nolan doesn't...

It's a little hard to focus on the positive while I'm alone in my thoughts all day. So that's the honest truth of where I'm at. Yes, I know it's temporary. Yes, I know that's normal for a 2 year old to bounce back and forth between girlfriends. Yes, I know it's all for a good cause and that God has a wonderful plan for this baby, and for my family. Yes, I know that if I tried a little harder or read my Bible more often, I would be able to get my head out of the gutter. But this is just me right now. Debbie Downer.

Friday, December 14, 2012

How to find support without a bra

Wow - I am absolutely blown away and so touched to read your comments. Just a few days ago I was in a depressing vomit scented cloud all alone. I had no idea that there was really a community out there, and that I wanted to be a part of it. And that I needed it. I suppose there are a lot of times when you don't know what you need.... and then your mom, or husband, or best friend kindly suggests a bath. Or toothbrush. Thank you for connecting with me. Thank you for understanding. We can all hope that through continued attention to this topic that more women will get the voice of advocacy that they need.

Just a quick update on the PICC line - I am doing quite well with it so far. And by that I mean there are no signs of infection and the site is less sore. My mom, who is a nurse, is teaching Luke and I to change the tubing and flush the line. Luke is proud of the saline mark he left on the ceiling from his first shot at getting the air bubbles out of the syringe. Hehe. I still feel bad, and my triggers are still the same (movement, smells, thoughts, etc.), and my blood pressure is still pretty low, but I feel mentally more hopeful. I do credit this good day to the fact that I am not having to do anything for myself whatsoever though because I am almost completely able to avoid my triggers... but I will get to that in a bit.

I know I am getting somewhat hydrated finally because I have turned into a disgusting spitting camel. Yesterday, while on my cocktail drip, I fell asleep and woke up to the left half of my face being drenched - not in sweat, like a normal person, but in my own saliva. Ewwww!  I was pretty out of it because of the benedryl, so I just flipped my pillow over and continued napping, switching to laying on my back instead. I fell back asleep, and woke up alarmed because I was choking on, you guessed it, my own spit! How disgusting. So I am now spitting in a bowl every 30 seconds, paying special attention as to not look at it or breathe in because I'd lose it. Although... I'm pretty sure anyone would!

I don't know how anyone can stand to be around me. I can't even stand to be around me! I typically have absolutely nothing nice to say right now. And if you make eye contact with me, I have this gross look on my face like "if you care about me at all, just kill me now." Guess that's a mother's unconditional love, a husband's mistake (jk - i know you love me - you're still around!), a best friend's choice (Jackie S), a child's ignorance, and a nurse's job.

So back to getting support without a bra, which I haven't worn in quite some time.

 I switched doctors for this pregnancy, which is huge. He listens to me, and seems to have a plan.  But probably an even bigger change this time around is that I am letting people help me. My mom packed a bag and came this past Sunday, planning to stay one night, so she could drive me to get my PICC line put in Monday. Well she hasn't left yet (she lives 2 hours away) and Luke and I have been extremely relieved to have her help. It's taken a lot of pressure off of me because naturally, I want to do more than I actually can. I am a go-getter and I like to get things done myself. I don't like to slow down. I hate that I'm a bum at home not working. I have worked since I was 15! Wow... I felt some anger come out just now! Whew! Sorry!

So anyway, because Mom's here, I literally am doing nothing all day. I get out of bed a few times to go to the bathroom, or stretch my back for a minute, but that's it. I haven't been in my kitchen all week, thank the Lord! I only smell the food my mom brings up to me, which is bland. She has been getting Nolan ready for his sitter in the morning and picking him up in the afternoon. She makes dinner for my family, changes diapers, and waits on me.. It's been perfect and I know it's rare that anyone can have this kind of 1 on 1 nurse. I don't have to smell or prepare food OR move. Luke and I have been struggling because we feel bad that she has to put her life on hold, but then she feels bad because she's not sure if she's overstaying her welcome (Ummm def NOT) so it seems to be a good fit right now.

My friend Jackie has also been over every week since we've moved here and insists that I give her a list of things to do.  (By the way, Jackie is married with 4 children and now lives an hour and 15 minutes away!) I have been unable to unpack boxes since the move so she has unpacked my house, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, done laundry, and entertained Nolan for me. She has also cut up and prepared little containers with snacks for me so I can plug my nose, run in the kitchen and get them, and run out. And the crazy part is that she LOVES it. She really does. So I have to let her do it, or she'd be sad. :)  I really don't know why I'm so lucky to have such a great friend...

Additionally, my sister hooked me up with some people involved in the HG community, that she happened to know. I received a few gifts in the mail from someone I have NEVER MET before named Lyle Brooks. He sent me the book "Beyond Morning Sickness," by HG Survivor Ashli Foshee McCall, which is excellent and informative. He also sent me the sweet children's book called, "Mama has Hyperemesis Gravidarum," also by Ms. McCall. I highly recommend both books, but especially "Mama" if you already have children and are dealing with Hyperemesis currently. The first time I read it, I just cried my eyes out because it really validated my feelings about trying to still be a good mommy while also not being able to "be a good mommy" in my eyes. I didn't know anyone else could relate to those feelings.

A few weeks ago, prior to my PICC, trying to live on Zofran alone - I was in a bind because my husband had to work late and there was no one that could come help me take care of Nolan and put him to bed. I laid on the couch, threw a movie on, and hoped he wouldn't need a diaper change. When he started to get hungry, he just left me alone and literally got his own dinner - which consisted of teddy grahams, animal crackers, and apple sauce. He brought me the apple sauce to open, but did everything else all by himself (he's 2.5 yrs old)  and sat at the kitchen table alone to eat. It was such a heartbreaking image. I laid on the couch, unable to move, puking off and on, while my 2 year old had realized he needed to take care of things on his own. How sad. The book "Mama" opened up those feelings of guilt I had and really helped me to acknowledge it, voice it, and let it go. And forgive myself really. It's so difficult to go through what seems like a never ending hell because it's painful, but it's worse seeing your family suffer through it. Clearly the author really "gets it."

The book "Beyond Morning Sickness" gives some wonderful suggestions on how to be helpful to someone with Hyperemesis - so if you have a family member or friend with it, you may want to check it out.

Here are some ways to help that are more specific to me for my family and friends because many of you have asked - because you care!! Which is awesome... so read carefully :

1. I'm so sorry, but I really don't want any visitors and I really can't meet up anywhere. And you know that's not like me normally because I love spending time with people - but it's just too much right now. Try to imagine having the stomach flu 24/7, knowing that it's going to be longer than 48 hours. Months longer.  I am showering on average once every 4-5 days. I can't move without puking. I have to be on my IV 10 hours a day. I'm not good company in person at all. I'd like to crawl in a dark cave and hide there ... So unless I specifically invite you, please don't come. For now. Sorry.... eek.

2. Talking on the phone can be difficult for me at different times of the day. I know it's weird - but something about words moving in and out of my mouth makes me feel worse sometimes. ESPECIALLY if you ask me how I'm feeling on the phone and I have to describe it. I have found this to be a trigger as well. I am usually able to tell you- I can't talk about it - before it's too late, but even saying that in itself can be a trigger. TEXTING/EMAILING is PERFECT and INVITED right now. I do want to TRY to be a good friend to you and I really want to know how YOU'RE doing!!! I do!!

3.If you live close, you're welcome to take Nolan out for some fun! He's my biggest concern these days.

4. Make a meal for Luke and Nolan - poor guys. I can't cook for them or smell what they're eating. I can't clean up dinner, so maybe in a disposable container??

5.  This could be the most important at the moment :Don't expect me to get better just yet. This sounds bad, but I'll explain. When people continuously ask me over and over how I'm feeling, it really starts to get to me because I feel like I should have a good report somewhere in there - to make the person asking feel better almost. I don' t know if that makes sense... but the answer is I feel yucky all the time. I do - and I will for a while. So just assume I feel bad. Maybe rephrase the questions to "What can I do for you right now?" or even just "I'm thinking about you right now."

Anyway, that's what's what with today! Stay tuned....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Today was crappy, but I wish it was crappier..

I am very hesitant to write how my day really was, but I have come to the conclusion that if people are going to understand what Hyperemesis is really like, then I've got to document it all and be honest! The one person who can't read this is my husband.

Let me start out by saying for as long as I can remember, I've been a very.private.pooper. So much that it was (sometimes still can be) a problem. When I need to...ah hem.... poop, the "event" becomes my top secret mission to find the most hidden bathroom, at the most discreet time possible. I can probably count on one hand how many times I pooped at my parents house growing up in the bathroom off the kitchen on the main floor because, obviously, that's wayyyy too risky there. I mean - what if someone hears me?!?

As you can imagine, sharing a bathroom with an entire floor of girls in college was like a nightmare when I had "the urge." I couldn't believe it when some of my friends decided that for fun, they would decorate and LABEL one of the stalls in our bathroom as the "Official Pooping Stall!" They cut out magazine pictures and taped them up inside the stall so there would be lots to look at while you were in there, and if I remember correctly, even left a message board in there so we could leave a message (while pooping) for the next pooper!! Really, I'm jealous of their ability to "perform" under those circumstances. So trying to accomplish top secret mission "poop secretly so no one suspects," required that , naturally, I am NOT to go into the Official Pooping Stall under any circumstances because that's a dead give away. I am NOT to poop in the morning while everyone is in there brushing their teeth. I am NOT to wear shoes that could possibly give me away if someone recognized them under a stall. I AM to train my body to go either during a low traffic time, which may or may not include the middle of the night.

Now, married life pooping is a whole different ball game, especially when we have had similar schedules. Wait, not poop schedules - work schedules. He's figured out the ole "I'm not pooping, I'm in the shower" trick! Can you believe that?? That worked like a charm when living with female roommates after college! It's like he WANTS to catch me because he KNOWS I'm trying to outsmart him. And since he obviously knows me much better now, he knows that I try to hide it, and he'll make sure to point out when he's caught me. EVEN if I've accomplished "the deed" before he's gotten home, he'll be sure to point out "Soo... ya pooped, huh?"  And of course my answer is always "No..."

So here we are to my -not as crappy as I'd like it to be- day.

Everyone knows that pregnancy slows down the bowels and can cause constipation. That's to be expected. Has anyone experienced the Zofran pills making it worse? You see... I've been having a bit of a problem. I mean - it's great that I can put off my mission - but according to my mom, it's a problem. When I spent those 24 hours in the hospital a couple of weekends ago, my doctor came in for an exam while I was getting fluids and felt around on my belly. He said "Whoa! You're super backed up. We've got to clean you out girl! How long has it been?"  I replied, "Ummm...18 days..." (GASP!)  He left (thank goodness - how embarrassing!) and the nurse gave me some options, which included 2 different kinds of enemas. She offered to "do it" for me, or assist. Are you kidding me?? I would rather die. I most definitely opted to do this experiment alone. Thank goodness for the private bathroom. It actually wasn't THAT bad, and it really made me feel a lot better.

Since then, I've been instructed to take colace and of course at that point (when I didn't have my PICC) was told to try to stay hydrated. Yeahhhh right! I called my Dr. a week later asking if I should try another enema at home because once again, nothing was... "happening."  I did, and was ok for a while.  Another week later (actually 8 days, TODAY)  I am in pain with protruding and hard stool in my abdomen - even though I'm getting my fluids 10 hours a day in my little cocktail bag. My doctor told me to try a Dulcolax suppository, so I did. Which did nothing. I tried another enema. Which did...something... but not much. I am now uncomfortable and super nauseated. It's really hard for me to express to the doctor just how bad it is because I feel like we have bigger fish to fry right now like Operation Stay Alive. I've called the office so often I don't want to be seen as the annoying girl that keeps calling for no reason.... so we'll see how it goes. One of the many joys of being a shy Hyperematic pregnant girl that can't drink any fluids or exercise.

Tomorrow's blog... "How to find support without a bra"   - Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So...like...were you guys trying??

WARNING- Rated R (the word sex is mentioned once. well now twice)

This title makes me laugh. That has to be one of the rudest questions. Ever. I'll just answer it now and get it over with. Yes, my husband and I are very happy, and are...ahem...active. There. But actually yes, we were "trying" to conceive again because our son is just so dang cute. I also was encouraged by seeing a lot of cute babies around. AND , although I was concerned I would have Hyperemesis again, many trusted individuals assured me by saying "Every pregnancy is different," and "I was so sick with my daughter, but not with my son!" I took these comments as encouragement because 1. I wanted to believe it.   2. I forgot how much Hyperemesis ruins your life  and  3. I dismissed the fact that the people who said these things didn't truly understand what Hyperemesis is and how it affects one's body and mind.

So now I will bring you, my faithful reader, (Bueller? Bueller?) up to speed on what has occurred so far. Luke and I found out I was pregnant freakishly early, thank you to www.early-pregnancy-tests.com and KellyG, who introduced me to them. I'm talking.. early. Like two weeks after conception early. Is that even possible?? The only rationale I can come up with is that when I was pregnant with our first, I went in for my first OB visit, where they did a test to confirm. The nurse said "WHOA! You're REALLY pregnant!" So I'm guessing that means I produce a LOT of that pregnancy hormone. This makes sense because one theory researchers have for Hyperematics is that there's an overproduction of that hormone. Anyway, I was excited and terrified. All of the sudden "ohhhhhh crap" started going through my mind as I remembered...wait.. this wasn't fun before... But... "Too late now, so I'll just cherish each day. I'll tackle this problem early by getting ahead of the game!" I took organic vitamins like a good little girl, increased my water intake, went cold turkey on my daily Large Hot Caramel Mocha from McD's, ate lots of veggies and fruit, and thought happy thoughts. Oh, and of course, kept my secret - while I could!

That lasted for 2 or 3 weeks. The Glory Days.

And then began the puke fest. Ahh yes. Time to change my thinking before I eat "How will this taste coming back up?" Goodbye Mexican food. Yuk, right? Everyone knows salsa burns the second time around. But did you also know that if you puke rice, a lot of it ends up in your nose? Then you're blowing your nose and puking again, AS you're blowing your nose. How about barfing chicken salad? It actually still looks exactly the same when it comes up. Exactly the same. This was really fun because I was in the process of moving my classroom (yes, a mid year classroom move) so everything was in boxes and I was attempting to figure out how to fit all my desks in a much smaller amount of space. So it kinda went like this: move a desk, puke, repeat. That's a lot of desks. That's a lot of puking. That was Wednesday, November 14th. I haven't been back to work since. Unfortunately, I didn't get to have a really cute annoucement to family and friends. I cried on the phone to my mom, "Mom, I'm pregnant again. And it's bad."

By the way, this isn't any puking. It's the loud, retching kind that throws our your back. Without any medication at all, I will, without a doubt vomit every 30 minutes around the clock. All day. All night. That's if I lay perfectly still. If I make any movement, think about anything gross, there's more puking. I will die of starvation or dehydration. Therefore, I can't live without my medicine. I hate medicine...so much.

 Anyway, since then, I have been to the hospital for IV fluids 5 times, each treatment a minimum of 5 hours. I can't stand up longer than a few minutes without feeling like I'm going to pass out or fall over. The only time I have left the hospital feeling actually "improved" was the time I was there almost 24 hours, in labor and delivery. That time, the first nurse was kind of a bia - and looked at me like "I know your type.. the kind that overreacts. How pathetic." She never said that, but of course I'm gifted in mind reading. She gave me some ice chips and a few crackers to try. I puked those up pretty quickly. Ha. That showed her!

I have tried an array of medications: Zofran, Reglan, Phenergan and OTC's like Benedryl, Claratin, Pepcid, Colace.  When getting fluids, my Dr. (who has been wonderful) makes me a nice little cocktail drip in addition to my sodium/potassium bag that somewhat relieves nausea: Zofran, pepcid, benedryl, vitamin B6.

I could be in the hospital getting fluids daily if I was really calling the doctor every time I needed him. He has instructed me to call immediately if I'm not urinating every 2 hours. Yeah.. well... that's every 2 hours then. I pick and choose the calls when I REALLY need it.

So now I have a PICC line on my right upper arm so that I can get fluids as needed at home and I have a home care nurse that comes occasionally to change the dressing. Getting the PICC was an interesting and horrifying experience. I thought a PICC line was just a fancy IV. I was a little shocked when the nurse showed me the tube (catheter) that would be pushed through a vein from my arm  to about 2 inches from my heart. Unfortunately, I have a fear of people touching my veins. I don't even like people looking at them. It makes me sweat. What if someone rips a vein out and chews on it?? Ah!!! Anyway, the first two tries in my left arm were unsuccessful and very painful. I could feel her trying the jab the line through my body..under the armpit and it kept getting stuck. Blood everywhere. Of course by the third try in my other arm, I was shivering - teeth chattering, blue as a madame blueberry, head spinny and terrified.

Glad that's over... never again. My home nurses showed up last night. Too bad I didn't shower or put on a bra for them. Showering is overrated. Plus it takes ALL of my energy and I can't take the temperature change. It makes me feel worse. Plus I haven't been able to get a brush through my hair for days, and the conditioner doesn't help the fact that it's ratted beyond rat's nest. And my eyebrows look like they did in 7th grade - bushy. I don't think there's actually two brows anymore.... but who's taking the energy to look in a mirror these days? Anyway, the nurses struggled through putting my machine together, which made me more nervous and more nauseated. Plus nights are harder anyway. But pretty soon , my IV was going and I drifted into angry sleep with my zofran/pepcid/benedryl bag. In a fanny pak to travel.  Maybe, just maybe, I can return to work after Christmas break. But then I'd have to shower. And move. Ughhh. we'll see.

I've somewhat gotten over the "I want to die" feelings, and I've wished and wished I would miscarry. I'm now accepting the fact that my life will be horrible for the next 6 months. Oh ....by the way, I'm only 9.5 weeks currently. So...long...to...go.

"Just like the princess???"

So I've never done a blog, or any sort of public journal before. These days I am spending much of my time watching "Sex and the City" reruns, and it has proven to be inspiring as Carrie documents her exciting adventures. We hear her inner monologue as she pounds away on her keyboard making facial expressions that so perfectly display the line she writes. So if you already know me, then please picture my expressions and hear my voice as you read this. And if you don't know me, well, you're missing out.

The purpose of this blog is simply to answer the question "How are you feeling today?" for all my lovely family and friends that have been concerned. When I am going through a whirlwind of sorts, I take the avoidance strategy to cope. I really, really, REALLY, get annoyed when people display their "poor me" story for the world as an attention seeking ploy. (If you know me AT ALL, then you're probably chuckling because of how much I can't stand this quality in people).  So as an attempt to be NOTHING like "those people," I simply do the opposite. I don't share. If someone happens to ask me, I'll certainly be honest with them.... but I don't need everyone to know. I just don't! If someone texts me "Hey! What are you up to?" and I happen to be in the hospital, I'll tell them that I'm there and what I'm actually doing, but I don't feel the need to make it my facebook status so I can be comforted by all the comments I get, like "Oh my gosh!! Get well!!"  Maybe I'm too secure in my close family and friends that I don't need random Joe that I had algebra with in 8th grade to be "praying for my recovery."  I don't like getting attention that way. I like getting attention by bragging about my son instead ;) Or by being funny. Or by sharing embarassing stories. Or by wearing a really great pair of boots. But I don't like bringing attention to myself through some sad story or issue. 

And ya know what? My best friends and close family contact me almost daily even when I'm not pregnant just to check in anyway so they probably knew I was headed to the hospital before I even got there...they probably were the ones who encouraged me to go in. So why do people feel the need to have SO much attention from people who don't matter as much anyway? (I just heard Carrie Bradshaw's voice in that question, but it was really mine.)

I will now step off my soap box. Carefully, as to not fall and embarass myself.

So writing about having Hyperemesis and sharing my story as I go is going to be a change. Although I don't need "attention" for this illness, I do need support and understanding from those around me. It is a very misunderstood condition, even by those in the medical field. Researchers are continuing to search for answers about risk factors, treatments, and some kind of continuity in it's patients. I don't need people to feel sorry for me, but I do need respect. It's an extremely discouraging time in life, and when someone compares it to "just" morning sickness, it makes me feel guilty for not being able to function like one would with "just" morning sickness. It makes me feel hesistant to call my doctor AGAIN, even though I haven't had anything to drink in over 72 hours, because I feel like I'm being dramatic or making a big deal out of nothing. When someone doesn't understand what Hyperemesis is, they make comments to me like "Have you tried crackers? Or ginger? Or vitamins? Or sea bands?" Umm... DUH! Or they might say "Oh I totally know how you feel! I couldn't even look at raw meat my first trimester," which really is nothing in comparison. 

When Hyperemesis is downplayed by friends, family, and even medical personnel that are uneducated on the topic, I feel defensive. Which is really my own problem. I really can't blame "people" for not knowing how severe and dehabilitating Hyperemesis is to the Hyperematic suffering through it. It's extremely rare! I've only met one other person who truly "got it" and lived through it, face to face. She had her first child and went through hell as a Hyperematic and thought a few years later "Well, it can't get worse!" so got pregnant again. Her second was much, much worse. She and her husband opted to get her tubes tied so she'd never have a chance of enduring it again, and they later adopted two more children.  See... that's one major difference right there: Hyperemesis Gravidarum affects one's family plan. My husband and I used to want a lot of children. I dreamt of a big family! Not anymore.