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donnaGEM

Debilitating Illnesses ... Got Any?

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As a few know, I'm currently gestating my third child, a little girl - yay!

 

From about the second day after conception, I have been throwing up most days, sometimes many times a day. Occasionally I get a day off but usually make up for it later in the week. This isn't your every day standard regular morning sickness - I have a diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarium, or severe pregnancy sickness. In fact, the term morning sickness makes me sick to my stomach (excuse the obvious there) as this has been in no way whatsoever, a bit of morning sickness for me.

 

For those who know nothing about hyperemesis...

* It is a debilitating pregnancy related complication;

* It causes severe dehydration;

* I have had days where I've thrown up, up to 7 or 8 times;

* I am limited to a total of about 4 foods I have been eating for the past few months - potatoes, more specifically hot chips, lemonade icypoles, lemonade (it was SUnkist for a couple of months), homemade pancakes and oddly enough, roast lamb. (I do have a few, but only a few, occasional foods which stay down but I have no way of knowing if they'll digest until I've tried, and even digested food comes back so it's not always helpful - things like watermelon). These are the ONLY foods I can have which I am guaranteed of keeping down probably 85% of the time but they're not always foolproof. No I can't eat a simple apple, or a piece of bread, or drink some milk. I can't eat a biscuit, vegies last barely a few minutes and it's even a challenge to drink a small glass of water without it coming back.

* Since before I became pregnant I have lost a total of about 15kgs.

* I've been admitted to hospital on one occasion (have refused to go again really as it didn't help much) to receive intravenous fluids due to the amount I vomited in that day;

* Bub is completely happy and healthy, growing bigger than average size and thriving - this is purely a health concern for me. Bubs takes everything it needs from my body and my body is what is suffering.

 

I'll point out I had this same condition with my pregnancy with Liam and within one hour of him being born I was eating Cornflakes with milk, toast, fruit and juice without a single problem in the world - when only hours earlier I'd been hurling at sipping ice chips. I've already got my post birth menu all planned for the first couple of days and I can't wait. I've got 9 weeks to go... :)

 

I missed upwards of 30 days of work between Feb and August (and those being only my worst days) because I couldn't cope, mostly without pay, and I ended up conceding and going on maternity leave 3 weeks earlier than intended (+ a 2 week holiday in there) because I just couldn't make it any longer and my doctor was almost demanding I stop. Lovely enough I've actually been sicker since stopping work when I'd hoped less stress would help me out. I throw up when I eat most anything (I usually only eat one meal a day because I'm so scared of trying anything anymore knowing I'll soon be vomiting), I throw up when I smell something even slightly slightly off, I throw up when the temperature changes too rapidly for my body to cope, I throw up if I'm over tired, I throw up if I move too quickly.

 

It affects every single day I wake up. There was a point when being asleep was my only saviour but lately I've even woken to go and throw up in the middle of the night. It really is an excrutiating horribly debilitating illness and although I live with the sweet knowledge that it will all disappear within minutes of giving birth to a healthy baby, it doesn't make it easier to get through the day.

 

I know there are plenty of people out there suffering more - this isn't at all about seeking sympathy or 'poor you's. This is just a chance to get it all off my chest and stimulate some interesting discussion on the things people are suffering with, with their health that is a day to day struggle. So what afflicts you?

 

Even more interestingly to those suffering these debilitating illnesses is those who live alongside it. My husband does most things to keep this house, and my mental state, from functioning in the way it needs to. I can't do much in the way of housework, any food preparation is either too draining or I just can't cope with smells of food, I struggle to keep a toddler entertained when he's gone all hyper. He gets me through each day - without him I wouldn't be in any sane minded position (he may argue I'm sane of mind at the moment anyways...)

 

 

 

So what ails you and how do you get through day to day?

Does it affect your mental health or do you try to ride above it?

Do you think your family/friend support/back up is enough to help you through?

Do people around you really understand what you're going through?

Is there an end in sight for you or is this a life long condition you're suffering?

 

I'm truly interested in hearing from those of you really struggling .... but understand if you don't feel comfortable sharing. I know most people don't get what I'm suffering - they think I should be enjoying being pregnant, and I wish I was, but I hate almost every second of it. It sucks worse because my first pregnancy was so perfect and I loved every teeny bit of it.

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Oh dudette.. that awful.

 

I have always said its a real shame that some women get so damned sick during their pregnancies... you should be able to enjoy the whole experience. I was lucky enough to have only suffered morning sickness during my first pregnancy and a day or two of sickness with all the others.

 

I really wish I could do something for you.... but all I can do is offer huggles.

 

9 weeks can be a damned long time when you are feeling like shite!

 

Good luck hun.

 

I don't suffer from any long term illnesses.. used to get migraines that would last 10 days straight, but I have them sorted out since then. Was due to my jaw being out of alignment after suffering physical abuse at the hands of my ex husband.

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Asthma, and Bigapeniosis.

 

not really for the 2nd one...

 

 

My god, I should read this during a bout of insomnia - I was about to ask what that second "condition" entailed. Glad I woke up properly and realised :P

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My god, I should read this during a bout of insomnia - I was about to ask what that second "condition" entailed. Glad I woke up properly and realised :P

 

LMFAO.... was waiting for someone to mistakenly ask what that was :P

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Damn, that sounds like a total bitch, donna... hang in there, eh?

 

Gonna get the tubes tied after this one? By the sound of it, I reckon I would...

 

 

As for me... : /

 

I've been having a real hard time lifting a finger for the last couple of months... or years... nah, make it my whole life. It just seems to be getting worse and worse; an ongoing atrophy of will. I can't make myself do anything I should be doing. I've got no idea WTF I can do about it, cause I can't seem to do anything I don't want to do, and all I want to do is be lazy.

 

I guess it's depression. I don't seem to feel depressed, but then maybe I've got no basis for comparison.

 

Oh well. Guess I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other until my life just completely crumbles down around me

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Well, I'm only 18 and after a series of very serious blood noses that took over an hour to stop them, doctors have found I have a high heart rate and high blood pressure. Which no one has been able to work out a cause yet.

 

TBH the condition it self doesn't effect me in day to day life, unless I get angry/stresses/worried and I can feel my entire body throb and according to my cardiologist it's lucky I have weak blood vesicles in my nose or I would have had a stroke by now.

 

The thing that screwed me up the most what the drugs I got put on to for 2 months. They totally screwed with how I felt about my (uni) work. I knew I needed to do more work that I was doing but I kept feeling like I didn't need to and that I would be fine........ that’s when I failed 3/4 of my units.

 

They have me on better stuff now. But I don't fully feel like myself

 

My friends don't really get what it's all about

 

My family suck even more. They even tried to stop me cutting back on how many units I’m doing so I can sort this out

 

People around me that have heard what I've got seem to think there is nothing wrong with me

 

And finally hopefully there is an end in sight. The cardiologist has decided he is gonna work out what is wrong with me and has takes 8 vials of blood, 4 litters of urine, mapped out my BP/HR with a 24 hour monitor and done ultrasounds of my heart and kidneys

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The thing that screwed me up the most what the drugs I got put on to for 2 months. They totally screwed with how I felt about my (uni) work. I knew I needed to do more work that I was doing but I kept feeling like I didn't need to and that I would be fine........ that’s when I failed 3/4 of my units.

That's kinda how I feel... like I can just let shit keep on sliding.

 

I've got a prac due tomorrow, and I've done fuck-all all day.

 

: /

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I'll point out I had this same condition with my pregnancy with Liam and within one hour of him being born I was eating Cornflakes with milk, toast, fruit and juice without a single problem in the world - when only hours earlier I'd been hurling at sipping ice chips.

the human body is amazing.

 

meh, whats another 9 weeks, right? you laugh HAHAHAHAHA in the face of a measly nine weeks.

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I'm constantly sufferering from a bad case of CBF... does that count?

 

Not long now Donna - you're well and truly on the downhill stretch now.

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Damn, that sounds like a total bitch, donna... hang in there, eh?

 

Gonna get the tubes tied after this one? By the sound of it, I reckon I would...

 

 

As for me... : /

 

I've been having a real hard time lifting a finger for the last couple of months... or years... nah, make it my whole life. It just seems to be getting worse and worse; an ongoing atrophy of will. I can't make myself do anything I should be doing. I've got no idea WTF I can do about it, cause I can't seem to do anything I don't want to do, and all I want to do is be lazy.

 

I guess it's depression. I don't seem to feel depressed, but then maybe I've got no basis for comparison.

 

Oh well. Guess I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other until my life just completely crumbles down around me

 

I find caffeine helps. Not much though. I'm still lazy as all hell.

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the human body is amazing.

 

meh, whats another 9 weeks, right? you laugh HAHAHAHAHA in the face of a measly nine weeks.

 

 

Damn, I thought this was going to let me multi-quote for a minute.

 

 

Let's see how the short term memory holds up - ooo even better the posts are all DOWN THERE VVVVVV

 

Kimmo: I figured someone would jump in with much the same affliction, be it depression or whatever. To be honest that's exactly how I would have described it when I was diagnosed with depression. I was attempting to do my honours and I would get stuck on trying to understand or write a single sentence and then would fall into such a crumpled heap because I couldn't get it happening. I just wasn't able to start anything, let alone make good progress. Even writing my table of contents and getting it laid out right (which is the first place I started after going on meds) was too big of a job. I would just sit there in a stupor, knowing something wasn't right but not really knowing why or what or how to make this all encompassing cloud hovering over me just disappear. It wasn't until I finally snapped, realised I had a month to go and nothing to show for my year that I twigged to the depression side of things and saw a doctor. Two weeks to get myself settled on the meds and then I had two weeks to write an entire thesis - which I did and did bloody well if I do say so myself. A couple of months later it dawned on me that I'd rediscovered "normal" - or normal for me at least. It was such a bizarre awakening. I realised I'd replaced crying for laughing again and I could read and understand a full paragraph without freaking out. Maybe it's time for you to have a chat to someone and see if that's maybe where you've headed?? Hope it eases up for you soon regrdless of how you get past it.

 

And no, I'm not getting my tubes tied. I got through 18 months of vomiting, the least Zeph can do is manage the snip :)

 

SNewt: Knowing I'm growing a daughter is my saving grace this time, even if it is probably the reason I'm sicker this time around. Last time I had the knowledge tat it could all just disappear any day which got me through. This time I've known it was highly possible I'd have it all again for the entire 9 months and it's made it that much harder to get through. It's such a long time to be starving and miserable. But no, won't be going again unless absolute tragedy struck our family - my body can't take another round of this.

 

 

orinjuse: /me breaks out the mega sympathy .... I understand the hurt man, I truly do :P

 

RandyAndy: Thanks for sharing your tale. I think that's what is worse about my hyperemesis - there's no real known reason for it or cause or way to fix it. I'm on tablets 4 times a day (started out twice a day) but they just ease the nausea, they don't stop the vomiting. I had to try Ondansatron (the cancer chemo anti-emetic) at $100 for 10 tablets (to take 2 a day) but they did bugger all too, thank goodness with the price they were but there is essentially nothing to be done about this but give birth.

 

My Mum had some serious health concerns, possibly her heart but they weren't really sure. They knew there was something seriously wrong with her but couldn't figure out what it was and that made it so hard for family to help support her through it. I guess we just blindly believe doctors will always know what's wrong with us, but it's not always the case.

 

I hope you find a solution soon and can feel better.

 

@~thehung: I wish I could laugh at 9 measley weeks - I really really do. SOme days I'm so glad to be on the single figure count down but others I think I can't survive another 9 weeks without eating properly. Some days I wonder how to get through the day and the only option really is to sleep it off. But at least I know it is ONLY 9 weeks... and it will go away very quickly afterwards.

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orinjuse: /me breaks out the mega sympathy .... I understand the hurt man, I truly do :P

*Sobs on Donna's shoulder.*

 

 

Anyway, to end the brevity, I'm psychically thinking strength at you for the rest of your pregnancy. *Squints intently*.

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Hang in there Donna. From what I recall you have always had an aversion to certain foods so is this just an amplification of that?

 

Kimmo: You sound alot like me. I ended up seeing a "respected" naturopath who put me on some god awful herbs but seem to have given me a level of "natural" engergy I have never experienced before.

 

Since then, I have also cut down on the coffee (most days) and don't touch it after 2pm on any given day. I have found my sleep has improved and has helped too.

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Hang in there Donna. From what I recall you have always had an aversion to certain foods so is this just an amplification of that?

 

Hah! Yes I wish it was as simple as that. I can't even maintain milk (and I love milk) in my system for more than a few minutes. It's like my body has become completely intolerant to food .... I can't eat orange vegies normally but I tell you what, I'm so very very hungry that I'd eat carrots and carrots only if I thought it would help. Unfortunately it doesn't explain how my first pregnancy was so utterly perfect and not even a hint of sickness.

 

The only slightly possible theory anyone has that makes sense is some connection between Zeph and I that doesn't co-operate with my bodily systems when pregnant - different blood types or something. It's the only thing in common with my last two pregs that is different from my first.

 

Who knows???

 

But yeh, trying to hang in there!

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<3 Miss Donna - that sounds terrible. Making babies =(. Glad you're nearly there. My baby brother was born at 7 weeks early. Strong for being so early too.

 

My mum tends to have all her babies early - how about you? Your bubs likely to come early, right on time, or late?

 

 

 

Good-luck to those that are depressed / down too. It's not fun.

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If it affects your every regular day, then my oath they count....

That being said then... anxiety for me. It's been very debilitating for me in the last few months, and I had a similar episode four years ago. Basically, I worry continually- and I mean serious, fear-instilling worries, not just little things- for serious chunks of my day. It's particularly bad when I'm tired, stressed or have nothing to think about, but it can just eat away at your mind all day. In my case it does that and also breaks up my sleep throughout the night. It's affected my work and social life quite considerably, and for a while it was seriously killing my self-esteem. Just that feeling of constant fear drags you down so much.

 

Were it not for family, I don't know where I'd be right about now. They've managed to keep me sane in the past few weeks and have pushed me over the line to see a doctor and get some treatment, which looks like it might be working. You really need somebody to talk to during that time, because by God, it's hell going through it alone and not getting it out of your system.

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