Saturday, July 13, 2013

What I'm going through

Things have been very unpleasant in the Stroup household. No sooner did we find out that we were expecting a bundle of joy did we learn about a form of extreme morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Today I'm on an upswing. This is how my pregnancy is spoken of. Upswings, downswings. Since I'm on an upswing, I wanted to make something to just get out my feelings. How I'm feeling. What's going on with me, with my health. I found out very early that I was pregnant. I was about 4 weeks along. By week 6 it became very apparent that this pregnancy would be very different than Harper's. I was sick with Harper, but it was only at night and it felt very "manageable".

About week 6 I began throwing up constantly. I was bull headed and refused to go to the doctor before my magic week 8 appointment to check for viability. Between week 6 and 8, my condition deteriorated. I saw my doctor and she prescribed an antiemetic drug, Zofran. I called this a wonder drug because for the first few days, it worked like a dream. Then, around Father's Day, my condition worsened. My body rejected foods and liquids of any kind and after 48 hours, my body began full starvation/severe dehydration protocol and I began to be in the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. When your body doesn't get nutrients it needs, it starts to use things it's not supposed to and you begin to have ketosis. That is how they judge how dehydrated you are, by measuring ketones. Dehydration and ketosis are dangerous for a number of reasons including organ failure. This was just the beginning.

Most days I feel incredibly alone and that no one truly understands what I'm going through. This isn't "morning sickness". This isn't the same thing that you probably experienced. This isn't in my head. This is not aided by medications. Most all of the joy of being pregnant has been stripped away and stolen from me. Instead of pink or blue, my questions are picc line or medication pump, pills or suppositories? My health is not controlled by my doctor or myself, but some person behind a desk at an insurance company. If they feel that I don't need a certain kind of care then I simply don't receive it. On top of that, in a downswing, imagine if every food or liquid that hit your lips turned into poison in your belly. The most basic human need is taken from you. There is no pleasure in eating any longer. There is only what can I eat that I will be okay with throwing back up. And even throwing up is no longer normal. It is replaced by a violent, breath-taking beast that purges your system so violently, you might pass out or any other number of other terrible things.

I am currently 13 weeks. Since week 9 I have been in the hospital 5 times. Most days everyone finds this inconvenient. I have a hard time asking for help. Most days I just want to sleep. I feel guilt about not being involved enough in my business, about how much my family is going through, about getting pregnant. All of the joy is removed. All of the joy is replaced with fear, anger from people around me. Not at me or the situation necessarily, just fear has a way of turning to anger. Most days I feel fear, too. Fear of knowing that all of my medications will fail (5 of which are just trying to battle HG), it is just a matter of when. That in fact my health's condition most likely has little to do with my medication and more to do with when I was hydrated last. I start knowing people at the hospital. Every hospital visit will be an hour's drive, and several hours there. If I go to the Hospital in my town I have to go through the ER. I hate going there. They've blown out my vein before. It's still healing. If I go to the City I get to go through Labor and Delivery. It is so much more pleasant. They get more of what I'm going through.

I don't ask for help from anyone but my sister or my husband anymore. I've dealt with opposition and guilt and anger from other people about wanting to drive an hour to the city hospital. Fighting when you are 48 hours dehydrated just kills you. Crying tears that you know are probably close to the only liquids you have left in your body. I gave up a long time ago about anyone really getting this that is close to me.

This is a lonely place. I pray for it just to go away.