A Test of Endurance
Today I have an important guest post for those of you recovering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or for those in the thick of it who want to focus on the future and what you can achieve once you've survived this endurance. Susie's story is inspirational, it's positive and rewarding. Please read it and show her the support of the HG community which she is supporting with her abiding endurance.
Five years ago I was pregnant with my second child and suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) for a second time.
I was extremely ill, plagued by the constant vomiting and nausea that characterises HG and which all HG sufferers will recognise. The day-to-day tasks we all take for granted - washing, getting dressed, making a drink, cooking the tea, washing the dishes - became an enormous effort for me, an effort which was often just too much for me to bear. I was unable to care for my older child, relying hugely on friends and family to fill the void left by my absence as a mother. At that time, my days were mostly spent bed-bound or, on a good day, lying on the sofa too ill and weak to leave the house. The frustration and guilt that came with being so useless and utterly reliant on others was immense.
Fast forward five years and it is a very different story. I am on the verge of doing something that I never in a million years imagined possible. Tomorrow I will be taking part in my first ever triathlon to raise money for Pregnancy Sickness Support.
I am honoured to now be a trustee of the charity and so I know all too well how vital it is that we, the HG community, raise funds to enable the charity to continue the work it does to support sufferers and to improve the medical care they receive.
Nine months ago I decided that I would embark on a challenge to raise money for the charity. I wanted the challenge to be just that - something a long way out of my comfort zone and something that I would never have even contemplated before HG. The idea of doing a triathlon came into my head and, strangely, seemed to be the obvious choice.
After suffering from HG for three very long and tough trimesters, it seems fitting that I will be putting myself through the three gruelling disciplines that make up a triathlon - a swim in open water, followed by a cycle and finally a run. Individually, the three disciplines would be hard enough, but put them together and it is a whole different ball game.
A triathlon is known as one of the top endurance sports. It requires perseverance and stamina, not just during the event itself but also in the training. Until last year I was woefully unfit having not done any proper exercise for 20 years. I have had to train hard for months to get myself ready for this challenge.
It is certainly no exaggeration to say that hyperemesis gravidarum is also a test of endurance. It is a test of endurance to get to the end of each day, each week, each month. Week nine in particular sticks in my mind. I had already been ill for several weeks and week 40 seemed like an eternity away. It felt as though I had a mountain to climb but I didn't know how big the mountain was or how long it would take to reach the summit.
But that's where the similarities end. This time I have chosen to put myself through this, I have not had it forced on me against my will. This time I am in control. I have decided to take on this challenge simply because I can. Being so ill during my pregnancies has made me appreciate my health. Now that I feel well, I have resolved to make the most of it and not waste the opportunity. In contrast to the dark days of HG I am feeling healthy and enjoying being active ... and I feel great!
So, if you are suffering or have recently suffered from HG, hold on to this thought: it may take some time, but you will feel well again and your body will heal. And when it does, don't waste the opportunity. Do something amazing and show HG that you will not be beaten!
If you would like to sponsor me, it's not too late!
If you would like to read more about my progress towards my first triathlon, I have been blogging about it over on my own blog, Diary of a Charity Chick.