Passing the long lonely hours
The thing with hyperemesis gravidarum is that on top of all the spewing and constant nausea there is horrendous isolation and intense loneliness that comes with long long hours alone in your bedroom or on the sofa with no one else around and very little you can do to help yourself out of the ensuring misery and depression that comes with it.
People who haven't been there and done that imagine that it's probably quite nice to have a load of time off work and not have to do any house work or make dinner for a few weeks. They picture you sitting on the sofa watching films and trashy day time TV, nibbling crackers and sipping ginger tea.
Oh how far from the truth do we know that to be. The idea of nibbling or sipping anything is a kin to climbing a mountain. No just the actual sipping but the process of having to sit up and use your arm to lift the cup to your lips can cause yet more rounds of vomiting and retching. Far from watching TV with it's moving images and sound, just the light through the window and the sound of the cars passing outside can move the constant nausea to more vomiting.
The good news is that for a lot of women this does get a little easier as the pregnancy goes on and TV watching is usually possible from mid pregnancy, which significantly helps pass the time, particularly in the days of on demand programming and downloadable film accounts.
But what about those first few weeks when moving out of bed seems impossible? (and by “few weeks” we're actually still talking around 6-12 weeks at least which is a hell of a long time!). I found audio books really helpful for passing the time with the volume on low it's just someone talking quite quietly. Best not to go with something scary or too exciting or something miserable and depressing, but it does need to be engaging and interesting for you to be suitably distracted by it. I listened to the whole of “Wicked” in my first pregnancy which was great and passed a whole 9 days of my then miserable, headache filled, dehydrated life. A little remote for the stereo meant I barely had to move to turn it on/off and my husband loaded a few other books onto the iPod for me after that.
In my first pregnancy I couldn't read books for about 8 weeks at the start but after that I would, except the weight and effort of the physical book would sometimes limit my ability to read. In pregnancy number two I invested in a kindle and boy was that a good move... you can lie still on your side and turn pages with a gentle press of a finger. Plus when you finish a book you can get another one instantly. The classics are all free on Amazon and you can take it to hospital with you too.
I also enjoyed new technology developments in my later pregnancies. Specifically smart phones and their ability to connect you with women around the world. Facebook, forums and twitter are all valuable ways to reduce the loneliness. Just be a little careful and see my past post about safety.
Games on my phone were great, mainly solitaire which takes very little effort (use a finger movement) and isn't flashy or bright but it particularly engaging and distracting. Needless to say I am very good at solitaire now!
You may not be able to use your phone, kindle or TV for the first few, most isolating weeks and it's important that you contact Pregnancy Sickness Support for a volunteer to support you through the worst times when the isolation is most profound.
Our book Hyperemesis Gravidarum – The Definitive Guide will be available on kindle or in paperback in September and has loads more tips and information about surviving hyperemesis gravidarum. You can sign up to be alerted when it's available to buy by clicking here and signing up.
Also check out the products I suggest in my HG Shop to help you survive the long lonely spew-filled days.