Sick as a Dog. What Does That Saying Mean, Anyway? Sick and Slobbery? Sick and Smelly? Sick, With an Overwhelming Desire to Chase Tennis Balls?

by anna on January 27, 2009

Well, kids, I’m sick. I have been sick since Saturday, and there haven’t been many waking hours during that time. When I’m awake, I’m kind of vaguely nauseous, or vaguely hungry, but deathly afraid of putting anything in my mouth for fear of retribution. Inevitably, when I’m sick like this, I think back to being pregnant with Mini, when I was sick like this–worse than this–for the first 19 weeks, day in, day out. 24-hour sickness. The only time I didn’t feel sick was when I was asleep, but then I would wake up and have the opposite feeling of “Oh it was just a dream!”–whatever you would call a sensation like that. Like I would wake up and say, “Oh, the sickness wasn’t just a dream. Blast.”

I remember wanting to die, that’s how sick I was. Sure, it seems melodramatic now, but the thing with the flu is that you know it’s going to last a week or whatever and then you’ll get better. You have to realize what a key factor that is in allowing you to get better: hope. With morning sickness, I had no hope. I also was not sure what I was getting into. I had heard all the hype, but nobody could guarantee to me that I would become a mother and then look back on the horror of early pregnancy and be able to say that it was worth it. I was dubious. And sick.

Here is how I would spend my days: taking long showers, well, sitting on the floor of the shower and moping, mostly; eating (occasionally) Chicken McNuggets or the one alotted tuna sandwich per week I was allowed, if I could keep anything down; trying to think of entrepreneurial ideas for making morning sickness more bearable–create a business that sells a deck of cards with activities designed to help victims of hyperemesis gravidarum have a “plan” each day to distract them from the nausea, even if that plan was just to go to the video store or walk down the street. I would read the few books out there that deal with hyperemesis, hoping for some kind of clue, suck on those sick lollipop thingys (don’t really work, no), take anti-nausea pills that cost like $10 each and do a number on your digestive system, and work on my stupid dissertation (yes, this was back when I was still PBTing through the ABD period).

When you’re not sick, your health is so far from your mind that you really don’t want to hear about it. I learned this during my morning sickness period. People are like, “Oh, you’re sick, that’s too bad,” but that’s not really enough to get you through the rest of the day. Not that you know what you want other people to do anyway. But time slows down and you agonize through every little thing, living becomes a burden and an annoyance, and you get mad at yourself for your attitude even while you are thinking about these things. It makes you admire, once again, the people who go through terrible illnesses determined to stay positive and engaged with life, up until the very end. I learned during my hyperemesis that I am not one of these people, and that there is a limit to my fortitude, which makes me all the more inspired by the people I have known who were sick and still made everyone’s day a little bit brighter right up until the very end.

So I guess what I’m saying is I can handle being sick for a few days, since it’s nothing compared to what I had to go through before. And particularly when I see the little man unwittingly responsible for all that suffering, eating Chicken McNuggets (coincidence that he loves these things, I don’t think so) at the Laker game with his daddy and smiling for the camera to send a picture home for Mommy.

It was a bitch. But yeah, it was worth it, a million times over.

{ 6 comments }

weezy January 27, 2009 at 6:37 am

Sorry to hear you’ve been sick. Hope this is the end of it and you’re feeling 100% by sunset today.

Ginny Marie January 27, 2009 at 10:45 am

I never had morning sickness. I know, I’m one of the lucky ones…but I did go through nausea when I had chemotherapy. It sucked, big time! Hello, bathroom floor, nice to see ya again.

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eliz January 27, 2009 at 11:14 am

Bleh. I’m about to be sick. All the signs are there. Tomorrow I’ll be hoping death comes swiftly. Hope your sickness goes on its merry way soon.

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Heather, Queen of Shake Shake January 27, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Hope you feel better soon.

Kerry January 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I was going to post an extremely lengthy reply yesterday, but I didn’t because I was freakishly busy. Then I was going to do it today, but it turns out the freakishly busy thing is going to last through this week at least. So, I will just say that I had hyperemesis with both kids, for all nine months. Having gone through it the first time, I struggled a lot with whether I ever wanted to to it again to try to have another one…and every time I got sick afterward (like, with the flu or whatever), I would, like, freak out. It’s like post-traumatic stress disorder or something (which is really a terrible thing to say, because that’s for, like, soldiers and crime victims and stuff, and I don’t mean to minimize their experiences…but it’s hard to explain what that sort of lengthy, debilitating illness does to you unless you’ve been through it).

So I sympathize.

If you get to the point that you are thinking about whether to have another baby based on that experience, email me if you want, because I can share all sorts of experience there.

Kerry´s last blog post..What is LinkedIn, and why should I care?

anna January 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm

@kerry, wow–the whole time?! My goodness. That must have felt like death. Re having another baby, I swore when I was pregnant that I would never ever do it again, but now that I know Mini I will probably do it. And, provided I don’t have any problems getting pregnant, whenever I do I’m sure I’ll write about it here and take you all into the depths of despair with me.

Sounds fantastic, huh?

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