Posts Tagged ‘Carpal tunnel’

Crawford Road

Crawford Road (Photo credit: kevincollins123)

When you spend most of your day in the bathroom, heaving up the crackers and ginger ale your mother just knew would make you feel better, it’s difficult to look on the bright side of things. When you have hyperemesis gravidarum, you barely have strength to get to the toilet let alone summon the energy needed to vomit for the tenth time that day. As if the constant nausea and hyper salivation weren’t enough, you’re saddled with common pregnancy complaints: swelling, back pain, perhaps carpal tunnel in your wrists. No one understands why you’ve isolated yourself from the world, no one understands that you’ve already tried every form of ginger and anti-nausea wives tale that exists. Hyperemesis gravidarum makes it impossible to see any silver lining in the cloud of nausea that follows you 24/7.

And yet… is there a bright side? When you’re fighting a chronic condition like hyperemesis gravidarum, it’s nearly impossible to remove yourself from the debilitating condition you’re in. I encourage you to try, even for a miniscule moment, to push aside how you feel and think about your future. When the baby comes, this illness will go away. You have hope. There is a light ahead of you. You have to battle through the darkness to get there, but there is no other disease I can think of that offers a happy ending like hyperemesis gravidarum.  When you deliver your child, you will have conquered your foe. There is no other ending.

So today, my sisters in suffering, try your best to keep the future in mind. Yes, your body is dragging you down and telling you that something is terribly wrong. Yes, everything hurts and you feel miserable and this isn’t the pregnancy experience you had imagined. Accept those things and focus on the road ahead. It’s dark, difficult, and lonely. It’s not easy. But that road leads to a beauty and joy that has the power to erase the suffering you’re enduring. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and believe.

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stressed and worried

stressed and worried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the time I was 30 weeks pregnant, I had a long list of pregnancy-related conditions: gestational diabetes, sciatica, carpal tunnel, tarsal tunnel, polyhydraminios… the list goes on. That was on top of the hyperemesis gravidarum.

I’ve always been a worrier. That’s just part of who I am. Yet the worry that plagued my mind while I was pregnant threatened to drown me. My counselor, a Godsend of a woman who helped me survive this difficult pregnancy, shared some advice that I’ve taken to heart and apply to my life every day: Deal with things in small chunks. For example: don’t worry about the baby blues when you’re pregnant. If they come, deal with them then. Deal with what you need to now and wait until you’re in the future to face problems that might arise.

This strategy requires a lot of work. It made me constantly assess my situation each time I started to worry. Here’s my thought process: I feel terrible. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen with my job when the baby comes. (Worry sets in. I realize that I’m allowing myself to fret, so I stop and guide myself). What’s going on right now?  (I’m feeling pretty sick.) Am I okay? (All things considered, yes.) The future is freaking me out, I’m worried about (insert scary thing here), but it hasn’t happened yet. It may never happen. Right now, everything is okay. (I take a deep breath) I may be nauseous beyond all reason, but the baby is doing well, I’m alive, I have food, shelter, and clothing. It stinks that I’m sick, but I’m alive, safe, and will soon experience incredible joy. This moment is okay. And it’s one less moment I have to feel sick.

Sometimes, this process is time-consuming and tedious. Sometimes, this process leads me to the realization that things really aren’t okay, and that’s part of life. But mostly, this process gives my brain a little vacation by releasing the stress associated with worry. Try it, and let me know if it works for you by posting a comment below.

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