Do you remember I wrote something sniffy and moralistic about 'no more narcissitic posts' from now on? Well, guess what! It was a big, fat lie! Heck, sometimes you just have to beat that drum, yank that chain, smack that pony. So here it comes, my big whinge, and it's all me, me, me, me, me ME! Me and my morning sickness.
Firstly - let's get rid of the 'morning', bit, once and for all shall we? (I won't even bother responding to the people out there who think it's all in the mind.) Morning, afternoon, evening - any time is fair game. I've even been known - frequently, in fact - to wake up in the middle of the night, throw up, then go back to sleep.
What makes me sick? In short, everything. Just waking up. Cooking smells. 'Over-exertion.' By which I mean going to the laundry room and back, taking the rubbish out, sometimes just too much wandering from room to room. Things that are now out of the question: domestic chores, going to the shops, looking after my children, any kind of food preparation (I have to hold my breath as I open the fridge door). In short, normal functioning is suspended.
Eating ceased to be a pleasure some time ago. Now it's a case of "must fill stomach now." In fact, the thought that has consumed each waking moment for the past 4 weeks is 'what shall I do to get some relief'? Birthdays have come and gone. My friends have had babies, got married, moved house. People I love have sent concerned emails. I've ignored them all. The present, the nausea, is everything.
What do I eat? A short list. White bread. Honey. Ham. Gherkins. Rice, sometimes, as long as it's drowned in soy sauce. Occasionally with peas, but again, heavy camouflage. I'm sick of all of it. What do I drink? Coke. I hate it, but the bubbles and the sweetness calm the stomach, at least for a bit. I can't drink water: I taste the motes of dust, the washing up liquid or the chemicals in the plastic. It's unspeakably foul, though just about OK if I add some apple juice.
With all that coke sugar, it's important to brush my teeth, right? Yes, only it makes me vomit, pretty much instantly. All that jabbing around in the mouth - it's like sticking my fingers down my throat. Once I've thrown up, I haven't got the energy to do them again. So my poor teeth have a nightly coating of stomach acid. I can almost feel them rotting in my head.
Let's not forget the tiredness. The tiredness.
Some days I don't know which is worse,
the overwhelming nausea or the crushing, draining, emptying exhaustion that accompanies it. I've spent hours and hours in bed sleeping, but it's never enough.
How many times a day am I sick? Well, on a good day, twice. 2 is the minimum. On a good day - like today - I can pootle about on the computer, have a shower, make a few phone calls, that sort of thing. I must be careful not to overdo it. On a bad day - yesterday - I have a good morning, decide to do the recycling, then retire to bed, vomiting almost non stop in the afternoon. How many times? I lost count.
This has been my life for 4 weeks, and I've had enough. The Switzergent has surpassed himself, looking after the girls, cooking and clearing up, bringing me a stale roll to gnaw on in bed. He hasn't complained. Our friends, my ma, the Red Cross ladies have mucked in and I feel amazingly well-supported, as well as hugely grateful. But enough is enough: I want to be back to normal.