Friday, March 29, 2013

when good Friday looks anything but..

Last night was a tough night. I vomited so much and so hard that I now have sores in my mouth.  After puking several times in  row I could not stop shaking and sobbing.  Jason took my puke bucket to clean it out and in the 30 seconds he was rinsing it I threw up again all over and into my trembling hands.  Jason just rubbed my back as waves of nausea wrecked my body and mind and he prayed for me. I tried to go to bed early but could not sleep and just curled in the fetal position and prayed that I could fall asleep and not wake up.  I remember praying this last time too.  The desperation is intense and consuming and I just want it to end. It was a dark night.

This morning I awoke to a facebook post from a friend who sent me this link that she said has helped her during times of suffering.  I lay on the couch willing myself not to throw up the tiny muffin I ate and watching Jason put more medications with horrid side effects into my veins.  I listened with skepticism at first until it was clear he was talking directly to me.  Then I sobbed.   Even Jesus asked for the suffering to be taken away from him but God did not change the circumstances for Jesus on that hillside. "But the cross is proof that He always has a purpose IN the circumstances and that His plan and His purpose will prevail and will triumph through any circumstance in this world."

It is perfect that it is Good Friday.  A day that ended in a bloody horrid mess of suffering and seeming defeat for all who witnessed it. A day that is only Good News because of what follows.  And what follows was not seen by most that Friday when Jesus' broken, tortured body was taken down and wrapped in burial clothes and laid in a tomb. I can't see what the purpose is right now for all of this and it is clearly nothing compared to what Jesus endured but I believe that God has not lost sight of me.  I know that He is with me, that He knows I cannot take one more day unless He carries me.

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

The "star breather became the sin bearer" on this day that changed history and my life. I am standing in the middle of this sickness and I do not know what He is doing but I will trust that He has a purpose in it all even when I cannot see Easter morning yet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I am home after 5 days in the hospital. Yeah! I was released after having a central line inserted into my upper right arm that we will be able to use for weeks to deliver my daily fluids and IV medications at home.  Having the line put in was scary but now that I have more mobility and am not permanently attached to a pump I am grateful for it.  Home health care came yesterday and this morning and the nurses are so kind which is such a blessing. Jason is now my nurse and he has already flushed my line numerous times, administered IV fluids, injected my antiemetics, and given multiple does of heparin. He said God is teaching about being a servant and as I watch him sacrifice for me everyday I appreciate more the words "in sickness and in health" we spoke 11 years ago.
hg at home
I was feeling a bit better after being released from the hospital hopped up on 18 bags of fluids and too many drugs to count but to be honest I am still living in my own HG hell day to day.  Every time I read anything about this condition one word is used: debilitating.  And it is so true. I am not myself and as the weeks stretch on I forget more and more of who she is. Because I have been through this before I know this will not always be true and for that I am grateful but living in the right now is really hard.  I miss my girls.  I miss my relationship with my husband (one not defined as caretaker and patient).  I miss my life.  And I miss eating and drinking and exercising and leaving my house. I even miss cooking and cleaning and taking care of the house (yes, you have permission to remind me of this at a later date). I am so grateful for the support we have because you all are making a super crappy situation bearable and even a blessing if I can remember to see it.  My sister in law sent me a few sites that really help me understand that I am not alone. If you are interested in understanding more please read this on HG 101 and this and this on the emotional toll of HG. Having people who are informed is helpful to me as I battle this.

I have struggled a lot with why I have to go through this again but as I sat in the hospital alone for hours and hours last week I had flashbacks to my last pregnancy in Africa and I wept.  I have a sense God wants to heal a lot of the things I have stuffed and hidden over the last 3 years.  He reminded me that whatever I must go through to become more like Christ is time well spent and regardless of my situation He demands praise and worship.  And the death of a beloved mother and woman in our church family put a lot in perspective this week.  God is in it all but sometimes we struggle to see because we believe the lies the enemy whispers. God spoke to me one night in the hospital and said "Do not be afraid for I am with you." And even though many of you have reminded me of this I needed my Father to hold me and speak to me.  I am grateful He does not leave or forsake us. Ever.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

even in exile

Before even recording my thoughts and sharing them I had to battle the fear of being honest with myself and you all, fear of being judged, and the fear of being seen as a whiny or weak person but I decided I am weak and that is when He shines brightest within me so I am going to be real.  I have had lots of time to think about this as I have spent the past 4 weeks lying in a dark room longing for relief. Sharing helps me process and validate that this time is not wasted even as I am struggling to believe.  I also want other women who suffer with HG that they are not alone or crazy. I have talked with other women and read their stories of those whom have endured this condition and felt more “normal” without having to be defensive or watch everything I say lest it be misunderstood or misconstrued. Many of you have asked about HG and many of you are praying for me and for that I cannot adequately thank you.  There is no standard definition of HG but the typical case involves excessive nausea and vomiting, total body weight loss of more than 5%, ketones in the urine, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and carbohydrate depletion. And many women also face depression and negative feelings which is fairly expected when you puke your guts out and blow stomach acid out of your nose for weeks and months.

The glow some women get in pregnancy completely eludes me but that may just because I had suppositories inserted by nurses every 4 hours for the past 5 days and really did not care because I was so dehydrated and out of it. My right now is something I am barely able to cope with.  The constant nausea, dizziness, and light and motion sensitivity are horrible.  The only relief I feel is when I sleep and many nights dream about feeling normal only to wake up and be hit with a wave of nausea that brings the harsh reality of tears to my eyes. I have not worn make-up in weeks and can only manage to shower every few days.  I struggle to stand that long and washing my hair is impossible because of the smell of the shampoo. I struggle to brush my teeth because the smell of toothpaste or putting the actual brush in my mouth brings on vomiting. It is not pretty folks.  I can barely eat or drink. Eating is so central to our lives but when you cannot do it everything about your life is altered. It is so ironic because although I cannot eat I spend nearly every minute I am awake obsessed with thinking about what I could eat or what I would eat if only I could.  The mental and emotional suffering is kicking my butt.  So far I spent 9 hours at the ER and have been admitted to the hospital for IV treatments and too many meds to count 2 separate times.  After the first time I was admitted we went home and I lasted about 5 days before I was unable to eat or drink at all and only went pee once a day.  I am now back at the hospital going on my 4th day and hoping they will release me tomorrow if our insurance will agree to a home Zofran subcutaneous pump and home IV care.
I'm only 10 weeks and I cannot help being overwhelmed by how much of this pregnancy is left. I feel like my life is still happening around me but I am unable to participate and it is devastating.  You lose perspective when you are so sick and you just want it to be over. Being so sick has robbed me of being excited or happy about this baby; that although completely unplanned is anything but unwanted. But the truth be told I do not even think of this as a pregnancy yet but as a disease that is ruining my life. Almost like an alien has invaded my body and ruined my health. I am usually an active, optimistic, “make it happen” kind of person but HG steals from you.

In all of this I am wrestling a bit a ton with God.  But I feel like God is asking me if I will only praise Him in the promised land or if I will praise Him in exile as well. To be honest some days I am able to pray and worship Him and some days I just shake my fist at God and cry.  How fickle am I when I know what He has saved and restored and brought me through in my life.  I am being asked to trust that He will give me and my family the strength for each day because thinking about anything past right now is made impossible. The best advice I received is that I will not always feel the way I do right now but that to get to that point I need to get through the right now.  And the right now is painful and hard but I trust God does not bring anything into my life that He cannot redeem.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

beyond unexpected

I should be on a plane right now heading to Indonesia but instead I am in the hospital for the second time this week watching my sixth bag of IV fluids go into my veins. I am pregnant friends and I am really struggling believing this is for my good. I am desperately sick again.  Let me be clear: Hyperemesis is not morning sickness, it is morning sickness's distant a-hole cousin that has once again changed my life.  There are so simple answers.  All plans are on hold and our lives are consumed with getting through each day. I have no energy to even manage my image or pretend I feel differently about this than I do so forgive me if I offend.  So many of you have already reached out to us and reminded us we are not alone in this and I cannot thank you enough.  We are getting help and I have hope.  If I am am honest I know God's plans are always better for my life but I am really wrestling with Him in agreeing with this one.
Believing nothing is unexpected to Him,