Many thanks...

The HER foundation contributed letters from our forums members for a show that featured Hyperemesis as a topic. The show aired in April of 2007.

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Many thanks...

Postby NoMoreHG » Feb 24, 2007 2:52 am

Dr. Phil and Staff,

I personally cannot thank you enough for considering the coverage of HG on your show. I am so delighted to learn from Kimber that you and your staff have been preparing for an upcoming show regarding HG.

HG has had a major impact on my life and those of my husband and children. After two HG pregnancies in less than 5 year of marriage, my husband and I feel very fortunate and blessed to still be in-love with one another and still be together. No one can truly prepare young couples (or any couple) for the challenges and battles couples and families face with this disease. It can literally tear couples and thus families apart if the right support is not provided.

Though the horror and shear impact HG has had on me is slowly balancing out to where it is not impacting my life (emotionally and physically) every day, it still lives with me. My youngest is now 9 months old, and I'm finally beginning to feel as though I can live through a single day without it haunting me. Still, it is a healing process that I have had to tackle face to face. I believe that through my last pregnancy with severe HG, I literally struggled and fought for my own life each and every day of the pregnancy. What was heart wrenching was the fact that I could not care for my toddler and that I had to watch my husband hurt emotionally and physically. Both were trying so hard to hold it together and be supportive, but neither had the coping skills to do so effectively. Needless to say, it was very clear during my pregnancy and after that I needed to give up my career and stay home to help myself and my family heal from the horror we endured.

HG has essentially robbed me of so many years of my life, my career, my health, my wish for a larger family, etc. I am very thankful to have survived this awful disease two times, and still have a loving husband. I wonder if it will ever stop haunting me and continue to work on it every day. Thank you so much for acknowledging this disease and for your coverage of it. I truly hope that women suffering from it will find comfort and those who are not aware of it will be educated from you show. Too many in our society (including the health care professionals) truly do not know or understand the true horror of this condition and just how awful it is for women to live through.

Here's a summary of my last HG experience:

*Positive Pregnancy Test - Sunday, September 18, 2005

*First Day of Nausea - Monday, September 26, 2005

*First Day of True Sickness - Friday, September 30, 2005
Friday evening I was no longer able to keep food down... and thus the long road of HG began.

* 1st Hospitalization for HG - Sunday, October 02, 2005
After 41 hours of vomitting and not being able to stay alert or get out of bed, I gave up and called the doctor. I was rushed to the ER and admitted for 4 days of treatment via IV fluids (12 liters in all) and medications. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum as my body was rejecting anything consumed orally, I was dehydrated and malnurished and had high ketone levels. This also marked the beginning of my dependency on medications (Zofran, Protonix and Reglan). My husband, daughter and I's lives began to take a drastic change. My husband suddenly had to be Mr. Mom and join me in finding evening care for our daughter as my condition left me unable to be alone with her and unable to drive. (Note - My neighbor took me to the hospital because at this point my husband was convinced I was making it up and just wanted attention. He slept through my first three hours in the ER before calling me to find out where our daughter and I had disappeared to.)

*2nd Hospitalization - Saturday, November 05, 2005
I was again rushed to the ER for pre-term labor and more HG symptoms. Just a few days prior I was no longer dependent on IVs for fluids, and my body was no longer producing ketones. The diet of about 300 calories/day began. (Note - I was really depressed and disappointed that my doctor would not give me IV fluids. Only after receiving them did I feel sort of okay. I tried to beg her, but she refused and told me to keep up the good work. Again, my neighbor took me to the hospital as my husband left me while in pain and went to work and my MIL who was staying with us to care for our daughter was out. During this hospitalization, I begged many times for the pregnancy to end. I screamed it during the labor pains and cried to no end. People just stared at me and no one would come help me. I sat in the ER waiting area for over an hour all by myself. Finally, after two hours of being alone, my husband agreed to leave work and join me. Arriving at about the same time was a dear friend who had survived three HG pregnancies. She was very upset with me for wanting to quit the pregnancy. She was a real friend though and started praying over me with my husband by my side. I was so scared of losing the pregnancy, but truly wanted the horror to end. It was a real time of mixed emotions and suffering.)

*Began Road of Rebuilding Strength - Friday, November 25, 2005
Today I made my mom take me to the mall to walk. At this point, walking was very painful and I was very weak. We took our time walking very slowly around the center of the mall, resting every few feet. We did this through the end of the month. Afterwards I went home and passed out. I forced myself to do this as a means to gain back respect from those that didn't understand my condition or physical state and to gain the approval of my doctor to remain at home. (Note - Because things between my husband and I had reached very troublesome levels, she had advised me to fly home with my parents and live with family that would provide love and support instead of verbal attacks. It was a very hard choice to make. I was scared to death to consider leaving my husband until the pregnancy and HG were over. I chose to stay and prayed every day that God would honor my choice and would protect my daughter and I.)

*Return to Work - Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Today was the first day that I was able to drag myself back to work. I was still very sick, but managed to put a few hours in. I couldn't walk very far without blacking out, but survived. (Note - I had to do this because my FMLA was about to run out. Without employment, I would have no health insurance (other than Cobra's $1000 a month coverage), something that a HG victim cannot afford to let happen. I was only able to work 6-10 hours a week for the next several months. And... up until this point, we relied on church volunteers or family members (who flew from as far as Europe) to take care of our daughter and I. Many volunteers were complete strangers to us. We had no choice but to accept any help we could find. So many families took the two of us in when my husband had to work long weekends away from home. It was very rough, but God always provided someone.)

*Made Friendship with Fellow HG Survivors - Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Today I began a wonderful friendship with fellow HG survivors, Christa from NC and Haley from Gainesville, FL. It helps to have fellow survivors to talk to.

* No More Bread and Olive Oil - Friday, March 03, 2006
My diet changed and I was finally feeling up to eating something other than bread and olive oil!!! Yippee. My favorite foods are now ice cream, Wendy's frosties, corn with cheese on top and diet soda. (Note - I really went out on a limb by trying something other than the bread and olive oil. I was so scared of getting sick from something new but decided to give it a try and it worked. My doctor was so thrilled. The torture one's mind goes through when feeling deprived of food items that are so dearly loved is simply something that cannot be put into words. This was a huge milestone!)

* Finally Reached Original Weight - Tuesday, March 14, 2006
After months of struggling with food, eating and weight gain, I have finally reached my original weight (gaining back the 16 lbs. that was lost). I now have 9.5 weeks to gain some pregnancy weight! My doctor is pushing the consumption of ice cream and other high calorie food items. I guess I'm one of the few lucky women who can eat as much as she wants and whatever she wants during the last trimester! Additionally... the fundal height is 29 cm! Luke is growing just fine.

* I was actually told I looked huge! :-) - Monday, March 20, 2006
Today a fellow pregnant woman asked if I was about to deliver. I smiled (realizing she must not pay much attention to most pregnant women) and told her I was due in May. She was surprised and mentioned she was due in June. I politely told her I was about her size last month and am rapidly growing... and that she could expect the same as women tend to really pack it on during the final trimester. She looked at me with horror. Other observers smiled and nodded their heads. It was so cute. The poor thing is clueless.

* Last Day of Work - April 20, 2006
After watching my marriage slowly degrade and become something almost non-existant, and following lots of prayers, I decided to quit forcing myself to attempt going into work and begin my trial period of staying home. My objectives: 1. Get through the rest of my pregnancy, 2. Spend some time with our daughter before Luke arrives, and 3. Prepare myself and my heart for the long road ahead of me (to help heal my marriage and my daughter's fears for my health).

* Ultrasound - Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Today's ultrasound indicated that Luke is about 6.5 pounds. My doctor was very pleased about this news since my weight gain has plateaued (at 9.5lbs gain) and my fundal height has remained at just 34cms. Hopefully Luke will arrive around Mother's Day so I won't have to wait too much longer. :-)

* Doctor Appointment - Monday, May 08, 2006
Today I had my last doctor's appointment! I'm dilated at 3cm, my cervix has thinned and Luke's head is resting on the cervix. My doctor said I could easily go into labor any day now... and that if I have not had Luke by Thursday, she will induce me! It looks like I will have little Luke in my arms for mother's day after all. Now... if anyone is taking a mother's day feast order for me, I want baby back ribs and a giant salad (with lots of tomatoes, carrots, black olives, croutons, french dressing and cottage cheese)!!

* Labor was induced - Thursday, May 11, 2006
My husband and I arrived at the hospital around 12pm and were quickly settled into our room. Labor was first induced at 2p with the breaking of my water. Pitocin was introduced around 3p and labor (contractions) began around 4p. By 6p I was in relief with the aid of an epidural (thank God for those). Luke arrived at 10:36p following a very controlled labor. My doctor barely caught him as we were all taken by surprise of Luke coming down the birth canal all on his own following a set of pushes. Nurse Laura was a big help through the whole process as well. His arrival was a very joyous event... one that we have long been waiting for.

* Headed Home - Sunday, May 14, 2006
Luke and Mommy were able to go home after 3.5 days in the hospital. All vital signs are good and we are very happy. Our daughter is enjoying every opportunity she has to fuss over him and can't stand to not be in the same room with him. Mostly, she's just happy to have Mommy home for Mother's Day.

* An Attempt for Healing - October 31, 2006
We were richly blessed today as my FIL arrived with new furniture for our home (including the master bedroom which I had not slept in since January 2006 due to nausea and memories of the first 4 months from hell with HG). It was true blessing. After the helped us redecorate and replace most of our household items, I finally viewed our home with pride and joy. My first several attempts to sleep in my own bed again were successful. (Note - It was a huge relief, though I still find myself sneaking off to sleep on the couch from time to time. It's my little comfort spot.)

*Sunday, February 25, 2007
My husband has already had his little snip and has been give the 'all clear.' Today he reflected on how happy and terrific our family is... asking me what I want to name our future children. Discussions of adoption now surface somewhat regularly. We plan to continue praying about this option to help us continue the pursuit of having a larger family. (And he LOVES me staying home to take care of our home and family. Praise God!!)

* Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I'm wishing I could have made the trip to L.A. to be apart of the show and the audience. Prayers over the staff and the participants will be flooding my mind tonight. God bless.

The meaning of my name:
Luke - Bringer of light, morning
Johnathan - Gracious gift of God

I held onto these very prayers during my struggle with HG. Each day a prayer went out for relief of symptoms, that there would be a light at the end of the road and a gracious gift from God (a little bundle of joy to call our own).

In closing, I would like to add my favorite poem that reminds me of my son:

That Little Boy of Mine:

Two eyes that shine so bright,
Two lips that kiss goodnite,
Two arms that hold me tight,
That little boy of mine.

No one could ever know how much your coming has meant.
Because I love you so, you're something heaven has sent.

You're all the world to me.
You climb upon my knee.
To me you'll always be,
That little boy of mine.
(Taken from 'Bringing Up Boys' by James Dobson)

Dr. Phil and your staff... Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Angela S., M.S.
Food Chemist and Nutritional Scientist
HG Survivor Two Times Over
Emily ~ Born Nov. 2002
Luke ~ Born May 2006
Welcomed Friend
Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 02, 2006 9:58 pm
Location: Florida

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