A mum-of-four shares how she almost died of the same severe morning sickness condition that is currently affecting Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, during her third pregnancy (and every other).
The Daily Mail shared a story of Jenn Morson, a mother of four, suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum, a disease that affects up to two per cent of pregnant women, and causes extreme nausea and vomiting.
The mum was only five weeks into her first pregnancy when she first started experiencing debilitating symptoms, as she recounted in a piece published by Cosmopolitan.
She thought she was going through morning sickness, like many other pregnant women, and tried typical remedies such as ginger ale, dry crackers, and ginger chews.
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She even spent more than $100 to purchase electric shock bands that she was told might help, but quickly realized that nothing could relieve her extreme nausea.
‘I puked until it felt like my stomach was being wrung out like a wet washcloth. If I was conscious, I was vomiting,’ she wrote.
She went to the ER on several occasions, but doctors didn’t spot the condition and instead kept treating her dehydration before sending her on her way.
‘When I felt like I might just die, I would drag myself into the ER, and after waiting for hours because I wasn’t a high priority, they would do some tests, determine I was severely dehydrated, flood me with IV fluids, and send me home, saying, “morning sickness happens, it just means the baby is healthy!” with well-meaning sympathy plastered on their faces,’ Morson recounted.
The treatments provided her with short-term relief, but it wasn’t long until the vomiting resumed. By the time she was due for her next OB appointment, the mother had lost 10 per cent of her body weight and was exhausted.
Yet, her doctor remained unconvinced as to the seriousness of her condition, and after suggesting she try the same usual remedies she had already used without success, prescribed some anti-morning-sickness pills.
But apart form causing her to sleep, the drugs didn’t help Morson, so she took herself back to the ER.
Doctors found ketones in her urine, meaning her body was using too much of its own energy because it was so depleted.
‘In other words, this was not me being a wimp about nausea. My body was patently rejecting anything I put in it on account of the pregnancy,’ Morson wrote.
She received her hyperemesis gravidarum diagnosis that night, and was treated thanks to medication injected directly into a semi-permanent IV line, as well as vitamins and fluids.
After a few days, she became able to eat and walk a little, but still needed a nurse to come to her home and help her shower once a week.
During her second, third and fourth pregnancy, the condition returned, but the mom now knew the diseased and was able to make sure she received appropriate care.
‘Without that one doctor who finally recognized what was happening, neither myself nor my four children would be here,’ she added.
Duchess suffering again third time round
The Duchess Of Cambridge, 35, who announced earlier this week she is expecting her third child, has suffered from the same condition ever since becoming pregnant with Prince George.
She had to be hospitalized during her first pregnancy, and received home care while expecting Princess Charlotte.
This time around, she is also being treated in Kensington Palace, and has had to cancel an engagement. She was also absent as George headed to his first day of school with his father, Prince William, today.
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
(HG) is a complication of pregnancy characterised by intractable nausea, vomiting and dehydration and is estimated to affect 0.5-2.0% of pregnant women.
As Hyperemesis Australia explains it is NOT morning sickness.
Women suffering from HG are regularly hospitalised and experience crippling illness for the duration of their pregnancies.
Many of the treatments and medications offered to sufferers are the same treatments used for people undergoing serious medical procedures or conditions such as organ transplants, the effects of chemotherapy, exposure or anorexia (being intravenous fluids, steriods, zofran).
HG often leads to serious and potentially deadly conditions such as but not limited to malnutrition, severe anemia and/or dehydration, depression, social anxiety disorders, food aversions, extreme fatigue.
There is no cure.
Did you suffer from HG? Share your experience with us and any tips you learnt along the way.
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