Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hyperemesis Triggers - The Fun Never Stops!

A year or two ago, I told a friend going through HG, "Beware what you expose yourself to during hyperemesis, because it can become a strong memory trigger." She told me a few weeks ago that yup, it's true! Anything and everything can become an HG memory trigger when you experience it during the worst of your illness.

I don't have many HG memory triggers from my second and third times through - because my NVP, thanks to Zofran and the mercy of God, did not degenerate into HG. (The exception to that would be the scariest night of my life, but that's another subject. *Shiver.*)

However, from my true HG pregnancy (second pregnancy, first live birth), I have a host of HG memory triggers that are still present in my life even now, six years later. I thought I'd list some of them so that we all could compare. Here goes....

(1) Our apartment - We moved in, I got pregnant a month later and was still horribly sick when we moved out a few months later (mold infestation - fun!). Driving past our apartment, or even thinking about it, makes me feel horribly frightened, claustrophobic, and a bit panicky.

(2) John Rutter's Candlelight Carol (and others on the album) - I listened to this album (and especially this song) a ton when I was recovering. Big mistake. It's great music, but now it makes me feel nauseated and fearful when I hear it. By the way, if you don't have this album, you need it. Possibly the best music ever written. Check out the link to hear that one song!

(3) Agatha Christie novels - When I was recovering, a dear friend lent me her collection of Agatha Christie novels (the ones that I didn't already have). Now some of them, in particular "Sad Cypress," make me feel nauseated and somewhat panicky when I pick them up.

(4) Ensure and Slimfast - I think we all know this feeling. When I see it in the store, I feel a sudden need to run for the door. Oh, my goodness -the memories.

(5) Various food smells - Unfortunately, this happens all the time - just random whiffs of something that will bring back memories of nausea (this is also a carryover from pregnancies 2 and 3). I'd say that this happens pretty much every day.

(6) Marie Callendar's boxed dinners - May I say.... Yuck!! This is what DH lived on when I was ill, and the smell brings back horrible memories.

(7) Various fast food items - Ditto on the above.

(8) Laundromats - Just a random memory of, when I was recovering, us trying to get to the apartment laundromat to get our laundry done before I started throwing up again. Miserable experience.

(9) Dave's Barbecue - Sorry Dave, but the relationship is OVER. Never again. (This was the first food that I could eat when I was recovering, and unfortunately the memory is now locked.)

(10) Various memories - Things that we did while I was recovering - visiting with my Canadian family, eating out on Christmas Eve with some friends of ours - all while battling the post-HG but still-strong nausea. Whenever I recall those memories, I am once again overtaken with the fear and nausea that characterized that time.

(11) Nausea - Any nausea, and I immediately go into panic mode. I truly feel like a hunted animal. Or a trapped animal. Nausea of any kind (random, stomach flu, pregnancy) can send me through the roof.

My question is... will these triggers ever fade? Or am I stuck with the waves of fear, and the flashbacks, for life?

I'm sure there are more... but that's what comes to mind! HG friends, what are some of your triggers?


  1. For me, one trigger is hurricanes. We lived through Hurricane Ivan when I was about 6 months pregnant with my first child. The next summer when she was almost 6 months old, we had another pretty big hurricane, Dennis, and it was just...wow. Horrible. Horrible!

    Also, the smell of gasoline. I used to LOVE it, even though I know it's incredibly toxic. To this day I can't stand the smell, because of all the gasoline fumes post-Ivan when everyone was using chainsaws to cut up downed trees and limbs.

    This was all 8 years ago, now. And it's just as strong as it was at 1,2,3 years out. I have a feeling it doesn't ever fade.

    I'll tell you though: If I ever get pregnant again, I'm forcing some of my worse offenders on myself, as far as unhealthy food. Maybe just smelling greasy, sugar-laden food will be enough to cause a life-long aversion :)

  2. EUGH the triggers are terrible! In my first HG pregnancy I was heavily pregnant through a particularly hot summer in Australia. Yesterday was a very warm day and certain things about it triggered memories.

    Otherwise, driving the same roads that lead me to the hospital is enough to set me off :?

  3. Becky and Roni - Oh good, I'm glad I'm not the only one! (Not that I'm glad you guys have triggers!) It's so funny how those hang on... looks like it's for the long haul.

    Becky - That is a hilarious idea! You rock! It would be kind of like that diet idea I once heard of where they have someone eat so much of something that they get horribly sick, and then supposedly they'll never want it again (same thing with smoking). :)

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