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Monday, December 15, 2003

Hello all. I am 17 weeks today and EATING!!! Albeit only certain things yet THINGS no less! To me, this is Christ feeding 5,000+ with two fish and five loaves of bread: a miracle. Often we overlook life's wonderments as we shake our fists at the sky demanding that God prove Himself. What fools we are.

I am drinking ginger ale, Sprite and grape Ginseng-Up, and eating things like soup, fresh fruit, bread, small salads, scrambled eggs and even a 7-ounce filet mignon! (Thank you, Uncle Garry!) I am no longer on the Zofran pump, so perhaps it's the steroids. Time and steroids.

"When I'm not busy peeing on myself while puking my head off and starving, I like to play professional football. That's why I take 'Roids."

But I have to start tapering the corticosteroids this week, and I'm a little anxious. I do not want to slip back even one tiny little step. If I never vomit again in all my life it will be far too soon.

Last week’s sonogram revealed a gall bladder which is still full of sludge. The sonographer graciously, sneakily gave me some pictures of the baby to encourage me and remind me of the little person I am fighting for. Back out in the hallway, waiting for the friendly tech from my floor to come take me (and my pole) back to my room, a woman waiting for her sonogram asked me how far along I was. She was 13 weeks and we chatted for a moment. I noticed that her hair was as ratty and gross as mine, and she looked like a heroin addict. Of course I knew.

"You've got hyperemesis, don't you?" I asked.

"Yep," she nodded.


We talk on the phone daily, encouraging each other when nurses are mean or weekend docs on call are clueless. We commiserate.

"Thank God you understand how I feel," she once told me.

We are a tiny little pocket of women who are devastated by an illness that barely anyone understands, validates, or even knows exists.

"There were times when I just felt I couldn't go on, couldn't do it anymore," she lamented.

Oh, how I understand.

"I brushed my teeth today!" gushed she.

No small triumph. It is a blessing that we have been able to connect this way.

Perhaps I will come off the TPN today. They have been tapering me down as I have been able to eat more. I'm a little anxious of course. When I'm finally feeling half-way human I don't want to mess with anything. But I have to get rid of this PICC. Once they take me off the TPN I'll keep the PICC until my health has been established, i.e., until I can maintain an adequate daily caloric intake. The lumens (capped tube access; some might call them "ports") will have to be flushed with saline and heparin every 12 hours for two weeks, and, if all is well, then I can get the PICC removed.

I would truly like to be home for Christmas.

After this half of the ordeal is over, for the remainder of the pregnancy I will still be on bed rest for the incompetent cervix. I go for another check up in a week.

Heard Pumpkin Butt's heartbeat this morning and am feeling all sorts of wonderful movements. "Mother, I'm here. Love me today!"

And I am finally physically healthy enough to do so.

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