If you don’t have HG, you probably aren’t familiar with what getting “crackered” means. HG sufferers came up with this term to describe moments when non-HG sufferers offer (well-meaning, but insensitive) advice/suggestions regarding the pregnancy or to help reduce nausea. A common suggestion that people like to give is, “Try eating some crackers and you’ll feel better”. I guess getting “crackered” is inevitable since HG is such a rare, unknown disease. But it is frustrating nevertheless! Here is a list of times I got “crackered”:
1) “Have you tried _________?”
If only there was an easy, magical cure for HG! Yes, I’ve tried ginger. I’ve also tried ginger ale, sea bands, Unisom, Vitamin B6, oral Zofran, oral Phenergan, oral Compazine, oral Reglan. I’ve tried everything under the sun and nothing has worked.
2) “You’ll feel better after you eat something.”
I never feel better after I eat. I feel more nauseous after I eat. And during the worst of the HG, I threw up everything I ate.
3) “Why don’t you try taking a walk outside? Maybe getting some fresh air and exercise will help you feel better.”
Any kind of motion/movement will make the nausea worse. Do you know anyone who wants to exercise when they’re nauseous?
4) “You’ll forget all about it when the baby’s born.”
I still have traumatic memories from my first HG pregnancy and I know I’ll have long-term trauma with this pregnancy. HG is something that one never, ever forgets.
5) “This is what moms have to go through…”
Many moms go through morning sickness. However, most moms do not go through hyperemesis. HG only occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies!
6) “You look good…you don’t look sick at all!”
The reason I look good now is because of a lot of makeup and because you only see me when I feel good enough to go out in public. You don’t see me when I stay at home because the nausea’s so bad, when I’m vomiting into the toilet, when I’m in bed half the day. You didn’t see me when I was on IV treatment and when I had lost 15 pounds.
7) “It’s easier now when you’re pregnant…Enjoy it now. Wait till the baby gets here…you won’t get any sleep!”
You think being nauseous 24/7 is easier than taking care of a baby? You clearly have not dealt with nausea on a long-term scale. I would much rather deal with sleepless nights with a newborn than the unrelenting HG nausea!
8) “So you just suffer?” (the anatomy ultrasound doctor asked me this when I told her that anti-nausea medications don’t work for me so I haven’t been taking anything orally)
Yes, I just suffer. I choose to suffer because I’m that masochistic!
There are HG sufferers who have had friends or relatives doubt/minimize their symptoms and call them “lazy” because they are lying in bed due to the nausea/vomiting. It’s infuriating to think that people discredit HG as if it’s something fake or just “in your mind.” Fortunately, for the most part, my family and friends have been very supportive and understanding. But at times, I still feel paranoid that maybe people will think I’m exaggerating my symptoms. If you know someone suffering from HG, please refrain from “crackering” them. The best thing you can do is to simply offer a listening, non-judgmental ear. And please pray for them because HG is a spiritual battle as much as it is a physical one.