Monday, February 28, 2005

Nausea (and not the existential kind)

Cleveland is, unfortunately, pretty far north. My sister, who was supposed to leave tomorrow, left today because tonight we are supposed to get freezing rain followed by eight inches or so of snow. For me, eight inches of snow is kind of ho-hum, but for my sister, who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, it is not such a blase matter. As she said, she hates when they de-ice the wings of the plane. She left me with a freezer full of a home made spaghetti sauce and some cheesy-potato soup in the fridge. She is a good sister.

Today is the first day since chemo on Thursday when I haven't felt nauseated. I managed to eat--I always manage to eat. But I slept way too much and ran a low grade fever yesterday and pretty much moped and pined a lot. Today I celebrated my newfound appetite by taking Adam to Handel's, our local premium ice cream place. I cannot tell you how good a chocolate shake tastes when you've been minorly miserable for a few days.

Which leads me to wonder how anyone who has had morning sickness ever brings themselves to get pregnant a second time. I don't know that my nausea was like morning sickness, but how different could it be? I felt queasy. I found that television is saturated with images of people eating. The only thing I will say is that there doesn't seem to be any foods or food smells that trigger nausea, so while my sister was making spaghetti sauce, I was in the strange position of being really hungry and sick at the same time.

I now have two anti-nausea medications--my beloved ativan and compazine. Compazine, while primarily given for nausea is also occasionally given for schizophrenia. What is the link between nausea and mental illness?

21 Comments:

Anonymous Adrienne said...

Speaking as someone who is currently pregnant for the second time, my only defense is that you forget what the morning (or, more accurately, 24-hours-a-day) sickness is really like. You also forget about all of the other indignities that being knocked-up imposes on you. The difference may be that you know that it will pass, unlike cancer, which has a less defined end date.

And, for me anyway, your nausea sounds a lot like mine, but mine was also triggered by smells.

IIRC -- Compazine isn't given as a treatment for the schizophrenia as much as presecribed as a treatment for the nausea induced by certain other treatments for schizophrenia.

February 28, 2005 3:52 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Adrienne, I'm sure that the end result of pregnancy helps (you get a baby, whereas I get the absence of disease.) But I'm almost sad to hear that there is no connection between nausea and mental illness. It's seemed very Sartean.

March 01, 2005 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

The end result of pregnancy does help -- but not immedIately because those first few months with a new baby are brutal. Sometimes you wonder (or I did, at least) if all of the physical abuse was worth the end result. Then, it got better. Then, a little better -- enough so that a new one seems like a good idea, even with the knowledge that those first few months will be punishing.

Still, tho, I'd think that being free from a potentially fatal disease would be just as great as a new baby. Of course, I've just experienced the one and not the other, so I may be talking out of my, um, hat.

I know -- the lack of a Compazine connection really sucks the poetry right out. But, given all of the other Sartean aspects of mental illness, I think it is still a rich field to mine.

March 01, 2005 12:42 PM  
Blogger Responsible Artist said...

For what it's worth, I never forgot the nausea. I never forgot the pain. Or the smells. I never forgot nipples made sore by teething babies. I have to be careful now not to make my children feel guilty for the suffering they caused me.


Because I never forgot that horrible drive across Texas in the heat of August -- how our car didn't have air conditioning, how we had to leave the windows open or die -- how, when we got to Stockton, we were too tired to go on, even though it smelled like overheated cows and boiling pastures, how the hotel didn't have air conditioning and we had to keep the windows open, how sick I felt and how I didn't know that any of the sickness could be pinned on pregnancy.

And that was only the first trimester. My pegnancies followed 7- point plot outlines. Key words: things got worse.

The reasons I had Baby Two are not rational and can't be explained by saying I forgot.

March 01, 2005 7:01 PM  
Blogger Responsible Artist said...

For what it's worth, I never forgot the nausea. I never forgot the pain. Or the smells. I never forgot nipples made sore by teething babies. I have to be careful now not to make my children feel guilty for the suffering they caused me.


Because I never forgot that horrible drive across Texas in the heat of August -- how our car didn't have air conditioning, how we had to leave the windows open or die -- how, when we got to Stockton, we were too tired to go on, even though it smelled like overheated cows and boiling pastures, how the hotel didn't have air conditioning and we had to keep the windows open, how sick I felt and how I didn't know that any of the sickness could be pinned on pregnancy.

And that was only the first trimester. My pegnancies followed 7- point plot outlines. Key words: things got worse.

The reasons I had Baby Two are not rational and can't be explained by saying I forgot.

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