Monday, November 16, 2009

An open letter to my nausea

Dear nausea,

I hate you.

Please understand -- this is not the immature, fifteen-year-old "I hate you" utterance that erupts when teenagers decide their parents are evil. This is not the ironic "I hate you" that you say when your best friend tells you she's lost 15 pounds. This is not even the more heartfelt "I hate you" that drivers mutter to the idiots who are inching along in traffic ahead of them -- the ones who keep slamming on their brakes for no apparent reason. See, none of those are really sincere. Those utterings are either regretted later or just not said with enough personal knowledge and history to be taken seriously.

Hear me when I tell you -- I mean it. I know you well. We have lots of history. And I'm very sincere.

You probably aren't taking me seriously. You're figuring it's a pregnancy-induced fit of rage, one fueled by a few months of daily intimacy with you. I'll admit that the last three months have brought things to a head, but the truth is, I've known you all my life. Any time my body or emotions were the least bit out of balance, you would show up. Bad migraine? Pukey. Fever? Nauseous. Ate too much? Gack. Worried about the SAT tomorrow morning? FACE IN TOILET. You have been an unwelcome part of my life for far too long, and I am determined to speak my mind once and for all.

I'm tired of you. You're the reason my 21-month-old watches more TV than I ever thought I'd let him watch -- because some days, the only 30 minutes I am free of you are the ones during which I lay in bed after we wake up and I let him watch "Curious George" or "Sid the Science Kid" on PBS. If I can manage to turn the TV and cable on, and get to the right channel, all while remaining perfectly flat, I can sometimes delay the inevitable dash to the toilet by a few precious moments. You're the reason that same amazing kid has learned to plead with me, "Mom play!" -- because some days I'm so listless from a morning spent with you that all I can muster is the energy required to recline on the couch in the playroom, WATCHING him maneuver his trains around the train table rather than helping him do it. You're the reason my neighbors think I'm a recluse -- because I'm afraid to talk to them for fear of retching in the middle of our conversations on the sidewalks in front of our homes. You're the reason my husband has to juggle not only his 60-hour-a-week job, but also more than his share of the household maintenance, along with the parenting we both want and expect him to do. You're the reason my mom sometimes sadly hangs up the phone after talking to me, because I can't scrape together the enthusiasm to chat the way we always have. You know, LIKE A NORMAL ADULT. You're the reason I had to bypass the dinner I'd made for myself tonight -- wheat pasta with red sauce -- AND the dinner my husband kindly made me -- my favorite frozen pizza, baked and sliced and arranged invitingly on a plate -- for a honey bun and two Oreos. You're the reason that some evenings, I cry. Because I'm tired of hanging out with you. Tired of greeting you every morning and trudging with you through the day and laying down with you at night. Tired of pushing through and past you to do the things I should be able to do, the things I want to do, or at least a passable fraction of those things, like run around with my son. Or shower AND brush my teeth on the same day.

You drain me of almost everything that makes me feel like me.

So, eff you, nausea. (The only reason I'm not using the word I'm screaming in my head is because my mother reads this blog.) Eff you and your stupid, omnipresent self. I want you to leave. I never want to see you again. The only reason I've put up with you this long is because I want this baby so badly, and if you have to come along for the ride, then I'll deal. But you know what? I'm in my second trimester now. I'm done with you. There's no more reason for you to hang around. So shove it. Hard.

And take your stinky ginger ale with you. Never effing worked, anyway.


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