This blog is based on an Instagram Live that Kimber McGibbon, RN and Co-founder of the HER Foundation, did on December 20, 2020. Festive times for others can be the most difficult times for an HG moms. Here are our suggestions to help survive holidays and other celebratory events.
Holiday Mindset: “Tis the season for acceptance”
– Focus on what you have, what you’re grateful to have in your life now and what the next year will bring
– “Forgive loved ones for not being there when you need them” or for understanding HG
– Teach your children to give opposed to take. “According to a study conducted by Fidelity Charitable, 48% of those who grew up with strong giving traditions are very happy today, versus 33% who did not grow up with strong giving traditions.” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemorad/2018/11/29/charitable-children-make-for-happier-adults/“)
If you are going to someone’s house:
– Have a plan of action before you go. For example, if you can handle a couple hours around other people before your body shuts down, then plan for 2 hours opposed to a night of socializing. Make this clear ahead of time to your hosts.
– Let your hosts know ahead of time that you have a difficult time around smells and food and not to take it personally. Having HG is also having the super sensory smelling powers of a Bloodhound dog.
– Bring your own dietary supplies. If you have something that’ll stay down, bring it!
– If you can drive, take two cars so you can leave at any time.
– Ask ahead of time if there’s a bedroom where you can lay down if you’re not feeling well…away from kitchen, with a fan if needed.
– Ask someone to prepare a safe food if you feel you can sit with everyone for a bit. Or consider sitting with everyone during dessert if savory foods are less triggering. We know desserts sometimes stay down better than meals.
– Bring Febreze or essential oils in a diffuser.
If you have to host:
– “Cooking assignments”: assignment a dish to each person or family that will be coming to your event. Let them know they can use your kitchen, and that you will not be able to be in the kitchen with them
– Hire someone to clean for you ahead of time, and make sure family knows they need to leave the kitchen clean.
– Ask them to enjoy time with any children in attendance to help relieve you from entertaining or watching them,.
– Let the guests know you may have to excuse yourself as food smells can overwhelm the pg nose.
Medication and other ideas:
– Talk to your doctor or midwife ahead of time to have extra medications ready to go if needed
– Serotonin medications like ondansetron or granisetron may be dose dependent so that increasing your daily total may offer more support, being sure to stay within in a safe dosing range. They also may reduce sensory sensitivity so may help you be triggered less. Be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before increasing any medications!
– Try out meds before and know the side-effects so you can be prepared to take as much as you need to cope.
– Know your food triggers and avoid them.
– Plan ahead for avoiding as many triggers as possible, and let those around you know about hem. Ask for their help and support. Letting friends and family know this is medically necessary and not a preference is important.
– Ask for a Sancusco patch from your doctor if nothing else is working for you. Be sure to stop ondansetron prior to starting the patch.
– Be confident saying “No”. Know your limits and know that this year (especially this year!) it’s OK to stay home and not socialize.
– Plan for a few recovery days afterward.
To counter rude comments:
– Have the HG facts and statistics (how long HG lasts, genetic connection…) sheet available to counter negative comments like: you’re over reacting, being dramatic, it’s in your head, just think positively and you’ll feel better, you shouldn’t still feel sick… Sometimes having the fact sheet available helps friends and family understand this is a diagnosed medication condition.
– Show them HG app results.
* If you have any suggestions to add to this list, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
* If you successfully survived to the holidays, send your success story to either myself or the HER Foundation at this site or on any of our social media pages:
While others celebrate the holidays and special occasions, HG moms celebrate making through another day. Appreciate this achievement!
Danielle, your HG Pharmacist