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please help pregnancy sickness and conference presentation

(2 Posts)
mishmash13 Fri 10-May-13 11:38:44


I am in a bit of a predicament and feeling really stressed out about what to do. I've basically lost all perspective on this and desperate for a reasonable opinion I hope someone can help! I am about 11 weeks pregnant and have had severe morning sickness for the past 5 weeks. It's been really exhausting and have had days and days of throwing up or feeling intense nausea. I have to keep reminding myself that I haven't got a chronic illness it feels that awful. I am doing a PhD and I've been off sick but did attempt to go into the office on one day as I thought I might be able to manage. That did not go well and I was sick for the entire night afterwards and I think it was just the effort of being out of bed and moving around. Basically I only feel like I can keep anything down if I am resting and after a couple of days in bed I am finally feeling a little bit better.

I am scheduled to present at a conference next week. It's a really big one in the field and I feel like it's important for the work to be represented. I can't find anyone to cover me as my PhD supervisors are both busy and I just don't know how on earth I am going to be able to get through it. I am feeling pressure not to cancel it although this is my gut instinct. I am terrified of being sick at the podium or just not being able to think straight at the questions point. 5 weeks of sickness has taken it's toll and I basically look really wretched so that's putting me off as well. I just don't know what to do as I don't feel like it's acceptable to pull out of this and I know it will not look at all good to my supervisors. I find presentations pretty stressful anyway so I think the anxiety about whether I will be able to pull this off or not is probably making it worse. I have cyclizine to take but I find they just put me into a bit of a trance so I won't be able to think straight on them. Can anyone offer any advice? Is it acceptable to pull out of these things or am I going to be blacklisted by the academic community!? Is it worth just going and risking the relapse in vomiting? Sorry to waffle! Any help appreciated, I haven't really told many people about the pregnancy as waiting for the first scan so feel very alone in this.

rootypig Fri 10-May-13 11:47:57

OP, sympathies. Pregnancy nausea is awful and I'm not surprised you can't think straight. I basically took to my bed with mine!

Am not an academic but didn't want to read and run. My thoughts -

When is your first scan? How is your relationship with your supervisor/s, would you feel comfortable talking to them about the pregnancy now? If so, I'm sure that they will be empathetic.

It sounds as though you either need to cancel - and I highly doubt you'll be blacklisted, these things happen, you can say that you're not well (and that is true!) - or you could perhaps work out how to present with far less pressure - there may be someone else in your programme who can collaborate, or you could devise quite a structured set of slides...?

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