Hyperemesis Gravidarum is morning sickness so severe that most cases require hospitalisation. Some have broken ribs and detached retinas they have vomited so violently. One in seven sufferers have terminated a pregnancy due to the condition.
So when someone says they’re suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, they’re really suffering. That’s why one woman posted to UK website Mumsnet wondering if she’d caught her colleague faking the condition while on paid sick leave.
“One of my team at work is 14 weeks pregnant,” the user wrote. “She’s been off sick for 5 weeks with severe hyperemesis and still has a week left on her sick note. By complete coincidence she is Facebook friends with a friend of mine.”
The user noticed that her coworker was recently featured in some of her friend’s photos from a Greek holiday – sunbathing, eating, swimming and playing volleyball.
“I’m gonna sound like a complete cow but I think she’s faking her sickness. She’s on full pay from work and we’re having to pay an agency temp to cover her work too. It’s a small company that is struggling and I doubt we’re going to make any profit this month due to this.”
Her main issue? Should she tell their boss.
The response was divided.
“I had hyperemesis…” one responder recalled. “Getting on a flight? Volleyball? I couldn’t get out of bed without being sick. I went down to six and a half stone and had to have iron injections.”
“It was diagnosed when I ended up in hospital on a drip,” another sufferer wrote. “I couldn’t move without vomiting. I have never felt so ill in my life it was awful. I missed a friends wedding as there’s no way I could have gone. I will say that it did magically clear up overnight at 14 weeks. It was so bizarre but just went away. So it’s possible she’s feeling better. After 14 weeks you’d never have known I was that ill.”
“This is really difficult,” another commenter wrote. “Maybe she has had weeks of only being able to lie in bed/run to the loo, and now she's feeling better and is recharging before coming back to work… Or she could be taking the piss.”
“Take screenshots and show the boss,” one wrote. “People doing things like this are a big part of the reason why sick pay is s–t and women’s pregnancy symptoms are doubted, in my opinion. It’s her own fault.”
Another suggested that when she gets back, ask about the holiday in front of everyone else.
It seems there's no simple answer to this one.
What do you think she should do? Sound off in the Facebook comments...