Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Filling in the Details

Mom is great, and I am very grateful for her getting that last post up for me, but we all know that she is not a detail/chatty/blogging kind of person. And today's bed-rest is happening at a friend's house, with internet access :) So I thought I would flesh things out a little for you all.

It's been a little over 2 weeks since the Saturday I started feeling a little uncomfortable in the late afternoon. I didn't think much of it at the time; uncomfortable comes with the territory when you are 3rd trimester pregnant. I thought it was gas or something, and tried to ignore it. It was around 7:30 or 8 when my left side started to hurt. Still thinking it was gas, I took some Tums and tried to change positions so things could calm down in there. By 8:30 I was in some serious pain, changing positions didn't help a thing, and I was beginning to realize that the pain got worse in waves, suspiciously like contractions. I told Herme to call the Dr, and in a matter of minutes we were on the way to her office.

By the time we got there, I was in so much pain that someone found me a wheelchair and they wheeled me in. The Dr was a little shocked by how severe it seemed when she saw me, like we hadn't explained to her just how bad it was. But I told her it hadn't been that bad, it was all happening very quickly and suddenly. She started examining me, quickly concluded that the contractions were not the primary issue, but rather had been provoked by the pain of whatever the real issue was (although obviously they were concerning, nonetheless). She checked the baby with her ultrasound and did a quick internal examine to make sure labor wasn't imminent, and then sent us off to the hospital.

Since we don't even have the government medical insurance right now, she first sent us to a government run hospital that accepts people without insurance. Her husband actually drove us over, because it was obvious that between worrying about me and having Katya still on his hands, Herme probably wasn't in much shape for driving. They ignored me for a good 10 minutes or so after I arrived in the maternity ward (I was sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway), then quickly examined me and apparently only paid attention to the early labor signs. By this time my in-laws had arrived for Katya and Herme made it up to where I was. They told him they could admit me, but that there was a good chance the baby was coming early and they didn't have any incubators free. So back out we went, and my in-laws drove us back over to the good private hospital in town (which happens to be where we started, cuz that's where the Dr's office is).

Our Dr met us at the hospital and now things got moving, much to my relief. Besides being in so much pain (let me just explain that I handled labor without hardly a peep, but many have described me as screaming/crying out in pain throughout this situation), I was frustrated at how long it was taking for someone to do something about the contractions. I was 28 weeks 5 days pregnant, and although I'd been told the baby was quite big for his age, that is still very early for him to be coming out.

They gave me anti-contraction meds and as much pain meds as they could give a pregnant woman, and started trying to figure out what the actual problem was. They were leaning towards kidney stones, but the ultrasound they did that night didn't show them anything. By this time it was after 1am, so they tried to give me enough meds to make me comfortable for the night, told me to get some rest, and we'd start again first thing in the morning.

Without giving a hour by hour play by play, the pain meds only sometimes helped, and then only partially. By 9 or 10 the next morning they weren't helping at all, and off we went for another ultrasound. They searched all up and down my left side without seeing anything useful, then took one x-ray in hopes of getting something that would help them. At this point the pain had moved down, which fit a kidney stone theory, and they saw some evidence on the x-ray that also pointed in that direction. So around noon they gave me an epidural and went up the ureather with a camera. They didn't find an actual stone, but they cleaned out all kinds of sediment and junk, and we all thought that would be the end of it.

But a few hours later the epidural wore off and I was in just as much pain as I ever had been in. Now the Dr started talking about surgery. They didn't actually know that the problem was, but they needed to find out what was causing me so much pain. Being pregnant was complicating things, because they couldn't run the full battery of tests, and those they could do (i.e. ultrasound) were limited by the position of the baby. They got some blood/urine test results back that showed high white blood cell counts, which suggested something being swollen. The surgical consult suggested going in with a camera first to see what they could find, then only opening me if truly necessary. So off I went to the operating room a 2nd time at about 6pm.

They discovered I have endometriosis (something that had been a question almost 15 years ago, but since it can only be diagnosed by surgery or these days with a camera, I never had an official diagnosis), which is the probable cause of the large ovarian cyst they found on the left side. Ovaries are usually the size of a walnut, but this one was now 4.3 in x 3in x 3in and weighed a little over 13oz. They had to open me up and take it out.

I must say that waking up from general anesthesia was one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced, especially since I somehow didn't realize ahead of time that they were going to put me out like that.

Things greatly improved after that...the only real pain being that of recovery from being opened up. However, contractions continued. This was complicated by the fac that I am apparently very sensitive to the anti-contraction medication (heart rate changes, blood pressure drops, etc). Thus the need for bed rest. The contractions seem to be calming down little by little as everything heals up, so at this point 16 days post-surgery, I am starting to hope that bed rest is not going to be necessary the whole rest of the pregnancy. But I obviously have lost a lot of strength and will need to be extra careful for the remainder of the pregnancy, which makes housekeeping and toddler care a bit tricky.

Oh, the cyst was definitely benign, that much we know from the pathology report. But unfortunately, our Dr was in a car accident shortly after the operation, so we have not had the rest of the report explained to us, and have not been able to ask about the extent of endometriosis (all we know is that the remaining ovary is covered in endometrial tissue). Today we found out she won't be back in the office until September. We'll probably head back the Dr that attended us with Katya, so that someone we trust is keeping an eye on things (we only didn't go back to him this time because he is now kind of far from us). Since there is info only the Dr who has been with us can give us, since she saw my insides and all, I don't know if our old Dr will be able to get the scoop for us from the other Dr or if we'll have to go back at some point.

I think that pretty much covers the whole story up till now. Hopefully I didn't get too carried away with this post; I promise I actually left lots of details out. But this post was as much for my good as it was for your reading pleasure :/

I think the one other detail you all might like to know is that the baby has been moving a lot all along, so that's a good sign.

Thank you so much to all who have been praying or have called, etc. It is much appreciated. I'll try to get on again soon after we've seen the Dr.

3 comments:

OTRgirl said...

Thank you SO much for putting up the details. I've been worried for you and the baby. I'm so glad that it ended up working out and that everything and everyone seem to be on the mend.

Praise God (and good doctors)! How badly are you going to be impacted financially from all this? Is there any way to get money to you?

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