Saturday, December 19, 2015

ER Conundrum


This has been quite the medically filled week! I feel like I have been to a doctor office of one sort or another every day this week. Mostly we were there for Beth, trying to figure out this month long diarrhea thing she has been so patiently dealing with. But yesterday, it was for me.

I woke up at 7:00. A child was making noises in the kitchen, which usually means a gigantic mess is being made, or they are having something like marshmallows for breakfast. I got up, and it was Keith, pouring cereal for breakfast. I helped him with the milk, and then went back to my room so I could get dressed and ready for the day. Except I only made it as far as my bed.

Agonizing pain hit right then. Pain in my stomach. And when I say stomach, I mean my stomach. Not the intestines, not the colon area, but the stomach. Except being 6 months pregnant, all of my organs are squished out of place so who knows if it was actually my stomach or not. But the pain! Excruciating beyond all belief. Like food poisoning magnified to the nth degree, or... I can't think of anything more painful that I can relate it to. But it left me in a mangled heap on my bed. And it came in waves, much like contractions do. It came, lasted for about thirty seconds and then went away, only to repeat every 5-10 minutes. I texted my midwife to ask her about it, and she suggested I eat something as stomach spasms can sometimes happen in the morning when there hasn't been any food in the stomach for a while. I ate a small bowl of cereal, and then waited.

It didn't help. The pain kept coming. Every time I changed positions it would hit again. And sometimes when I was holding perfectly still, it would come anyway. I texted Christy (my wonderful midwife) again, and she said to come in, she would squeeze me in. So, Jeffrey took the kids to school and I struggled into some clothes, and we left. Poor Jeffrey was so worried. I couldn't drive because of the pain, and he wouldn't have been able to work anyway, he was so worried. Of course, we had Beth with us, because this was all so sudden and such a rush. We got there, and Christy checked everything with the baby. He is wonderfully healthy and fine. I had been feeling him moving the whole time, so I wasn't worried about him, and although the pains came much like labor pains do, I wasn't worried about being in labor because the pain was far too high in my abdomen for it to even slightly possibly be labor pains. During the check, I was in tears from the pain. Jeffrey asked if it felt like labor, but honestly, you can't compare the two. Labor pain is a lot of pressure and a dull achy (but intense) pain. These were sharp twisting drop-you-to-the-floor-in-one-shot kind of pains. Christy tried to see other parts of my innards to see if there was any sort of obstruction of blockage, but she truthfully told me she didn't really know how to decipher what she was seeing. She is VERY good at the baby stuff, but the rest of the body is a bit more difficult for her. Especially when trying to figure it out on a ultrasound. After another wave hit me, she strongly suggested we head over to the ER as "you look like you are dying here!" she informed me. She told us the ER docs would try to send us up to Labor and Delivery, but to not let them. She had done several tests to see if I was in labor, and they have a 99% accuracy, and they all came back negative.

And so, we headed to the ER for the second time in my life. I had been trying to avoid going to the ER, but it didn't look like I had many other options. Sigh.

We got there, and the admissions girl asked if there was any chance I was pregnant. I looked at my obviously protruding belly, and then looked at her. "Um, yes. I am 27 weeks." I informed her. Without bothering to look up at me, she said "You need to go to Labor and Delivery. Standard procedure." With a great big sigh, Jeffrey and I explained I had just come from my doctor, and she had done all of the necessary checks. The baby is fine. I am not in labor. I need to be seen for something else, and we have no idea what it is! She finally looked up at me and remembered that Christy had called her to let her know we were on our way. Christy's office is right next to the hospital so it took us less than 5 minutes to get there, so I was surprised that she hadn't realized it when we walked in, but what can you do. Procedure runs deep in her veins, I guess. She admitted us, we went into a room, and there proceeded to have the exact conversation with every medical professional that came by. The nurse tried to send us to L&D. The doctor tried to send us up there. The ultrasound tech tried to send us up there. It was a bit ridiculous. Especially since we explained that I have my babies without any medication, so I know the difference between labor pains and stomach cramps! After taking lots of blood, and ultrasounding all around my middle and sides, they concluded they couldn't see anything. Granted, the doctor admitted, it is hard to see behind the baby, and my organs are all squished and out of place, so it is difficult to see them anyway, but from what they could see, there was no indication of the cause for my pain. They could see I was in miserable pain, but they couldn't figure out why. The doctor said the next step would be to have a CAT scan, but that isn't exactly safe for pregnancy. It exposes both me and the baby to high amounts of radiation. He also offered me some narcotics to control the pain, but acknowledged that any of the medication they would be giving me is a Class C medication, which means it has been linked to causing problems with the baby. Not proven to, and not in all cases, but there is a significant risk. Since I don't handle narcotics well anyway, I turned him down. I can deal with a bit of pain to keep this little one safe! And so, he sent me home. He said there wasn't anything he could do, and if it got worse, or was still here today, to go back in and they would do the CAT scan.

From this, we learned that pregnant women scare ER doctors. Ha! I figure it is because there is so much uncertainty with babies, and it is just easier to shuffle them off to L&D than to deal with it, but still, this is their profession! Silly doctors.

Meanwhile, my cousin took the kids to school. Even though she lives in a different city, Adrienne picked Faye up from school and kept her at her house until we could retrieve her. I felt so blessed and loved by the many people in my life who are willing to help me if I need it! I know there are many more people who would have stepped in to help had they known I was in need. We got home in time for Keith to be home from school. Jeffrey went to the store, taking Beth with him to grab a prescription the doctor had given me in hopes it would help, and I just lay in bed, trading off between writhing around and crying from the pain. I was pitiful to behold, I am sure! Jeffrey picked up Faye, and then took all the kids with him to his parent's house, and then he went back to work.

The pain came less frequently and slightly less intense, but I learned it hit whenever I moved. Whenever! So I lay in bed, too exhausted to read (which I really wanted to do!) and resolved on Netflixing my comfort show. Doctor Who. Jeffrey called me around 5 to see how I was doing. He had a work party last night, and I knew he really wanted to go, but would stay home if I asked him to. It was at a Chinese restaurant, which is his favorite food, and my least desired food on the planet, and they had changed the time, specifically so he could make it. So, I did what any good wife would do.

I lied.

I told him I was feeling much better and that I would be ready in time to go. I dragged myself to the bathroom and began the arduous process of getting ready, with plenty of time in between to pause for the wave of agony to hit. He got home, we rushed off to the work party, and while it was sometimes difficult to sit still and not betray what I was actually feeling, we made it through.

And I went home and went to bed.

I am happy to report the pain is much more mild, and less frequent. Although it can still stop me in my tracks, it doesn't leave me gasping for air, or nearly sobbing. I have to pause, bend over, and concentrate to get through it. But then it passes. What a wonderful blessing it isn't constant! If anything touches my belly area, it hurts, like getting punched in the gut, and using my abs is difficult now, but I think that is because of all the wrenching and twisting my stomach was doing yesterday.

And so, I have to spend the day in bed today. I had such great plans for the day, but I don't think I will get to do many of them. There is a family party, and I wanted to do the last of our Christmas shopping since Jeffrey will be home. It looks like I will be doing all of that next week, though. Happily, Keith and I still have our date. We will be watching the Holy War (BYU vs UofU football) this afternoon. We have been looking forward to this for a long time, and I am excited that it is something I can do from the comfort of not moving out of bed.

Here's to hoping I will be miraculously healed tomorrow so I can go to church, and go back to being the mom of the house instead of an invalid patient. But really I have the most supportive, best family ever! While I was trying to sleep some of the pain off yesterday, Keith made a sign to go on the door. It made my heart smile when I saw it. He is a dear, that one! Jeffrey has been amazing with his positivity and taking care of the house and the kids. It is nice to know that even on days when I have to completely shut down, things can still be taken care of!

This, I must say, is the greatest Christmas gift of all!

5 comments:

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness girl!! I have had this pain! With the first 3 pregnancies! My Dr passed it off as round ligament pain, but it was horrid! I'm so sorry. And I definitely would have taken Beth and helped with Faye. Hugs!

Gina said...

So sorry you've been in agony! And we will miss you at the party!

Gina said...

So sorry you've been in agony! And we will miss you at the party!

*Jess* said...

oh my goodness, that sounds awful!! I have an intestinal disorder and what you describe actually sounds like a blockage! I really hope you continue to improve!

Susan Anderson said...

I am so, so sorry! And I am sending prayers your way, starting now!

<3