Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's Been Going On With Me Lately, Part 2

Yesterday, I told you about all of this. Today, we continue.

My husband and I were planning to drop Infant off at Grandma's and go see the horse for a quick visit as a practice run for future babysitting. I'd had some heartburn late in my pregnancy, and I was starting to feel something coming on. I took some Mylanta right before we walked out the door. By the time I got into our car, I knew something was terribly wrong.

Later, my husband said the only other time he had ever seen me in so much pain was during labor. I don't much remember the ride to my mom's house, feeling like my stomach was going to burst open inside me, nor do I remember getting there and getting out of the car. I do remember my husband calling 911, and I got my second ambulance ride of the year.

The pain subsided a bit by the time the ambulance got to the ER, but the docs ran all the tests they could anyway, and told me I had gallstones. On top of that, my liver enzymes were elevated, which they wanted me to keep an eye on. They sent me home without much fanfare except a recommendation to see a surgeon about having my gallbladder taken out. I assumed life would continue on as normal, and prepared accordingly.

I rescheduled with my mom to try again the next evening. Just before we left the house, I started to get a migraine.

You might see where this is going. Sadly, you're right.

About an hour after we got there, I began vomiting every 5-10 minutes. I'm still not certain if it was from the headache, or the gallbladder, but back to the ER we went (by car this time). There, they gave me the most awful drugs for the migraine. They made my headache feel better, and they stopped the vomiting, but they made me so agitated that if I could have crawled out of my own skin I would have. If I hadn't been chained to an IV I likely would have gotten up and walked out.

However, when the doctor came back with my blood test results, the news was bad. He said my liver enzymes were even more elevated, and I didn't have a choice: they were admitting me to the hospital.

I spent three days away from my four-week-old son, strapped to IV antibiotics and fluids. The agitation didn't go away, likely because no new mother wants to be away from her baby. The first day, I didn't get to eat at all. The second day, they let me have a liquid diet. My going-home test on the third day was eating solid food. I passed, thank goodness, because I would have torn my hair out if I'd had to stay any longer.

My roommate was this poor woman who had already had her gallbladder out and came in with uncontrollable vomiting. They thought she had some stones still forming, and I promptly wished I hadn't heard that. I didn't want to know that I could go through the surgery and STILL have terrible pain.

My husband brought my baby to visit each evening, but the time between those visits was spent crying and trying to keep myself together (and obviously failing) in my hospital room. On top of that, my IV kept failing, and each time they redid it came with at least three botched attempts at placing a new one. This, on top of other issues, meant that by the end of that three days, I was completely done with the hospital.

This time when they let me go, it was with the caveat that surgery was no longer optional. I had an appointment with a surgeon a few days later, and surgery scheduled for a couple weeks out. All was going well, except I had to stick to a low fat diet.

Apparently, even that wasn't good enough, because five days before my surgery, I had another attack and went back to the ER. They gave me pain meds and told me that I had two choices: I could keep my scheduled surgery date and go home to wait, or I could be re-admitted to the hospital and take the next available surgery, which likely still would be a few days away. I opted to go home.

The day of my surgery arrived. I nervously said goodbye to my animals, baby, and husband, and went with my mom to the hospital. The nurses still had to try three times to get an IV in, but thankfully they managed. The anesthesiologist was a very literal man who told me, when I informed him I'd had some episodes of low blood pressure and thought I'd woken up the last time I'd been put under to have my tooth extracted, that those factors "increased the possibility of interoperative recall", and I quote. Charming, lovely man.

They had me walk into the OR and sit on the operating table after making it as physically uncomfortable as they possibly could. I had also told the anesthesiologist that I might panic when they tried to put me under, which probably explains why he didn't tell me when he was putting me under. Charming, lovely man. But he kept me alive, so I'm grateful.

The surgery went "well", according to the nurse who was there when I woke up. She said I'd been in my recovery room for two hours. All I remembered was her asking if I was in pain, me saying yes, her pumping more drugs into my IV, me still being in pain, repeat ad nauseum. Finally she gave me some oral drugs and took me out to see my husband.

I was still in incredible pain, but somehow we managed to get home. Everything should have been fine, except, well, it's me. Cue another ER trip the day after my surgery and an urgent care appointment a few days following. Sigh.

The short end of the story?

I'm mostly okay now. Definitely still healing. Still in pain, but I only spent a few days on the narcotic meds. I'm sad that my husband has basically raised my baby by himself for the last month, but so, so glad to have a partner in life who is willing to do so, without complaint.

I'm grateful to my family for their support.

I'm pissed at my body for its apparent rebellion, and frankly, as a recently-pregnant woman, I'm pissed at how little I can eat.

I'm scared I might come out of this with yet another painful, chronic condition.

I'm so happy to see my baby's face every day, even if I can't pick him up yet.

I'm excited to see what the future holds, and it's coming up on fall, my favorite season.

Fingers crossed.


  1. You poor thing! I couldn't stop reading parts 1 and 2... it was like passing a car wreck on the highway. As a father of three, I tip my hat to your husband for taking care of the little one while you were (involuntarily) out of commission. I'm sure that was hard on both of you.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    1. Thanks, Dan! He has basically been a superhero. Here's to awesome dads :)

  2. Oh no! Just caught up on your blog and what's been going on with you lately. Sending good healthy thoughts your way!