Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pt. 5 My 2nd pregnancy, horror story with a happy ending.

As I left off in the last post, at age 34 I realized that if I was going to have another child, I'd better do it. I had kept waiting for this 'thing' that had taken over my body to go away but it didn't, so it was time to stop letting it dictate my life.  Maybe it would have been a good idea to go through the guaifenesin protocol before getting pregnant but it didn't happen that way.  Also, I had no idea that I would go through this hell that I did with this pregnancy and that the doctors would pump me so full of drugs. Drugs that they said were relatively safe on the physical formation of the fetus but after giving birth I found out from my ob/gyn that they knew almost NOTHING on how any of these drugs could mentally affect the brain or  do any damage to the baby!!!!

So in March of 2003 I got pregnant again. The first 2 weeks were ok. Then I had some fish at a family gathering and I woke up the next morning feeling like death. This lead to constant visits to the ER... I was nauseous and my stomach was in excruciating pain. I wish soooo soooo much that I had just insisted that they give me some antibiotics then so I didn't go through months of agony, and more importantly wasn't given so many drugs that may have affected my child.  Every time I went to the ER, they injected me with morphine, zofran and many other drugs. I insisted on an endoscopy, thinking like my last pregnancy, I may have h. pylori. Unfortunately, I was hooked up with a very unsympathetic doctor who was I guess too busy to even have a consultation with me prior to the procedure. I was scheduled for the endoscopy and the h. pylori test was negative. The doctor wasn't willing to even sit down with me to discuss anything after the procedure either.  I know, I think many people just become doctors for either the prestige or the money and nothing else.

I  was pretty much in the ER every other day. I had extreme pain and morning sickness 24/7 by the end of my 2nd month, I could not eat or drink much. My doctor got so concerned with my weight loss (I had lost about 15lb and I was under 100lbs now), he suggested a picc line be put in my arm- a long catheter inserted into a vein in my arm that went all the way to the top of my heart and provided nutrition.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peripherally_inserted_central_catheter)

The insertion did not go well (of course.) The tech who was trying to insert the picc line spent over an hour putting me through hell while I was already in excruciating pain and nauseous too. The vein kept 'running away' from the needle  and in the end he was exhausted and had made a major hole in my arm without putting the catheter in. They had to make an appointment for it to be done in the OR. Now for some reason they gave me fentanyl  (again, no idea of any neg effects on the baby) All that did was make me loopy and talk way too much during the procedure. Other than that, I felt the pain and was very aware that they put this thick painful tube in my arm and pushed it all the way to my heart.
So the picc line was in and every few  days a nurse would come home and deliver new bags of liquid nutrition (that smelled nasty) and clean and check the line and added anti nausea meds to it (Zofran). Yes I had to walk around with the bag of liquid ... but since I was sooo ill, I just went from one room to another or to the ER and nowhere else anyway.

I still went to the ER, yes. The picc line was delivering nutrients but the extreme stomach pain and nausea were still there 24/7. Now the thing at the ER is, if anyone who's ever been there noticed, that the nurses do not put gloves on to keep you safe and sanitary. They do it only for themselves. The ER is THE place to go if you want to get some weird illness. The nurse would put gloves on his or her hands then touch everything around the room (including places you knew didn't get cleaned very often, if ever) then they would touch me!!!!!!!! I know I should protest, my life and health is on the line, but I could never muster up the courage to tell them; "Please put on new gloves before you touch me."
So of course 3 weeks into the picc line, I got really sick (or should I say sicker?) I felt feverish and at first didn't want to go back to the ER. But then I gave in. Good thing I did, if I had waited any longer, I probably would be dead.

So at the ER, they saw that I had some kind of infection going on. They assumed it was a bladder infection, even though I told them I had no symptoms of that. Since I was pregnant, they told me that they weren't equipped to deal with having to admit me if needed so we had to drive 15 miles to another hospital that was (in the condition I was in that seemed like hours.)

Once there, they were  horrible in the ER. They told me that they had to extract urine through a catheter to see if I really had a bladder infection. I was in pain, with a high fever.  They held my arms and legs and yelled at me to be quiet as they forced in the catheter. After that torture, I pretty much passed out and a while later found that my blood had become infected due to the picc line.....(remember the nurses who touched everything then me?) And that if my condition had gone untreated for any longer the infection would reach my heart and kill me.

So, I was admitted into the maternity ward and an antibiotic i.v. was started. Things didn't get any easier. For some reason, my veins would not tolerate the i.v. and would burst . So the i.v would infiltrate and  my skin would swell up full of the i.v. fluid. They kept having to change to a different vein.

 After I had been there 4 days, they came to me and said that I wasn't even supposed to be in the maternity ward  because you were only allowed to stay there if you were in your 3rd trimester. I was in my 2nd. So they said they would move me to the surgery ward.  That isn't what happened though. I thought I was moved to the surgery   department. Later in the day that I was moved, I heard crying and moaning. They encouraged me to walk when I could during the day. The sight that hit me that day when I took a walk in the new department I was in made me shake and start crying.  Each room I passed had a very ill looking patient in it, many with their heads covered, many moaning in pain. I was in the cancer ward.
Now I was in pain, my arms were all swollen from the i.v. infiltration, I was depressed and worried. They had moved an ill, over emotional pregnant woman with her hormones all over the place to the most sad and depressing ward of the hospital. I went to my room and began to cry in earnest for myself and for all those people waiting to die in their rooms.

Now if this wasn't enough, my primary care doctor (not my ob) called my husband at that very  time that I was crying and told him that I should consider aborting the baby because it seemed like it was getting too dangerous for me. My husband didn't even stop to think about the emotional state I was in.... he hung up the phone and told me what the doctor had said. Wow, you should have seen me then. I just totally fell apart. This was my 4th day in the hospital and by now not only my arms were swollen but they had moved to the veins in my legs which the i.v. had also infiltrated. My arms and legs literally looked like that of a pigs, all swollen with liquid.  I started yelling at my husband "Why did you even repeat what that idiot said? My Ob didn't make such an assessment! I have gone through 4 months of sheer tortuous hell to now go abort this baby ???? No way!"

I wanted to go home so bad. The fever had broken and the stomach pain had miraculously  all but disappeared with the use of the antibiotics!!!!! I was depressed and a complete emotional mess. On the 5th day the nurse  came in  in the morning and saw that the last vein they could use on my legs was also infiltrated and had swollen up like a balloon. She said they had no choice but to use a vein in my neck next! Up 'till now I had not complained about anything but I said no to sticking needles in my neck. I couldn't take anymore of this. I asked if I could take the remaining antibiotics by mouth at home. She said no, I asked to speak to the doctor. So finally when the doctor came to see me, I broke down and told him what my primary had said about aborting, told him I couldn't believe they brought me to the cancer ward instead of surgery and told him I couldn't tolerate another needle especially in my neck. He agreed to send me home with oral antibiotics for the next 5 days. I was so outta there!

After the antibiotics, my nausea, and intense stomach pain were gone! I began to feel relatively human again. I had really bad back pain and the extreme loose joints from the relaxin hormone released during pregnancy, but that was nothing compared to what I'd been suffering before. I didn't know this back then but when you have fibromyalgia, pregnancy makes you even more loose and wobbly than a normal pregnant woman.  When I went into my 3rd trimester, the sciatica began (I had it with my first pregnancy at age 26 as well, even though I didn't really have fibro back then)

So, my Ob worked within a team of doctors. If I went into labor a night my doctor was not on call, another doctor would deliver my baby. I wanted Dr. Bearg. So he promised me since I had such a nightmare of a pregnancy, he would induce me on a night he was there and get me an epidural and make sure the delivery at least was a smooth one. No such luck for Sheri.

---I'm going to stop here for now. I think I've written a lot in this post and with much more detail than my last ones and bored some of you. Please come back in a few days to read the rest. Again, I would love any comments or input.


tamekaw said...

I am a 38 yr old mom of 3 and while my fibro battle has not been as fraught with pain and horrible doctors I have had my share of crazy. I look fwd to all your entries. You are informative and inspirational.

foggy said...

Thanks so much for reading and leaving your thoughts. I would love to hear your story too if you ever want to share. Keep reading :-)

Anonymous said...

I liked reading your entries. I've had my share of crazy docs and hospitals as a support person to my husband (renal failure). I agree about finding a hard time getting good medical care in southern California. We lived there for a year, it was hellish on my husband and he just got sicker and sicker. We moved back to MN, changed up all his meds and he got better quickly. I'm curious why, during your hospitalization, they didn't try putting in a new PICC or other semi permanent IV line if all of them were getting infiltrated? That is very poor quality of nursing care. Looking forward to reading more, thanks for sharing! Bernice

Lee @ Fibro Bloggers Directory said...

what an ordeal - i was in hospital lately and can really relate, came out like a pin cushion. please visit the featured fibro blogger This Is My Fibro: Who Me? and if you put the Fibro Bloggers badge on your site you get into blogs of note and can be the Featured Fibro Blogger