Thursday, March 1, 2012


After a wonderful c-section on Tuesday and a good day of recovery on Wednesday, I was feeling pretty good on Thursday when one of the doctors from my OB office came through. He told me I was doing great, and he asked if I wanted to be released from the hospital that day. Even though I felt good, I was still very tired, and since my mom wasn't getting into town until the next day, I decided to stay an extra day. The doctor mentioned that my blood pressure had been a little high, so an extra day to rest and watch my blood pressure at the hospital might be a good idea.
Later that afternoon, a tech came through to check my temperature and blood pressure (they check every four hours), and my blood pressure was 198/100. I thought for sure it was just a bad reading, but when she retook it, it was just as high. Because of my history of HELLP syndrome, the nurses were quite concerned. That evening, I developed a very bad headache that traveled across my head and down the back of my neck. Between the high blood pressure reading and the horrible headache, I was pretty sure that I was developing Preeclampsia or HELLP again.
During the night that night, I had more high blood pressure readings, and I had to have a fast-acting blood pressure medication pushed into my iv. On Friday morning, one of my doctors came through and increased my blood pressure medicine. My parents, sister, and brother-in-law arrived from South Carolina early that afternoon, and soon after their arrival, my nurse came in with the dreaded news that I had been diagnosed with Preeclampsia and that I was going to be started on a magnesium sulfate drip right away. Magnesium is used with HELLP and Preeclampsia to slow down the central nervous system. It allows your body to reset itself, and it helps prevent seizures.
When Drew was born, I arrived at the hospital with full-blown HELLP syndrome, and I was put on magnesium right away. I knew from my prior magnesium experience that my next 24 hours were going to be awful. Magnesium makes you hot, and it makes everything blurry. I was dizzy, and I had trouble focusing my eyes and talking clearly. I was put on a liquid diet, I was not allowed to get out of bed without help from the hospital staff, and someone had to be with me at all times to help me care for Maddie. I was on the Magnesium through the night on Friday and most of the day on Saturday.
On Saturday, I was assigned a student nurse. She was very sweet, and she tried to be helpful, but I was frustrated to have been given a student nurse when I was feeling so sick. One of her assignments was to give me a head-to-toe assessment. I was assured by my regular nurse that the assessment was going to be just like the ones the nurses do at shift changes (checking vitals and checking the incision). When the student nurse's assessment started by checking my hair with a penlight, I knew that I was in for something different from the normal assessment. We made it through her entire list, and then the last thing she wanted to do was check my bottom. When I asked why, she told me that she had to check for hemorrhoids. At that point, I drew the line! None of my other nurses had even asked me about hemorrhoids, much less checked for them. I told her I was refusing the bottom check! Thankfully, she let it go without a fuss.
I went off the magnesium at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, and within a few hours, I was feeling much less fuzzy. Unfortunately, my blood pressure did not really come down that much. It continued to be high through Sunday and Monday, in spite of increased and added blood pressure medications. By Monday, I was feeling pretty discouraged. My body was not responding to the medications. I knew that many, many people were praying for me, and though I knew that God was in control, I was frustrated that we were not seeing progress. I was afraid that I was going to have a stroke or that I was going to have to go back on the magnesium. All I wanted was to be healthy and to go home. Maddie had already been released from the hospital and was staying with me as a boarder.
Tuesday morning, I had my lowest blood pressure reading in days. A few hours later, I had an even better one. Things had turned around, and when my doctor came through, she told me that she was releasing me to go home. I was thrilled that God had answered prayer and that I was going home.
We have been home since Tuesday afternoon, and it has been wonderful! I have been able to rest and recover. My mom was here for the week, and she took great care of us while I rested. My blood pressure has been very good since I've been home. I've had very low energy because of the high doses of blood pressure medicine, but Jim and my mom have been such a help to me. Drew has been adjusting well to his new role as big brother, and Maddie is such a good baby. She has done great at home.

One of the pluses of Preeclampsia and magnesium was weight loss. This is a picture of me the day after I came home from the hospital. I came home from the hospital 31 pounds lighter than I was when I went for my c-section. I am back in normal clothes, and that has been exciting!

I went to the doctor on Friday, and I have already been able to decrease one of my blood pressure medications by half. I am hoping to be able to get back to the low dose I was on during the pregnancy and to get off the second medication completely.

At my Friday appointment, my doctor told me that during my c-section, he found a growth, which he removed and sent for a biopsy. At the time of the surgery, he was pretty sure that the growth was cancer (based on its location and type -a sarcoma). He received the report the morning of my appointment, and he was shocked to find out that the growth he had removed was not cancer, but Endometriosis. He told me that in all his years of practice, he had never seen Endometriosis in that location before. He thinks it is probably something that happened after my first c-section, and it is something that should not be an issue for me in the future.

I am so thankful that he chose not to tell us about the growth until he received the report. I'm sure the stress of possible cancer would have made my blood pressure even worse.

Our easy c-section turned into a very difficult week, but God was good to us through it all, and we have so much to be thankful for. We are very blessed!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Whew! What a ride! So glad you're home and healthy now. Your little Maddie is just adorable.