Sunday, June 19, 2011

update on breathing

Well, after writing the last post, I realized that I just couldn't handle feeling like that anymore.  Breathing was becoming more and more difficult to do while sitting, let alone trying to lie down and sleep.  The last straw was not being able to hold my daughter on my chest because the weight was already so heavy without her.  So I called Dr. Raley.  She told me that she was worried about a couple of things: a pulmonary embolism in my lung that might have originated in my insanely swollen legs and feet, and peripartum cardiomyopathy.  Both are pretty serious, and I had the symptoms for both, so the doctor told me to go to the emergency room, and she would call ahead to let them know I was coming.

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I was kind of a big baby about it.  I was just so tired of things going wrong, and WAY tired of being in the hospital.  Plus I was worried about taking Evelyn into a germ-filled ER.  Fortunately, we went straight into a room and didn't have to wait with a bunch of sickies because Dr. Raley called ahead.

Well, after a CT scan, an EKG, multiple other tests, and 6 hours of waiting, we were able to rule out both a pulmonary embolism and peripartum cardiomyopathy.  Those were the scary ones, so I was glad that they ran the tests to look.  They did discover that I have a lot of excess fluid in my body, and I just kept getting more and more swollen instead of getting rid of it.  I already knew about it in my legs and feet - it was obvious looking at them - but it turns out that I had fluid surrounding my lungs as well, making it hard to breathe. 

The ER doctor, working with Dr. Raley over the phone, prescribed me a diuretic in a low enough dose that I am still able to breastfeed.  And Thursday night was the first time since Sunday that I got more than 3 hours of sleep.  Yay!  I still can't lie on my back and breathe, but I can on my sides now.  And it is taking a while to get all that fluid out (longer than normal because they had to do such a low dosage for breastfeeding), but I know it's working and I see a huge difference in my legs.  So it has a happy ending!

I was miserable the entire time in the ER though.  Add up not feeling well plus frustration plus 6 hours plus hormones, and then throw in the fact that I didn't pump from 8 AM until 7 PM, and I was a pretty miserable woman.  But I told Kevin on the way home that as much as I hated being there in the hospital again, I was so glad that it was me.  There has been absolutely nothing wrong with Evelyn and she's absolutely perfect, and I'm so thankful that I'm the one dealing with all the sickness and hard stuff instead of her.

No comments:

Post a Comment