Archive for the ‘Doctor’ Category

Check Up
March 19, 2008

This is a TMI post… you’ve been warned.

I met with the surgeon yesterday so she could check on everything.  We found out that it was a good thing I chose to be put out completely.  Because the size of the abscess was so much larger than she thought, and because of the depth, she would have had to stop surgery and have them put me under in order to continue.  Crazy.

She removed the drain’s (extremely painful!) and looked at the incision.  She’s worried about how much milk is leaking from the incision area.  She tried to cauterize the area so that milk would not get into it but apparently it didn’t work very well.  I must admit that it’s pretty gross to change the pads and constantly have them be pink from the blood tinted milk that is seeping out of the wound.  She pushed on it yesterday and drained a ton before re-dressing the area.  If it doesn’t stop in the next couple of days I will have to stop pumping on that side so that the wound can heal.  I am debating if I should continue pumping on the other side or just call it quits.  JD is already being supplemented with formula and at what point do I decide to stop?  I’m not excited about having to stop while I have an open incision.  Engorgement would take on a whole new meaning, and I’m not thinking the pain would be fun either.

The surgeon also talked to me about getting a breast reduction.  She gave me the names of two plastic surgeons and once I stop pumping I’m calling them ASAP.  I’m so sick of my chest calling me pain and I am anxious to get a reduction.  I have a million questions to ask, How soon can I have it done?  How much will insurance cover?  Recovery times?  etc.

I still have to blog on my other blog so I hope you’ll forgive the short TMI post!   Oh here’s a picture…it’s going to be one big scar…  😦

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Paper Pants
March 17, 2008

I just have to post this photo for all of you.  I got to wear these lovely paper pants during my surgery.  They were surprisingly comfortable.

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For anyone who’s crazy like me, and is fascinated by this kind of stuff, here is a picture (a bad cell phone picture anyway) of my incision.  It has a stitch or two, then the drain, then a stitch, then a drain, etc.  Today was a rough day.  Not only did I see the incision site for the first time, but when I was getting ready for church I could tell I was lopsided.  I took it much harder than I thought I would.  I just started to cry.  The sad thing is I have TONS of gauze on it right now, so if it’s noticeably smaller now… ya… anyway.  I want to ask about getting a breast reduction.  The surgeon mentioned to mom that it would be beneficial for me so I’m going to talk to her about insurance and a plastic surgeon on Tuesday.

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Surgery
March 12, 2008

Good news, the clogged duct in my left breast took care of it’s self Monday morning.  I can’t even tell you how much better I felt after, I could hardly sleep Sunday because of the pain so it was a relief to have it gone.

The surgeon today said she will operate on Friday morning to take the abscess out.  From the way she was talking, Jeremy and I both had the opinion that if she’d seen me last week before they attempted to drain it she would have done the surgery earlier.  I guess next time I’ll call the surgical office and push harder myself.  I probably made it sound like I was feeling much better than I actually was when I spoke to the woman who called to make the appointment.  The doctor that drained it last week called me about the cultures they ran on the fluid he extracted.  It was a “raging Staph infection”.  The strain was resilient to the first antibiotic (duh) but the second one it’s “sensitive” to.  I’ll most likely continue to be on the antibiotics for a while after the surgery as well.  If only they didn’t give me a foul taste in my mouth every morning.  Apparently he was surprised I didn’t have more symptoms of the infection earlier on and that I never got a high temperature.  He was relieved to hear that the surgeon wanted to just go in and remove the entire mass, hopefully that way the infection will not spread.

It’s an outpatient surgery.  Because of the Cardiomyopathy they won’t put me under completely unless I really push for it.  I have been going back and forth on what I want to do.  She says even when you’re “awake” with the amount of medication they give you, the patient usually sleeps through the procedure anyway.  I just don’t know, on the other hand I handled the draining ok.  However with the draining they weren’t cutting me open as large and cutting things out of me.  She said she will take out the abscess as well as the surrounding tissue but that I won’t miss it.  I’m not sure if she said that because I have large breasts or if it’s because I truly won’t notice.  Like most women one of my breasts is smaller than the other.  My luck (ha ha) is that my right breast is the smaller of the two, and now possibly it will be getting even smaller.  I already struggle more than most can understand to purchase bra’s, and spend a small fortune when I do find one that works.  I never thought I’d care so much but I guess I have more of an attachment to my breasts than I thought I would. eh, oh well.

I contemplated stopping pumping.  I’m sure most of you wouldn’t blame me.  I’ve been advised however that it wouldn’t be smart until after the surgery starts to heal, and since they leave part of it open for a while that’s not going to be anytime soon.  Considering how painful pumping was after they just drained it, I’m not looking forward to pumping Friday evening.

The Draining
March 4, 2008

My doctor decided to drain the abscess today before I meet with the surgeon next week.  It would be nice if we could avoid major surgery.  This is kind of icky, I warned you.

He started out by numbing the area.  Then he made a small incision and began to attempt to drain the abscess with a needle in the incision.  At first he was getting a lot of blood mixed in with the puss.  After a bit of probing he found the mother-load of all puss pockets (gag).  After filling 5 syringes it just started to gush out of the incision.  Mom said it was one of the most disgusting things she’s ever seen.  She said it was like a huge zit that just kept popping with green puss.  The nurse was just enthralled and loved the entire thing.  The doctor and nurse agreed that they have never seen an abscess quite like it.  I guess that’s a good thing that they don’t have a lot of women with abscesses while nursing.

  It took a bit longer than we all expected.  He found another “pocket” and had to drain it also.  He says the size of the infected area is much smaller now, but he didn’t sound super confident that it was all gone.  After I was cleaned up a bit they took this accordion like piece of gauze and shoved it in the incision so that it would continue to drain.  They can’t stitch it up so it will continue to clear out, so there will be a small scar.  I honestly don’t care because no one will ever see it besides Jer and I’m positive he doesn’t care.  I have gauze pads to cover the area and I’m supposed to change them often so I don’t soak through them.  After a few days I’m supposed to pull the accordion gauze out if it doesn’t fall out before then.  I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do that if it starts to hurt when I pull on it.  I may just close my eyes, scream and yank.  I don’t know… I’m kind of stressing about it and I might not even have to do it!

The doctor kept asking if I was in a lot of pain.  While I was in some pain (he was pushing very hard at times) I was numbed and so it wasn’t too bad.  He was shocked and told me that “grown men with less of an abscess have cried.”  I wish I could say I’m super tough, I just think he did a good job with the medication.  By the time I was home I was feeling it so much that just pumping made me cry and I couldn’t even hold JD with my right arm.  Part of my breast where he was pushing is already turing purple so I can only imagine what it will look like tomorrow.  I’ll be honest I’m not looking forward to the morning and the pain it might bring, but if it helps me avoid major surgery then YAY!

Moral of this whole story…. if you have a lump while breastfeeding and it doesn’t go away within a few days call the Doctor.  Don’t wait three weeks, because then it could be another week or two before they figure out what to do and by then it’s messy and painful.

Breastfeeding Breakthrough!
January 23, 2008

Ok, as you can tell by the title I’m going to give you TMI… so if you are squeemish or male you might want to skip this post.  It’s funny how in person I’m so modest, but online I’m so open.  Kind of a contradiction I know.

Last night JD and I had a breastfeeding breakthrough.  Because JD was born so early his sucking reflex wasn’t very strong.  Add to that the fact that I have flat nipples, I have been using a nipple sheild when breastfeeding so that JD can latch on.  Last night he was able to latch on without the shield for the second half of a feeding!  WAHOOO.  I am sure you are wondering why it’s a big deal.  One of the perks of breastfeeding is that you don’t have to worry about a ton of bottles and it’s just on demand.  When you  have to make sure you  have a shield and it’s clean all the time it takes some of the convenience.

Oh and on the Cardiology front, I’m being started on the diuretic today.  Guess I better stay close to the restroom because I hear they kick in and you start to urinate very quickly after taking them.  FUN FUN!

Boy this whole post is full of TMI!  FUN!

Pregnant and Modest?
January 22, 2008

I’m a pretty modest person.  I don’t even like being fully undressed in front of Jeremy… so child birth was quite the experience.  By the time JD was born I didn’t care who was watching what.  Jeremy didn’t want to watch the actual birth, and I’m really kind of glad because now that I’m starting to heal my concern about who saw what is coming back.  He did however catch a glimpse of the doctor stitching up the episiotomy.  I think he is still having nightmares about it.

Between birth, the fact that I had a catheter in that they had to check every few hours, and that I was on Magnesium Sulfate for 48 hours (making me a bit loopy and often requiring extra help)  I had to learn not to be shy about a nurse checking things out, pushing and prodding.  I’m glad I’ve gotten some what used to it because now I have to deal with breast feeding and having a nurse help and watch with that.  Because JD is in the Level 2 Nursery NICU unit they monitor his feedings closely.  Checking to make sure he’s getting fluids, he’s “latched” properly, and I’m doing ok.  I still have my moments of self consciousness and it will be hard to adjust to feedings at home where there are people around and trying not to let it get to me.  With the nurses I figure they see it all the time and if I accidentally flash them (easy to do being so big chested) it’s not a big deal.

Today I had an appointment with my Cardiologist.  They are concerned about my massive swelling that has yet to go away.  If it’s not gone, or at least starting to get better in the next couple days they are going to start me on some Diuretics to get rid of the fluid and do a heart echo immediately.  The concern they have is that if it’s related to my heart and not just because I gave birth then it’s a sign that the labor weakened it more.  Good news is that excess swelling is common after birth in many women so that’s why he’s waiting the few days.  He is also having me weigh myself daily to see if there is excess gain due to retaining the water.  I am still going to be on the beta blockers till at least 3-6 months post delivery.  They will start doing heart echo’s then (unless they have to sooner because of the water retention) to make sure that I’m back to normal function.  If I am then we will get the green light to have more children later down the road (much later if you ask us).  With the next pregnancy we would do a heart echo before trying to conceive and then continue them throughout the pregnancy to make sure that the Cardiomyopathy doesn’t resurface, and so if it does it’s caught early.  So I guess in 6 months we’ll know the “are you gonna have more?” answer.

DilationYAY!
January 14, 2008

I know I’m only 35.5 weeks and all but I was so worried I’d go in today and find out that I was not dilated at all and walk out with a c-sec date.  I still hadn’t made up my mind what way to go, and I still want to talk to my Cardiologist about what he thinks.  GOOD NEWS:  When my OB checked me I was already 2 cm and 70% effaced.  That’s SO much better than I was thinking it would be.  I’ve been giddy the rest of the night.  It could be the Percocet they gave me for a 2 day headache I’ve had… but whatever.

The skinny on the Preeclampsia is that I was JUST over the protein level for Pre-e and so for now they are just watching me (still) and I may have to repeat the 24 hour urine collection again at the end of the week (4th time, I’m going for a record I think).  My BP was a bit high so I was sent to L&D after my appointment for yet another NST, some bloodwork (to check kidney and liver function) and to monitor my BP.  He wants me back in Wed and Friday for NST, that means I now have something everyday.  Bedrest, whatever dude.

Tomorrow I head into the Periantologist.  I am excited to see how big Uno is now, if he’s still measuring ahead 2.5 weeks.  The OB’s also want me to get her opinion on when I should be induced.

No Surprise For Me
January 11, 2008

So much for wondering when I’ll go into labor, because odds are really good that won’t happen before I’m 38 weeks and the doctor told me today that I will NOT be able to carry longer than that.  I’ve been on the fence about asking if they will just let me go till Labor starts or at least 40 weeks but today I was told that there is no way I will be able to go past that 38 mark.   They will start checking my cervix on Monday.  If I stay closed and it looks like my body isn’t going to prep itself for a normal delivery then I will opt for a c-section.  I will be put on some extra medications during labor for my heart and when you add pitocen to that it’s like one drug helps start labor and one stalls it so it’ll increase my chances of having a c-sec by 5x anyway.   Dr. Melendez said the choice on schedueling to be induced or c-sec is up to me and was fine with me waiting to make the decision.  I figure once they start checking me it will help me decide either way.  I plan on talking to my Cardiologist about it next week as well as the Perientologist to gather their insite and advice.  If you had a choice between a c-sec and natural birth what would your choice be?  Anyone out there had both?

I get to repeat the 24 hour urine test.  He was so funny when he told me.  I think he knew how THRILLED I would be to have to collect urine for the 3rd time this pregnancy.  I also go in 2 times a week for NST (nonstress tests) now starting tomorrow.

Next week is my perfect storm:

  • Monday: Normal OB (start checking cervix)
  • Tuesday: Perientologist (Big ultrasound to check Uno)
  • Wed: NOTHING?!?  Maybe NST
  • Thursday: Cardiologist and Normal OB
  • Friday: Nothing?  NST?
  • Saturday: My Baby Shower!
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All my doctors in one week, so fun.  I am getting excited for my shower on Saturday, it’s what will keep me going the rest of the week.  Steph, Trish and Mom are putting it all together.  It’s the only one we are having so it’ll be fun to see people I haven’t seen for a while.  Glad I’ve started to feel better towards the end of the pregnancy (yay for good medication!)  If you haven’t gotten your evite (via email) just let me know and I’ll pass the info on to Steph.

Weight Loss
January 1, 2008

I had an appointment with my OB yesterday.  I lost 4 pounds since the last visit (a pound a day?) I’m assuming its just water weight and I was actually shocked I hadn’t gained because I’ve been swelling a lot more.

The baby sounded good and they are still wanting to see me twice a week. I took in the Blood Pressure results I have kept since the last appointment and they are thinking the Cardiologist may up my medication since the numbers are still staying high.  We will see on Thursday when I meet with the Cardiologist.

The Doctor joked about how his mom is “trying to die” in the hospital right now and her EF % is better than mine.  I laughed, but deep down you just don’t wanna hear stuff like that.  Mom and I just laughed it off.   I just haven’t been feeling great the past few days so I’m a bit moody.  Sorry.

Check Up
November 28, 2007

The doctors appointment today went well.  I maintained my weight from last week (even after Thanksgiving).  All the tests they ran last week came back with no abnormalities.  YAY I’m normal.  The doctor told me to stay down like I have been since it is helping my blood pressure and wants to see me every other week instead of every week unless I start having a lot of problems again.  Jeremy and I were happy to agree.  Since it was the specialist that actually wanted me to be seen weekly I wonder if she’s gonna tell me I still have to go in weekly when we see her.  I still have to have the heart echo and wear the 24 hour heart monitor but I’m thinking everything will be fine.

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I talked to him about my heartburn also.  Told me to start trying a combination of meds like Tums, Pepcid and Mylanta.   I started off this morning with a pepcid and then after breakfast heartburn started I tried the Mylanta.  It made me gag going down but it helped instantly!  I found a Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe online that uses Mylanta.  Now wouldn’t that be a good way to take it!  Wonder if it helps relieve the heartburn or not?  Anyway today has been good.  I even had some Dorito’s for lunch and no heartburn since the Mylanta.

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Anyone wanna test the recipe with me?!