Archive for the ‘Nurse’ Category

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.

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.

More Detail
January 17, 2008

Here’s some detail about the past few days.

I went to the Periantologist on Tuesday and because I’d been having headaches she was worried that Pre-e was coming on fast and wanted to do an amniocentesis. My OB said no and decided that with the Cardiomyopathy and the Pre-e (that just developed) that it would be better to just induce.  Granted at first I didn’t realize that was what they were saying and I was in shock when it hit me. I went straight up to Labor and Delivery at 4:30PM. I had talked to the Periantologist about the c-sec vs. vaginal delivery and she really wanted me to do the vaginal delivery because she believed it would be best for my heart.

They started me on Magnesium Sulfate, light fluids and Pitocen. Once the Pit got going they gave me an epidural right off the bat and then broke my membranes. I had no choice about the epidural because they wanted me to labor as pain free as possible.   Having an Epidural was always a huge fear of mine, but it was SO easy and didn’t hurt in the least.

The labor went very well, the only surprises were that my BP actually dipped so low around 7am wed morning that they had to give me 3 shots of ephedrine to bring it back up. It was hard to believe my BP would be low but it happened. My Epidural ran out for a little while once I was fully dilated but they got it set back up quickly.   Towards the end the monitors (internal and external) wern’t picking up my contractions completly.  They were showing them very weak and yet they were getting worse and worse.  The last nurse I had was commenting about how she wasn’t going to check me for a while when I finally asked her too and she was shocked to see how much I was progressing.  From 6cm on it felt like it went pretty quickly.  When the epidural was getting reloaded they also gave me a shot of something else to help ease the pain so I wouldn’t want to push.  All it seemed to do was knock me out.  I would fall asleep or into a daze between each contraction, even towards the end.  They wouldn’t let me push at first when I was fully dilated. Decided it would stress out my heart, that was VERY hard and finally I was allowed to push a bit after BEGGING and then finally telling the nurse to call the doctor and ask again because I was going to do it anyway. It felt SO much better to push, I can’t even explain the pain when they would just make me lay there and try to do nothing. Finally the Dr got there and he used forceps to help get the little one out while I was allowed to ‘gently’ push to help him.  The forceps were used because they wanted me to do as little work as possible but poor JD has some sad bruises on his little head now.

Jacob Diedrich Arthur M. was born at 10:50am. He is 4 weeks 3 days early. 6lbs. 9oz. and 19 inches long.  Believe it or not the Ultrasound he had done Tuesday morning put him at exactly that weight!  What are the odds?! His lungs are actually good but he is having some problems with too much blood. They have had him on some IV fluids and also taken some of his blood by incerting an IV into his umbilical cord to try and help the situation. He’s been in the nursery since he was born and I got to see him this evening for a little while. That’s the hardest thing… not having him here with me now and knowing he might not come home when I do in a few days.

I hadn’t seen him at all since the delivery and even then it was only for about a minute.  I cried all through dinner.  Lovely hormones and pregnancy.  I was told by one of the first nurses I had that until I was off the IV’s and Magnesium Sulfate with the cathader out I couldn’t get out of bed and so couldn’t see him.  My nurses tonight however cleared things up and let me go down in a wheelchair and I even got to hold him for a little while.  I can’t even explain to you what an experiance it is.

Jeremy has been AMAZING!  He was a great coach during the labor, and he is so excited about his son.  He’s been in the nursery a lot with him, even when I couldn’t be.  He’s dealing well with my emotional post pregnancy self, and the fears I struggle with since I can’t have JD with me all the time yet.

I’m really hoping he is doing well enough to come home with us Friday… the baby shower on Saturday will be interesting if he’s still in the hospital.

View pictures HERE

Preeclampsia
January 12, 2008

Well the 24 hour urine test showed “a high amount of protein but not a really high amount” according to the nurse at Labor and Delivery today.  This means now that when I see the doctor on Monday I get to hear all the fun joys about Preeclampsia on top of the Cardiomyopathy.  I’m not sure how bad it really is, but since they let me go home from the hospital I’m assuming it’s not as bad as it could be!  Optimism people, optimism.

What a busy week I’m about to have….

37 Weeks
January 4, 2008

No, I am not 37 weeks along (34 weeks) but today we talked to the OB and they may be inducing/c-sec the baby at 37 weeks.  To me that’s better than 36 weeks, but it’d be nice if we could hold out till 38.

On top of going into the OB apparently I was supposed to be going to the Hospital and doing non-stress tests on the baby once a week.  Oops.  We went in today after our appointment and Labor and Delivery was so full that all the triage rooms they normally use were being used.  After waiting for a while they put us in a normal room (so much nicer) and Jeremy got to watch TV for an hour while they chatted with me and monitored the baby.  The nurse was funny and asking me all kinds of questions about Cardiomyopathy.  She had apparently watched Beaches and asked me if that’s what the woman in the show died from.  I told her I wasn’t sure.  I came home and googled it and sure enough, thats what killed Barbara Hershey’s character.  I told her that even if that’s what it was the medication and monitoring now days is really good and it was caught early for me so hopefully we can avoid it getting worse or needing anything crazy like a transplant or a pacemaker.  I feel like it’s probably good that I’m educating one nurse at the Hospital each time I go in.  It’s a constant reminder that they don’t know a lot about the condition with Pregnancy.

Hospital
December 19, 2007

I posted a short version of the hospital experience this past few days on my home blog but I decided to put more detail for those of you that care.

Sunday I was doing really well. Jeremy and Dad gave me a blessing in the afternoon and it was such a good day. When it started to get late the breathing problems started to get worse. Jeremy and I were watching a movie when I started to get a very mild chest pain. After 30 minutes we decided not to risk it and go into the ER since the pain wasn’t going away. About 20 minutes after I was strapped up to everything in the ER the pain went away and I started to feel stupid. I told them the pain was gone but they kept monitoring me anyway. I was still having problems breathing, so I guessed that was why. The chest x-ray they did was fine. About an hour after we got there they came in and put me on oxygen. I started to feel better quite quickly after that. At least another hour passed and mom, Jeremy and I were all ready to go home. We were sure they would be letting me go soon, and I kept telling mom she could leave if she wanted that it was no big deal. I was feeling so sheepish and dumb for going once again to the expensive ER. A few minutes later the doctor comes in and tells me that the Cardiologist wants me admitted. We were all taken back. I’ve never been hospitalized so I’m going from sheepish to shocked in a matter of seconds. Mom left shortly after that and Jeremy stayed with me while they had Labor and Delivery come down and administer a non-stress test on Uno. He was fine and so next thing I know I’m being wheeled off to a small room and hooked up to more monitors. Finally at 3:00am or so Jeremy was able to go home and rest.

That night every-time I would roll over one of the electrodes on my chest would pop off and they would have to wake me up to fix it. They brought breakfast just after 7am, so ya. Not a lot of time between to sleep. Not to mention the stress of being without anyone alone in the dumb hospital.

Monday morning the doctors came to see me. The cardiologist stopped by and let me know that he was ordering another ECG and starting me on the heart medication (a beta-blocker).  Jeremy was able to come quite early so it was nice not to be alone anymore.  My OB came in and told me that he wanted me moved up to Labor and Delivery so that they could monitor the baby as well as myself.  Not long after two nurses came to take me upstairs.  I was shocked at how much nicer and bigger the room was.  Jeremy and I started to laugh, and he was thrilled to have somewhere more comfortable to sit with me.

After getting the baby hooked up to all the monitors they started me on a low dose Beta-Blocker (heart med).  Within a few hours they were able to take me off the Oxygen and just after lunch they took me down to get my ECG.  It was a bit odd being wheeled downstairs in a hospital gown, the whole time I was just praying I wouldn’t happen to bump into anyone I knew!  The tech that did my ECG said “I’m no Cardiologist but it looks like your EF has improved.”  I was SO EXCITED.  Once they took me back upstairs I told mom and then we waited to hear from the Cardiologist.  He came to visit just after 5pm and told me that things were looking a lot better.  It was so nice to know that the medication was working that well already.  My EF went from 45% to 50%.  It’s now at the lowest it can be at and still be considered normal function.  Thank goodness for modern medications.  The Cardiologist let me know that he and my OB decided to keep me one more night to monitor the baby’s reaction to the meds but that if the Periantologist gave us the ok I would be able to go home Tuesday.

Tuesday morning they let us know that they were trying to get me into the Periantologist early.  I already had an appointment at 1:30pm but they were hoping I would be able to go home before that.  No such luck.  We didn’t even get to see her until it was past 2pm.  They did a big ultra sound on Uno and he was measuring even further ahead than before, 2 1/2 weeks ahead.  A whopping 4 lbs and 14oz.  (could be off 12 oz either way).  He was also not shy about his boy parts for the first time since 22 weeks when we found out he was a boy.  It’s always nice to have that reassurance that he really is a boy.  My amniotic fluid was low, so I do have to get that checked again on Friday.  The Periantologist told us to continue working with the medication and keep an eye on my blood pressure.  They are still watching the Hypertension and they just don’t want any complications on top of the heart issue we are already dealing with.  She told me to continue to take it easy and that when it comes time for delivery she’s made sure to make some special notes about how I shouldn’t be hydrated too much for fear the extra fluid would cause my heart to give out.  I made sure to tell mom (Jeremy was with me) so that just in case I forget, someone will be there to remind doctors when I’m in labor.  After all this time I would really like to live, and hold my baby.  We asked the Doctor if it would be ok to be discharged now and she said yes.  I was so excited to be done.  When we got back up to L&D I was ready to have that IV taken out ASAP!  The nurses at the hospital the entire time I was there were wonderful.  I would be thrilled if any of them were there to help during the delivery, I can’t say enough about them.

I still have followups with all the doctors still, and will probably be seeing a few of them a week till Uno finally makes his big debut into the world.  I am just happy that things were able to be caught and treated so well.

Hello Again, Hello
November 9, 2007

Hello Hospital Labor and Delivery triage room #2… again.

After 27 hours or so of what I figured were gas pains I broke down and called the doctor.  He called me back a few hours later and told me I had two choices.  Go in and get checked out at the hospital, or wait till tomorrow and come in first thing in the morning.  He could tell I didn’t want to go back into the hospital so he said he would recommend it but if I decided to wait that was ok to.

I struggled with it and then decided I’d been in pain long enough so mom took me in.  One of those many times that I’m blessed to be living with family right now since Jeremy was at work.

They got me all hooked up again.  Uno was SUPER active.  I think he was showing off.  It was killing me since I had started to get sore due to all the cramps.  They ran a urine culture and kept an eye on the baby.  We were there for 2 and 1/2 hours.  Apparently right after I got there 3 other women came in.  They ran a test on my cervix to see if I had a chance of going into labor in the next two weeks.  Let me tell you ladies, it was no fun.  I told mom (during the test) it was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever done.  Granted it was slightly painful but not too bad, it was just icky.   After the test the nurse checked my cervix to see if I was dilated at all.  That was a piece of cake compared to the test.  I was still high and closed (a good sign).  Come to find out they weren’t contractions (I’d assumed they were just gas so that is good) but I did have a bladder infection that was probably aggravating the pain and they put me on some meds.

I do have to mention the bed I was in.  Besides the fact that I’m sure they don’t design the beds for comfort, my feet were hanging off the edge, literally.  Also Uno decided to hide anytime I turned on my side and they would loose his heart beat.  So for almost the entire time I was on my back.  My tush started to hurt a bit and I thought it was just falling asleep.  By the time we got home I realized the real problem. That dang bed had aggravated my sciatic nerve (I haven’t had much pain from it for weeks).  I’ve been hobbling around since we left the hospital.  It’s loads of fun, loads and loads.  I told Jeremy I’m never going back to the hospital and he’d better brush up on how to deliver a baby from his first aid courses at the U.  He didn’t think I was funny.

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Chug, Chug, Chug it Baby!
November 7, 2007

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This morning was my glucose test.  I’d heard nightmares about the orange drink that must be downed in 5 minutes.  After taking a sip this morning I realized it wasn’t as bad as I’d heard.  It’s not good granted, I wouldn’t go out shopping for a bottle but the taste was not horrible.  Kind of a mix between flat, very sugary orange soda and child’s cold medicine.  I decided to just chug the rest of the 10 ounces.  It was much easier to sip it, it was a bit funky to chug.  I was done drinking the magic juice in less than a minute!

Then the bad part started.  About 30-45 minutes later I was SO JITTERY.  They baby started kicking me like mad and I was dizzy and wanted to throw it all up.  It was awful.  The nurse made a comment that my blood pressure was high and then asked how I was reacting to the drink.  When I told her how jittery I felt she decided the blood pressure was probably due to that sugary crap.   The lady who drew my blood was not my favorite, by far.  I thought I was gonna be sick and pass out at the same time.  She picked my slowest vain, and it was painful.  She was almost as bad last time I had her for blood work.  I had to squeeze Jer’s hand like mad to keep focused on staying out of “the black zone” and passing out.

The doctor checked everything else and started to ask Jeremy and I how big we were at birth.  I’m thinking I must be measuring big.  He told Jeremy that he thinks he had to weigh more than 7 pounds because he’s so tall.  It was funny.  I however was a 10 pounder so ya, let’s hope that Uno keeps to his dad’s birth size and not mom’s.

Nonstress Test Sunday
November 4, 2007

Uno is usually a very active baby.  As a matter of fact last week he was so active I actually started to complain about it a little bit!  That all changed Friday.  I noticed a huge drop in movement on Friday.  I still felt a little something here or there so I tried not to worry about it.  I figured we had an appointment on Wednesday the 7th and it could wait till then.  Movement was still lagging yesterday and so today I decided maybe I should call the Dr. just in case.  Sure enough he had us go right into the hospital to Labor and Delivery to do a Nonstress Test on the baby.

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Finding his heartbeat has always been a challenge.  I take some of the blame in this and assume it’s due to extra fat between the monitor and him… I may be wrong.  Once we were finally all hooked up to the machine I had to keep my hand on the baby’s heart monitor so it would pick up his little heart beat.  We could hear that he would move occasionally but I wasn’t feeling it at first.  After about 30 minutes the nurse said that it was looking good.  She was even seeing some things that you don’t usually see at 25 weeks, and that made us happy.  I was however still not feeling the little booger move!  The nurse then got me some apple juice and within 20 min we finally had 13 strong movements!  I felt so sheepish.  Apparently all I needed to do was lay in a quiet room, drink apple juice and push on my tummy.  I had done everything but the latter on Friday with no result.  The funny thing was he was literally hitting/kicking where I was pushing the monitor into my belly.  Silly baby.   Every-other day now the Doctor wants me to drink juice, lay down on my left side and count at least 10 movements in an hour.  If I hit a day where that doesn’t happen I’m supposed to go back in.  I am glad everything seems to be ok.  I have to remind myself it’s better to call in and be safe than not call in and actually have it be a problem later.

Waiting
September 25, 2007

Yesterday morning around 3am I woke up with some cramps.  They didn’t go away till 4 am this morning.  I didn’t fuss too much about it because we already had a doctors appointment yesterday afternoon.

I told the nurse what was going on and she told me it could be bacteria in my bladder and they decided to run some cultures that I’ll know the results from tomorrow.  When I told the doctor he asked me if they were cramps or contractions.  I told him I’m not sure how to tell the difference.  I mean they felt like no cramps I’d consistently had before but I wasn’t sure how to respond.  He proceeded to tell me that even if they were contractions that I was too early to save the baby if I went into labor.  The best thing I could do is wait.  That with my history there’s no telling what could happen.  Not exactly what I wanted to hear.  He checked the heartbeat and then sent us on our way.  Jeremy wasn’t there, but my sister in law Steph was.  I was ok until I got in the car then I just got so discouraged, and cried a bit.  It’s hard to hear words like “viable baby” and not want to scream that if it’s kicking you and has a heartbeat it’s already viable in your mind!

I also started to get a pain in the front of my leg that was keeping me up nights.  It was different from the sciatic pain so I asked about it.  Apparently it’s my Femoral Nerve.  Like the Sciatic there is nothing that can be done.  This nerve runs in the front of your leg and the Sciatic is in the back.  So my left leg is just a ball of pain.  All the pain is worth it if the baby is going to make it to a healthy delivery.

I feel really good about this baby, and I do believe we’ll make it to full term.  It’s just going to be a long road the entire pregnancy apparently.  Part of the problem is that I have been doing a bit with the move, I thought I was taking it easy but now that I think back there are things I had done that I should have not.  It’s hard to ask, or even just accept help sometimes, even if you must have it.

We have our “Big” ultrasound on the 10th of October.  I will let you know if the baby lets us see what the sex is.  Right now I’ll be honest, I’m just wanting to make sure it’s ok, regardless the gender.