I think I may have experienced the scariest 24 hours of my life... part of me is still a bit shaky from everything that happened, but I am so very thankful things are turning around. Truly we have had God's hand of healing on us, and all the prayers of friends and family.
Things all started really after we got home after having Xander. I hurt, everywhere. I just kept telling Ken, this isn't right, this isn't normal. I didn't feel like I did with Ariel, and that just concerned me. Part of me was like, well, maybe its different this time, maybe I am just getting the baby blues etc. Well, on Tuesday night, I went downstairs to grab something and when I got back upstairs I was gasping for breath. It felt kinda like I was drowning and when I looked in the mirror, I just didn't see me anymore. Out of curiosity, I hopped on the scale and saw to my surprise that I was a few pounds heavier after giving birth. That just didn't make sense! I went to bed and found my breath sounds wheezy like.
That Wednesday, the health nurse came to measure Xander and she took my blood pressure and it was quite high. She was concerned and said to retest tomorrow morning and if it was higher to go get checked out. So I went about my day, and then when using the stairs I found myself out of breath.
Thursday morning I rechecked my blood pressure and its was high, about 165/95. So I called my OB's office and she wasn't in until next week but the receptionist was telling me to go to the walk in clinic since we were coming up on a long weekend. Ken was to be going downtown to host the grad event at the school, but with me on edge he quickly made some calls and got people to handle things for him.
So we got to the walk in and my blood pressure is now 175/110. My breathing is raspy and the doctor steps back from me and very frankly says, get to the emergency at Richmond Hospital asap. He thinks that my symptoms point to what might be a blood clot in my lungs. I walk out with Ken sobbing. I was so afraid and just was breaking down. We drove home and picked up Xander who was being watched with Ariel by my Dad. I hugged Ariel goodbye, and lost it again. I felt like I was saying more than goodbye to her, and it was breaking my heart.
We drove to the ER, and the triage nurse quickly admitted us, that is when I knew just how serious this was. Then the tests started, a chest x-ray, CT scan and lots of blood draws and urine tests. We sat around waiting for several hours for the tests to come back, all this time we have Xander with us and watch the 'colorful' people around us. If you were a big fan of the show 'ER' like I was, and wondered if they over exaggerated the types of people that came in... they so DIDN'T! From the guy next to us who used the 'F-word' for every second word and was getting admitted and was telling his wife to go home and lock up the car and not to come out until he gets home... not to mention his rude treating of the staff in the ER who he felt weren't working hard enough because several people were sitting around and he served in the army and work ethics etc etc. My favorite part was when the social worker came and asked if he had any kids and he said no and I said to Ken 'thank heavens'. Haha, I know, bad me, but I couldn't imagine that man a father. Then there was the fellow who kept asking nurses where their 'white dresses' were. Right.... sheesh.
So about dinner time comes and I got a plate of mush, yuck. It was then the doctor returns with the results of my tests and its not a blood clot, thank heavens, but its something with my heart. I felt my whole body drop... it was like a gun to my head. With all the heart problems that took my Mom and Nana, I was in true fear that I was going to die. The doctor's words were kinda blurry since I was overwhelmed, but I made out 'rare condition after pregnancy and c-sections' and 'how they were shocked I had it since it usually occurs in older women'. Then it was the next statement that sent me over the edge... he wasn't sure if the medication they would need to give me if I could breastfeed Xander. He left and I broke down rocking my son crying out to God why was this happening. I didn't want to put him on formula, it wasn't fair to him and I felt like I was letting him down.
Ken went to call the family to give an update and I just cried and cried. A nurse came in to hook me up to some monitors and took my head in her hands and looked me deep in the eyes and said, we are going get you through this, don't worry. She looked at Xander and said, he isn't going to blame you, its not your fault. This is a 'fluke' condition, there is no tie to family heart history. Apparently they were saying that sometimes it happens with losing lots of blood and the heart isn't able to catch up. It then results in the fluid in my lungs, which explains the breathing issues. She then fills my IV with a drug called lasix. I asked if this drug was safe for nursing, since Xander was starting to wake up, and she ran off to ask the doctor. What felt like forever, soon came back with an amazing answer, the doctor came in grinning and said 'We made some calls to several peds doctors and other specialists and its safe, and so is the other drug we need to give you.' You guessed it, more crying! I hugged my son and was so, so thankful for answered prayer.
The lasix was practically a miracle drug! My blood pressure started to drop, and I kept peeing and felt like my swelling was going down. I could feel my breathing seem lighter, and the raspy sound was gone. However, they wanted to keep me overnight to watch things, and then do an echo of my heart in the morning. So Ken went home to get some things and I waited with Xander for a room in maternity. Finally around 10pm we were moved upstairs and felt more at ease. My head was throbbing, mostly from all the stress, but I managed to get some sleep. Ken arrived and we settled in and prayed for continued healing.
The next morning the doctor came to see me and when we looked at my feet we were both amazed, it was like no swelling at all. She asked if I wanted to go home and I was please if I could. So she told me I would be getting prescriptions for lasix and some blood pressure medication to keep things under control. I also would be meeting with a cardiologist next week to follow up with my echo that I was booked for later that morning.
So after the echo, a visit from Pastor Dave and some more lasix pumped into me, we were free to go. I have a prescription for lots of pills and orders to take it easy still. But I will say, I feel great! I don't have any pain in regards to my c-section anymore. Sure the area is tender, but that is what it felt like after Ariel. Yes, I finally feel like I did after my first surgery. We came home and I ran upstairs to hop on the scale, and this is the part that floors me... I lost 18lbs (and counting) worth of fluid! WHOA! To think of the pressure that was putting on my body is mind boggling. Now I look like a woman who 'gave birth' rather than the 'pregnant' look I felt like I still had.
I guess things will continue to develop and I will keep everyone posted. As for now, I am feeling very relieved and extremely thankful to all the doctors, nurses and my friends and family for their thoughts and prayers. I am still concerned about long term effects, and what the echo shows, but I am trying to be positive and take each day at a time. As long as I can continue to recover and not go back to what was happening, I will be happy.