Friday, October 3, 2008

Out of the hospital, again.

I have more photos of the babies and I can't wait to post them! I have to post a status first, though, as the last week has been a difficult one.

The babies and I were released from the hospital last Saturday night and I thought I was doing well for having had twins by c-section. I have no previous experience with this kind of thing so I didn't realize that my health was still not quite stable. I shouldn't have left the hospital so early.

On Sunday afternoon I felt even worse. I felt weak, weary, and just bleh. By Sunday night I had the chills/shakes so bad it was tough to walk just to the bedroom. Every few steps and I was racked with chills that brought me nearly to my knees. After each spell I'd pull myself up and go another few steps. My mom saw this and helped me to bed and made me take my blood pressure and temperature. My bp was 186/102 and my temperature was 100.2. My normal body temperature is a bit on the low end (I'm cold, hehe) in the 97 range so this was a bit of a fever for me.

After resting about an hour the chills got better and my bp was down to 156/94 - still high but not as scary high. My temperature was down to 99.5. I should have gone to the ER but didn't relish the idea of spending the night in the ER waiting room.

The babies had an appointment in the Newborn Club at Kaiser on Monday morning so I mentioned my health issues to the nurse at that appointment. She said normally she'd send me to the ER but that she was concerned the ER wait would raise my bp so she advised me to see a clinician asap. I did that and since my doctor was on vacation, I got in with another doctor in her clinic, Dr. K. He was a real ass.

My mom went with me and I told Dr. K. the rundown of symptoms: high bp, sudden swelling in my legs and hands, elevated heart rate (over 100), elevated temperature, dizziness, funky vision, chills/shakes, and a headache. He didn't seem to take me seriously and told me that with Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), the symptoms usually go away after delivery - as if just telling me that would suddenly make the symptoms go away. He asked the usual questions about health history and laughed when I told him I have RSD.

He asked about the blood pressure readings and when I told him I took the bp at home, he said, "so it isn't valid." Nice. Fortunately, the medical assistant took my bp before the appointment and it was 156/97. He called her in and she showed him her notes and he started to take me more seriously. He then took my bp and said it was 160/100. After that he checked my incision and said it looked fine, then he wanted to do a pelvic examination, something I learned later was not necessary nor normal for this situation. During the pelvic exam he seemed to have forgotten about the big sewn-up hole in my belly because with one hand inside of me he pushed on my belly with the other hand. Oh how I screamed!!!

He left the room for a few minutes and when he returned he told me that he didn't have much experience with this sort of thing so he consulted with another doctor. He said that he and the other doctor agreed that I needed to go straight to the ER and that they'd probably admit me. He said he'd call the ER in advance to let them know I was on my way.

He didn't.

I got to the ER where the person behind the counter put down my primary complaint as "swollen feet." That's going to get the situation taken seriously, uh huh. She also took my bp and it was pretty high then, too. In the triage my bp was high there, too, but they still thought I was there from swollen feet. By the way, by this time my feet were pretty much gone to the swelling, which was all the way up to my thighs and included my knees.

After over 2 hours in the waiting room they took me in and hooked me up. I still had to wait over an hour for a doctor, then even more hours before Dr. P. came in from Labor & Delivery. Dr. P. was the resident that was in on my c-section with Dr. M. She told me that my blood tests revealed that my liver enzymes were elevated and based on that and my bp I needed to be admitted for observation and treatment.

Fortunately, they put me back into the Mother/Baby unit I stayed in after having the babies. They said I could bring the babies in with me provided that someone else stayed with me in the room, too, to take care of them. They made it very clear that I was the patient, not the babies, and that they could not help me care for the little guys. I had to sign a form that said I understood this very clearly.

I didn't have the boys with me that first night and I don't know which I did more, slept or cried. I was scared and just wanted to get better so I could be a mommy. I missed my little guys and my husband so much. I was so grateful my mom was still around and she and Dave took such good care of William and Ronan while I was away. Dave brought the babies to me on Tuesday and they stayed with me until my release last night. Dave stayed with me most of the time, too, sleeping on a recliner that was in the room. It was a tough ordeal for both of us. Essentially, the whole family lived in that hospital for about 8 days since the birth. We're all glad to be home again!

Dr. P. told me she thought my symptoms were more consistent with HELLP Syndrome. It's still unclear, though, which type of PIH I have been dealing with, but we know it's rare to have the symptoms persist after delivery. Good for me to have another rare health issue. I sure wish the delivery and recovery could have been as good as the "magic" pregnancy.

The boys are magic, though. All the nurses at the mother/baby unit were so sweet to them and to me. Some would come in just to see the boys. Dave was able to sleep at home on Wednesday night instead of in the recliner - the nurse was nice about me being on my own and she even helped me with a diaper change. I just love the nurses that cared for me. They were all so sweet and generous with their care.

After trying a couple of different blood pressure medications they were able to bring my bp down to a normal range. Also, the blood tests revealed that my liver enzymes were improving, too. They still aren't in the normal range but are headed that way. I have an appointment with Dr. B. this afternoon and need to have another appointment next week and probably weekly until we are certain that the condition is resolved. Hopefully, I'll get to go off the bp medication in a matter of weeks, though Dr. P. warned me that the effects could be ongoing for much longer, maybe for life.

The important thing is that I'm doing much better and that I and the boys are all home with Dave. Dave has proven to be such a great father and he's been a wonderful husband through the whole ordeal. I'm so happy to be married to him. The boys are lucky to have such a great dad.

I'll post again soon with photos and an update on motherhood. I love it!


Kim said...

Your boys are GORGEOUS! Somehow I came across your blog, and just wanted to commiserate with you. My PIH is STILL here, 11 weeks later. Hang in there!

Barb said...

Poor Lizzy and stupid stupid doctor. :(