Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hospital Part III

Pretty sure I never want to go to Seton again.

We came home from the NICU on a Monday and the rest of the week was a blur of sleep and feeding and trying to settle in at home. It was blissfully uneventful. My mother-in-law arrived Friday night and it was so good to have her.

On Sunday I felt kind of weird. But it's so hard to know what's normal "just-pushed-a-nearly-10-lb-baby-out-yer-who-ha" weird and what's "not right" weird. I felt a lot of bad cramping in my lower back and lower abdomen and my bleeding got a heavier. I looked at the list of bad symptoms the doctor sent me home with, and I didn't really have any of them. I figured if I still felt poorly on Monday, I'd call the doctor.

Monday morning I felt much improved. I even made it downstairs to make a smoothie with Em.  All morning I was cold and kept piling blankets on. It was early February and the downstairs of our house is pretty cold so I didn't think anything of it. But then I noticed that James, lying on my chest, was sweating. I gave him to my mother-in-law and said I was going upstairs to lie down. I got in bed with a sweater on and put three blankets on and fell asleep. When I woke up I was still freezing, but I could feel that my cheeks were warm. After locating the thermometer, we discovered my temp was just under 101. Mind you, I was still taking tylenol round the clock for pain from delivery, so I figured my fever was actually a lot higher. I immediately called the doctor and they asked how fast I could come in.

We had to find someone to watch Emma and we took James (my mother-in-law had to take me because they told me not to drive) so it took us a bit to get in there. After a veeerrrry fun exam (seriously, not what you want to do one week postpartum) the doctor diagnosed me with endometritis, an infection in the lining of my uterus. She said I needed to be admitted to the hospital right away where I would get 48 hours of continuous IV antibiotics and I had to be fever-free for 24 hours before I'd be released. I cried. We had only been home a few days after the NICU and that had been so stressful being away from Emma and I really didn't want to go back. They told me to bring James so I could feed him and that I could go home and get my things before heading to the hospital.

Monday night was a total nightmare. We got to the hospital to check in and they were so confused about who we were and what we were doing there and where we were supposed to be. It took two hours of us sitting in the waiting room (me still miserably shivering and freezing, but my face flushed from fever) for them to finally get us admitted. They took us to the room only to discover that it wasn't clean. We literally just stood in the hallway for 20 minutes while they cleaned a new room for us. We thought that since this was related to my delivery and we were being treated by an OB and we had a baby with us, we'd be in the maternity services ward. Nope. We were on a general observation ward. The room was half the size of a maternity room and there was no bed for either Hans or James. The nurse comes in and says "So you're here for nausea and vomiting?" No... I'm here for fever and horrible cramping pains. She looks all flustered and says I was admitted wrong and she'll go investigate. Quite a bit later she comes back and says it was sorted out and she "paged Dr. Zeb who will be by soon to consult." Hans and I looked at each other alarmed. Dr. ZEB is the PEDIATRICIAN who treated our son in the NICU. We should be seeing Dr. SUMMERS, an OBSTETRICIAN for a uterine infection. More flustered, more trying to figure it out. Finally get everything sorted and go to start the IVs. Massively blew the vein in my left hand. Try again on my left arm and get it. At this point I haven't taken any Tylenol in several hours and my fever is up to almost 103 and the cramping pains have become really bad. I didn't realize how much the Tylenol had been hiding the infection symptoms. Yikes. After 4.5 hours we're finally where we should be. But still no beds. It took another hour for a bed for James and another two for one for Hans. It was not a good experience. We got a few hours of sleep and the next morning Hans is getting ready to walk out the door to go to work when they come in and say "Oh, by the way, you can't leave." Ummm... what? When they explained it made total sense. I was the patient and James was just a visitor, so I couldn't be the primary care giver for him. If I needed to be taken for additional tests or if for some reason I was unconscious or something, someone needed to be there to take care of James while they doctors treated me. I get it, but I was really frustrated that at no point were we ever told that. We could have made arrangements! We spent the rest of the day scrambling to find someone who could come sit with me so Hans could go to work for a few hours (Thank you, Mandy!)
The second IV attempt worked, but main, what an inconvenient spot.
So. Much. Fluid. I peed so much.
The next three days were really rough. I was really low. I felt terrible, I hated being hooked up to the machines, it was hard to nurse without getting tangled in IVs, I missed Emma and we were so stressed trying to figure out how to get people to come sit with me so Hans could work. It was just terrible. My mother-in-law definitely saw my ugly cry for the first time when I just had a total break down one day.
Someone didn't seem to mind the hospital at all.
Em came to visit my in the hospital and brought Chickfila for dinner. But didn't want to share her precious milkshake.
The worst part was that I mentioned a couple times to my nurse that my IV hurt and she kept looking and saying it looked fine but we'd "keep an eye on it." Finally on Wednesday morning, a new nurse actually took me seriously. She took one look at my arm and told me the vein was infiltrated and the fluid was going partially into my tissue. She told me she'd need to do a new one (more ugly crying). However, this angel nurse decided to give me a little break from the IV. She took out the bad one and I instantly felt relief. So. Much. Better. She told me I could have a couple hours off it since I wasn't scheduled for more antibiotics until 5. I was able to take a shower and change clothes for the first time in three days! I was able to nurse without wires! Go to the bathroom without wires! It was so wonderful and did so much to improve my mood. When they tried to do the next IV, they blew that vein, too. After three bad sticks, the nurses were done with me. They went and go the pros from the PICU department who came in, took one look at my veins, and slipped it right in flawlessly. I just stared at them with jaw dropped before blurting "where have you been for two days?!?"
The fourth IV - finally a good one!
The last night went much smoother (we asked to NOT have that first nurse again) and Thursday morning I was finally cleared to go home. I don't think I've ever been happier to go home.
Let's get out of here!
I'm feeling much better now, but I think I have some kind of trauma from the experience - I am so on edge just waiting for it to come back. My doctor assures me that they used the most aggressive treatment and caught the infection early so it's gone. But every little "weird" thing I feel now makes me so paranoid. This was the pregnancy that kept on giving and I would not wish endometritis on my worst enemy. So glad to be done with that. Peace out, Seton, let's not do this again.

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