Thursday, December 15, 2011

Days 6-7

I HATE that I can't load pictures into the blog right now.  It's so boring to just have text.  It's very stream of consciousness writing, which I am not a big fan of.  I have been doing all of my facebooking on my phone and my blogging on the TV internet in my room.  I hope to be setting up a laptop soon, though, so pictures may be forthcoming.  It might just be pictures of my room, so don't get too excited.

I wanted to write an update on everything since my last update.  Somehow, amazingly, I have been trying to write this post since Monday and have RUN OUT OF TIME on 3 separate days.  How does someone on hospital bed rest run out of time?

Saturday, Dec 10th
My dad's birthday.  It would have been a nice day for Elliott to join us.  He did not.

I mentioned before that I have a really hard time with IV's. I am a "hard stick" and have more than one horror story with getting an IV started.  I'd rather them take blood every hour than to do one IV.

I had an IV started in my left hand by the anethesiologist on Monday when I first got to triage.  That one expired on Thursday so the anesthesiologist started a new one in my right hand.  After Wednesday the only thing I needed the IV for was antibiotics.

We will sidetrack for a moment to talk about current childbirth practices in the U.S. because it is relevant to the rest of the story.

In a normal pregnancy the expectant mother is tested for Group B strep at around 36-37 weeks.  Group B strep is a normal bacteria that grows in the digestive track of every person on the planet.  It is not harmful.  Sometimes, because of going potty (you know what I mean), the bacteria can be transferred to the birth canal where it can colonize.  Even if that happens it is not harmful to an adult.  A woman can be colonized her whole life and suffer no ill effects from it.  If a baby happens to pass through a Group B strep colonized birth canal, however, it can be disastrous.  If the baby gets the bacteria in their system it can cause infection, meningitis, sepsis and a host of other problems.

If a woman tests positive for Group B strep she is treated immediately so that the baby can be born safely.  If she is negative she is not tested again.  If she has not been tested before labor begins she is automatically treated with 2 separate infusions of antibiotics before delivery.  That's what happened with Spencer.  I delivered before being tested, so I was automatically treated.

Which brings us to now.  Since I was 33 weeks 5 days when I came to the hospital, I had not yet been tested. Everyone assumed I would deliver that day (and within a day or two if not that day) so I was started on antibiotics immediately and was continued on them every 4 hours because I could have delivered at any minute.  After I was removed from the magnesium and saline drips on Wednesday, my IV was flushed with saline, I was given a half hour penicillin drip and then it was flushed with saline again.  Every 4 hours.  24 hours a day.

On Saturday evening my 48 hour old IV started leaking.  The correct medical terminology is that it infiltrated, but basically the fluids were leaking into me (out of my vein) and also out of me (my hand was getting wet).  My nurse tightened the IV, retaped it and hoped for the best.  During my next dose I leaked all over, inside and out.  It really hurt.  The nurse took that IV out and said she would have to start a new one.  I told her that anethesiology had been starting my IV's.  She went to check with them and reported back that they told her she needed to try first.  All of my nurses have been wonderful and I have really had no issues, so I would like to believe she was telling the truth.

I debated back and forth just refusing to let her even try.  She was adamant though that she was just going to look for a good vein and wouldn't even try a stick if she didn't find a good vein.  Thank goodness she was actually good and was able to find a vein and got it started with one, not so terrible stick.  The gross part is that now my IV was in the top part of my left arm. 

I had my antibiotics and then went to sleep.

Sunday, December 11th

At 4 am I was due for my next dose.  She came in, flushed it and started the drip.  It was immediately painful.  Like really, really, really painful. I turned on the lights and saw that a huge, hard lump had started forming under my arm.  And it was growing larger and more painful by the second.  So I burst out in tears and pushed the call button.  When my nurse came in I was crying so hard I couldn't talk.  She had to guess what was wrong.  By the time she saw my arm I had a baseball size, really hard bump under my skin.  She immediately stopped the drip and within minutes had removed the IV.

I spent the next 4 hours alternating between crying and sleeping.  I decided I was going to refuse a new IV and more antibiotics and demand I be tested for the Group B strep (which in hindsite I should have done earlier).  I also made up my mind that I just would not have Elliott until I knew the results of the test (which typically takes 24 to 48 hours).

I have a different doctor from my practice each day, depending who is on call.  Dr. M was  here on Sunday and she was not pleased with me, but I stood my ground.  If my job is to sit here and be relaxed and not go into labor then forcing an IV on me is not the way to do it.  I was so stressed out about it that I would have for sure delivered if it had continued.

The other important thing about Sunday was that I was finally released from 24 hour a day monitoring and placed on every 8 hour monitoring.  That has been HUGE. I can finally move around without being bothered all day and night.  I even started sleeping more than 45 minutes at a time.

Stay tuned.  I have a 20 minute date with the monitor and then I hope to be back with days 8 to 11.  There are some humorous stories about these days, so maybe you won't be bored to tears while reading.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I'm impressed that we still have so much to talk about each day when all you do is sit and stare at the walls! :-)