So it’s been a week since my last update. But I feel I have a legitimate excuse in that I’ve not only been significantly ill, but I’ve been exhausted, as well! Welcome to pregnancy, eh?? 😉
So to catch you up (and by you, I mean any poor lugnut who happens across this page and has any interest whatsoever in learning about the dark side of some random stranger’s pregnancy…), the last time I updated, we were having a friend to come over for the evening. Well, Mark and I were being kind of lazy that night and had decided in advance that we’d order some pizza rather than have to cook and eat before our guest arrived. So I found a good deal online and got us a couple of different Pizza Hut pies. I wound up with a meat feast and some sort of bbq chicken pizza for Mark.
All was well, but after eating a couple of slices, I started feeling somewhat unwell. Nothing too specific, and because we had a friend over and were having fun, I just ignored it for the most part.
The next morning (Saturday), I woke up feeling happy and in love with life. Mark and I decided to have a bit of a lazy day cuddling in bed and just hanging out in our PJs. At some point, he went and got me the box of pizza leftovers and I had a couple more slices. We then took a nap together for a couple hours, and that’s when the trouble really started.
When I woke up, I realised I wasn’t feeling too hot. I felt kind of lightheaded and ill. My stomach was hurting, and I felt I had a fever coming on. I figured we had some errands to run and fresh air might help, so off we went to the local grocery store to pick up some stuff. But within minutes, I knew I was getting really ill. At the shop, I bought a thermometer so that I could take my temperature, and it was somewhere around 38 degrees. Not huge, but the start of a fever for sure.
And from that point on, I was sick. The next 36 hours were spent running to the toilet every 10 – 15 minutes with the most violent diarrhea I’ve ever had. Forgive the TMI, but it is a fact of life for many people, and I’m not one to shy away from the truth. At one point, my fever spiked and I even got semi-delirious while we had our neighbour around. She and Mark wanted to take me to A&E at that point, but I refused to go, thinking it was just a little tummy bug and I’d be fine Sunday morning.
But Sunday it was worse. I consulted my friends on my online pregnancy forums, and while most urged me to go to A&E (just in case), a few suggested simply calling NHS Direct for advice. So that’s what I did Sunday night. After several phone calls back and forth between nurses and doctors, I was told it was likely I had gastroenteritis and it should go away in the next 12 – 24 hours. I was to drink plenty of fluids and eat bland food like toast or mashed potatos.
Monday I was worse. Tuesday I was in agony.
By the time Mark returned from work Tuesday evening, I knew I needed medical attention. My fevers had been rocking between 38 and 39.6 degrees! I was in excruciating stomach pain which paracetemol was not helping. I was still running to the toilet every 10 minutes, but despite the cramping and peristalsis, nothing would come out. There was nothing inside of me! At best, I was getting a mucousy yellow slime, and that was all.
So off we went to the hospital. I told the receptionist I was 19 weeks pregnant and ill, and she told me to take a seat and wait for the triage nurse. The place was quite crowded on that night, and it was easy to see the protocol: people were called in to triage, talked to for 5 minutes and then sent back to the waiting room. Feeling it would be a long night, I told Mark I’d go into triage alone and just get that sorted so he didnt have to waste time with me. He said that was fine and just played on his iPad.
When I was called in, the nurse talked me through my issues, and she seemed quite sympathetic. She asked to take my blood pressure. It was 80/45. Not good. Then she asked if she could take my blood sugar. She had to prick my finger 4 times in order to get any blood out, and when she did, my sugar was 2.8. Very low. She asked if I felt dizzy, and as I was swaying on the spot, it was easy to say that yes I was.
She then surprised me by saying, “Grab your boyfriend, girlie, you’re going in now.” So I called out to Mark and we were taken in. Again, the place was crawling with people. There weren’t any available rooms, and the nurse actually went and took a woman out of one so that we could have it! In a few moments, another nurse came in with a gown and told me to get undressed and put it on. Now I’ve been to A&E loads of times, and I’ve NEVER had to put on a gown, so I was getting a little bit nervous by then.
Also, by this time, we’d been away from the house for about 45 minutes, and my tummy was playing up. So I asked for the loo, and I went to deal with the problem. When I got back, Mark said some women had come to check me over, but as I was gone, they said they’d be back. So we waited, and eventually a consultant came in and again ran through my symptoms. She asked when the last time I’d felt the baby was. I said I hadn’t been able to feel it since Saturday, but I emphasised that I was in so much pain since then that I doubted I’d recognise any sort of movement. She agreed.
She then did a quick belly exam and gave me reassurance that all FELT right inside. She said she would return in a few minutes with a doppler and that we’d see what we could hear.
After a few, she returned. She said she had an emergency around the corner she needed to deal with, but before she went she wanted to reassure me by trying the doppler. It was very kind of her. Then, as if nerves got the better of her, she warned me that she’s not a midwife and doesn’t use the doppler all the time, so if she COULDN’T find the baby’s heartbeat, I shouldnt get worried. I felt pretty bad for her, as I could see she really did care. Anyway, she DID find the heartbeat, and all was well, so that was a good start.
After she left to take care of her emergency, the original nurse came in with tubes and needles and said she was going to take some blood and then put me on an IV Drip to replenish some fluids. And that’s just what she did. I have to admit, the canula HURT. I’ve had loads of them inserted before, but that was by far the most painful one I’ve ever endured. I still have a big bruise on my arm from it!
She set me up with a drip and told me it would take a couple hours for the blood results to come through. So we sat back to wait. And wait. And wait. I did have to use the toilet a few more times while we were there, which was great fun. Imagine running the halls of a crowded hospital in an ugly gown and towing an IV pole with you! 🙂 Not very glamourous, I can tell ya!
At some point, our consultant came back and said that she was unfortunately done with her shift and someone else would have to bring me my results. So we said thank you and goodbye. She wished us well and left.
After another long while (by this point my IV was long done and blood was escaping into the tubing), a man came in and said they’d had the blood results which “weren’t TOO bad,” but had some high markers for some form of infection. He said that he would like to admit me overnight so that they could continue to pump me with fluids as I was showing as severely dehydrated. But he said he’d have to get a gynae consult as they don’t like to admit pregnant women due to the amount of germs in a hospital.
So we waited some more. Finally, in came some perky girl who said we could leave. No explanation, nor any help on how to fix what was wrong with me. Advised me to take paracetemol for pain and drink lots of water and get lots of rest. Mark lovingly stood up for me and begged her to give me something to cope with the pain, and the woman just said, “You’re pregnant, so you have to suffer.”
She told me to get dressed and go home. So once a nurse came to remove the canula, that’s what we did.
It was all together a horrible process, and besides the IV, there was really nothing done to help. My distrust of doctors remains. 🙂
Anyway, that was Tuesday night. When I was still in agony on Wednesday, I went against doctors’ advice and sent Mark to buy me some immodium. It worked… ish.
It is now Friday, and though I am still struggling with intermittent toilet issues, the excruciating pain has ebbed, and I do not feel like I’m dying. Also my fevers have gone, and I am somewhat more relaxed. A few more days and I hope to be right as rain.