The past two weeks have been one thing after another. Just when we’re starting to settle in to a routine here at the hospital and finding our sea legs, I wake up with searing chest pain after I go to sleep on my birthday, unable to catch my breath.
We left Turtle alone with the nurses for the first time ever while security rushed me over in a wheelchair to the Brigham ER. Six hours later, one chest X-ray, one CT scan, a heart ultrasound, an EKG, after giving blood and urine, they ruled out preeclampsia complications and an embolism. They gave me morphine for the pain, which was wonderful, until it wore off and the pain was still there. It ultimately lasted about nine hours. We got back “home” to Children’s, promptly got colds, and hoped it would never happen again. The ER attending clearly thought it was just a panic attack because he told me to just “breathe through it” if it happened again.
It did, on Father’s Day around noon. I was completely incapacitated, just lying on my bed here in the hospital, in the worst pain I could imagine. We didn’t know what to do. Another trip to the ER? We couldn’t see what they would do differently. The pain lasted about twelve hours this time. My parents suspected it was my gallbladder, so I got myself a new PCP at Beth Israel and saw a resident there the next day.
Two days later, a gallbladder ultrasound confirmed that there were stones present. I scheduled an appointment with a surgeon for nine days later and hoped I’d make it. But of course I didn’t. On Friday night I had another attack and this time I couldn’t take the pain. So at 3 am, DH put me in a wheelchair and rolled me to the BI ER. There we waited with people coughing all around us while they gave me morphine (sweet relief!) and ordered another ultrasound.
They ended up admitting me to the hospital on Saturday afternoon and long story short, I had my gallbladder removed laproscopically on Tuesday morning around 4 am (after being an “add on” to the surgery schedule all day and continually being bumped). I spent three and a half miserable nights away from my baby girl, most of the time just sitting around, starving “just in case” I needed to go into surgery, trying desperately to pump and watching my supply dwindle to next to nothing (where it remains for now). More than a few meltdowns were had. I fully acknowledged my newfound fear of dying, now that I have a baby.
But. I was discharged 11 hours after I went into surgery and taken right back to Children’s to see my girl. I missed her so much! I missed just being in this hospital room with her all day. I missed all our favorite nurses who have become our friends. As much as I’ve hated being here, I suddenly saw it in a new, more appreciative light. We may not be home, but at least we can be at the hospital all together.
Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am. I still don’t understand it. I really feel like I’m just getting by and doing what I absolutely have to do, they only things I can do.
ps. One quick point of clarification: Turtle is not in the NICU. She cleared the NICU after two days. She’s very stable and just needs to keep growing on TPN. We’re on a surgical floor for infants and toddlers. She will be back in the NICU for a few days after her next surgery, which is scheduled for four weeks from tomorrow.