Catch up

27 Jun

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.

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8 Responses to “Catch up”

  1. nickeecoco June 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    My goodness. The whole gallbladder incident sounds terrifying and awful. Your poor body :(

    I’ve heard it’s common to have gallbladder issues during or after pregnancy because of the excess estrogen.

    Positive thoughts for your baby girl on her next surgery. You have been through so much, and I understand the feeling of people saying “you’re so strong” while inside you feel as if you’re barely scraping by.

  2. slese1014 June 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    You poor thing….as if you needed any more complications. I’m glad to hear everyone is doing well all things considered. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers!!

  3. nonsequiturchica June 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry that you had to go through three attacks before finally having surgery! Good thing you switched doctors (“breathe through it” my ass). Hope your recovery is going well….

  4. Amanda (readingeachpage.blogspot.com) June 28, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Oh my goodness, you cannot get a break. I’m glad they figured out what was going on and you’re back with Turtle. Hope you’re feeling okay.

  5. afamilyformcmanda June 28, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    You have my sympathy with the gall bladder episode… when I had my attacks, I felt like I was going to die. I know they say you can’t die from pain, but I sure felt like I could!
    Sounds like turtlegirl is doing well, and that you are therapeutic to each other’s healing!

  6. jjiraffe June 28, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Are you KIDDING me!?! Oh my Lordy. That sucks about your gallbladder but glad (at last) the drs were able to locate the problem.

    I wish I were close so I could give you a hug. And or a glass of wine. Sheesh, lady! Glad Turtle continues to do really well.

  7. Kristin June 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    I’ve also had my gallbladder removed. The attacks are no joke, and freaked me out, too! I’m glad they were able to take them out!

  8. Alicia July 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Oh my god Shelley. I’m so glad that you guys caught this. What a nightmare.

    You ARE so strong. I know you feel like you are doing what any one would do, but believe me, not everyone would handle it with as much grace as you. Turtle is a fighter and again i can see why – she clearly gets it from her mama.

    Hugs. I hope less eventful times are ahead here.

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