Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Frustration Continues...

I have wanted to write this post for a while... and then on Tuesday I was given more depressing news.

Since I found out I was pregnant, I have essentially been unwell. That puts me at 17 months of dealing with one or more health issues or infections.

If you have read this blog, you know that my pregnancy was tough. There were some bad times. Some scary times. Twice I thought that I had lost my girl, and I thought she was stillborn in addition to those times. I could write a long, detailed experience of each one, but I kind of feel that overall... well, that no one really gives a shit. I know people have encouraging words, and I know the people that read this don't wish bad things on me... but no one likes to read about downers.

Having said that, I apologize for this post.

But I have cried myself to sleep for the last 5 nights. Am I lucky to have what I have? Yes. Could things be worse? Why, you're damn straight they could, I should be blissfully grateful for all the wonderful people, experiences and things I have. But my reality is trying sometimes. I know that people overcome far more, and are so much stronger and so much more capable.

But it seems there is only so much I can handle. So much I can take. So I am going to list, in point form, all the shit I have been dealing with since I found out I was pregnant in October 2012.

Fun? No. Funny? Not this time. I'm quite sure no one will WANT to read this, but I need to do it for me. It feels like the only way to get it off my chest.

October 2012 - Discovered I was pregnant. Basically had symptoms of Mono, as well as a sinus/chest infection and a cold.

November 2012 - Excruciating pain, call to 911, ambulance ride, talk of ectopic pregnancy, forced morphine despite pregnancy, being told to shut up and "keep it down" by the ER doc. Finally diagnosed with a hernia in my gut. Finally heard that the baby's heart was beating okay.

December 2012 - Bleeding. Cramping. Visit to the doctor where she essentially told me to expect the worst. A day of waiting for my emergency ultrasound appointment, as I tried to accept the fact that my baby had probably died. Finally got in there for the scan. Was kind of in shock when the technician told me the baby was fine. Such a relief. It actually took me a few days to accept that she was alive and well.

January 2013 - May 2013 - Extreme nausea. Vomiting. Fatigue. Back pain. Hip pain. Inability to sleep. Bleeding from so many places. Serious discomfort. People telling me to get out and be active, while I could barely climb stairs or find the strength to throat punch them as required.

May 2013 - Traumatic birth of my baby girl (she is okay).

June 2013 - 10 days after she was born, I was still experiencing excruciating pain. TMI DISCLAIMER: After a trip to the ER on my birthday, and a brush off from the doctor, I had a follow up ultrasound the next day. Shit was WRONG. Baby and Hubby were at home. I had just come from our family portraits at Sears. I was told to head back to the ER immediately as there was still baby leftovers in me.

After waiting about 6 hours, I had to call the on-call OB-GYN. Otherwise I have no idea how much longer I'd have waited. I didn't bring a breast pump. I didn't have my baby. But my body was still HALFWAY DILATED to birthing with what was going on. I was admitted. There's more to the story, but I needed surgery.

June & July 2013 - Infection in my uterus, boobs, and more. Lots of pain meds and antibiotics.

August 2013 - More boob issues. So many nursing issues, they deserve their own post. A month-long unidentified bladder infection that my old OB claimed to have left me voicemail about (she was so so so lying).

September 2013 - Poor OB care and another uterine infection. My fallopian tube was ready to burst. Severe infection requiring twice daily IV antibiotic therapy in-hospital. Trip home cancelled to introduce my baby to family because I was so weak I couldn't even do stairs. More pain meds. Overall, 8 antibiotics administered over a 3 week period.

*All this time, I STILL wasn't supposed to be using my abdominal muscles because my hernia would pop out and be very uncomfortable*

October & November 2013 - More infections. More pills. More tears. Milk supply issues as always, still sore nipples, still pumping, still fighting for it.

I don't even remember December 2013 and January 2014, but I know there were many dizzy spells, still no use of my abs, no way to really get active and back in shape. Trapped, frustrated, unwell.

February 2014 - Belly hernia "day" surgery. Was supposed to go home at 5:30pm. Doctor ended up using mesh to repair two separate areas. My abs were totally wrecked from the pregnancy. When I woke up, I was in some of the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. I was admitted and doped up for 4 days. It was awful. More pain meds.

March 2014 - Signed up for a tough obstacle course with the Hubs and other mamma friends. Hoped to train hard upon surgery recovery, FINALLY. Still had sooo much pain to the left of the scarring and repair areas. Surgeon informed me this week that it is most likely nerve damage from the local freezing needles they used before surgery. That it may take months to heal, or may never heal. That I still can't use my abs, that the repair areas are full of "an impressive amount" of scar tissue, and that it will also take months for that area to regulate and not be sore every time my daughter's foot brushes against my gut. That I shouldn't do the race. That I can't do ab exercises. That pushing through the pain will not be helpful. And that I will likely need cortisone shots in my stomach to help alleviate the constant pain.

Now, I've left a lot of stuff out. This is the Cliffs notes. I know it could be so much worse, but I am so tired of being in pain EVERY SINGLE DAY. I can't walk the dog. It hurts to carry and lift the baby. I can't EXERCISE HARD and start to lose weight and feel healthy again. My body hates me. I don't know what to do next.

What do you tell yourself when you feel defeated? How do you push through when the days are long, and they hurt?

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  1. My goodness. That was a tough brutal read. One doesn't expect pregnancy to be fun, but still. You have my sympathies.

    Take this with a grain of salt because I'm a guy, and what do I know about it? But when you're struggling with stuff, it's a balance. You do what you can today, and try not to beat yourself up because you dream of doing more. You aim for a goal, but you stay mindful of your current condition.

    In the end, you have two choices. You roll over and give up on yourself and your daughter. Or you get out of bed and slog along as best you can. To paraphrase another meme, you have to believe it gets better.

    I am minded of an exchanged on a CD we have, in a discussion about some suspect tacos. "Gosh Ranger Doug, is it ok that he leaves the stage, in the middle of a big recording session?" "Well, Woody Paul, consider the alternatives."

    1. @Keith - I thank you immensely for taking the time to read it and follow up with a comment. I always feel worse in the middle of the night, which is when I wrote this post. You can bet yer ass I won't roll over and give up for my daughter's sake, so by default that means I can't give up on me. I just wish I could feel physically FREE to move.

      I actually was thinking about you when we signed up for Tough Mudder. I've been trying to run, but it's been complicated. I'm not very good yet and I seem to get incredible knee and shin pain. But I'm going to keep working at it, because it doesn't "hurt" my repair areas.

      Thanks again.

  2. what a horrible 18 months you've had! and I know it is truly hard, but focusing on just what is important at each moment and staying in the present moment can really help. kinda says a lot about you that you planned to train hard for an intense obstacle course within weeks of abdominal surgery for a hernia that had been causing major issues for a long time. Your body doesn't hate you...but it might soon if you keep trying to pull that shit. First you must heal. This takes serious time. rest. gentle slow stretches. deep breathing. laughter should be your only abdominal exercise lol. Jeez 8 antibiotics!? Your gut alone is still in a healing process (and important for immune health) and then you had major surgery, another immune system kick in the ass. Hopefully someone has mentioned probiotics?
    I have learned most of this the hard way, as we silly humans are prone to do. Especially us stubborn crazy ones! It's not ok to just push thru your pain, We may have to learn to live with some pain, but not as much as you may think. You've been pushing and pushing and doing and doing, Stop everything but the essentials...and really, not much besides feeding yourself and your baby, getting enough rest is really essential. Let other shit and expectations etc just go. Freaking hard to do, but only you can start healing. No one else can do it for you. Take naps, do gentle yoga. if you can afford it, find a good massage therapist or energy worker and acupuncture and chiropractic and health coaching and every other thing you can think of...nothing is more important that your health. You want to be around and able to have fun watching your child grow up, and that requires allowing healing to happen. It can't happen when you keep pushing and doing. Breathe. Again. Deep breathing good for mind and body. Laughter and deep breathing for ab exercises. Protect your belly. Use pillow to protect yourself from legs and arms and head when nursing. Don't lift her unless you are the only adult there and she can't climb up to you. Remember there are wonderful moms in wheelchairs, so you don't have to do everything you think you do. If you keep pushing, something worse will happen. If I can't be a good example, at least I can be a horrible warning lol!

    1. @it's all good: Wow. Just wow. Your comment made me tear up. You have some sage advice. I feel like I still need to try to do cardio so that the uphill climb back to health won't be impossible... but I think I will back off a little for at least the next three weeks or so.

      I just read your "mad" post. You've inspired me to write another post here that talks about the GOOD stuff. I need that balance that Keith's talking about above, too!

  3. keep talking. live in the moment. enjoy life the best you can. i know you hate the idea of adjusting to a new normal, but hopefully it will be a temporary normal. i know how debilitating and frustrating and tiring constant pain can be (i'm only going on 7 months and my vajayay wasn't involved at all, so you totes have me beat there) and while it's important to try and push through it to live your life, you have to treat yourself kindly as well. don't be so hard on yourself. it's okay to vent. what the fuck else were blogs invented for except for people who are not narcissistic whores to talk about themselves, their lives, their dreams, their frustrations, their hopes, their failures - and expect others to care? <3 you!

  4. Oh. My. God. That is a truly awful period of time you've been through. I can't even imagine - 8 antibiotics. WOW.

    I haven't fought such a battle, and don't much advice except what the previous comments alluded to. But I know we all have our moments in time when we just have to let it all out. If you keep it bottled up inside, it'll just fester. Make sure you have people who you can talk to, whether it's Hubs, family, or friends. And once in awhile, let it out. Whether it's crying, screaming or eating a pint of ice cream all by yourself. I do sincerely hope that your body begins to heal properly so that you can do things that make you happy and hopefully be in far less pain.

    And I'm not one for lawsuits, but I would consider looking into suing for such blatant oversights by this OB that seemed to miss a few important details (like you weren't completely cleaned out after giving birth). I just can't believe any doctor would actually miss that shit. That really makes me mad and makes me want to go up there and kick them where it hurts.

  5. This has been in my reader for a hundred years because I first read it on my phone and lawd there was no way I'd be able to post a comment from there.

    I am SO SORRY that you have had to live through this!! Don't apologize for sharing your feelings or your story here! That's why you started it! You don't need to worry about offending me with anything that's honest. All these physical problems and then throw pregnancy/post partum hormones on top of them? I'm pretty sure you are amazing for getting through it all.

    My best advice is snuggles. With your daughter, with your husband. Cry when you need to, hell maybe even see a therapist, you have been through ALOT. Do all the things It's All Good suggested, awesome advice. I had some baby bits left after a d&c that ended up with me bleeding 5 weeks, then hemorrhaging, followed up by emergency surgery and a blood transfusion. It was out of control, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    Sending light, love and healing thoughts to you.


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