Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Eventful Weekend

As a follow-on from my last post, and because it’s too long for a Facebook post, I wanted to record the last couple of days in a post because it was an absolute whirlwind of emotions for me. Warning: This will be long!

On Saturday 19th, at about 7:00pm, I was driving home and started getting some pretty uncomfortable pains in my abdomen. I shrugged it off as indigestion, and went home, straight to bed and thought I’d just try to sleep it off.

Sunday morning and I still wasn’t feeling 100% – the pains in my lower abdomen had gone but around my bellybutton and above was still rather uncomfortable and painful. Again, I shrugged it off and went about my day (in some pain) and it wasn’t till the evening that Michael said, “Maybe you should call the midwives, just to be safe”. I called the antenatal clinic, and they said because I was under 20 weeks with abdominal pain, I would be taken to emergency. I called my mum, told her, she said to get out to the hospital. I called my dad, he came to pick us up and we went straight out.

On the way, I called the free nurse hotline for another opinion. They asked me a lot of questions and in the end said I was doing the right thing by going to emergency.

We sat in emergency for a couple of hours, saw the triage nurse, and then I was called in by a doctor. They pressed on my abdomen and said they would need to do a blood test. I was moved to another bed and a cannula was inserted in my hand, some blood was taken and we were told that we’d be waiting at least another 45 minutes for results. At this point it was 12:45am Monday morning, so I told Michael to go and tell my dad (who was in the waiting room) to go home and we’d call when we had more information.

At about 1:30, a doctor came to see me, told me my white blood cell count was a little higher than normal, and that they’d have to book an ultrasound because they were worried that I had appendicitis. I told them that my main concern is my baby, I don’t want anything to hurt my baby. They said they understood and essentially left me to book in the ultrasound for the next morning.

We tried to get a little sleep (I got no more than 3 hours, Michael only got about 20 minutes because he was in a chair), and waited… and waited… On no sleep, no food, no drink and an IV, I was getting very irritable. Not to mention, by this point, I was having very little pain compared to the night before.

We had nurses and doctors coming in and out from about 6:00am till 10:30 when I was taken for ultrasound. I was so so so grateful to see Peanut on the screen and that he/she was moving around being quite active, didn’t seem to be too distressed. They tried to see my appendix but couldn’t see anything abnormal, although they then mentioned that sometimes it can be hidden by the bowel, and also because I’m pregnant and starting to stretch, things aren’t in the usual places that they normally are.

After getting back to my ‘booth’ in emergency, the doctor went to check in with the ultrasound guy, came back and told me I’d be admitted as an in-patient and possibly booked in for surgery. At this point I was extraordinarily upset, because I didn’t want to have surgery (I’m 24 and never had a surgery in my life – not even a broken nose or anything). The surgeon’s assistant came in, asked the same billion questions that I’d been asked before, before admin signed up all my paperwork. At this point Michael was absolutely exhausted and I told him to call my parents, have them come out and take him home. Mum stayed with me while Dad took Michael home for some sleep.

During this time, the surgeon’s assistant came back and told me that what the surgeon would like to do is a diagnostic laproscopy, meaning a 1cm cut, insert a camera and have a look around inside to see what’s going on. I’d have to be under general anaesthetic, and she assured me that this was fine for baby. I signed the paperwork on her word that it would be safe. As I was about to be moved to the ward, an OB/GYN from the gynaecological unit came and spoke to me, mentioned he’d read through my file and said it could be some other things such as stretching, a cyst (I can’t remember the exact name of it) that acts as the ‘placenta’ while the actual placenta is still forming – essentially once the placenta is established the cyst shrivels and dies and there can be pain associated with that process. He also assured me that while my white blood cell count was higher than normal, I am 14 weeks pregnant and my levels were normal for my stage in pregnancy simply to the higher blood volume. He was very reassuring and I felt confident with his opinion.

I was finally moved up to a ward at 3:00pm (still Monday at this point!). At this point, I had very little-to-no pain, but they wanted to monitor me. Mum and Dad stayed with me until about 4:00pm, by which point the doctor hadn’t been in to see me and they figured they’d go home. I messaged Michael and said he’d have to come in now since visiting hours end at 8:00pm on the ward. He came in and sat with me to wait.

At about 5:00 the surgeon came in and talked me through what their intentions were for the laproscopy, and since they weren’t sure if it was my appendix or not, that my pain had subsided, but I still had pain upon them pushing on my abdomen (and more so when they released the pressure quickly), they wanted to go in and do it. However, he then mentioned that by going under the anaesthetic, there was a risk I could lose my baby. I instantly started bawling my eyes out because I’d been told there was very little risk to bub (I know there’s always a risk with surgeries and anaesthetics, but I’d been told it was safe). I told the doctor my main concern is baby, he told me their main concern was me. I felt like spitting in his face and telling him that if their concern is with me, and my concern is with my baby that they should be concerned about my baby, but by this point (nearly 24 hours without food, sleep or drink) I didn’t have the energy. Michael asked them firstly what the numbers were – is the chance 1/100, 1/1000, or what? The surgeon didn’t have the numbers. Michael then asked them to contact my obstetrician, and the gynaecological unit at the hospital, and get their opinion.

About an hour later, the head surgeon came in and sat down, spoke to me and said because my pain had subsided and they still aren’t sure if it’s my appendix, that they’d spoken to the gynaecological unit at the hospital and they did not agree that the surgery was necessary, that they’d cancel the surgery at this point, put me on antibiotics via IV, and monitor me for a little longer – possibly switch to oral antibiotics by Tuesday afternoon and head home Wednesday.

By this point I was FINALLY allowed to eat since they wouldn’t be conducting surgery, which instantly made me feel better. Shortly after I had some food, the gyne (the same one who saw me in emergency) came in and asked if they’d called off the surgery. I told him yes, and he said that he was very happy with that because normally the surgeons don’t listen to them! He reiterated that he wasn’t confident that it was my appendix simply because the pain had subsided, and there were so many other things it could be. I said I trusted his opinion from his position and was grateful he was able to turn them around.

Michael went home at about 7:30 and I sort of sat in bed and read magazines, watched TV and played my 3DS till about 9:00pm when I went to sleep. I was so grateful for a room on my own – I was so tired I was so happy to be able to get some uninterrupted sleep. The only times I woke up was when I needed to roll over because I had the IV in my arm.

I woke up at about 6:00am, and the head surgeon came in to see me again at about 6:30-7:00. He pressed on my tummy again and I had very little pain, just a little tender. He said they’d take me off the IV antibiotics now and switch me to orals, and then I could go home later that day. I went back to sleep for a little while and woke up again about 7:30. Had some breakfast at about 8:00am, Michael called me at about 8:15 and I told him they said I could come home. He got my Mum to bring him out and we waited for a while… and a little while longer… waiting to be discharged and be given my oral antibiotics. Finally, the pharmacist came in with my antibiotics, the nurse came in to remove my cannula, and I was allowed to go home. I ended up back home at about 1:00pm yesterday (Tuesday).

I’m on rest at home till next Monday when I’m allowed to go back to work, by which point I’ll have finished my course of antibiotics and they’ll want me back next Thursday to follow-up.

Unreal couple of days, I didn’t know so many emotions could be experienced in such a short amount of time.

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