Feels more like day 24, instead of 4.
I thought that maybe I would get to go home today, but my lypaise levels went from 2,000 to 2,020 today. Not a huge difference, but they were hoping to see a drop in the levels.
So it's been another day of the liquid diet for me. I have been handling it pretty well, but today I am really starting to feel the hunger. Here is what I've eaten since Thursday:
Thursday night - 1 banana, 1.5 pieces of toast
Friday - water, ice chips
Saturday morning - liquid diet (juice, jello, broth)
Saturday afternoon - 2 vanilla puddings, pea soup, juice, 2 saltine crackers
Sunday morning - nothing, not even water. :(
Sunday afternoon - water
Sunday evening - liquid diet
Monday - liquid diet
For a lot of this time, they have had me hooked up to an IV giving me fluids that has helped. But it's just basically water and electrolytes. No calories or anything. Today I haven't been on an IV at all and I think it might be why I am feeling the hunger more. That or it's just that HELLO I haven't eaten hardly anything in the past 5 days.
Today I met with a lot of doctors. I have an internal medicine doctor who is now in charge of my care so he gives all of my orders (instead of my OB). Then there is my OB who is in charge of my pre-eclampsia issues (blood pressure). And then there is a Gastro-Intestinal specialist who I met with for the first time today and he will be my point of contact for outpatient care after I leave the hospital. Whenever that is. And then there are some surgeons that are working with the internal medicine doctor to look at my charts and give 2nd opinions and yadda yadda.
Will and I wrote a list of questions last night that we keep meaning to ask, but whenever a doctor comes and talks to us and then says "Do you have any questions for me?" we always say "Nope, thanks" but then later think of things we should have asked. So finally today we were able to get a lot of questions answered.
What exactly is going on?
I would like to know myself. Apparently the issues that I have been having are not the "textbook" symptoms and so they haven't been able to treat me in the text book way. But here is basically what is going on and the status:
Pre-Eclampsia - mostly resolved
When I first went into the ER I had a really high blood pressure, headache, swelling, and pain in abdomen. Textbook symtoms for Pre-Eclampsia (a pregnancy condition). They put me on magnesium sulfate for 24 hours which brings the blood pressure down and prevents seizures. After about 2 and 1/2 days, my BP has finally gotten back down into my normal range which is 120/70, with the occasional high reading. They have me taking a blood pressure pill twice a day to help keep the levels down. The thing that was confusing to my OB was that Pre-Eclampsia usually happens at the end of pregnancy or in women who have a history of high BP. I had never had high BP ever, so it was kind of weird that I got PE.
I will most likely have to stay on the BP pill until my 6 week post pardum appointment, with weekly checkins with my OB and daily BP checks on myself.
Low Pulse Rate/Trouble Breathing - Resolved
I had a weird low pulse rate for 3 days of 40 beats per minute. I kept joking to Will that my pulse was just going to keep going lower and lower until my heart stopped and I was dead. He didn't think that was too funny. They did an Xray of my heart, several EKG's and an ultrasound of my heart and everything looked really good and my heart looked strong and healthy with no abnormalities. Again, they really had no idea why my pulse was low. Over the past few days my pulse has come back up into the 60's (sometimes 70's, sometimes back down to the low 50's) but the fact that it's been coming up is good. Even though my pulse was 40 bpm, I still was getting 100% oxygen to everything so that was good.
Pancreatis - not resolved
This is the reason why I am still here. I have a "mild" case of Pregnancy-Induced Pancreatis (mild meaning this is my first episode and I have no gall stones, and that due to the bodily changes and estrogen levels during pregnancy it wacked out my pancreas).
They are a bit confused about my symptoms, which is why they have consulted surgeons and specialists because once again I am not a textbook case. Personally I think all of these doctors are having a lot of fun with the abnormal post pardum patient that they get to dig around and try to explore answers for. Doctors are into that huh.
I am learning a lot about Pancreatis. Basically the pancreas secretes three different juices to help digest food. One for fats, one for sugars, and one for starches. Mine is having trouble with the one that digests fats. So if I were to eat Fettucine Alfredo with extra cheese right now, my pancreas would not know how to digest it and I would most likely have awful awful stomach pains like the ones I had on Thursday.
Usually with Pancreatis, the answer is to take the person's gall bladder out because they usually get gall stones. I don't have any gall stones, but just some sludge in the tube that goes from the pancreas down to the intestines. So they obviously are not going to take my gall bladder out.
The reason they are keeping me here still, is because my Lypais levels are still elevated even on a liquid diet. Usually the answer to Pancreatis is to flush the pancreas with no food or liquid diet and it will "reset" itself. Well that didn't work and it's because of the sludge that they found so there is some blockage I guess.
I was hoping that after doing all liquids yesterday that they would take my levels again today and let me start eating some solid foods and possibly let me go home. However, they don't want to just send me home and then have it all come back and put me in the hospital again next week. So they are just doing some trial things to try and figure out the correct food combo/dosage to get the lypaise levels back down, get my pancreas stabilized, get me to eat some solid food without the levels going back up, and THEN I will be able to go home. I would see a nutritionalist before heading home that would talk to me about what kinds of foods I would be able to eat once getting home - which would most likely be a lowfat diet.
Two things they are trying to figure out (because it's baffling them) is my stomach pain is gone. The horrible painful stomach issues that I was having all day Thursday disappaited after I got into the ER. The GI specialist thinks that possibly I did have a gall stone and was passing it on Thursday night. So I passed it, and then that is why the pains were mostly gone and haven't come back and he hopes to be able just get rid of the sludge and get the levels back to normal.
However, the Internal Medicine doctor thinks that the reason my stomach pains are gone is because I simply haven't given my stomach any types of foods that would aggrivate it. If I were to eat normal foods again it would flair up and hurt again.
I would like to think that the GI specialist is right.
So most likely tomorrow they will promote me to a more solid food diet which would consist of some pudding, etc. in the morning and hopefully to some starches by afternoon. They have told me that I would most likely be here until Thursday unless by some miracle I improved so well that there was no reason to keep me here for observation.
I really do just want to go home, but I also don't want to go home and have the same things happen and put me back here again. I would like to get all the answers that we can so that we know how to handle this.
As we've been here in the hospital with Taylor, I have snuggled with him and gazed on him and know that this has all been worth it. I wouldn't trade him for anything. But I have been through a lot the last month or so, I'm ready for a break, I want my strong body back, I'm tired of having a "special" condition that requires ease, I want to go the gym, I want to recover, I just want to feel like me again.
I now have fears about ever getting pregnant again. I just think "What will happen next time?" Pregnancy seems to really do a number on my body. While we have been here, there have been many families check into, have their babies and already leave while we are still here. I feel bad for myself sometimes as I hear mothers up and down the hallway pushing and giving birth after a few hours, and then go home the next day - whereas I labored for many hours with both of my pregnancies only to end up with csections. I really have envied them, I admit.
But then I look at my two beautiful boys and realize how worth it it's all been. I would definitely do it all over again. Our little joke with both pregnancies has been that I make the most beautiful, healthy, strong babies who pass all tests with flying colors but I always suffer. Healthy baby - suffering Mama. And Will doesn't think that it's a good idea to discuss future children for a while - until after I've had some time to forget this entire experience and recover. He's right, but still I can't help feel scared. I still would like a little girl....but yeah, we won't even be talking about that for a LONNNNNG time.
I have bruises all over my arms and probably 20 holes from all the blood draws. I'd been wearing the same outfit for days and so that was getting gross. However, today Will went home and grabbed us some clean clothes, my hair dryer and curling iron, some soap, clean underwear and some games and other things to keep us occupied. I got to take a shower tonight and wash/blowdry my hair. I feel SOOOOO much better. :) Plus clean clothes are awesome as well. So it makes up for the yuckies I have to put up with.
Well, thanks for putting up with my long updates. Tomorrow is another day of blooddraws and exciting food options. Yippee.
Thanks mom and dad for watching Preston for us - you have been so nice to do that and I know he is in good hands.
Thanks to the Goodwins for the beautiful flowers this morning and People mag. That was a nice surprise to wake up to. Soooo thoughtful - thank you.
We haven't had any access to Facebook or Email while in the hospital so our blog has been the only communication via the web, so sorry if you have tried to email us. However, a friend is letting us borrow a laptop for the rest of our stay so we should be able to hook up to the WiFi now. (thanks Chris).
Will went and got a Redbox movie, so tonight we're watching "The Backup Plan". Haha what an appropriate movie since we are in the maternity ward.
Well, it's dinner time. I believe I am getting celery broth for dinner. Woohoo. Exciting times.