Sunday, September 9, 2012

Possible trigger. You have been warned.

There are any number of reasons I haven't written a lot.
Some are personal; some logistical. But at any rate, I haven't so there you have it.

But we'll try to make up for that a little in this post.

Overall, pregnancy has been good to me. Headed into my third trimester and aside from expected issues, this has been going fairly well. Not necessarily smoothly and certainly not easily (making a human Bean is really hard work. I mean... REALLY hard), but overall no major issues.

I had my biggest scare this past Friday. I woke up with a sudden very sharp chest pain. Now, for those who know me, you probably also know this is not unfamiliar territory for me given my GI history. But, good baby-maker I currently am trying to be, I called my doctor's office from work and explained what happened and did they want to see me or was this another case of "normal but scary."

I was told to go to Labor & Delivery (L&D) as soon as possible.

Not quite what I wanted to hear, but given my esophageal spasms sometimes mimic a heart attack, I understood the concern.

L&D checked me and Bean out. She was fine (though a smidge ornery). I was starting to have my heart race and overall not feeling well. L&D doctor opted to send me to regular ER since this was obviously a medical, not OB issue.

I still wasn't too concerned. Chest spasms are scary, hospitals can make my pulse race and, well... I'm 27 weeks pregnant. Breathing issues are not uncommon.

But ER started to become concerned when I had to tell them a few years ago my mother had clots in her legs and they could not determine what caused them.

I painful IV stick, blood work, pee sample, EKG, ultrasound of both legs, check of all vitals and a chest X-ray later, docs were almost ready to rule out everything serious and chalk it up to GI (as I suspected and send me home). But one more consult and suddenly we were having conversations about the merits of a CT scan vs risks to check my lungs for a clot there.

I admit... I started to get a little panicky. This pregnancy was so hard to get to this point, I didn't want to take any chances. But... I couldn't very well walk out of there if *my* life was at risk either. Bean wouldn't fare too well at all without her life support system.

After a very lengthy conversation with the doc where I shared my concerns, my feelings on my GI history and overall opinion of the matter, he did agree that, while they couldn't rule out a clot 100% without a CT scan, he didn't think I LOOKED like someone experiencing a pulmonary embolism, he would agree with my assessment that it was GI.

So... home I went. Confident that I had done the right thing, and agreeing that if anything changed, I'd come right back to the ER.

Had dinner. Tried to rest. Heart started racing. Took BP and pulse. BP normal... but pulse was 101 resting. Continued to try to rest. Took again. 108. Took 20 min later. 121. In tears, had WB take me back to L&D.

Bean checked out fine again, but they opted to register me and get me a room.

Bean SERIOUSLY unhappy with being strapped to a bunch of monitors (ow the kicks).

OB doc went through the whole series of questions again and examined me. WB asked questions about the risks of the CT scan. OB explained and I started to feel better that this might be a better choice to just do it. OB went out to find my chart from earlier in the day to compare numbers.

WB looked at me, looked at what the monitors were doing and asked a very simple question: "What are you thinking right now?"

I started to explain that maybe I should just do the scan, though I didn't want to, I still thought it was GI, I felt dumb for being there again... then I started to cry. And backed up - No... I was lying... I was scared. All I could think about was Erik. And how I didn't want Bean to end up in jeopardy or with no Mommy because I was being stubborn.

This is the sort of things that start to go through your head when suddenly there's another little person very much dependent on you for everything.

And this is why I'm culling the herd, removing the drama and going back to a thought process of "who really needs to be in my life right now and for what reasons?"

The OB doc returned. She couldn't find my earlier chart (it wasn't uploaded into the main computer yet), so she couldn't compare numbers.

My pulse rate was back down under 100. Another discussion on couldn't rule out 100%, but I didn't LOOK like someone who was having a lung clot issue. I opted once again to pass on the CT scan and just go home.

I had 4 contractions while I was there, so she wanted to do an internal exam just to make sure everything was still good and I wasn't actually in pre-term labor. Also... ow. That was not a fun exam by any means. But it wasn't labor, everything was right where it was supposed to be. Go Bean - You're much better at handling this than your mom.

Follow-up with my regular doc tomorrow could result in them wanting to rule out the clot anyway. I'm ok if that's what they opt to do. After two days of resting, (and a horrid night of nothing but heartburn) I'm even more convinced this was a GI and probably anxiety attack series of episodes and not my lungs.

It's a chance to take, I realize. But I'm just taking things as they come and trying to reign in my anxieties.

It's funny (or maybe not) how you don't realize the underlying thoughts which you process at times. I did not realize how much Erik's death still weighs on me; affecting everything I do or think when it comes to health things. How much I let it run my life with fear, rather than being rational about things and working through them. I guess I will never fully be able to process that. I just have to learn how to keep fear and anxiety from getting the better of me...