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Thursday, August 6, 2009

In case you were wondering, the ER is still there.

Remember this? And this? And this? (Yes, it was a well-documented trauma).

And how about this?

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Well, it happened again last night, only this time, no ectopic pregnancy, no internal bleeding (we hope), and no surgery. When The Chief came home from a late night of work last night at 10:00pm, I was just starting to feel pain in my lower abdomen. It was a familiar feeling that brought with it much anxiety. As we were getting ready for bed, I conveyed my concern to The Chief, but he did not share it. You see, ever since my trauma last year, with a wholly unexpected yet much-appreciated emergency, life-saving laparoscopic surgery, I have been feeling discomfort around the same time each month (my guess is that it occurs during ovulation). I always just assumed that in addition to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy resulting in a cauterized fallopian tube, I was dealt a fist-full of ovarian cysts that would be with me the rest of my life and make my monthly cycle that much more "exciting" (translate: painful).

Anyway, I woke up at about 2am in severe pain. I tried to walk it off, curl up, stretch out. Nothing helped. Worrying that I was bleeding internally again, I woke up The Chief and we made preparations to head to the hospital. We called a young woman in our ward who was kind enough to come in the middle of the night and take care of our boys. Her dad drove her over and took a moment with The Chief to give me a blessing. I am so grateful for the Priesthood. Then, as the promises of my blessing were fulfilled and my intense pain subsided to a dull and persistent throb, we made our way down to the ONE Kaiser hospital in all of San Diego. Thankfully, the emergency room was slow and we got right in. The hospital surprised me out of my preconceived notions. When it comes to health care, first impressions are everything for me. I judge a hospital by its visible cleanliness. I judge a doctor by his personal appearance. I know this is irrational, but its me. Anyway, I was humbled and penitent as I looked around at a clean and welcoming (albeit FREEZING) hospital.

Urine sample was demanded, blood was drawn, IV hooked up, heart rate and blood pressure monitors attached to my finger, beloved arm, and chest. And there I lay, in the dim light of the emergency room, waiting, listening to the nurses gossip and the other patients hack and gag. The most depressing sound was that of a pathetically bleating child begging his momma not to make him obey the doctor. My heart went out to that mother and my mind flew back to our little house nestled in the golden San Diego hills where my own little guys were sleeping in blissful ignorance. The Chief shifted often and mentioned a need for food. His face was pale and I sent him to find a vending machine so he wouldn't pass out and wind up in an ER bed next to mine. When he returned we amused ourselves by trying to figure out what all the lines and blips and abbreviations on my heart monitor meant. Apparently I have shallow breathing because my lung monitor went off a few times. And apparently I have really low blood pressure because before we left, the doctor commanded that I take four potassium pills to help stimulate my heart. And apparently I have the extremely low heart rate of an athlete (Yeah baby! Darn tootin'!). When looked at as a whole, I am apparently on the verge of collapsing from heart failure and lack of oxygen. :0)

My nurse was cool. She was chipper for pulling an all-nighter in the ER. She liked to joke around with us, a personality trait I have come to appreciate in those surrounding me during stressful situations. As my fluid IV drained itself rapidly into my blood stream, my bladder filled up like a water balloon. I swear that water made no detours into dehydrated body cells. It made a bee-line for my bladder. After complaining that I didn't think I'd be able to provide a urine sample, within an hour of hooking up the fluid IV, I'd visited the restroom twice. After each trip I beat a hasty retreat back to the warmth of my hospital bed and the four heated blankets I'd requested to lay atop my body. It was so cold that eventually The Chief (aka "Understudy for the Sun") stole a blanket from me.

Blood test came back 100% negative for pregnancy. The doctor ordered an ultrasound and a visit to an OB/GYN. And we were discharged. Another good friend from our ward family took the boys all morning while The Chief and I tried to sleep off the night's events. My abdomen is still tender and I can't zip up my pants all the way, but aside from that I'm doing fine. I wonder if this wasn't a wake up call from Heavenly Father to go see a doctor. We have been wanting to have another babe since last year's episode, but pregnancy eludes us. In my head, I've known I needed to schedule an appointment and have everything checked out, but knowing and doing are two very different things for The Boss. Seems pathetic that I'd need a visit to the emergency room to get me back on track. But hey, as with all the quirkiness in this goofy tale, that's just me.

Once again we have many friends and family members to thank for concerned phone calls and generous offers to help out with kids and cooking. We consider ourselves the luckiest people in the world to be so blessed with such an amazing support network. Imagine me giving you one of those neck-wringing hugs while saying a heartfelt "Thanks!" We love you people.

7 comments:

Yours, Sincerely said...

Oooh, rough night. I hope things smooth out for you in the health arena. Did they ever make an actual diagnosis? Take care, and thanks for a fun blog to follow. :)

weplusthree said...

Get to the doctor young lady! I'm glad that you pay attention to your body, and while it was nothing this time, at least you know enough to get it checked out.

I can zip up my pants most days either, so don't get too hard on yourself for that one :P

Lindsey said...

Happy to hear that you were not experiencing a repeat of last year, and that you made the trip to the hospital. Hope all is well!

Lizzie said...

@ Yours, Sincerely

No diagnosis yet. I have an appointment with the OB/GYN next week and will be setting up an appointment for an ultrasound as well. I hope all turns out right.

@ weplusthree

That was the only reason I went to the emergency room . . . I couldn't be positive I wasn't bleeding out. I had to take a chance that it'd be nothing in case it did happen to be the worst kind of something.

I have a hard time believing you can't fit into any pants. You are looking SO GOOD for having recently had a babe!

@ L

All IS well. Thanks!

Erin said...

weird. my sister had an ectopic pregnancy right after you did, and had the same surgery you did, and also hasn't been able to get pregnant since then, and also has a lot of pain with each cycle. she just recently went to the doctor to try to figure things out. no verdict yet -- but i hope that you both figure things out soon!

Lizzie said...

Erin, please share with me what she does find out! That is pretty crazy how similar we are.

Freckles said...

Liz, I'm sorry to hear this. Crazy. I hope you are feeling better! I get huge cysts every month from the endometriosis, it sucks and hurts like I'm in labor. Sounds like that might have been it?? Let us know what your Dr. says! Good luck!