Thursday, March 8, 2012

Where in the world have I been?

Here is more than you ever wanted to know about my health, and I actually consolidated {a little}!

About six weeks ago, I caught a cold.  I thought it was a cold.  It wasn't a cold.  It wouldn't go away, and my doctor put me on an antibiotic that didn't touch it.  Meanwhile, I began to have these headaches.  Everyday got a little worse, and I got to where I couldn't function without pain medication that was steadily losing the battle.  I kept calling into the obstetrician to see what we could do, and kept getting more powerful pain medications that would knock me out for a bit, but wouldn't affect the pain level.  So basically I was walking around like a mean drunk.

Have you ever been to a doctor where they ask you from a scale of one to ten how bad the pain is?  And you want to sound like you have a reason to be there, so you definitely want to say it's more than, say, six, but you don't want to overreact, so you don't want to say it's over an eight, so you decide it's safe to say seven or eight?  I almost always say it's a seven or an eight.

These were nines.  At their worst, 9.5's.  It felt like I was going to die.  And the pain was in my face, not my head.  The nurse would say, "Well, these are the things we can do for migraines during pregnancy."  I would say, "I don't have a migraine.  I have no pain in my head.  It's all over my face.  My teeth are going to fall out.  I'm sure of it."  And then she would make sympathetic noises and tell me about the medicines that you can take for migraines during pregnancy.  And I would want to slap my head in frustration, but wouldn't, because it would hurt.

I love my obstetrician, and I have no problem with the nurses or anyone else in the doctor's office.  They weren't being obtuse, but they didn't understand my problem or how severe it was becoming.  Their concern is keeping my baby and me safe, and my face is significantly above their area of expertise, if you catch my drift.

I tried all of these increasingly strong medications, but the pain level got worse everyday.  Finally, my doctor referred me to a neurologist.  They set up an appointment for me for February 27.  This was on February 20.  Friends, there was no way I was going to make it another week.  It had already been nearly three weeks, and was getting worse daily.  I had to be my own advocate.  I called and was going to be very professional on the phone, but accidentally started crying when asking if there was any way they could bump me up.  I must have done quite the performance, because they got me in within the hour.  I got a CAT scan and did a bunch of bloodwork that showed that I had a sinus infection.  Say what?  I knew the pain was in my sinuses, but when I have heard someone say they have a sinus infection, it has always seemed to be on the same level as a cold.  I was put on an antibiotic and sent to an Ear, Nose and Throat doc, who said, and I quote, "Your sinuses look like crap."  He showed me the pictures and said that if the medication wasn't working, he would recommend surgery for this severe an infection. 

Can I just tell you that I felt highly vindicated?  Have you ever known you felt awful, but felt like maybe you shouldn't?  Having the severity of this made clear was kind of satisfying, especially because the antibiotic did start working.

I began to get better each day, and was pretty lighthearted going into my follow-up appointment with my neurologist.  That is, until they began to tell me what they thought had begun my headaches.  They told me they thought I had either a brain tumor or blood clots on my brain and that I needed an MRI to check it out.  Here's what I heard. 

We think you may have a TUMOR tumor tumor tumor or a BLOOD CLOT blood clot blood clot blood clot blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. 

Later, Handsome Hero asked me questions like, "What did they say when you asked them about the dangers of an MRI to the baby?"  And I would say something like, "Um....I didn't think to ask that."  He had come with me to each important appointment up to that point, and would ask all the relevant questions, but I hadn't thought I needed him this time.  It was just supposed to be a follow-up!

For a week, as I waited for the MRI, I walked around in a daze.  I cried at awkward times.  I couldn't think correctly, and I was snappy with the kiddos. I am blessed with wonderful kids and a husband who love unconditionally.

Fast forward to the good part.  I had the MRI yesterday, and the results are in.  I am clot and tumor free!  No masses were found, though my sinuses are still pretty bad.  But, hey, I can deal with a sinus infection a whole lot more easily than I can deal with a brain tumor!  If it is possible for a pregnant woman to feel light, I feel lighter than I have felt in nearly two months.  I had been plodding along, weighted down and feeling foggy.

Now, there are lots of facets to this story that I haven't covered, like how my mom came out and then extended her stay for an extra week to take care of us, or how Handsome Hero was so wonderful, or how the kids handled the situation with mom being so sick, or, most importantly, how all things work together for good to those who love the Lord {and by the way, that is true whether I have a tumor or not}.  But don't you think this post has been long enough already?  I'm sure I'll get to those things soon enough.

I'm not going to be able to be back as regularly for awhile, because, frankly, I'm pretty much always exhausted.  I have become very anemic through this illness, but can't take the amount of iron I need because it can interfere with my sinus medication, which is more important at this point.  Once we kick the sinus yuckies, I'll concentrate on the iron part, and hopefully get back to normal.  I mean, in my head, I'm full-blown nesting and want to get started on the kids' rooms, but in my body, I want to take a nap.

I fear that with all this medication little boy Lewis has a third arm growing from his head and we'll have to get him a custom helmet for peewee football.  Maybe he'll just play soccer.  It'll be cheaper.  He'd be a great goalie with three hands!

1 comment:

  1. Beth! I'm so sorry you are going through this. Somehow I missed all this but Barbara just told me. We are sinus twins. :) I'm rapidly running out of options besides surgery. Anyway, I'm praying for you.