Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Week From Hades

For the past few weeks I have been feeling pretty crummy. I have been super fatigued, very cranky, and have had little or no appetite. I have also been having some funny pains in my sides and some pretty intense migraines at night. I ignored these things, and just chalked it all up to being pregnant. About two weeks ago I recognized some of these funny abdominal pains as a bladder infection. I am very familiar with this certain malady because I have been getting them about twice a year since I was 12. My mom taught me to get rid of them by guzzling water and cranberry juice. I started doing this, but nothing was really coming of it. I was just feeling more pain and visiting the restroom more regularly. About a week ago this pain started to get pretty severe, and I started to get an accompanying fever. Now, I know that I should have gone to the doctor as soon as I realized that the home remedy wasn't working- but I held off for a few reasons. First of all I am very stubborn and I HATE going to the doctors. In my experience, I usually end up waiting a life-age for them to finally take the time to poke around for two seconds, ask some dumb questions that I already answered for the nurses, and send me on my way telling me to rest and drink water. Second of all, I really thought I could handle it on my own. I get rid of these infections all the time. Finally, and most importantly- we do not have insurance.

Well, when Ross got home on Tuesday he found Emma entertaining herself with a puzzle in front of Animal Planet, and he found me curled up in a ball crying and shaking on the couch. I was wrapped up in a quilt freezing even though Ross said it was almost 85 degrees in the house, and I was hot to the touch. Ross decided that enough was enough, and he started calling around to find the best clinic for us to go to. We went down to Ugent Care, and when we got there the receptionist was so sweet to get us right in, and told us that if we were willing to pay that day they would give us half off. She said that she had never seen anyone have to pay more than a hundred dollars. Well, this was a HUGE relief to me since I knew all they were going to do was have me give a urine sample and give me some anitbiotics. That was what they always did when I couldn't get rid of it myself.

When the doctor came in after evaluating my sample (10 minutes later- they were fast!!), he poked around a little bit and told me that it had spread beyond my bladder at that point, and he was certain it was in both kidneys, and possibly my spleen. He then told me that in most of these cases he could give out a powerful oral antibiotic and send them on their way. I was thinking this was great- everything was working out to plan! Then he finished his sentence, "In most of these cases we can administer a powerful prescription and have you back in a week to check up on the progress. . . but since you are so far along in your pregnancy, I am going admit you to the hospital overnight."

So after having my hopes of a quick fix crushed, we headed over to the Emergency Room where we waited by the desk for 5 full minutes for the admitting lady to get off the phone with her son who needed help with a math problem, just so that she could ask a bunch of questions and tell us that since I was more than 19 weeks pregnant, they wouldn't take me there. I had to go to the Women's Center. So we walked on over there where we waited for another 5 full minutes for the nurses to stop complaining about what one of the doctors had said in delivery earlier. They took us in a room and told me not to sit down on the bed until she found out if she could treat us- because we weren't quite 20 weeks yet, and anyone under 20 weeks they send to the ER. I wanted to scream!!!! Luckily my math was wrong and I am 21 weeks along. I do wonder about those poor women in that ambiguous 20 week void there. Do they just flip a coin or something to decide who actually has to do their job? I kept wondering if I just passed out and hit my head on the sharp edge of the counter, they would give me some better service.

Anyway, I hobbled over to the bed (I was in A LOT of pain) and put on the little gown. They hooked me up to a monitor for the baby's heart rate- but the only way they could get it loud enough was for me to lie flat on my back- right on those kidneys. We waited for literally 2 hours for another nurse to come in and check on us. I was frustrated with them, and I was in a lot of pain. I didn't understand why they couldn't either let me sit up in a more comfortable position, or at least give me some pain pills. Finally a nurse came in to check my vitals and found that my heart rate was elevated and my temperature was at 101.8 degrees. She turned to me and said, "Wow- you really aren't feeling very good are you honey?" I wanted to kick her in the face- lucky for her I could hardly breathe I was in so much pain. She said she would go and get the doctor right away and see about getting me something for the fever and the pain. After another 1 1/2 hours the doctor came in, checked me over, asked me the same dumb questions I had been asked four fimes that day already. Where does it hurt? How long have you been feeling this way? Does it hurt when I do this (jab me in the side)? How about this? (punch me in the back) And here (poke me in both eyes and konk me on the head- OK maybe not, but close enough) and proceeded to tell me what a foolish person I was for waiting so long to consult a doctor about this. He rehearsed to me all the complications that can happen- he was a jerk. I knew that what he was saying was true- I should have come in sooner, but he refused to understand our situation at all.

After this little tirade he poked me a bunch and asked what my pain scale was from 1-10. I hate these questions- how the heck am I supposed to rate my own pain? What do I compare it to? Anyway, I told him I was at a 7. He then looked at Ross and sort of redeemed himself by saying "Now, when this girl says she is in pain- she means it. She just rated at a 7 what most grown men will give a full 10. This is a very sick young lady here- she must be pretty tough to have waited this long." Soon after that the nurse brought me some cookies and some Loritab. I cannot even describe how good this felt! I had no idea how sick I was feeling until I started feeling better again. everything started to clear up, and I could even breathe easier. They put me on an IV with antibiotics and transferred me to the room I would be staying in. My parents were very gracious, and were willing to watch Emma over night so that Ross could stay in the hospital with me. I probably would have been more comfortable without him, but it made me feel good every time I woke up and had him there. He is amazing. The nurse kept making fun of use when she came in to check my vitals- she wondered how we both stayed in that little bed. Poor Ross had a sore neck the next day, but he said it was worth it. He would have been too worried at home to have slept at all.

The next morning after some more lovely pain medication, we got to go down to radiology and had our 20 week ultrasound! This was very exciting not only because we got to find out we were having a girl!!!, but because Ross missed all of my last pregnancy. He was so giddy to see the baby and to find out what we were having. He was in awe of all her little parts and he just made it so much fun for me! It was like watching a movie I loved with someone who had never seen it before. Ross is an amazing daddy, and it was sweet to see him enjoy this part of fatherhood. Anyway- the baby was fine. She is strong and active and breech! We actually watched her do a little tap dance on my bladder wall- no wonder it hurt so bad!

We were hoping to go home that afternoon, but my fever was still pretty high, so they kept me another night. This time Ross went home with Emma, so I had to sleep all by my lonesome. At least the nurse said I had drunk enough water for her to take my IV out. That made for a much more comfortable night. Finally at 3:00 the next afternoon the doctor finally had some time to come over and check things over. My fever was down, my pain was gone- mostly, and I was itching to get home to my shower and my Emma. He gave me a prescription for the rest of my pregnancy and sent me on my way.

We are happy that we got things all taken care of. I had no idea how serious this thing had gotten. However, we are now burried in worries of another sort. We still have no insurance, and I just spent two whole days in the hospital. We have an application in for medicaid, and if they pick us up, then they will cover us 90 days retroactively. If they don't (we were denied a couple months ago for being $50 over the limit) then we have a couple other financial aid options- but we will still owe quite a bit of money. We will find a way to make it work- we always do- but it would mean a lot if those of you who read this could say a special prayer for us. We really want medicaid to accept us and pay down all the bills. There is no reason we shouldn't qualify- but some extra prayers just might put it through faster.

1 comment:

Jessica Bills said...

Okay, so your story tops mine. That stinks. I hated being in the ER for more than 2 hours...let alone 2 days. I hope that things are going better now. I am excited that you are having another little girl and that Ross was able to see the ultrasound. I get to go in on Thursday for mine...I can't wait!