The Reckoning

i’ve been thinking a lot about my illness and miscarriage last august and the impact it has had on me. that and the subsequent loss have left a mark on me i’m afraid i can’t erase.

regarding the illness. i was in the hospital for 1 full week…which, if you consider it, is pretty drastic. i mean, people have babies and are out the next day or have heart attacks and massive open heart surgery and might stay a week. there are days in that week that i’m still missing. for a long time afterward, i would get these weird ‘flashbacks’ of moments i don’t ever really remember happening. i’m sure some of that was the drugs they had me on. and the high fevers messing with my brain. the thing that might freak me out most of all is i know there were 2 or 3 days in there where i did literally nothing. dark, quiet room. no tv, no reading, no cell phone. just lied there and hurt and shook with chills. i’m a total busy junky who usually has my laptop, cell phone and tv going at the same time, so the idea of utter silence and being so preoccupied with fighting whatever it was that had hold of me that i didn’t have the resources to do anything else- weird.

if you’re curious about the whole sordid tale, read below. i wrote this email to a doctor friend of mine a few weeks after i got out of the hospital. it’s a summary of everything that happened. what a thankful, positive attitude i had at the time. hmmm…

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it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. i was on vacation 2 weeks ago and wednesday of that week ( Aug 12th) i started a temp. i was also 11 weeks pregnant (we had only just started telling family and friends that week- of course) and so went to the ER because it was up to 103 or something and wouldn’t come down w/ tylenol. everything was well, they said it was a virus and they sent me home. so it persisted and i started getting a cough and stuff, but mostly just bad chills/sweats. fever went up to 105 on sunday (aug 16th) despite around the clock tylenol, cold baths, ice packs,etc. so i was admitted to royal oak beaumont and they had me in there until this past saturday (aug 22). they ran every test in the book (including an LP for meningitis) for everything from funky viruses to weird bacterial infections (lyme disease, dengue fever, etc) to HIV and cancers and lupus and never found anything relevant. i had ID, hemo/onc, ob/gyn, high risk MFM, and IM following me. my fevers lasted for days at that high temp (up to 106F for parts of several days) despite all measures. and my blood counts got all wacky- pancytopenia- went down to WBC of 2.6 and platelets of 16- had to get 6 units of platelets over 2 days. with all the fluid, i ended up in CHF and had to be diuresed. good times. also, my LFT’s got really high and are only now slowly crawling down.

and in the process of all this, i miscarried (tues, aug 18th). it was devastating, but also a relief since i can’t believe the baby wouldn’t have had major long-term effects of the high temps and whatever pathogen it was i was dealing with, and also because i immediately started feeling way better after i lost it. so they didn’t have to do a D & C, but instead gave me misoprostol, which caused another spiked temp, chills, and my vitals went nuts. so once we got all that under control, i was d/c’d last saturday (aug 22) and have been home since, recovering.

they’re reassuring me that it wasn’t an autoimmune response to pregnancy or prostaglandins or anything, but the IM team did look into HELLP syndrome. since i was so early, and because it was never true hemolysis, the OB’s ruled that out. but still weird that sx’s and labs got better post miscarriage and worse post misoprostol dose.

so…anyway….it’s been eventful and very scary, but man did i feel God holding me up- even keeping me lucid enough to advocate for my own health and explain what was happening to my family. my family and robb and his brother were incredible through this. and my coworkers stepped in like family members, too. i am so insanely blessed. i can’t get over it.

physically- i’m getting stronger, better stamina every day. taking stairs, making myself walk. and we’re doing ok, emotionally. we had been trying to conceive just for 7 months, and i know “the important thing is i can get pregnant.” but i don’t know if/when i’ll be ready to try again. not ready to think about it yet, i guess.

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