Well as most of you know I have had a lot of free time to blog lately but I just haven't known where to start. I guess that I will start with the most recent events and work backwards since that is what is most current in my mind.
Cody and I had a wonderful trip to Cancun at the end of May! I will have to blog all about it in my next post. The last couple of days I started to feel not so great. I didn't know if it was because I was 24 weeks pregnant and the heat/humidity was killing me or what. I knew that I didn't feel great but I didn't really know why. I had a feeling that I had a UTI but there was no way I was going to see a doctor down in Mexico unless I was on my death-bed. Then the the last day especially I was having a horrible cramping feeling in my right back. I couldn't figure out what I would have done to it and in the back of my head I was worried about it being kidney pain but being the hypochondriac that I am I tried to brush it off. The flights home from Cancun were miserable. I was popping Tylenol around the clock (and apparently the pills that I thought were 200 mg were actually 500 mg so I took more than twice what I should have that day and it barely took the edge off of the pain). We got home about midnight on Thursday May 31st.
We were only home a couple of hours and I was in unbearable pain. I had Cody take me into the ER across from our house to Orem Community. They confirmed what I thought was the case that I had a UTI and most likely a kidney infection. They gave me an IV antibiotic, some fluids, a shot of morphine/phenegran and sent me on my home saying that my doctor's office would call in the morning to check on me and if I wasn't doing better that they would admit me for a few days to give me more IV antibiotics.
I got home and slept for only about an hour. I was up because the pain was still horrible despite the morphine. I called the office as soon as it opened at 9:00 and they talked with the doctors and sent me right over to Utah Valley Labor & Delivery to be admitted. Cody had gone to work that morning because he had already missed so much work for our vacation. I had my parents drive me to the hospital and called Cody and he met us there.
The next few days were kind of a blur. I had never had morphine before and 2.5 mg of percocet that I had once for back pain knocked me out for a whole day so let's just say I am opioid naive. The pain was horrible but I was worried about taking anything because of the baby. They confirmed to me that during the second trimester it's ok for me to be taking these medications because during the first trimester the baby is developing too much that I shouldn't take anything and during the last trimester, closer to when I deliver it's scary because the baby can build up a dependence and will need it one out of utero. Thankfully this happened at a 'good' time in my pregnancy.
They diagnosed me with pylonephritis (a kidney infection). Apparently it is more common during pregnancy. They said that I was showing symptoms that I was starting to become septic too. Guess it's a good thing that I went in as soon as I got home instead of waiting until the morning to go in like I was planning on. They also diagnosed me with hydronephrosis. This too is common during pregnancy. My kidney is swollen because the fluids are not draining out of my ureter as they should be. There are a lot of different things that can cause this, sometimes obstruction like a stone or simply because the baby sits on the ureter and won't let it drain properly. The reason for all of the pain was mostly because of the swollen kidney that was not draining properly.
I'm sorry if I talked to you or your came to see and I was a bit crazy. I was on a lot of Morphine, Phenegran, Percocet, and Ambien. I'm already a bit crazy, but to add to all of that these and not feeling well I was definitely in a daze plus I was a little sleep deprived.
They were concerned about me going into pre-term labor because it's a risk with the kidney infection. They monitored our baby's heart every 12 hours and to see if I was having contractions. What a blessing that everything looked good and we didn't have any problems with pre-term labor. Sometimes it's hard to see blessings in spite of all the misery but I know that we were definitely blessed to keep our little guy safe. I was barely 24 weeks and that's the earliest that babies are even viable. If he would have come that early I know that he would have had such a hard time and who knows how long he would have made it. Cody and I love Kayson and we're so glad that he's been kept safe through all of this.
They were loading me with fluids to flush out my kidneys and because I was dehydrated (oh yeah, the Anesthesiologist had to come start my IVs twice because of how bad my veins were). A few days after I was in the hospital I started to swell quite a bit. My feet and hands were really swollen and Cody said that my face was really swollen. I mentioned in to a few nurses but they didn't seem too concerned. Then pretty quickly I started to feel exhausted and like I couldn't breathe. I almost felt like I was drowning. I told the nurse and she checked my oxygen 81% . She listened to my lungs and I had crackles in all my lobes. They called the doctor and he came to see for himself. He ordered a chest x-ray and they shielded the baby. I was on 4-5 L of O2. The chest x-ray confirmed that I had pretty bad pulmonary edema. My lungs were full of fluid. Fluid overload. (Later the doctor told me that he was concerned about this because my body should have compensated for the extra fluid and this shouldn't have happened. He's pretty sure that everything's ok but just wants me to follow-up with a cardiologist to make sure). They pulled a bunch of fluid off of my by giving me Lasix. However, they did not replace my potassium (and I should have questioned it but I was not thinking clearly). Turns out the next morning my serum potassium was critically low (which put me at risk for arrhythmias and all sorts of other complications) and we had to load me with 120 mg of potassium that day to try and bring it up.
I had a pulmonologist on my case since the pulmonary edema started but as it resolved he was much more worried about my kidney. I had a couple of ultrasounds of my kidney/ureter and the second one showed no changes that it was still inflamed and I had the hydronephrosis.
I begged for them to let me go home but I understood why they wouldn't. I got so sick of that hospital room. 6 days felt way too long especially after they kept telling me "maybe tomorrow" or "maybe in a couple of days" that I could go home.
Literally by my last night there I thought that they were going to admit me straight to the psych ward in the hospital after a combination of no sleep/all the drugs/ highly emotional/pregnant lady syndrome.
Cody spent the night most nights and couldn't get any sleep, then he'd have to work during the days. Luckily I had such great family/friends to come keep me company. Thank you so much for your love and support. Your prayers were answered and I have made it home!
Now, I'm supposed to be laying on my left-side and I'm supposed to avoid being on my feet or sitting up so that my kidney can drain properly and relieve the pressure. I have a follow-up appointment next Friday to see if my kidney/ureter are looking any better and to make sure that the infection has cleared (I'm taking oral antibiotics every 6 hours). The pain has not subsided but I just went home on Tylenol so that helps take the edge off of the pain most of the time. I'm hoping for a speedy recovery so that they will clear me next Friday to go back to work. Unfortunately my job consists of standing/sitting for 13 hrs at a time so they are a little worried about me working. They also think that as the baby gets bigger my hydronephrosis might become worse and not many of the nurses were too convinced that I will stay out of the hospital but I have hope :)
Wish me luck and wish out little Kayson luck that he may be able to stay in me for another 15 weeks! (Or at least 12).
There were a lot of things that I learned being the patient instead of the nurse. I feel like that will hopefully help me in my career to be more understanding and empathetic.