Friday, February 22, 2008

Icky Sickies

Oh joy, what a fun week... I knew I was jinxing myself when I said how healthy my family had been this winter! President's Day Monday was a beautiful day here so we took the kids up to Skyline drive to have a picnic and maybe a hike. Well the whole way there Gavin barely made a peep which isn't like him at all. Our adventure was cut short due to some rain and way colder temperatures up in the mountains so we quickly ate our lunch, kicked a ball around for maybe 10 minutes and then headed back home. Gavin again was completely zoned out and that night he started with a high fever that lasted until yesterday! Not fun, however selfishly I kind of like it when he's sick because it is the only time he is so cuddly and wants to be held.

Onto the next chapter... On Wednesday I felt like I was getting the stomach flu, I was really nauseous and achy. Well I hadn't eaten much until that night when I forced myself to munch on some Saltines and Ginger Ale. All of a sudden I got this pain in my chest that would not go away. I thought it was probably something to do with the heartburn I have been experiencing lately, one of my "joys of pregnancy" so I went to bed and tried to sleep it off. No such luck, I slept horribly and the pain was still there the next day. I decided I should probably get it checked out and called our family doctor. They told me that I should be seen my my ob since it probably had something to do with my pregnancy. I called my ob and they said that there was nothing they could do, that my family doctor should take care of it. After getting quite a run around, both offices decided I should just go to the hospital to labor and delivery. What? That's right, my little pain had suddenly become a big pain in the neck! Reluctantly I went, kids in tow with Jeremy meeting me there from work. The first thing the nurses said was that I didn't belong there, but I begged them to take pity on me and thankfully they did. My ob came in and everyone agreed it most likely had something to do with heartburn. I had to drink this awful liquid and they said I would be good as new in 30 minutes... Well half an hour passed and I was not feeling any better so unfortunately they had to send me to the ER. Jeremy took the kids home and they wheeled me over to the place I absolutely hate the most because everything takes an eternity to get done. First they did an EKG which showed that my heart rate was elevated- 114 BPM, indicating it could be something serious. This is when I really started freaking out because the "doctor's apprentice" (I hardly got to see the real doctor and seriously this kid looked 15 years old) was telling me that my symptoms were all indicative of a blood clot in my lungs which happens to be the number one reason for death in pregnant women. They ordered a blood test that would check for that and some chest x-rays. The blood test came back three times higher than normal and my "apprentice" was certain that I had a clot. The x-rays didn't show anything so the next step was to do a cat scan. Well, pregnant women can't get cat scans because they are too dangerous for the baby so I had to get a "safer" test called a VQ scan where I had to inhale a radioactive gas for 5 minutes and then they injected me with some other radioactive substance for 10 minutes while they took more pictures of my lungs. I was scared to death because they have you sign all these waivers saying that the baby will be receiving some radiation as well, but they told me that if I didn't have these tests done that I could die from the blood clot. After a total of 8 hours (and no food) at the hospital the VQ scan came back negative and they told me I could go home. After all that! I was grateful that it was nothing serious, but I was still in pain and I felt like I was subjected to so many needless tests it just all felt like a waste. They told me all they could do was rule out that it was anything life-threatening. Well I came home and ate something and went to bed and miraculously the pain is just about gone today. I am convinced that it really did have something to do with my acid reflux, but I guess we'll never know. What a fun day, and now I have been exposed to every strain of flu that seemed to be going around at the ER, yay!

To top it all off, at lunchtime today Cameron told me his belly was hurting and put up no fight when I told him he should go take a little nap... So it seems like Jeremy is the last man standing and I sure hope it stays that way!
Here is a picture of the boys in the mountains- the calm before the storm.

9 comments:

Heather said...

So glad you are feeling better...So weird we were all at the ER together holding hands and singing cumbahyah...I toast to a healthier less choatic week...

Goose said...

What a nightmare. So glad you're okay! I cant' believe you were exposed to radioactive gases, inhalations, and injections--I sure hope you avoided blue cheese and deli meat throughout your whole pregnancy. :)

Kristen said...

That's awful. I'm glad that nothing is wrong, but don't you kinda wish that they could have said,"Yes, here's the problem and take this to fix it?" I mean you had to go through all that just to find out that it was nothing. Like I said, I'm glad that it was nothing, but what a pain!

miranda said...

I am so glad you are okay! I can't believe you went through all that by yourself. It is funny what pregnancy does to you.

Mandi said...

Erika- I had no idea what a terrible week you had! I feel bad I couldn't help out. Hopefully it is all over soon!

Corri said...

Sorry about all your trouble, Erika! That sounds awful.

When I was pregnant this last time, I started having really terrible chest pain one day. It hurt a lot and actually made me cry out. Then it would ease off for a few minutes (but still be there somewhat) and come back again more intensely a few minutes later, especially if I moved a certain way. I knew that it wasn't heartburn because the pain wasn't in the middle of my throat/chest, but right over where my heart is.
Of course the midwives dismissed it as heartburn when I called.
But anyway, it really did hurt a lot for a whole day. I did a lot of research on the internet, and I'm convinced that it was just chest wall pain--inflammation of the pleura or of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum. (The symptoms matched up just right--I could increase/duplicate the pain by pushing on my chest with my finger.) I used heat patches, which helped alleviate some of the pain, and then it finally went away and didn't come back.

More info:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-chest-pain/FA00036
http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/coronarydisease/a/CPH.htm

Anyway, I thought the above might be interesting to you. Could that have been your problem?

Cherilyn said...

Hi - I just had to chime in on your chest pain. It is very common for pregnant women to have gall bladder problems. It took 4 years for mine to be diagnosed cocrectly and all the while my doc. said it was a panic attack. My check hurt - I thought I was having a heart attack plus I always felt a bit sick. I often struggled breathing. Foods like ice cream and french fries can set it off. Look it up on the internet and see if it matches your symptoms. You can have an ultra sound on your gall bladder to see if there are stones. Sometimes stones won't appear but it can still be diseased and will need to eventually be removed. Good luck! I'm so excited for you and baby boy #3! Cherilyn Bloomer

Cherilyn said...

OK - so my last post had many spelling errors - sorry. One last thing I wanted to mention. Gall bladder attacks can leave as quickly as the arrive. One minute your are dying and the next you are just fine. Good luck on figuring it all out!

Johnsons of Haymarket said...

Wow, I didn't realize that chest pain was so common in pregnancy. Thanks Corri and Cherilyn for your input. I had a gall bladder attack shortly after I had Cameron, but luckily the stone passed and they couldn't find any more on ultrasound. The pain for that was different from what I experienced this time. Mine could've been that chest wall pain, but I'm actually pretty sure it was an esophageal spasm, due to all of the heartburn issues I've been having. Luckily, the pain hasn't returned. Thanks again for caring about me!