Just when I thought I had escaped the worst of what this pregnancy has inflicted on me, I landed up in the ER last Saturday night. I know right? The craziest part was how sudden the whole thing hit me – I literally went from hero to zero in 12 hours.
I woke up on Saturday morning with a pounding headache and a bit of sore throat but a combination of denial (accepting that you may be getting sick while pregnant is such a hard thing!) and history of headaches due raging pregnancy hormones, meant I dismissed it without much further thought. I took a Panando ( Those things can seriously kiss my sorry ass though – I mean common!!!) and carried on my day, even managing to get out for lunch with the family. I came home planning to have a nap before a party we were attending that evening and when I woke up at 4pm I was shivering from head to toe. I could barely make it to the kitchen to take another useless panado tablet. I checked my temp – it was 37.9. Nothing serous I thought. I’m a big girl. I’ll just take my vitamins and i’ll be right as rain.
Not so. By 12pm that night, despite 4 Panado tablets my temperature was only rising. After much deliberation and me arguing with a concerned husband there was not much a hospital could do for flu while pregnant, Brendon put his foot down and took charge. We were heading to the ER. I lay in my bed unable to even get up and dress myself. I keep thinking back at just how hard this small everyday task was – something as easy as putting clothes on! I couldn’t even manage a bra (the idea of putting one on seemed a mammoth task that only made me cry more!) and my darling man literally had to dress a rag doll. It was almost enough to put me off going in at all.
I shivered all the way to the hospital and by the time we got there I was just about fainting with fever. Despite the fact that there were several people in the waiting room, a nurse escorted me to the assessment room straight away. The last time we had checked my temp with our home thermometer my temp was 38.5. By the time they took my temp on arrival it was 39.7. Not kiff I tell you.
I was transported through to ER and within 5 minutes I had drips and needles in both arms. And then we waited. I honestly thought they were going to tell me to complete the panado drip and send me home in the pain I was in. An hour an half later the doctor came back to tell me my white blood count which should be under 5 was 75! I was admitted into the hospital straight away.
I settled in as much as I could and said goodbye to a very tired husband who had sat at my bedside until 3.30am. As horrible as it was to say goodbye feeling that sick, I knew I was in good hands with the nurses at Vincent Pallotti. By 5am my headache was still so severe the doctor gave the go ahead for a shot of Pethidine. Now I’m going to be completely transparent here and tell you out right, that this stuff has to be one of the most glorious drugs on the planet. I can honestly say that if they were selling the stuff on the street, I would become a full blown addict. And no I’m not even joking. Well, kind of. But not really. Guys, I cannot tell you the relief I experienced. When your body is in that much pain and discomfort, the feeling of relief can be quite overwhelming. I wasn’t given much warming about how tired it would make me despite having to be wheeled around the hospital for ultra sounds and scans. Of course, that didn’t stop me from snoozing in between all the chaos and and enjoying the floating, warm and fuzzy sensation which lasted about 7 hours.
The second night was probably my worst – I almost fainted twice, threw up due to low blood pressure and could barely sleep I was in so much pain. It was rough!
By the second day my WBC was 180 and on the third day when I was actually starting to feel better, it was over 230! The bloody bastards just kept rising. Still, by day three I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and even managed to get my gynae’s go ahead for another pethidine shot just so I could sleep without any pain or interruption. My body was exhausted! That night after a lovely jab in my bum, I slept from 8.30- 5 am. I was still in a drug-induced sleep when I was woken at 5am with another prick in my arm for more blood work. I barely budged and went straight back to sleep after some sweet tea.
As it turned out it was just a major infection that attacked my body in every way it could. Starting with something as simple as a strep throat which as it turns out, can wreck havoc with your body and white blood cells. It’s probably the most awful I have ever felt but siting here now I’m reminded of all the many things I have to be grateful for.
- The fact that my kids were sleeping at my folks that night meant were able to go to the ER in the middle of the night. Had we had to wait til morning, we have no idea how bad things could have got.
- The service and care we experienced coming into the ER was next level. From the moment they knew I was pregnant, I was treated as a priority and seen to without question.
- For family and friends who carried us through this horrible week – afternoon playdates with friends, meals at the grandparents and all the messages of love and support. My mom will forever reign supreme as the most caring and giving of all human beings walking the planet.
- For pethidine. Yes this deserved it’s own mention. While I’m eternally grateful for this miraculous drug and all it offered me, I will say I’m also grateful it’s not easily available. I fear my kids would have a Peth whore as a mother.
- For the nurses, doctors and professional help I received at Vincent Pallotti hospital. I had my favourite nurse who delivered the boys come and visit me from the maternity ward. She found out I was there and came straight away to see how I was. This is the kind of care you receive form these nurses, it’s more than just a job to them.
- For my all round health. I shared my ward with four other women, two of them were cancer patients. The one girl Flo I came to discover had already had operations to remove part of her colon as well as a brain tumour. She told me how she had been in remission and was fine in December, but by February she couldn’t swallow or talk properly. The doctors had strong suspicions the cancer was back. I watched this brave girl everyday as she talked to her doctors and went for countless lumbar punctures. I watched her drink her homemade smoothie drinks and soups because she couldn’t eat proper food. I watched her smile the hugest smile when her friends came to visit her – countless friends rolled in, there was no doubt this girl was loved by many. I began to look at my own situation differently – You see I was going to get better, I still had so much to look forward to. I still think about this precious girl so much and pray for her healing whenever I do. I think of Mrs Wagner, the elderly lady next to me who I shared my heated bean bag with when her pain was unbearable. I pray for her and her recovery, so much more serious than mine ever was. Please pray for them too!
- I’m thankful for my husband who carried the weight of his demanding job, lifting kids to school, packing lunches and still finding time to sit at my bedside, even while I was asleep. This man continues to blow my mind at every turn of our life together. When he said those vows to me almost 10 years ago, he really meant “during sickness and in health!”
I’m finally feeling like I’m 100% and I can’t tell you how good it feels. And nunu in my tum tum is wiggling more and more, a sure sign she is healthy and thriving in there. Gosh she’s already giving me such a hard time, Is this a sign of things to come? Tell its not so 🙂
Thanks to all of you who sent such caring and thoughtful messages. It felt good to know I had moms edging me on to get better and wishing me a speedy recovery! ♥