Friday, April 20, 2012

Remember that Prayer Request??

Okay so it has been way way too long since I posted a prayer request about my personal health. 
What had happened was.. (spoken like the ladies man) 

C was born on Jan 15, we went home the morning of the 16th.
By the 17th I was holding fluid, not a little... like... alot.
28 pounds of fluid post delivery to be exact.

I called casey and he said its just the trauma of delivering. you are fine.
Two days later a dear friends mom brough us dinner. 
(wed night, baby was a couple days old)
She came in, sat the food down and said, umm you may want to make some lemon water. Lemons are a natural diuretic. 
So that night I lay in bed, propped under about 20 pillows. I couldnt lay down to sleep. It was too hard to breathe. 
The next morning I drank my lemon water. I also drank about 6 glasses of grapefruit juice. 
Nothing changed, fast forward to friday.
I called Casey around 4 and I told him I was starting to feel worse and I thought we needed to go to the ER. I called a friend who's husband is a paramedic and they told me to come over and her husband would check my "stats."

My resting heartrate throughout the whole pregnancy was around 80-90 bpm. I got there and he checked my oxygen level, BP, and heartrate.

My oxygen was only slightly off, my BP around 160/95 (high for me but still normal)
but my heartrate.... it was a consistent 39.
Friends hubby walked out of the room, my friend went to the kitchen to get her baby a bottle and she came in the den, sat next to me on the couch with the scariest look on her face and said; "Brent doesn't EVER freak out about things... but, uhhh I think you are going into heart failure! You need to go straight back to labor and delivery"
WHAT? I feel a little off but not heart failure!!!!
Friend then proceeded to call a good friend of her's who is a labor and delivery nurse.
The nurse agreed with Brent's concern and I met Casey at the house, 
our wild friday night was being spent going BACK to l&d with my newborn. 

Do you have ANY idea how weird it is to check in at the counter WITH your baby?? just plain weird! I know they thought I was nuts!!

Nurse checked everything out, hooked me up to monitors and everything was the same as when Brent took my stats. But my heartrate continued to drop. 
38, 35, 34, then 29. 
At that point you start setting off monitors, like repeatedly!!! Scary/annoying.

They took bloodwork, determined my liver enzymes were off. The dr on call told me she would notify my dr. and she sent us home with NO answers!

It made NO sense. 
Sat, Sun, still not sleeping, started to get some relief from the fluid, in 12 hours I urinated off almost 18 pounds of fluid! I thought I was feeling better.

By monday morning I had spoken with 2 friends moms who have been  l&d nurses for close to 25 years. 
They both suspicioned things but didnt want to scare me, they basically told me if I felt worse to not go to ER go straight back to l&d at the women's hospital.

Monday night I still felt bad.

I waited until AC was down for the night and I called my very dear friend Ruth. She graciously agreed to come and sleep at my house so we could go back to labor and delivery and hopefully get some more answers. 

me, casey and my one week old headed again back up to the hospital! At this point I felt pure D stupid!!

My dr happened to be on call and she came up to talk to me. She checked my heartrate and it fluxuated between 35-39.
She ordered an EKG, Echocardiagram, and a CT Scan. 
CT came back confirming I had pulminary edema as well as pitting edema all the way up to my thighs.
The EKG determined the electricity in my heart was off. 

She told me she was referring me to a dr who specializes in women's heart health.

Wednesday morning

This swollen girl and this tired baby headed up to the cardiologist. 
BTW those offices smell of moth balls and sucrets. I giggled, I was the youngest there by a good solid 40 years!!!
That dr ordered a stress test, another EKG and Another Echo.

She then determined I had Sinus Bradycardia.

She had NEVER seen cases like mine before and mine included she had 2 other patients, both who had recently delivered with similiar symptoms to mine.

She had no answers, to rhyme or reason as to why it happened it just did.

I had to wait for my medical release from the ob to come back for my stress test. 

By the end of the week I lost the last of the 28 pounds and I sat at home tired, confused, with a 2 week old, high blood pressure and a low heartrate.

This was about the time I believe I asked for yall's prayer requests.

Things were so uncertain and all I knew is it felt good knowing I was in the lords hands and soon enough I would have answers.

I went back at 4 weeks post delivery for my stress test. Everything went as it should have and my heartrate had returned to normal. 
My bp was at its normal 110/60.
The dr had no answers. 

Hooray she said everything corrected itself.
YES, hooray!!
But just like that?? how?? 
She had no answers for me, just said it's too weird! She told me when she attended her yearly cardiologist conference she would confer with other women-specialist cardiologist and let me know if she figured anything out.
I know she cares and was extremely thorough. She even called in the aneshesiologist to check what I was administered in labor.

Shortly after this test we met with Mrs. Lisa, my friends l&d nurse mommy for dinner. 

She said she had spoken with Ruth's mom, also a former l&d nurse and they both suspicioned I had peripartum Cardiomyopathy. is a rare disorder in which a weakened heart is diagnosed within the final month of pregnancy or within 5 months after delivery.

It occurs when there is damage to the heart. As a result, the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

                                                     It only occurs in 1 in 1,300 pregnancies.
It is still undetermined If I actually have this but I have not been able to speak again with the cardiologist again to confirm this.
We are waiting until she returns from her conference to see what the future holds. As of right now I am "fine" and she wants me working out to build up the muscles in my heart.  If I DO have this there is a 25-50% chance of heart failure in a following pregnancy and the potential need for a heart transplant. 

With a sidenote: I know I had severe and extreme swelling post delivery with my daughter. I thought you just felt like a truck ran over you for the first 2-3 weeks and I am positive I had this with her. However, since i did not seek medical attention (mainly for lack of knowing other pregnant women, etc the dr's consider this a "first offense" and will not give me a NO, don't get pregnant again, it could kill you)

So as of right now Thank you thank you everyone for your sweet prayers, concerns and words of encouragement. We would love to continue adding to our family but not if it means my two living children would no longer have a mommy.

This has been the biggest reality check there could be.I know the lord has answered prayers thus far just hoping to get some clarity on the situation.
The only other diagnoses even mentioned were peripartum preeclampsia and I did alot of research showing my symptoms also went hand in hand with HELLP syndrome.
So.. for now... I start working out, and the story continues. 

1 comment:

Anna said...

Hey Jenny Beth-

I am currently a maternity nurse in virginia beach, Va. I am not a doctor but the symptoms you describe do sound like peripartum cardiomyopathy. I would recommend a complete cardiology work up with and extensive history before having any other little ones in the future. I love your blog! (it helps remind me of why I love and miss the south) Your babies are so cute. Wishing you all the best! My prayers your way!

Anna Ort Roby