Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trials and tribulations

Last Wednesday night I began to suspect that I had a UTI (yuck!) and since my doctor's office was already closed I took some Azo, drank lots of water and figured I could make it until morning when my doctor's office opened. As the night wore on I began to feel worse and worse. Around 10:30 my back started hurting and I began to wonder if maybe my UTI was really a kidney infection, so we called my mother in law (the nurse) but she was asleep so we talked to my sister in law (the resident kidney infection expert) instead. She agreed that it sounded like a kidney infection and said that tylenol should help. By midnight I was in a lot of pain and decided I couldn't wait another 9 hours for my doctor's office to open so Mac took me to the hospital. I told the emergency room nurse that I was 32 wks pregnant and suspected I had a kidney infection because my back hurt. They immediately took me in a wheelchair (wheeeee) to labor and delivery. I am so impressed by my hospital! Mac and I have not yet had a chance to take a tour of labor and delivery so everything was new to us. The rooms are big and private with a futon for mac to sleep on and a full bathroom with a shower and tub, flat screen tv with DVD player and internet access. The staff was AMAZING, I am so grateful to them for walking me through the paperwork and always telling me exactly what they were going to do before doing it AND asking for my consent. They really put me at ease. Even though I was not on labor they still had me go through the process as if I was in labor so I should be pretty good at it when the real thing happens. I changed into a gown and gave them a sample and then got into bed so they could hook up the doppler for Gideon and the contraction monitor. Gideons's heart rate was lower than I am used to at our morning appointments but still in normal range and I had a couple of contractions but nothing painful. What WAS painful was my back and I began to think that I was passing a stone (I have had stones in the past so I am familiar with the feeling). Soon after the nurse brought me a couple of vicodin but they didn't take away any of the pain, in fact it got much worse. Next a very nice gentleman came and did an ultrasound of both of my kidneys and bladder. It was not fun having to lay on my back, twisting and turning so he could get the right angle but he was a really nice guy. At this point I texted all of the parent to tell them that we were in the hospital but the baby was fine. Poor Mac was such a help. I kept telling him to go to sleep but he held my hand and stroked my hair and was a great support. When the nurse came back she said that I did not have an infection and the ultrasound did not show any stones, however my right kidney was very enlarged and there was fluid backup. I was in agony and very confused because my kidney hurt but I also had sharp pain in my bladder, a burning urethra and that horrible "gotta go" feeling. Thankfully at this point (4am) they finally gave me IV pain medication which completely took the pain away and knocked me out. Early this morning Gideon's heart rate was back in the 150s when my OB came to see me. He told me that he felt I was passing a stone and he was sending a urologist to speak with me (he had a patient who was being induced in the room next door and could not stay long). Shortly afterward the urologist came in and said she agreed with my OB that I was passing stones but unfortunately could not officially confirm it because she couldn't do an X-Ray on a pregnant woman. The urologist also said that the only treatment option for a pregnant woman is to manage the pain with drugs until A) the stone passes or B) the baby is born. After another shot of Demerol we made our way home. Mac went and picked up my prescriptions and I tried to eat some lunch. At this point I began to realize how hard this was going to be. The shot began to wear off so I took a hydrocodone and went to bed. A couple of hours later I was once again in agony. Mac was at work so I sent him a message asking him to call the doctor and see if I could take my next pain pill earlier than the 6 hours listed on the bottle (I didn't think I would be able to speak to anyone coherently at this point). Thankfully they said every 4 hours would be fine. And so the cycle began. I took a hydrocodone, 45 mins later I got some relief, 4 hours after that the pain began to creep in, by the 4 hour mark I was laid out on the bed clutching the sheets, crying into a pillow, so I would take another hydrocodone and wait the 45 mins for it to kick in... This went on for 72 hours. 72 HOURS. Meanwhile the amazing husbandit (sounds like a magician no?) was taking care of me, and the dogs, and getting the house ready for our annual Christmas party. As I came out of my drug induced fog Friday night I realized the pain was gone. That is the funny thing about kidney stones, one minute they are there, the next they aren't. Our Christmas party was set for 1pm on Saturday and I was afraid of what I would find when I emerged from the bedroom at 10pm Friday because the last I had seen it, our house was a mess. Well I was totally wrong, not only had the husbandit cleaned, he had decorated. See? A magician. Of course one would thing that a kidney stone would be the worst and its passing would mark the end of a dark time. Unfortunately, no. The next morning I developed a sharp pain in my right lower back/hip/buttock region. After consulting my sister in law (massage therapist extraordinaire), cousin (mommy extraordinaire) and mother (extraordinary) I have come the the conclusion that I have a piriformis syndrome cause by pregnancy. While this is not uncommon it is incredibly annoying, painful, and limiting. I can't step backwards, turn, roll over in bed, go up or down the stairs, bend over, or generally do anything fun or productive without pain. I take the back, I can sit. Weird right? Sooo... last I checked since becoming pregnant I have had:
-a sprained ankle
-kidney stones
-piriformis syndrome
all of which can only be treated by drugs that pregnant woman aren't allowed to have
...and yet I am STILL happy to be pregnant!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The pain can be treated with anitinflamatories and muscle relaxers (same as with the costochondritis and sprained ankle). Since this isn't a sports injury but a pregnancy thing treatments like physical therapy wouldn't be useful. I am considering the massage thing for sure.