Tuesday, February 26, 2013
One in a Thousand
It is with immense gratitude that I lay here in my bed at home writing on my blog once more.
Last Tuesday I noticed while exercising that one of my legs was really tired. I sat down several times to rest, got back up to continue, and finally teased Kathy that I would just watch her jump around and benefit vicariously.
Later that night I sat on the couch writing the last post. I got up for dinner and felt a strange sensation. My thigh, my whole leg even, felt like it was wrapped in a band or a cast. It was like my muscles were seized up and it was hard to bend my knee. I figured I had some how strained a muscle, or many of them, but strangely, there was no muscle pain.
A call to Guru Ellen, expert masseuse, for muscle advice led me to actually look at my leg. It was swollen, a little purple and blotchy. "Call" she said, so I did. My midwife asked lots of questions about lumps, hot spots, pain, vericose veins - but I had none. She said some women have cirulation problems in pregnancy, to gently stretch and elevate, and call if needed.
I went online... there were references to blood clots, with a long list of symptoms, but I had none of them besides the swelling. Anyway, the info said that the chances of a blood clot in pregnancy were one in a thousand. One in a thousand. Certainly not me. I elevated my leg and wrote a post on my blog. The theme of it now seems ironic in retrospect. I went to bed.
At about 4AM I woke moaning. My back was killing me. I was feeling strong cervical pain, and then I had a contraction. I headed to the bathroom, and upon standing a small but sharp twinge of pain shot through my leg. I woke Guy, "You need to take me to the hospital. Something is wrong"
We got in the car and he asked where to go. Roseville was the newer, more modern hospital, but South was 10 minutes closer. I figured closer was better, so I said South. It would come to make all the difference.
When we arrived at the hospital I had Guy take me to Labor and Delivery (L&D). "We can skip the ER," I said. I knew that at 25 weeks I was finally to the point in my pregnancy where they would try to save my baby.
In triage I was checked by nurses and then an OB, all with smiles and calm voices. My pulses in both feet matched, and I turned to Guy and said, "Well, looks like we're going home". The OB came back and said she was just going to send me over for an ultrasound of my leg "to be on the safe side".
The radiologist, Jane, was sweet and careful. Soon I was realizing that this scan was taking a long time. After having had four miscarriages, one learns the body language of a radiolgist, and I could tell she was finding something. She called in a woman in a white coat. Jane asked her vague and carefully worded questions. A finger point to the screen and a nod. Back to the calf, back to the thigh, back to the groin, now to the lungs... something was clearly not right.
The specialist left. "I know you can't tell me anything, but I think you found something." I said with the lilt of a question. Jane smiled gently and said, "You're right, I can't. Let's just say there is a reason you are here. It was a good thing you came in tonight."
I was glad she said it. I guess it echoed in my mama heart that somehow I had listened to a voice from somewhere deep within; one I had always wondered if I would hear in the time of a "real emergency". But honestly, this didn't feel like one.
Back in L&D they tucked me into a bed. One sure sign you ain't goin' anywhere is when they tuck you into clean sheets... if you are going home, you stay on paper.
I don't really remember what happened next. Guy says Dr. P came in and told us that I had an "extensive blood clot". I remember trying to ask what that meant, but not getting a clear answer. My nurse, Donna, was sweet and kind and smiled at me. She retold me about the medication I would be given soon, but I don't know how much I understood at the moment. It was confusing, and it was about to get worse.