Something was very wrong with me post pregnancy.
My extended family was in town for the birth of our daughter, Grace. Strangely, I could not handle any interaction – large or small. I was so on edge. I literally wanted to scream. I was in so much pain. My mother-in-law was pushing the fact that perhaps I had post-pardum depression. I knew for a fact that was not my issue. I was not depressed. I felt sick. Very sick.
Something was wrong.
I spent the night vomiting, and losing control of my bowels. I was desperately trying to nurse Grace and not wake anyone up while this was all happening. I felt like my body was going to burst into flames I was so hot. The next morning after absolutely exploding and making a scene about needing sleep the day prior, I stayed in bed and tried to sleep. I had a very high temperature. After some research I discovered sometimes post pregnancy you can get an infection which presents itself as a fever and it could be fatal. This combined with the fact that my stomach was HUGE and hard like I was still five months pregnant three weeks post pregnancy I decided it was time to go to the emergency room.
Something was wrong.
I was checked in right away and had an ultrasound and CT scan that showed I had a large mass in my abdomen measuring approximately 22cm. They were not sure what it was. They gave me some pain meds, contacted the on-call OBGYN surgeon who suggested to send me home. On two different occasions of trying to leave I dropped to the ground. I should have NEVER been sent home. The emergency room established an appointment with the on-call OBGYN the following day and sent me off on my way.
Dammit, something was wrong!
The next morning I got up and went to see the doctor the emergency room recommended. Oh my goodness! By the time I got there I could not even walk. I was in crippling pain only to encounter the most insensitive, poorest excuse I have EVER met for a human and a doctor. She treated my husband and I like absolute fools. How does someone like that get into medicine? Needless to say, she left the room and we told the nurse there was no way we were putting my life in her surgical hands. The nurse totally understood. So much so, that for the next few weeks prior to my visit she called to check up on me because she knew how awful the woman she was working for was and she felt bad.
Something was wrong.
I got home and told my family that I would not be seeing that woman and I would hopefully be seeing my Dr. W., the doctor who delivered Grace to get a recommendation. My family freaked out that I was delaying help. My instincts told me this wasn’t the path for me and I am so glad I followed my instincts. Later that day I called Dr. W. to see if I could go in and talk to her. She was willing to see me. I went in so desperate telling her that something was very, very wrong and I needed help. She was very concerned and recommended I go see Dr. M. right away. She also confirmed the fact that I should have NEVER been released from the hospital. Something was obviously wrong, she said!
The next morning we got up and headed to the hospital to meet Dr. M. Ryan drove 5 miles per hour the whole way there because I couldn’t handle any bumps in the road. The pain was excruciating. I felt so bad for the guy, I would scream every time he hit a bump. The first office we went to told us Dr. M. no longer worked there and sent us to the bottom floor of the hospital. This was a very long journey. By the time we got to the other office we were late and I was in panic that I would not be seen. We got to the check in desk only to find out Dr. M. was at a different location across town. I started to ball!! I begged the receptionist to call over to the other office and plead for us to still be seen. So began another long, 5 mile per hour journey across town. Good god!! Can I catch a break?! Am I destined to rot? Why is this so freaking hard?
Oh dear god, something is so wrong…why can’t someone just realize – something is wrong!!!
We finally arrived and sat for three agonizing hours for the doctor only to have a nurse call from the door and watch Ryan try to push my wheel chair while I was balling in pain and juggle Gracie’s car seat. Was she really not going to step out and help? Is this going to be another awful experience? She then demanded I get up to be weighed and did not assist me until I started crying harder because I couldn’t get up. (side note: I later came to LOVE this nurse.)
And then came peace…
I was then wheeled down the hall and around the corner to two sympathetic, loving faces, Dr. M. and his NP, Jackie. They were so kind to us. Dr. M. walked us through all the possible things this mass could be and said he wanted me to immediately go to the hospital and that Grace needed to go home for one evening until post surgery. He instantly had everything in place. This is the man I would over and over again trust my life to. I knew I was a long way from being out of the woods, but it was so amazing to finally have someone recognize there was truly something wrong with me and take care of me finally.
I arrived at the hospital feeling like all would be well after my surgery the next day and that I probably just had a twisted ovary. Then we were told by the front desk to go to the 8th floor. When I got up there the sign said Oncology.
Gulp. Did he know something we didn’t? Nah. (to be continued)