On Monday, after spending the day trying to run all those annoying errands before this baby makes her debut, I went to soak in the bathtub (why yes, I do like hygiene!). When I got to the part in which I typically huff and puff and moan and groan shamefully to pull off my shoes and socks I noticed something terrifying.

In the space between that morning and that late afternoon, my feet had ballooned into a ridiculous caricature of themselves. I’d call them “clown feet” but it wouldn’t do them justice. They were a freak show, plain and simple.

So after my brief soak in the tub, I reluctantly put a call into my OB’s office to let them know. To me, as a nurse, sudden swelling = bad news, especially since I didn’t swell with my last pregnancy (I did turn into the Michelin Man during my pregnancy with Ben, but in my defense, it was a ridiculously hot August and now, well, it’s one of the coldest January’s on record).

The nurse, in typical “It’s about to be my time to leave and I don’t particularly want to deal with you” fashion, told me to drink fluids, lay on my left side and rest as much as possible. Fine advice that I readily took. I also had a BP cuff in hand, so I knew my BP was fine, so I let her go.

The following day, after following her orders as best as a person with small kids and needy dogs can do, I realized something fierce: not only had my swelling not decreased, it had gotten worse. My injured foot ached and I could no longer wear the shoes I’d put on the day before.

So I called the nurse back, reluctantly, and by some stroke of luck got one of the smart ones on the line. After explaining the situation, she agreed that this was cause for concern and went off to consult the doctor.

Who insisted I head to the hospital for monitoring. No big deal, right? They’ll do a HELLP panel, check my pee, give me an NST and let me go the hell home. Awesome. I called The Daver to head home so that he could bring me as there was no way in hell I was going to sit and stare at hospital walls alone. Misery does love company, right?

By the time we got to the hospital, they–of course–had no record of me coming in, so I was hooked up to the monitor while we waited and waited for the MD to call back with orders. This was a foreboding omen of The Ghosts Of Christmas Future.

Amelia looked excellent and my HELLP panel was passable–low platelets are apparently something I’ve been suffering from since the beginning–with my liver enzymes nice and low.

My pee, however, had ketones a-plenty. And this is where I made my fatal error.

Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it….

When the nurse, whom I loved and wanted to make out with because she was so damn competent, presented this to me, I said this and regretted it almost immediately: “Oh, yeah, well, my Crohn’s is flaring up and I literally cannot digest food right now. It comes right back out.”

*smacks head*

So she, being diligent as ever, reports this to my doctor (one of about 4,000 OB’s in my practice. Consider this my second bout of foreshadowing into Mistakes I’ve Loved And Lost) who then, assuming I have a virus, wants to keep me overnight for fluids.

Fuck. If there’s any place I’d rather not be, it’s in a hospital bed, chained to an IV.

(also: why he thought “virus” I’m not sure. Last I checked, viruses don’t last for years. At least, not gastroenteritis)

But fine, I said, being the Model of Compliant Patient that I so obviously am. I’ll stay the night, get some fluids and get discharged first thing in the morning.

Also: hahahahahahaha!

The floor is bumping with people who’d been bumping uglies about 9 months ago, so I’m moved to this pathetic armpit of a room typically used for outpatient testing. I’m horrified to note that there’s a second bed in this wee room, but am relieved for the moment that it’s empty.

Bribed with the promise of an Ambien in my future, I lay down in bed to wait for my IV. Over the next 12 hours, I get bag after bag after bag of fluids, when I finally realize that I haven’t peed hardly at all. I look down at my feet, the initial reason for my arrival on the unit, and am horrified to see that they’ve gotten somehow bigger. BECAUSE I AM NOW THIRD SPACING EVERY SINGLE DROP OF FLUID PUSHED INTO ME.

Awesome.

While this concerned me because now I had stumps where my legs had once been, fairly useless ones at that, no one else seemed to care. Everyone was far, far more concerned about my guts. This amused me to no end since this is slightly worse than normal, but still well within the realm of Everyday Annoyances for me.

My amusement, the following morning after sleeping for approximately 6 minutes of the night, is quickly dampened by the fact that my OB (again, one I haven’t met) wanted me to have a GI consult come in and take a peek at me. While I have no issues with GI MD’s in general, I’ve grown pretty damn tired of hearing other doctors tell me these two things:

1) We’re not sure it’s Crohn’s

AND

2) There’s nothing we can do for you right now.

Fucking sweet. I haven’t been hearing that since I was 4 minutes pregnant and in the ER after falling down my stairs or anything.

But again, in the name of being somewhat compliant, I agreed to this. The nurse tells me that the GI should be in around noonish. Fine. Daver was lovingly back by my side and we sat together, staring at the clock for the next 3-4 hours.

We still had only heard through nurses what my OB wants to do and are starting to wonder if this all isn’t turning into a gigantic game of telephone. I’m starting to wonder if I might, instead of a GI, be consulted by a doctor to give me both a sex change and a boob job. The boob job I’d handle, but I’m not certain how much I want a penis, hilarious antics aside.

All that I do know is that the hours are ticking by at a snails pace, I’m not being monitored for much at all, and my feet are ballooning to comical proportions. The dayside nurse who has been assigned to me is easily one of the duller crayons in the box and she has made it completely apparent that she not only has no idea WHAT to do with me as I’m not in labor, she also doesn’t care. She’s the kind of nurse that gives other nurses a bad name.

Sometime after 3 PM, the GI MD gives me a call to chat with me as to what’s going on with me, as he’s on the way to some medical emergency somewhere else. In his favor, he has an incredibly charming accent (I’m a huge sucker for accents). Counting against him is the fact that he’s not going to be available for quite awhile longer.

Some of that fluid accumulating in me is now released in the form of tears. Under the best of circumstances, I’m an ugly crier, and under these, I’m snotting all over myself, Daver and my sad hospital pillow. I’ve not slept, I still can’t keep a damn thing in my body, so my blood sugar is plummeting, and I’m frustrated beyond belief.

The sitting around and waiting I could just as easily do at home and as far as dealing with PinHead, RN, I could call my MD’s office and try to talk to one of the nurses there (I need to clarify that not ALL of the nurses are idiots, lest you think I’m being bigoty). But I made the fatal assumption that the MD would be there around 5 PM, so a couple of extra hours? We could handle it.

But by 5PM, he meant closer to 7:30 PM and by this time I was nearly out of my mind with exhaustion and frustration. No one even attempts to give me a straight answer and I seem to have fallen off the radar of the staff who are dealing with laboring patients. While I want to be all Goodly and stuff and be all “well, they’re busy” the attention I wasn’t getting was absurd. I’ve worked L and D, and I’ve never seen anything so devoid of patient care.

For serious.

But, at about 7:30, the GI MD rolled in and one of the first things out of his mouth after making the obligatory introductions was this:

“I’m not convinced you have Crohn’s.” Suddenly, his accent is stunningly less charming than mere moments before.

Now, I’m aware of this, Patient Reader, and have done the tests that I am able to do while pregnant to ascertain what it is that I do have (hint: it’s not a virus). I’m still waiting on the results of the insane tests that I had drawn a couple of months ago (damn you holiday schedules!) and other than calling it Crohn’s, I’m not sure what else TO call it.

Trust me, I’d be thrilled if it weren’t Crohn’s, providing that there was SOMETHING to be done about it. I won’t be even remotely depressed to learn that it’s NOT.

If I hadn’t been so obviously in distress, I would have found it funny, the ways in which pretty much every member of the hospital staff then had to come in and remind me that I might not have Crohn’s. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a chorus line of male doctors come in with their penises dancing to “We’re Not Sure It’s Crohn’s” in the tune of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

Everyone from Laundry Services to the Candy Stripers had to come in and “break” this to me. Eventually, rather than trying to explain myself, I remained mute when confronted with this. Like the whole thing with my mother and my mother-in-law who constantly remind me that their husbands never did any baby care, I became at somewhat of a loss as to what to say.

Really, how do you respond to this? What response did they want from me? Because I’m pretty sure I didn’t give the proper one, lest someone actually care about what medically IS going on with me rather than focusing on what might not be. And if it’s bad enough to make me stay overnight, why doesn’t someone look for a cure instead of pointing out something that cannot be currently proved or disproved?

And for the love of Sweet Baby Jesus, why doesn’t anyone talk to me instead of making me feel like a naughty child who has been caught in a lie?

I caught one of my nurses patently lying to my OB, telling him that I was “feeling better” and had “eaten well,” after she’d berated me for not eating. She, of course, got the tail end of my Bitch Stick and was promptly informed of the error of her ways.

The following day after another night of minimal sleep, my amnio loomed large and began to make me quiver with fear. I have an intense fear of the unknown, and while my pain tolerance is pretty amazing, I had nothing with which to compare this to. Was it as bad as a spinal tap? A colonoscopy? Having to listen to the Facts Of Life Song on repeat?

When I was finally summoned and laying on the table, my belly slathered in iodine, I learned one thing about having an amnio: it feels just like you think it would. Honestly, it’s totally like what you’d think one would feel like. Unpleasant, creepy, slightly painful, and not over remotely soon enough.

But one must do what one must do, so back to our closet–now with bonus roommate!–we waited for the results. And when we learned that they were positive for well developed wee lungs, we began to talk of inductions with the OB, whom we have now seen in the flesh for the first time in 3 days.

We learn quickly that he no longer wants to keep us there for now, that we can go! home! as my cervix hasn’t been briefed on anything (oh, and by the way, you might not have Crohn’s!). Rather than stay and fight for a section, we get the hell outta Dodge with vague promises of coming back for RhoGam (in the hospital, even if you are COMPLETELY aware of your Rh- status, you must be type crossed and matched before they’ll give you the shot. That’s your insurance dollars hard at work, people) that evening.

Never, ever has a hospital parking lot looked so beautiful as it did that night on our way home.

I’m going back to the MD tomorrow at 1, and I’m planning to insist on getting this baby out and safe and then getting back to feeling like a human being again. I have my serious doubts as to whether or not it will work, but I’m planning on kicking and screaming and generally making a scene until I get booted from the office by security.

Comments

comments

40 thoughts on “The Hilarious Incident Of The Hospital VS Aunt Becky

  1. Jeez. Sounds like a complete and utter nightmare.
    Soon, soon, SOON it will be all over. Keep breathing. Keep thinking about holding your baby. Keep thinking about wearing shoes again.
    It’ll all happen.

  2. What a mess. Its unfortunate that you were treated so poorly. I hope you get your induction on Monday, and that this will all be over with a healthy baby in your arms. I was induced with my 3rd & 4th kids, and my cervix was not even remotely ready either time. It was not bad at all, and I delivered them both in 6 – 8 hours. If you are delivering at Delnor, see if you can get Betty Molitor, she is absolutely awesome! Good Luck!!

  3. Seriously why is it they won’t take your stomach shit seriously when you ask them to.
    But when you actually have another concern, they decide to suddenly readdress the stomach and completely ignore your dangerous swelling.

    It’s because they don’t fucking listen to the patient. Ever. And that’s what makes me seriously FIGHTING mad. The mad that don’t quit.

    Man trust me I so feel your pain. I hear Johns Hopkins isn’t so much that way. I’m so begging it’s true. (and btw they have an auto-immune (e.g. crohns) research center). If I ever get us there, I’ll tell you whether or not they’re raging dicks. 🙂

    Good Luck!!!!!!!!!

  4. I’m not so sure after reading this WTF Crohns (sorry, NOT SO SURE IT’S CROHNS BUT WHAT_T_F_EVER) has to do with scary swelling and retaining liquids? And why no one bothered to keep abreast of that? And where the hell is this hospital that they dump you in the broom closet and forget about you? I’m in mad letter writing mode now.

    Baby? Out. Please. For mama’s sake.

  5. WTF? Why is your hospital so incompetent? If I have to drive all the way out to you and bring you taco bell hot sauce to induce that baby, I WILL.

    I’m so angry, I’m not only going to send your hospital a box of my dog’s poo, but my 3 yr old’s who seems to poop as if he’s a 300 pound man.

  6. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re miserable. You’re feet are fat. You don’t have crohns. You do have crohns. Whateva.

    I just want TO MEET THE BABY!! Let’s get this show on the road, sister!

  7. Jeezus. Look at my spelling (comment FAIL!). “Your” not “You’re”.

    See? Even I still have baby brain, 6 months later. You are so screwed.

  8. I think I would have just started screaming at them to stick to the f’ing topic of…my gargantuan feet! I don’t care about my inability to retain any food in my digestive system unless it has something to do with my swelling! You have great forebearance.

    Anyway, I hope Amelia decides that she’s done messing with you and makes her way out soon!

    I don’t think it’s Crohn’s though.

  9. Ugghh – what is it with hospitals? Rest assured it is the exact same combo of broom cupboards, useless nurses and docs and lack of ino this side of the Atlantic (except free).

  10. Here’s hoping someone with an ounce of sense sees you tomorrow and baby Amelia decides to work with you. Sorry about the swelling oh how that sucks and I’ve been there done that with tummy issues so I feel your pain…It sucks big ones.

  11. Your OB practice scares me….too big doesnt seem like such a good thing….where the crap where THEY???? Ultimately THEY should have been checking on you DAILY……. I dont know how you put up with that shit, I had a nurse ignore me after my baby was born, because I wasnt breastfeeding, and as she pointed out, breastfeeding mom’s needs trump non-breastfeeding moms anyday………it only took about 6 hours before I let her know it was unacceptable, I have no problems picking up the phone and contacting the appropriate folks! Unfortunately it seems like we all have to be aggressive to be well taken care of! (I should note that I had the most awsome nurse the day of my delivery…it was day 2 that I was graced with super bitch).

  12. I’m just shaking my head. WTF is up with L&D? I have so many stories like this it’s not even funny.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that you get that baby OUT tomorrow.

    xoxo

  13. Aww geez sweetie I am so sorry that you are having such a shit time of things!!

    I would say hang in there, but having been where you are, I will just slap myself for saying it, and not even go there!!

    I really hope that you get wwhat you need from your doc tomorrow, and if not then kick his ever loving ass until he does what you want!!!

  14. I’m so frustrated by your story that I feel like crying and screaming all at the same time – plus you’re pregnant! I feel like you handled everything with great restraint actually – wow!

    Here’s hoping you get that section you want! Keep us informed!

  15. Ugh. What a ‘trip’… and I know amnio is ‘weird’, like you say, but at least you found out what you needed to know… and now you can campaign hard for them to get your wee one out!

    Good luck!

  16. getting escorted out by security isn’t half as bad as you think it is – just this past weekend, i was escorted out of target’s customer service – their return policy sucks serious ass. no one really even bats and eye.

    good luck to you! your hospital tour sounded like a fiasco. i’m hoping that all of your wildest dreams (related to the baby) will come true tomorrow!!

  17. Ugh..that was some sucky experience you had. 🙁 Considering that I am NOT a medical professional and know almost nothing about your stomach symptoms-but have you considered that you might be gluten intolerant aka celiac disease? I wish you luck!

  18. I’m sorry, but focusing on whether you have Crohn’s when you’re swelling like that doesn’t sound like they have a clue. I hate being in the hospital more than the average bear, but it’s time to throw a shitfit until you get induced or sectioned.

    The day my son was born, I lied my way in, caused a scene with my doctor and refused to leave. I was a week overdue, but my cervix had no intentions of ever breaking open. Good luck, girl! Don’t take no for an answer.

  19. You? Have way, way, way more patience than I would have had. I don’t deal well with the dull crayons of the nursing world.

    I’m having a cocktail in your honor tonight and I hope that by this time tomorrow, you can have one too!

  20. Being in the field, you’d think they’d listen to you. Nothing frustrates me more than being ignored when you KNOW something is fuh-rickin wrong. I wish you well. The next time I hear from you on here, I want it to be a picture of that baby. So, do what you have to do tomorrow. Good luck.

  21. Oh, Honey! You and The Daver should win an award…for… something. (!!) What a bunch of BS, all of which no doubt seriously aggravated Alex and Ben to boot.

    Don’t let them give you any crap tomorrow! Cry, sling snot, throw up, pee on the OB, do whatever it takes!

  22. give me your number so i can call and yell at you when i wakes up screaming from a nightmare about doctors in a kickline singing “We’re not sure it’s Crohn’s” to the tune of “We’re not gonna take it.”

  23. You should start kicking people with your big swollen feet. Maybe they will get the point or at least notice that perhaps there is an issue. Good luck with your doc, sounds like that was a miserable weekend.

  24. There is nothing like a bad nurse to make you want to blow up the universe, and nothing so awesome as a really good one. I puffy heart some of the antepartum nurses at our hospital, and one or two are on my crap list.

    Anyway, glad you survived and finally got home!

  25. What the hell is wrong with these people? I would have killed someone. Really. I don’t know how you restrained yourself.

    May I write a letter or your behalf?

    Dear Numb Nuts Doctors and Nurses:

    When a patient, who is a human being who deserves your compassion and attention, not your brush-offs and arrogance, comes in with dangerous swelling, please listen to her concerns and address those, rather than trying to prove or disprove some random fucking theory of yours about what may or may not be causing her gastric distress. Please do not insult my friend, your patient, with the vaguely scolding diagnosis of “I’m not convinced it’s Crohn’s.”

    Then what the fuck is it, you pompous, self-aggrandizing windbag full of quivering pus? Don’t come in there telling my Becks what she doesn’t have unless you have some alternate and remotely plausible ideas. Also, unless you’re prepared to show that you’re working on this idea as part of a plan to resolve the DANGEROUS SWELLING she’s been trying to tell you about, please STFU all together. Everyone will be happier, and you can avoid that whole awkwardness of opening your big fat mouth and reminding people that you’re an absolute moron who should never have been granted a license to practice medicine.

    Thank you for taking a flying leap at your earliest possible convenience.
    Coco

  26. I think I’ve been in that closet. I feel and started contracting at 23 weeks. They shoved me in a 2-bed “monitoring” closet (there was barely room at the end of the bed to walk by) with no windows and kept me there doped up on a cocktaill of anti-labor meds (including mag sulfate and terb.) for 24 hours. During that time, Dr. OBitch spent a whole 30 seconds in my room and didn’t even examine me. She sent a nurse to check my cervix – the same nurse who couldn’t bother taking 20 seconds to help me with a bedpan (my husband ended up helping and measuring my pee….eeewww). When my heart rate went through the roof from the terb, she gave me narchotics against my wishes, yet still didn’t bother actually checking on me. The next morning, after Dr. OBitch’s call ended, Dr. Wonderful came in, did a bedside U/S and freaked. She immediately transferred by ambulance to another hospital with a level III NICU. My placenta had abrupted and I had a clot behind the placenta. Did I mention that Dr. OBitch hadn’t done an ultrasound before than, NOR had she given me RhoGAM? So, yeah, having gone through that, I’m pissed of at your OB on your behalf.

  27. Oh my god, what an ordeal! I am glad that you are doing all right but did they ever solve the foot issue?
    (Probably a stupid question as you’ve written two entries after this one – that I have not yet read – and most likely it’s been answered. But just in case.)

  28. Not only are some of them clueless, but they keep changing shifts and each one has to re-verify to his/her own satisfaction all the things that they asked you in the first place. Wow!

    On a more reasonable note, would it be possible to insist (without ranting) on speaking to the most rational doctor on the phone, and then explaining the issues you had to deal with and asking for them to correct them? They hate it, but if you stay calm and keep insisting, something has to give.

    I don’t understand why they didn’t elevate your feet, but perhaps it wouldn’t have changed anything. Sorry you and baby and Daver have to go through this.

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