I’ve been off the net for the last week mostly because I was having fun with the boys, getting ready for family to come into town, my folks arrived to help me out and stay for our other family visiting and then on Friday I had two doctors appointments and my sister and her family flew in from California to spend some time hanging out with us.
By that night around 10pm I had body aches and chills and headed to bed. I woke up at midnight feeling hot and had Joel get me a thermometer so I could check myself out. I had a temp of 100.2 which worried me since I wasn’t sure what the safe zone was for when you’re pregnant. We called my doctor’s after hours number and with their instruction I took a full dose of extra strength tylenol, drank a bunch of water and settled in to go back to sleep until it was time to check my temp again. I dozed off for a little bit but I was getting too hot to be comfortable and I was starting to get worried so I woke up Joel (again) and asked him for help. He got a cool wash cloth while I ran my temp again and at 1am it was 102.4 which freaked me out since I had taken tylenol. Joel called the after hours number again and their instruction was to wait another hour and if things hadn’t gone down to come in to the ER to get checked out. This time we set an alarm clock so that we’d be sure to check in an hour and I could let my brain relax and try to fall asleep. I was able to fall asleep easily at this point, although I was really uncomfortable and it took Joel’s help to calm me down. But not too much later I woke up with a racing heart beat and was covered in sweat.
It was 2am and my temperature was about the same so after debating with ourselves for a little bit about whether we really did want to go in to the hospital or just try different things too cool off at home we decided we better go. Really I was worried about the baby and I didn’t know where was the safe zone. Would I be cooler in the morning or would I still be burning up but worse off because I waited longer to get to a doctor. So, after a few minutes of stumbling around to get pulled together to leave the house, I woke up my dad to let him know I had a high fever and we were going to the hospital. Thank GOODNESS we had family visiting or we’d have had to call and wake someone up to come stay at the house with our sleeping tots.
We drove off to the hospital, keeping our sense of humor and talking about how it was a good dry run for when I go into labor and how it wouldn’t be a Davis pregnancy if I didn’t end up in the ER at some point. I was just about this point in my pregnancy last time when I had the flu and ended up in the hospital for a few hours.
By the time we got to the hospital, go to the right area (we went to the maternity center first even though they had said ER, so we got kicked over to the ER) and got checked in, my temperature had dropped to 99 or 100 but my heart was still racing and I was feeling pretty miserable. I got checked in to a bed, hooked up to an IV for fluids and the drew a bunch of blood to test out what could be going on. The thing that was bizarre was I had NO other symptoms. No coughing, no nausea, no sinus or lung congestion. I felt totally fine during the day on Friday, hadn’t been around any sick people, on and on. Any question they could think to ask me the answer was “nope”. I had my glucose test and the Tdap vaccination but had never had a reaction to vaccinations before so perhaps it wasn’t that.
After a liter of fluids had gone into my system I was definitely ready to pee so I grabbed a urine sample for them while I was in the bathroom. They tested my urine and found that there was a presence of bacteria or virus (or whatever they called it) present in my urine so it looked like I had a bladder infection. I’d never had a UTI before but I knew it was a common thing in pregnancy so it didn’t surprise me. I did say that I was having no trouble urinating, had no pain when I peed and felt like I was going as frequently as I should. But still the indication from all their tests was that the best likely cause of my high fever was a bladder infection.
The concern here is that if you let a bladder infection go on too long it could effect the baby. It’s best to be cautious and treat the infection as soon as you know there’s one present.
Let me pause here and say that I’m probably not quoting all the doctor terminology correctly in the re-telling but I felt like I was in very good, very competent hands while I was in the hospital. Everything was explained to me in a way that I understood.
I was feeling much better after being hydrated from the IV and my heart rate had gone back down. The baby checked out okay, plenty of fetal movement and it was a relief to have a reason for the sudden high fever. I took my first dose of antibiotics in the hospital and was discharged with a prescription and paperwork on all the tests they had run while I was in the hospital.
We were exhausted but relieved to be feeling better and on our way back home around 6am. I joked about how I had so many holes in my arms from all the stuff I had done in the last 24 hours. I think I was up to six needles by then – my arms were SORE and did NOT look pretty.
We got home, quietly updated my parents so they could relax a little bit, I ate a bowl of cereal, chugged a huge glass of water, peed and off to bed we went around 7am.
In just a short while the rest of our house was up and off on their regular day. My sister, brother-in-law, niece and Graham and Miles had fortunately slept through the whole ordeal so they were ready to have a fun day. The plan was to go to the zoo and they hesitated at first since I was sick but I didn’t want them to miss the zoo on my behalf and really having all the kids out of the house would allow me to get more rest anyway. So, I toddled around a bit helping them put on a shoe here or grab a jacket for a kid there and waved good bye to them around 10am.
Another snack brought to me in bed by my husband, a protein shake, a bunch more water and off to bed I went again.
I woke up drenched in sweat, heart pounding, feeling hot and again with the body chills. Things were definitely not right. My lungs were also hurting and I felt like they were on fire, or swollen or something. If I breathed too deeply or if I drank cold cold water I got a fire sensation in my lungs or felt like they were being squished by bricks. I took a shower in hopes of getting cooled off and settled down but I was still feeling the lung pain and feverish afterwards. But hey, at least now I was clean.
I actually kind of lost track of time around here. I was having lung pains but trying to keep calm enough to eat or drink water more, get Joel awake and taking care of me (again) and moving from the bed to the couch so I could sit up. Joel asked me if I wanted to go back to the hospital and I didn’t WANT to go back but this new added lung pain was pretty bad. I decided there was no reason to panic since I could breathe it was just painful so I checked my temperature again, it was high (again) and I sent Joel off to get a shower and get dressed for the day. I drank a bunch of water and sat on the couch feeling pathetic and miserable. I got a few zoo updates which were nice and I tried to come up with a plan for what to do with myself. I decided that if my temperature and symptoms hadn’t changed in an hour that I’d call the doctor again. I did take another dose of tylenol at some point that morning, I don’t recall now when that was.
Joel and I sat on the couch together while I called the doctor’s after hours number again and thank GOODNESS this time the doctor on call just happened to be my own doctor. She said she had seen the notes in my file that I had been to the ER over night and I gave her an abbreviated version of what had been happening. I told her I started the antibiotics and when I got the lung pain I looked at the side effects and chest pain and shortness of breath were listed so perhaps that’s what I was reacting to. She said she didn’t like how all of this sounded and she wanted us to come in to the ER again and get checked out and to make sure to have them alert her when we arrived.
Our zoo crew had returned home again and all I could do was give them a thumbs down sign when they eagerly asked how I was feeling. Joel gathered his things. I was still in pajamas but I decided I didn’t give a crap and I’d just go to the hospital TWICE in pajamas because that’s basically how I felt anyway. My mom headed the boys upstairs for nap time while we were figuring ourselves out and Joel went up to tell her we were headed back to the hospital.
So there we were again, driving back to the same ER to be checked in and do the whole thing AGAIN. My lungs were hurting pretty badly and I was pretty exhausted at this point. I just cried in the car feeling pathetic and angry that this was happening. Both of my arms were so sore that just lifting them hurt and I just wanted to feel better.
It was 2pm or 3pm when we got checked back in to the ER – turns out there’s more people in the ER in the afternoon than in the middle of the night. This time I had them wheel me back in a wheel chair because I didn’t want to give my lungs more of a work out than was necessary. A new doctor and new nurse were there and ready to figure me out – just as nice and just as thorough as the last set. A nurse from the maternity ward came down to strap me to monitors to have the baby checked out. Baby girl was moving all over the place and the nurse had to keep moving things around to catch her heart beat. It was kind of comical. While that was happening, the ER nurse exclaimed “What have they done to you!?” when she saw my arms. She was working on where to put my IV and gave me a look when I rattled off all the needles I’d had in the last twenty four hours. We joked that I looked like a junkie as she searched for a good vein that had yet to be poked. The first spot didn’t work and she apologized over and over as she said she’d need to move the needle. She commented that I had bad veins which was the first time I’d ever heard that and all the previous blood draws had gone just fine. But I was too tired to joke back. Joel and I smiled at each other and I started to cry when the maternity nurse told me it looks like I’d been having contractions. The maternity nurse patted my arm as she called up to the maternity ward and talked to my doctor. They discussed what tests she wanted done and what labs to have written up. Some of the blood drawn was saved for their tests and they also put in an order for another maternity nurse to come down to do a swab to test for the likelihood of going into labor in the next week. YES there is a test they can do for that!
I told the whole story of the last twenty-four hours to a couple of people while they filled in my charts and reviewed things with me to make sure nothing was overlooked or missing. I was hooked up to an IV for fluids, blood was drawn for tests. An hour or two passed, who knew at this point. I stopped trying to keep a running time log in my brain. I did a urine sample and had a chest X-Ray in there at some point to see what could be causing my chest pain. Perhaps it was my kidneys and not my bladder, perhaps I was developing a gallstone. When things felt settled for a bit and we were just waiting for results to come back and the fluids to get into my system, I gave Joel the okay to leave his plastic folding chair and go try to find lunch – he returned a bit later only to say the cafeteria was closed until 4pm so he got some snacks from the vending machine. It was quarter to 4pm at that point. My doctor came to check on me while I happened to be in X-Ray so there was a bit of a wait until she was able to come back from labor again to visit with me. The ER doctor came and talked to us saying they were waiting for test results to come back but so far nothing different had come up. He wanted me to continue to take the antibiotics incase it was a bladder infection. I said to him I thought the chest pain was from the antibiotics and we talked a little bit about continuing to take the antibiotics regardless if it meant it would clear up an infection. THAT answer I was not impressed with and definitely planned to talk about it with MY doctor.
The fluids were getting me feeling better again, my heart rate slowed, the lung pain was going away and around 5pm I was feeling totally foolish about the whole thing. I was feeling much better (again) yet sitting in the ER and strapped to a bunch of stuff. Joel of course gave me his “don’t be crazy” look when I told him how I was feeling. A handful of hours earlier I was having lung pain, I was burning up and I felt totally miserable and in pain. It was just so strange how I could go from feeling like I needed to be in the hospital NOW to feeling like I was back to myself (basically) and ready to get out of there within an hour or two.
My doctor got some time to get back to me in between laboring mothers and came in and we went through the whole previous twenty four hours. She looked at notes, reviewed the returned blood tests and shook her head. She said my latest urine sample showed no sign of bladder infection and I should not take any more antibiotics (HORRAY!) she also said there was no indication of why I could be having the high fever. Side note: they did a nasal swab to test for influenza that came back negative and my test for likelihood of labor came back negative. The baby was moving and measuring well, my contractions seemed to slow to a stop once I was hydrated again. My lung pain had disappeared, my chest X-Rays were clear. Blood work looked good. She categorized the whole thing as “unknown virus”. She also said that high fevers with no other symptoms wouldn’t have been a sign of a bladder infection but perhaps a kidney infection. Although I had no pain when they thumped on the different spots on my back.
Just a whole big black question mark.
Since I was feeling better again I was free to be discharged and on my merry way to rest as much as possible, hydrate as much as possible and to come back in if anything changed.
We got back home in time for me to snooze while a grilled dinner was being prepared, we all ate together and tried to regroup after the last twelve hours. I made it my mission to drink as much water as I could so I would keep my fevers at bay. I think I drank one bubba jug full every two hours through the evening. I went to bed early but kept waking up dripping in sweat. I’d get up, wipe off, go to the bathroom and then sit on a chair in our bedroom while I drank the next bubba jug. Then doze off sitting up and do the whole routine again when my body woke me up during the night either from sweating or from needing to pee. I kept up on Tylenol doses and kept feeling my forehead to decide whether I was hot enough to bother taking my temperature.
Sunday morning (YES all of that was from Friday morning through Saturday night) I let family bring me breakfast in bed, though I did come downstairs for a morning cameo and to see the boys. I basically slept and ate away Sunday. I’d come rest on the couch for a bit, then back up to bed. Joel and the rest of the crew took the kids to a nearby park which I discovered after waking up from one nap (so THAT’S why I slept so long…). And dinner that night was at home with Joel’s parents joining us to say hi to Jeanie and crew. I snuck in a shower and nap before they arrived and by the time they came over I was ready for sitting on the couch and talking with people about what was happening around me – I felt like I had lost a whole weekend. We talked while the boys were napping and I drank water and water and water. Finally I decided I better get in one more nap before dinner and this time I was smart enough to shove kleenex down my shirt so that when I woke up the kleenex would have caught my sweat instead of waking to the sensation of beads of sweat rolling down my body.
I woke up to Miles putting toys on my bedside table after being given permission to wake me up for dinner. He was so cute, putting one hot wheel car in front of my face then smiling and running off to the play room to pick out one more toy. He was bringing me presents to help me feel better. I think he did about six laps before I decided I better get up.
We ate dinner as a group and then I planted myself on the couch to let all my family do the clean up and tot wrangling. There were hugs and kisses good night and good bye and then I enjoyed a good tearful laugh retelling the weekend with my sister and mom. We hadn’t really had much time to talk since it all started because I didn’t want to say too much in front of Graham and Miles. They knew I wasn’t feeling well and that I had been to the doctor twice but that was all they needed to know.
I got to tell my stories of vaginal swabbing gone wrong.
As the nurse was putting the swab into the test tube, it flew across the room. She muttered “You have GOT to be kidding me!” and all I could do was just laugh so hard my belly hurt. It was so comical. She had to call upstairs to order for another kit to be sent down and as she explained what happened the person on the other end of the line was laughing hysterically. She kept apologizing to me that she’d have to do the swab again but all I could think was that at least it wasn’t another needle in my arm.
It was a good night of Joel and I getting to decompress after a very stressful time and then off to bed we went.
Monday I was still getting racing heart moments and feeling hot. I drank water and drank water and did a bit of taking care of kids. I was getting frustrated at my limitations and the fact that I kept waking up in sweat every time I took a nap. The rest of Monday and Tuesday went by with their ups and downs and gradually, gradually, I got to the point where I wasn’t frustrated at my position any more, I felt like I WAS making progress and that I was just low energy trying to recover from what had happened instead of fighting whatever was going on with my body.
I have a follow up appointment with my doctor this afternoon (Wednesday) to debrief and check in and we’ll see if I get an answer to what the heck happened. Then we’ll have the rest of the day and only one more half day before I have to say good buy to my sister again and send her back to California.
It’s definitely NOT the visit we had planned or wanted to have but I’m sure THANKFUL I was surrounded by family through it all.
I am really sorry to the family and friends who weren’t kept up to date on the whole thing. It happened so fast and then we were so busy with the kids and family in town that I basically just dropped posting or updating anything on the internet. Please don’t take it personally if you’re finding out this news for the first time through this post – it’s not that I didn’t want you to know. It’s just such a long story that has really no explanation that I haven’t taken the time to talk about it with anyone who wasn’t here in the house when it happened. Plus I’m not sure how much of it the boys should hear, need to hear or even if they would pay attention to hearing as I tell other people. I’ve kept long sleeves on for the last few days to hide the needle marks on my arms – oh that first IV they did in my forearm instead of my inside elbow and BOY did that EVER hurt and leave a HUGE bruise. The nurse commented that she must have inserted it right at a valve and “Gosh that’s going to make me look bad” reaction as she placed it meant I’ve been left with a large dark purple bruise on my arm the length of my thumb and circular. I almost took a picture of it, it was pretty impressive. Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember to snap a photo.
I’ll probably have time while I’m sitting in the bathroom waiting for one of my boys to poop on the toilet.
Potty training continues to go “well” but that’s a long winded story for another post.