Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not to Bitch, But...

... There are times when I just can't help myself. I'm so angry and I want EVERYONE to know how mad I am and why. There's no reason; it won't change anything and it probably won't even make me feel better. But I need to vent. There are just those times when you can't help it.

So last Friday I woke up at one point during the night with the girls and realized my eye was disgusting and messed up. As soon as I could that day, I went to the eye doctor and got drops for bacterial conjunctivitis. Gross - I despise eye infections. But whatever, I got my drops before the weekend and it wasn't a big deal, really.

Well, that cleared up pretty quickly, thankfully, but sometime during the night between Sunday and Monday I noticed that one of my breasts was absurdly sore. Great. Mastitis. A nursing mom's favorite malady. But this was a little different from other bouts of mastitis I've had (and in 16+ months of nursing, I've had a good -very good - number of cases of mastitis) in that there wasn't the open sore that transmitted bacteria from the baby's mouth to my body, and there wasn't the tell-tale lump to indicate a blocked duct. I figured that the bacteria that had infected my eye probably moved deeper into my body and hit the next best target. I kept nursing and pumping through the morning until I could get in to the OB/GYN clinic to get antibiotics (not my favorite option... hello, thrush!) knowing I needed to keep the milk ducts clear.

Well, at 2:30, after calling Justin home from work to sit with Jack during his nap, I packed the girls in the van for a 3:30 appointment (yes, it takes that long to get someplace that's 10 minutes away after I get the girls loaded, drive there, unload and assemble the stroller, unload the girls and navigate my way to the clinic.) I get there and see (of course) a doctor I'd never seen before (which, after the amount of time I spent there, is slightly surprising) so I had to explain my entire medical history before she even looked at my chest. At this point, I felt like death, by the way. Well, once she examined me and determined that she couldn't feel a lump or notice any redness, she said she needed to consult with her supervisor, the one, the only, Dr. Ayers (crotchety old bastard that told me I would deliver the girls in one contraction in the van and they'd perish if I didn't stay in the hospital... you remember that story...) Doc comes back in and says, "Well, since you don't have a fever or a lump, we're not totally convinced it's mastitis."

Me: "Um, then why does it feel like the other 50 cases of mastitis I've had?"

Doc: "Well, we aren't sure... maybe it's a yeast infection."

Me: "Uh, how did the yeast get in there if there are no lesions?"

Doc: "Well, sometimes.... well, sometimes... Yeah, we just don't want to give you antibiotics if it's not mastitis and it doesn't really seem like you have a lump."

Me: "I was actually trying to prevent it from getting to that point. For once in my life I'm not being stubborn and waiting until a condition is unbearable to seek treatment... I figured preventing a fever and blocked milk duct and absolute misery would be the prudent choice since I am raising 3 children essentially alone because of my husband's work schedule... but if you say so..."

Doc: "Well, if it gets worse, we'd like to see you in 48 hours to change treatment."

Me: "Oh, goody. So I have to suffer for the next 48 hours before someone will actually treat me."

Doc: "No, we're prescribing an oral antifungal medication for your yeast infection."

Me: "WHAT yeast infection?"

Doc: "Yeast infections sometimes mimic mastitis in the early stages."

Me: "*sigh* fine. Losing battle."

............fast forward to me at the pharmacy window...

Me: "By the way, I'm nursing."

Pharmacist: "Oh, okay hold on." (Pulls out several books and flips through them.) "Ma'am, I have to tell you that this medication has never been studied as to its effects on lactation or it's effects on babies of lactating mothers. If you notice these side effects, call your pediatrician immediately... (long list of awful-sounding shit)"

Me: "Oh, okay that's fine, thanks." (Saying to self: "Fuck this shit, I'm not taking a single one of these pills.")

Who in their right mind prescribes a medication that may or may not be safe for lactating mothers and breastfed babies to a lactating mother who is having a lactation-induced problem? For a yeast infection that doesn't exist? It makes my head hurt.

...........Fast forward to me getting home after a stop at WalMart (sorry, Justin!) to buy golf-balls and tees for my husband...

I was home for about an hour before I noticed that the pain had increased significantly in my breast AND I was developing the lump AND a red spot over the lump AND I had a fever. And the way I was feeling was getting (if possible) worse and worse.


That was the exact scenario I was trying to avoid. I'm not fool enough to think that it wouldn't have progressed to that point if they had given me antibiotics in the first place, but at least it wouldn't have progressed to that point and continued to worsen because I'd be able to knock it out immediately.

So now I'm left in pain, exhausted, sick as a dog, with only my bullshit antifungal medicine (it's in the garbage) and homeopathic mastitis remedies to prop me up until I can, on Wednesday, during Jack's nap, haul all 3 kids to the doctor with me to finally say, "Once again, assholes, I know my body better than you do; can you please treat me accordingly now?" get my medicine and hopefully be back to my status-quo of sleep-deprived, stressed-out normalcy by this weekend when the Gallagher family comes down for the girls' baptism festivities.

Yeast infection? Maybe next time I go in they'll diagnose me with an enlarged prostate.

Yeah, they're that ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Well, Besides the Obvious, of Course...

... I mean, besides the obvious joy of having my two beautiful girls to hold in my arms and enjoy and share, I have to point out some of the simple things I've taken pleasure in since becoming unpregnant:

1) My feet. Not my Wall-E feet, but my feet. Unpedicured and nasty, but as bony, tendon-y, and knobby as I remembered them. And I can reach them. And they're always in full view.

2) Sleeping on my stomach. Truthfully, for only short periods of time and only right after feedings, but to lay flat on my tummy with my face smushed into a pillow to ignore the sunlight streaming in the window at 6 am is bliss.

3) When I turn sideways in my shower, I don't have to brace myself for the inevitable shock of either my belly or my back hitting the cold shower curtain because, yes, front-to-back I was as wide as my shower.

4) For that matter, I can now access the toilet in our downstairs bathroom without having to stand on my tiptoes, lift my belly up and shimmy past the sink.

5) I can wear more than 2 outfits.

6) No longer am I isolated in bed by a fortress of pillows to support my various body parts; I can snuggle up with my hubby again (when I'm not laying on my stomach, of course!) which is awesome!

7) I can drink copious quantities of liquid without worrying about it pouring back out of my mouth when I bend over, I can retain said liquid in my bladder for hours, and I only visit the restroom a few times a day instead of multiple times per hour.

8) When people look at me in public, it's with a smile because they see the 3 cutie kiddos I tote, not with either sympathy at my grossly overpuffed frame or revulsion at my swollen legs.


10) I can play with Jack again - I can chase him around and crawl on the floor and build train tracks (without fear that my belly will knock Tidmouth Sheds across the table while I'm trying to affix the Sodor Water Works to the end of a line...) and follow him into his play house when prompted.

11) The Jackson Brian Dance Parties in our kitchen before dinner no longer threaten to bring down the house from the shock waves of my chunky body dancing around. I can bop like an idiot to "Smooth Criminal" with my tot and not fear the consequences to anything other than my own dignity.

12) An innie. Outties that aren't supposed to be outties hurt.

13) Stairs don't exhaust me.

14) I no longer grunt and groan when I get off the sofa or into the car or bend down or stand up or move in any way for that matter.

15) I have already done the birth thing so I don't have to spend any more time wondering and worrying about how it was going to happen and whether or not I was going to end up with a C-section.

16) And I'm no longer obligated to publicly discuss things like my cervix or how sex helps me go into labor... with people like my husband's Captain. I can resume my life as a fairly private person who doesn't discuss my reproductive system with strangers.

And with that, I am off to take a shower and shave my legs before Jack wakes up and while the babies sleep in the pack 'n play.

Good luck to all my preggo friends with the last part of their pregnancies! The end, my dears, is in sight - you'll make it! It's so wonderful to be done!


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