December 2009


A number of you have been asking how I’m getting on, which reminded me that I haven’t written here for a while.  Actually, I couldn’t write for a week, because they wouldn’t let me out of hospital!

On Wednesday 16th, I woke up early morning (perfectly normal behaviour at the mo) and in the short period before I went back to sleep, noticed a circle in my vision, as if I’d looked at a light and was now seeing the after-image.  Assumed the backlight on my mobile screen was round (always look at my phone during nocturnal excursions for a time check) and went back to sleep.  Thing is, when I finally woke after a good eleven hours’ sleep (perfectly normal behaviour, too), the circle was still there.  Visual disturbances are not a good thing in pregnancy, although the flashing light or blurred vision sorts are the more-quoted types.  Decided after breakfast that it should probably be checked out.  Phoned the hospital, who agreed and asked me to come in…

Turned out my blood pressure was not quite where it should be and they kept me in for observation.  It then turned out that my blood pressure was not at all where it should be during nights, so after a few days of watching this pattern my consultant put me on a new drug timetable.  Same three drugs, new amounts and timings.  Guess which one he doubled in quantity?

That’s right – the horrible one!  I told my consultant that I didn’t like the tablets and I wasn’t that keen on him, either, but he wasn’t to be intimidated.  🙂  Actually, he comes across as knowledgeable and the sort of person to inspire confidence – but I, as you’d expect given the subject, was in no mood to be inspired…  So, on the Saturday evening, (with Christmas six days ago and no sign of my being let out of hospital) the new regime began.  That Drug, four times a day, smaller doses at 8am and 12pm and bigger doses at 6pm and 10pm.

For those of you who don’t feel as strongly about the awful stuff as I do, and therefore may have forgotten the reason I hate it: it goes back to the beginning of this pregnancy, when the side-effects I experienced on it were many in number and horror!  I was somehow virtually unable to walk, found sitting unpleasant and preferred to be lying down (was unable to get lunch on one memorably bad (and non-nanny) day and E had to make some cheese spread sandwiches to feed herself and little G), slept all night and most of the morning, had a very dry mouth so had to drink constantly, shuffled when I walked, and had a few problems in the bathroom direction.

So, returning to last week, there was one advantage to an increased dose:  I had my first decent night’s sleep since arriving in the hospital!  Felt awful through breakfast and tablet-taking, blood-pressure-taking, blood-sample-taking and doctor-visiting and slept the rest of the morning away.  Woke an hour before lunch, didn’t feel like starting a new book, did a sudoku or two instead, struggled to get lunch down me and found it difficult to hold a conversation when Mum and Dad came to visit.

And through all of this was wondering how I was going to make it through the next 16 weeks, not to mention the actual giving birth bit!

Sort of woke up around 4pm and read my new book on and off till 10pm and time for bed again, by which time my wrists were causing me quite a bit of unexpected pain, which had been coming on all day.  Slept for a couple of hours, and then was woken up by the pain and could only sleep again after taking painkillers.  Apparently, this was carpal tunnel syndrome, a common thing in pregnancy – and I was assured that it would disappear once I’d given birth.  Oh, thanks, that’s all right then.  Meanwhile, I’ll add soluble paracetamol to my daily intake of drugs, shall I?

By this stage, clearly, I was feeling as though I was falling apart and I was never going to find the energy to get out of hospital and I wasn’t looking forward to Christmas in any case…

Fortunately, as you’ll have guessed by the fact I have energy enough to write all this, things are not now as bad.  In fact, things are hugely better.  The side-effects decreased in intensity over the next few days and by the time I was allowed out of hospital on the eve of Christmas Eve, I was able to feel quite differently about my consultant who had worked the miracle of stabilising my blood pressure, somehow without wrecking my entire life in the process!

That lovely consultant of mine said that he was hopeful that things would now continue on a fairly even keel for a good few weeks.  Hooray!  And home I went for Christmas…

PS:  The circle’s still there.  Faint and unchanging, ignoreable in the light, but definitely still there…

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Last Thursday, on a trip to see the midwife, I was surprised by another fainting thing coming over me.  Surprised, because this time I hadn’t been on my feet at all, really – in fact, I was given a lift to the surgery, which is only ten minutes’ walk away.  Still, I felt worse, probably, than last time – although at least this time I was in the best place for it!  Appointment with the midwife was conducted almost entirely with me lying down!  I kept trying to sit up so that she could take my blood pressure, but it was a while before I could sit up long enough!  And when she did, no surprise I was feeling so weird – the numbers were both about 40 lower than they’d been the day before!

Oh dear, I have succumbed to an attack of the exclamation marks again.  A mark of poor writing, I always thing – and one I frequently succumb to – although perhaps there are just days which seem to be full of them.  If so, this was certainly one of them!

The suggestion by the doctor, seconded by my consultant, was that I should spread out my tablet-taking, so as not to give too much of a ‘pow!’ to my system at the start of the day.  So… I am now taking medicines at:

8:30-10am (depending on when I get up)

12pm

2pm

4pm

8pm

and I do feel a little as though they are taking over my day…

The first day I tried this, all it did was give me a faint patch later in the day (97/55 for those of you who understand such things – just ridiculous – I’ve never seen such numbers!), but since then, I’ve had the excitement of my children’s company – and that’s raised my blood pressure just enough to prevent any more faints!  🙂