Monday, December 8, 2008

Diamonds In The Sky

I had a pretty typical pregnancy with The Boy. Typical, that is, until around week 32 of pregnancy. I went in for a normal checkup and my doctor proclaimed that she didn't like my blood pressure. "Well it probably isn't your biggest fan either," I thought back. I have never in my life had any issues with blood pressure so I really didn't think twice about it. Until about halfway through the appointment she brought in the damn cuff thing and insisted on taking it again. And then she made that face when it finally beeped. Apparently they still weren't going to be friends. It was only after the third "cuff experience" and when she got out her prescription pad that I realized that this may be something a little out of the ordinary. She told me that my pressure was too high for her liking and she wanted to put me on some (totally safe during pregnancy) high blood pressure medication. Okay, no biggie. We have a little problem, but nothing that a little pill can't fix. So I went home and sent The Ex back a few hours later to pick up the meds. The pharmacist gave The Ex very strict instructions about how I was to proceed. I guess since it was after 3:00 or something I had to take a pill when she got home, and then set an alarm to wake up at midnight to take another one--Excuse me?!? Wake up a pregnant lady who doesn't sleep anyway? TOTALLY RUDE!! But I did it, of course, because I am nothing if not a model patient. And then finally take another one at 9:00 the next morning and then continue following the dosage instructions on the bottle. Okay, got it. No biggie. My doctor had also had me schedule a follow up appointment the next day to check and see if it was working.

So I did all of the above and arrived for my follow up appointment at around 10:00 the next morning. Apparently that was a good thing. I guess the pharmacist had OD'ed me on the pills and had made me take WAY too many and right around the time I was doing a NST on the baby (non-stress test), my blood pressure crashed. Like seriously crashed. I remember feeling vaguely like I was going to barf, and then like I was going to pass out, and then like I had felt years before in college when I had sucked in the air from one of those big balloons at a Dead Show. I felt like I was somewhere in another room and I could hear all the doctors and nurses FREAKING OUT somewhere in the distant future and them yelling at me to "stay with them" and I just remember trying to focus on the sounds of my baby's heart beats from the stress test. They made me drink some caffeinated tea (I don't ever drink caffeine) and I think they gave me IV fluids or something, but I eventually came around.

It was decided that I was to cease and desist on that medication IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner. Then I was promptly put on bed rest. I am not sure why I wasn't more concerned about what was happening but I remember my biggest emotion being that I was NOT anywhere near ready to go on maternity leave yet. I am self employed and I needed to work right up until I pushed the sucker out. So I didn't think at all about what was going on in my body (defense mechanism perhaps?), but only about what an inconvenience this all was. And from that moment until the moment I delivered The Boy I wasn't allowed to be alone. That was annoying as well. I was either at home with The Ex, or at my mom's house. BOORRRING!!!

After many tests and checks and even more questions, I learned something about blood pressure. I learned, that for my body in particular, apparently the only signs of something being amiss was what I called "diamonds in the sky." I would see what looked like little lights, or diamonds, flashing around my head. It would happen for only about 10 seconds and then they would go away. I didn't think anything of them. I thought they were a fancy "pregnancy side effect" like all the other charming things that happen to your body when you're pregnant, but certainly nothing to worry about. They were pretty. I kinda liked them. But apparently they were a sign that things were not so good in blood pressure land.

Considering the bed rest, and considering that The Boy was born almost 3 weeks early, via an emergency c-section all based on this whole blood pressure thing, I have now come to understand that this is no good. No good indeed. When I got pregnant this time around I started googling what to do to avoid high blood pressure. See this time? This time I have a 3 year old. And this time I am single. The whole bed rest thing REALLY won't work for me this time around. So I need to avoid it at all cost.

So last week when I was furiously trying to get out the door of a client's office after carrying boxes and computers back to his office, and trying to cut checks in under two minutes time, I decided to freak the hell out when I saw my little friendly "diamonds in the sky." I called my mother immediately and told her to bring over her blood pressure cuff to my house because, HOLY CRAP, it just happened again and I am only 18 weeks pregnant. So she did, and I took my blood pressure and it was perfect. Totally normal. I continued to take it at random times for like 3 days "just to make sure" and it was always fine. Lovely, in fact. So when, three days later I was driving to pick up The Boy from school and I saw what could have been "diamonds in the sky," it was so brief that I might have mistaken it. And just to be sure, I took my pressure again when I got home and it was fine. I must have been seeing things. Everything is dandy. And even if something is going on, as soon as I chill the hell out again, things go back to normal.

So yesterday I was sitting in a big comfy chair with The Boy, watching a movie, sipping my morning cup of chai tea (decaf, of course), and I saw the damned diamonds in the sky again. What the hell? I could not be more relaxed if I tried. Fortunately I had the handy-dandy cuff thing so I grabbed it and took my pressure. The reading on the right arm was 97 over 67. Huh? What the hell is that? Must be a mistake. So I take it again on the left arm and it went up slightly to 107 over 70. What the hell? Is low blood pressure a bad thing? So I hopped up and did some laundry and called my mom to alert her (she freaked out and told me that low blood pressure is indeed bad. They apparently want the stuff RIGHT on all the time...seems a little overly ambitious if you ask me...) and then sat down to take it again. So like 15 minutes later and after a phone call with my mother and some laundry and it was 117 over 82 again. Lovely. What the hell is going on? And do I need to be concerned?

Edited to add: Because my mother called and yelled at me to follow through, I called my OB's office and they want me to come in tomorrow morning for a check up.

1 comment:

AuntFancy said...

Oh no!! I hope everything is ok! If not, I'm still not working. ;)