I just got back home from being in hospital – again! This makes visit number five since September.
I went in yesterday evening for sharp, stabbing pains at the top right of my abdomen. It’s been ongoing since Peanut dropped sometime on Thursday night, and I worried (briefly) that it might be placental abruption. There has been no bleeding and no nausea, chills or fever, so I was pretty sure I wasn’t in the throes of anything serious. However, the area was tender to the touch, and since my name is not Doc McStuffins, I thought it would be better if I made a visit to Labour & Delivery to get checked out.
The nurses at L&D at my home hospital are more than familiar with me, so admission was a breeze. Besides, it’s rare that anyone wanders into L&D after 10pm, so it was a light night. I was set up in a bed in triage, asked to give a urine sample and squeeze into the netting that holds the various monitors required to assess me, and was told that a nurse would be in momentarily.
I was hooked up to sensors to follow Peanut’s heartbeat and movement, and after about 30 minutes the printouts from the machine led the nurse to determine that the baby was fine. Since I’d come in complaining of abdominal pain, she wondered if it might not be some kind of heartburn? And perhaps if I took sodium citrate I might feel better?
As someone with various, acute gastric issues, I was a little offended by this. I knew it could hardly be reflux; I can easily survive a day of the most fiery of heartburn…I would hardly see a need to send myself to hospital for something that a little lansoprazole couldn’t fix.
“Maybe she’s interpreting the symptoms differently,” I overheard one of the other nurses say.
Another came in a short time later and after some discussion, she suggested that I take the sodium citrate. I told her that while I knew it wasn’t going to make a hateworth of difference, I’d take it to prove that what I was feeling wasn’t just going to be soothed by a superdose of Eno. She watched me gulp it down, chuckling at the face I made, and then told me she’d be back with the doctor-on-call in a half-hour’s time.
My mother had accompanied me to L&D, and after about 20 minutes, she asked if the pain had abated any. “Nope,” I replied. I was just a wee bit pleased to have been right.
Then a Dr. Samra came to see me with a different nurse in tow, and we discussed my symptoms as he pressed and felt my belly. He found Aisha’s little head was pretty close to the area that was causing me some discomfort, but I explained that since she was transverse breech, she’d pretty much lain horizontally from day one. We talked about my experiences with IBS and gastroparesis, and it seemed that my answers were satisfactory enough for him to decide that I wasn’t just having a bout of turbo heartburn.
“I think it might actually be your gallbladder,” he mused. “What did you eat today?” He asked. I told him, sheepishly, that I’d had pizza for breakfast, and then later that day, my girlfriend had brought over fries, chicken and sixer of donuts (I’d had two).
“Pizza for breakfast. Fries, chicken, and two from a sixer of donuts,” he repeated. He and the nurse chuckled. “Do you eat like this all the time?”
“Pretty much,” I admitted. While I haven’t been eating a lot, the kinds of foods I’ve been eating as of late probably haven’t been the best: a messy fish sandwich and fries from Kelsey’s, the aforementioned donuts, a four-cheese pasta bake that I made on the weekend, hot chocolate with real cream, pizza, bacon (almost every day for breakfast). It’s likely that my fat intake, coupled with a big prego belly has been compressing my poor gallbladder, causing it to function at a limited capacity.
He smiled and helped me sit up. The ultrasound lab was closed for the night, he informed, and I could either come in again first thing tomorrow, or wait until Monday to see Dr. Freedman. I opted for a next-day exam (although now I’m re-thinking this decision, since u/s techs don’t usually work on weekends), and the nurse told me to come in for around 8am.
“What kind of donuts?” Dr. Samra asked, as I swung my legs around to put my boots on.
“Oh. Uh…Boston Creme,” I said.
“Chicken, fries and Boston Creme donuts. Two!” He sighed. “I’m jealous. What you had sounds way better than what I ate today.” Smiling, he waved goodbye and headed out of triage.
I was pulling on my last boot when he re-appeared.
“I just wanted to let you know that Boston Cremes are my favourite,” he informed.
“Mine too!” I exclaimed.
We high-fived, and he was gone again.