January 1, 2009

I Went to My Hometown, and All I Got Was This Stupid Hospital Bracelet: Day Four of Our Christmas Vacation

This is where things began to go downhill.

The day after Christmas, we woke up early and prepared to leave for my oh-so-boring and oh-so-problematic hometown of Victoria, Texas. My brother had decided to stay in San Antonio while we were gone, because he needed to finish a paper. So Roy, my mom, and I piled into the car for what I thought would be an illuminating visit to the place I grew up. It was to be a short trip. My mom had a sick kitty (yes, another one) she needed to check on, and as for me, my plans for my time in Victoria were big and vast. It would be a lot to cram into a short amount of time, but I had faith that we could do it.

The thing I most wanted to do was document Victoria through photographs and later use them to write a photo essay. It sounds silly, but this was something I felt I absolutely needed to do. I have a very troubled and complicated relationship with my hometown, and I had finally begun to feel that I needed to make some sense of it.

I also wanted to see some of my extended family. I haven't seen most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins in years, and I was looking forward to seeing them and introducing them to Roy.

And lastly, I wanted the opportunity to go through the attic of my mom's house, bring down the things I wanted to keep, and store them in my room. I also wanted to go through my grandmother's quilting and bring home some of her unfinished projects.

As it turned out, none of these things happened.

But wait, that was the day that I turned 18 weeks pregnant and celebrated Bunlet's sweet potato size.

Okay, moving on. The drive to Victoria was nice and without much incident. I was on the lookout for this really beautiful, old building that I always felt drawn to when I would pass through. It had been there for years. I had photographed it before, but never with a decent camera or any amount of skill. Much to my dismay, it was gone. That sucked. To me, it is a crime to replace something historical with something "progressive" and new.

We arrived at my mom's house, and I heard from my old friend Chris. Chris and I were good buddies our last couple of years in high school, and we went our separate ways when he left for the Air Force after high school. We reconnected through myspace several years ago, and he decided to drive down to Victoria from Austin to hang out with me and see his parents.

We headed to Chili's to meet up with Chris. We spent about an hour there catching up. It was awesome seeing him again, being as it had been over ten years, and I loved that he and Roy got along well. We decided to go to a nearby book and music store to kill some time. On the way, I called my doctor to inquire about some pelvic discomfort I'd been experiencing all day. I'd been feeling a good amount of pressure in my uterus area and wasn't sure if it was normal. I spoke with the nurse, who was unable to reassure me that what I was feeling was perfectly natural, and she said that if the pressure got worse or if I started bleeding to go to the ER.

You see where this is going, right?

Yeah, I ended up in the ER. This was after the three of us drove out to my mom's house and took it easy on the couch while watching the fourth season of Lost. I thought for sure that taking it easy would help with the pressure, but it just got worse. After making a few calls to different clinics in the area, we decided to head to the ER.

You'd think that a pregnant woman would be seen right away, but apparently you have to be pregnant and bleeding in order to make something happen, at least at this hospital. We sat in the waiting room for about two hours. I was brought back three different times, once for a blood draw, once to hear the heartbeat (which the nurse couldn't hear clearly), and once for an ultrasound (which was ordered after the nurse couldn't hear Bunlet's heartbeat to her satisfaction). I wish I could say that the ultrasound was a wonderful experience, but it really wasn't. It was, of course, wonderful to see that Bunlet was okay, but all the ultrasound did was raise more questions.

(You see, back when we had our big ultrasound (on December 22), the tech discovered something odd. She asked me if I'd ever been diagnosed with a bicornuate or didelphys uterus. She mentioned it almost in passing, so I didn't think much of it. But at the end of the big ultrasound, she called someone else in to take a look, and together they puzzled over what this big dark pocket next to my uterus could be. It was determined that it was probably nothing to worry about and could likely be a fibroid, but that they would make sure to mention it to my doctor.)

I honestly didn't think that this "thing" in my uterus, whatever it was, had anything to do with the pressure I was feeling down there. But the tech at the hospital paid a lot of attention to it while she was doing the ultrasound, and I couldn't help but notice that she labeled it as a "mass" (which gave me a sinking feeling).

After being in the waiting room, we were brought back into the emergency area and given a room. The nurse was nice enough. The doctor, who was not an OB, was pretty clueless. He came in twice and couldn't determine what was wrong, but he wanted to admit me to the hospital for overnight evaluation. I was not happy about this as no one could even tell me what was going on. My best guess is that the OB on call was busy delivering babies and wanted to keep me there until he had a chance to review my ultrasound pictures. Whatever. After waiting in that ER room for another couple of hours, the doctor (the one who was not an OB) gave me a pelvic exam, which is what I'd asked for hours before (I was afraid that the pressure I was feeling was pre-term labor, and I wanted to make sure everything was sealed up tight).

The pelvic exam revealed nothing, but the doctor still wanted me to stay overnight. We finally had the opportunity to ask lots of questions, and once we got some answers, I felt that the doctor had made a good case for keeping me overnight - the word "appendicitis" was thrown out, which was concerning. He also felt the need to point out that my uterus "is just not normal," which I found extremely irritating, but which also added to his case for keeping me overnight. The kicker? He said, "Your baby is almost to the point of viability; we want to make sure you get there."

Ugh, what an asshole. There's nothing like being threatened with the possibility of losing your baby (as if I hadn't considered that before). I felt that he was really out of line in making that comment, especially because no one knew what was wrong.

At this point, we'd been in the ER for five hours, which was a ridiculous amount of time. However, they got me moved and admitted very quickly. I was given a nice room in L&D, and Roy stayed with me for the night. The nurses were great, and they gave me some Ambien to knock my grouchy, uncomfortable ass out. It worked. I slipped effortlessly into sleep.

Day five recap coming soon!


dapotato said...

oh no! so sorry to hear. i hate the ER. it took me 5+ hours just to get a small (but deep) cut glued together.

hope everything turned out ok. :T

WeezerMonkey said...

Sweet potato!

Sorry to hear about your ER experience. Boo.

Jessica said...

Yikes! How scary!

Angie Eats Peace said...

Ejole. I am sorry you had to go through all that, the Dr. sounds like a real genius.

I am sorry to you did not get all the pictures you wanted, I would have loved to see those.

PS-you are looking super cute with your belly!

inflammatory writ said...

:(!! I hope everything turned out okay.

Anonymous said...

Which ER in Victoria did you go to? I have several nursing friends at one. Hope you are ok?


Erika said...

WHOAH.....I'm glad to see your ok.

Some doctors don't have very good bed side manners.

amber said...

how completely scary! :( and what an ass for not having a better bedside manner.

Claire said...

After reading this in backward order...I am so glad everything turned out OK.