Wednesday, July 6, 2011

OHSS = Pain in my *%^#$

This is going to be long.  If you don't have time or don't want to read the long version, here is the gist of the story.  If there's some rare or odd complication that could happen, it's probably going to happen to me.  The End.

First, here are the pictures I promised a week ago.  The first one is Taylor back from January of 2003.  Second one is the new baby.  Just slightly different, eh?




I haven't been online much at all this week.  The OHSS came back in full force and it kicked my butt.  I was in so much pain and having a hard time breathing.  I did all the things you're supposed to do but it was bringing no relief.  My back started spasming because of all the extra weight that was accumulating so quickly.  I had been in to see the PA at my doctor's office (my RE is out of town) and she was getting concerned.  When I went in yesterday morning I finally agreed that I had had enough and it was time to be "tapped".  That's what they call it when they drain the fluid from your abdomen.  My doctor normally does this in his office (I'm sure you remember my post about that) but since he is out of town things proved to be a little more difficult.  He has a back up doctor that has a practice closer to the city so they called him and he wanted to see me.  Once we got to the office it didn't take him long to start making phone calls.  He doesn't do this procedure in his office, though.  He normally does it at the hospital around the corner from his office.  He would have to book an OR and he said he thought the radiology team could get me in for an abdominal paracentesis much quicker.  So he made some more phone calls and sent us on our way to the Emergency Room to check in and then head up to radiology.  Sounds so simple, right?

I think we got to the ER around noon, maybe a little before.  They started my iv around 2pm and I think they started an albumin drip (to help with the OHSS) around 3pm.  Around 4pm they finally took me to radiology.  I'm not sure if he would have gotten his OR before that time or not but oh well.  This time they did not do the drain vaginally.  They went in through the side of my stomach.  Definitely different!  Now that I've had it both ways, not sure which way I would prefer.  Neither, I suppose.  They drained 6 liters.  Before they were even halfway done I felt relief.  I can't even explain how great it felt.  My back pain went away.  I could take deep breaths.  My stomach was visibly deflating.  It was incredible.  The whole procedure took about 40 minutes I think.  The back up doctor came to check on me while they were draining.  He was pleased with the progress and said I could go home after I had a liter of iv fluids.  Which I thought was funny since they drained 6.  I was wheeled back to my room and they started the drip.  It went in pretty quickly and I was so excited to get back home.  The nurse came in and noticed my heart rate was still really high (130-140) so the doctor ordered another liter.  And I wanted to punch him.  I tried explaining that my heart rate is normally high and it was just elevated from still being in the hospital.  He didn't care.  The next liter went in with no change in my heart rate.  They talked about admitting me but finally agreed to just let me go.  I think we left around 6:30.  Long day.  Here's a picture of the 6 liters in all its glory:



I slept all night for the first time in a long time.  It was wonderful.  I woke up this morning like a new person.  I weighed myself, as I do every morning to keep an eye on the gain, and I had lost 9 pounds.  I could move around freely with no pain.  I could breathe.  Even though I knew it could all come back, it was so nice to have some relief.  I wish that was where this story ends. But oh no - there's more.

Around 3pm today I started noticing some strange feelings "down there".  After about 15 minutes I went upstairs to investigate with a mirror.  Might seem strange but I'm very comfortable with my lady parts after going through this process.  What I saw was so horrible that I let out a huge gasp.  The right side of my vulva, and only the right side, was completely full of fluid.  It was about 5 times larger than the left side.  I called the doctor and they wanted to see me so we loaded up and headed that way.  When the PA lifted the drape (my doctor is still out of town) she said, "Oh.  Wow."  Exactly.  I just knew they were going to want to stick a needle in it to drain it and I was going to have to hurt someone.  But no.  Apparently the fluid is finding other places to accumulate.  She said she had seen it accumulate in the hands, feet, and legs.  Mine chose the right side of my vulva.  Seems like a nice place, right?.  She couldn't tell me how long it might last.  Could be a few days.  Could be a lot longer.  They're going to see me and my bulging vulva again on Friday.

As if all that isn't fun enough, I thought my pants felt awfully wet on the ride home.  Turns out the fluid doesn't just accumulate, it also seeps.  And it could continue to seep for 10 days.  It just keeps getting better and better.  Don't you want me to come over and sit on your couch?  My poor mother has already had to wash my sheets once - turns out sitting on one towel wasn't nearly enough.  My mom came up from Florida to help us out during this process and boy, oh boy, she had no idea what she was getting herself into.  I could tell her thank you a million times and it still wouldn't be enough.  

Both the back up doctor and my regular doctor (who is still on vacation - he's missing all the fun) have called me tonight.  They both assured me that even though this isn't common, it will resolve.  It's just another "hump" to get over.  I'd like to know how many more humps might be around the corner.

So I'm home again.  In bed.  Not able to close my legs.  Brandon said now I must know how he feels and THAT'S why guys are always adjusting themselves.  Seriously?  I'm glad we've been able to joke about it, though.  It's either laugh or cry.  Today we chose to laugh and I'm grateful for that.  I'm also grateful that even through all the madness my numbers are multiplying beautifully.  Our first u/s should be sometime next week.  We have so much to be thankful for.

So that's it for now.  Who knows what tomorrow might bring......

**You might wonder why I'm being so open about all of this on a blog that my family and friends read.** 
1.  It was a tough decision and I do try to choose my words carefully.  But I ultimately decided I wanted to be as honest and open as possible so I wasn't going to leave out much.  
2.  If there's some other poor girl out there who googles "paracentesis and swollen vulva", I want her to find this and know it's all going to be ok.  
3.  This will be an awesome record to have 15 years from now when this baby tries to give me any sass.  It's ammunition for years.

16 comments:

  1. What can one say to all of this!

    Oh dear...

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  2. April! I love your candidness. Someone might be interested to know that an allergy to Monistat can also cause some swollen vulva. Usually both sides though and then you REALLY know what it feels like to be a dude. No charge.

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  3. April...My Heart goes out to you!and your whole family!! God is going to bless you!!!am praying for you all! For strength...wisdom and MUCH joy! becauase you will help someone down the road...I know this for sure!!! XOXOXOX

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  4. April!!!! I am currently having the EXACT same problem. The only difference is that my ascites is caused by a weak heart (not a pregnancy)and the ginormous labia is on the left side instead. They pulled the fluid out of my left side so (I think) that's why my labia blew up like a Pillsbury roll. :-). Anyhoo, the very bottom of my labia hurts badly when I sit down and I leaked tons of fluid for two days.i went to the ER tonight and they thought it was pretty normal and just sent me home. Can you tell me that it stopped? If so, how long did it take? I'm just a little scared here. I'm a little weak and nauseous and wasn't sure if that was a separate issue. I had 6 liters taken too. It was 5 the last time. Maybe that's the problem. Idk. I'm just already over it. I'd appreciate any feedback you may have to give!!!!

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  5. April!!!! I am currently having the EXACT same problem. The only difference is that my ascites is caused by a weak heart (not a pregnancy)and the ginormous labia is on the left side instead. They pulled the fluid out of my left side so (I think) that's why my labia blew up like a Pillsbury roll. :-). Anyhoo, the very bottom of my labia hurts badly when I sit down and I leaked tons of fluid for two days.i went to the ER tonight and they thought it was pretty normal and just sent me home. Can you tell me that it stopped? If so, how long did it take? I'm just a little scared here. I'm a little weak and nauseous and wasn't sure if that was a separate issue. I had 6 liters taken too. It was 5 the last time. Maybe that's the problem. Idk. I'm just already over it. I'd appreciate any feedback you may have to give!!!!

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  6. My name is Sarah BTW. I don't know how to do this very well. I'm sorry.

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    1. Hi Sarah! I'm so sorry I didn't see this comment back in February. How long did it take yours to clear up? I had no idea that this could happen to anyone which is why I wrote this blog. I googled and googled and nothing was coming up!

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    2. We are in the hospital now going through this I goggled and got your story. Thank you.

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  7. My name is Sarah BTW. I don't know how to do this very well. I'm sorry.

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    1. Hi Sarah, how long did yours take to go away?! My just started today, contemplating emergency but it sounds like that's a waste of time? Thanks in advance I hope I get a reply, this is so concerning and uncomfortable

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  8. How long did it take for yours to go away?! I'm having the exact same thing after almost 5L taken out due to ascites/liver issues. Exact timing as your on the swelling down there as well as seeping. I've had 5 paracentesis and this has never happened, it's also they most fluid they've ever taken out. Help!

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    1. Hi Christy! I'm so sorry you're dealing with this!! If I recall correctly, the seeping only lasted a few days. It was horrible. Have you contacted your doctor? I remember mine just telling me to wait it out and it would stop. And he was correct - even though it was such a pain to deal with.

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    2. My seeping isn't too bad, I just redressed the incision, slept on opposite side and it's much better. I'm more referring to the gasp-worthy swelling 'down there'
      We had the exact same time frame from procedure to enlargement, it sounds like. Do you remember if that only lasted a few days as well?
      Thank you for your post btw, this was all I could find on the matter and it's so reassuring to hear commonalities when going through scary health/body changes :)

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    3. I've never had so much as an infection down there, this feels like a tumor and it's freaking me out!! Plus it's uncomfortable to walk :/

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    4. Yes, just a few days! I just went back and read through more posts and it looks like I posted about this on 7/6 and by 7/9 things were considerably better down there. So it shouldn't be too long!

      I completely understand why it's freaking you out! It's the weirdest/most uncomfortable/freakiest thing I've ever experienced. But it only lasted a few days and then started to get better every day after that. I was so glad it didn't stay like that! lol

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