Thursday, April 4

Tired Of Bad Luck

For those of you who know me well you know that my health record is less than stellar.  I tend to fall in that small percentage of cases the doctors tell you about before and after procedures. 

Last Thursday I could feel myself coming down with something.  An incessant cough and stuffy head were nagging at me all day.  Since the following day was Good Friday, I was able to get myself into the doctor where they diagnosed me with a sinus infection and sent me home with some antibiotics.  I spent most of Saturday in bed hoping to recover before church on Sunday.  That night I woke up at midnight in a pool of sweat and after checking my temperature it was at 101.5.  The next morning, after waking up every hour on the hour, I was still burning up and felt horrible.  I had to call and tell our worship leader that I wouldn't be able to make the Easter service and cried realizing that Callie was going to miss her very first Easter Sunday because her mommy was sick.  Somehow, we still managed to make lunch at my mom's house, but had to make an early departure as my symptoms were growing worse. 

I spent the entire afternoon in bed where my fever grew to 102.9.  I called the doctor to see what I should do and after hearing my symptoms he suggested I go straight to the ER to have a spinal tap to check for meningitis.  I was petrified and as soon as Josh returned home from grocery shopping we headed to the hospital.  The evening was spent with me hooked up to an IV, chest x-rays, blood tests and eventually, a spinal tap.  The blood tests showed my white blood cell count was low and my liver enzymes were off but the spinal tap looked great.  They sent me home saying to keep on my meds and that I would get better soon. 

Monday was spent lying down because a new headache had appeared, and if I was anything but prone it would feel as if a 600 lb man was hulk smashing my brain into the ground.  Josh had a work trip scheduled and after coming home to surprise me before his departure he was reluctantly on his way.  My mom was able to come and stay with me to help out with Callie, thank the Lord. 

Tuesday the symptoms intensified and by early morning I was doing something I very rarely do, asking for help...  Even lying down my headaches were so severe that I couldn't breathe or move.  My mom drove me to the doctor where I waited for what seemed like an eternity to be seen.  After a quick assessment they sent me over to the ER once again.  The rest of the morning/afternoon is a complete and total blur as I was in so much pain that nothing mattered but getting relief.  I was put on an IV where they gave me morphine and a few other medications.  An hour later the pain was less intense but as soon as they sat me up the headaches reared their ugly head and the doctors made their decision.  I was diagnosed with a post lumbar puncture headache.  Basically, your brain sits in a sac of fluid with a tail that travels down your spine.  When I got the spinal tap on Sunday it punctured the sac leaving a hole where spinal fluid was leaking out into my back. This slow leaking of fluid causes an imbalance in the fluid your brain sits in, causing excruciating headaches.  As a solution, they preform what is called an epidural blood patch... This is where it gets fun, ladies and gentlemen.  As if it wasn't enough to have my spine poked with a large gauge needle once, they needed to do it again.  This time, two anesthesiologists came in, one to put in the epidural while the other drew blood from my arm (yes, at the same dadgum time), once the blood was drawn (20-30 ccs to be exact) it was then injected into my spine via the epidural.  The blood clots and works its magic and somehow closes the hole... Well it worked and they sent me on my merry little way with strict orders of bed rest to recover. 



I truly thought that one day would be enough to recover from all of this and boy was I wrong.  I woke up this morning to get ready for work and was rudely reminded of the pain I had experienced as the headaches started to return.  In some cases the blood patch has to be repeated... So here I am, lying in bed STILL, and as frustrated as ever.  The pain has been so intense that I haven't been able to eat much and have lost weight as well.  As long as I'm able to tolerate the pain I'm going to handle it because eventually the hole will close and the leaking will stop. 

With all that being said, it has been a less than phenomenal week for me.  I haven't been able to go to work and see my coworkers or kids, I haven't been able to pick my daughter up, change her diapers or even give her baths and on top of it all I'm left with anxiety of a looming headache that keeps threatening to return full force and send me back to the emergency room.  Your prayers would be greatly appreciated- mostly for God's will to be, and for a quick, pain-free recovery.  I am officially out of sick days for work and each day I miss is now being deducted from my salary.  It is an all too familiar reality that we dealt with last year as Callie arrived earlier than expected.  I know that God is the ultimate healer, and that He knows my path and has a plan for my family.  My faith is ever stretching as I walk side-by-side with Him, but it is not an easy path to follow.  Thank you for your prayers... I'll be sure to post an update soon. 

1 comment:

Meredith said...

So sorry to hear about this, Nicki! This is exactly what I had after I received my epidural with Braddock. I was also in that small percentage that had to get two done because it didn't work the first time. A huge needle poking on your spine three times in one week is not something I ever want to happen again! Did you end up having to get another one?