Swelling, leg pain, and one very handsome doctor …

Saturday, April 24, 2010

33 weeks, 6 days pregnant
So I was in the hospital yesterday …
Yeah …
I’m pretty sure every preggo woman makes at least one not-sure-if-I-should-go-but-maybe-I-should-because-WTF visit. Yesterday was mine!
I had a horrible sleep on Thursday night, and did a lot of beached-whale type maneuvers and moaning because of the swelling and discomfort in my legs/ankles. That was a unusual, because even though my feet and ankles have been puffy Christmas hams for what feels like forever now, it was never this bad.
The leg pain was terrible when I got up and went to work, and it wasn’t going away. It was like growing pains x 100,000,000. I knew leg cramps were normal during pregnancy, but this was like a muscle pain that was shooting through my (fluid-filled) calves up to my knees and thighs. My feet and ankles were as puffy as ever, but it was the pain that had me worried.
After trying to “wait it out” and get some work done, I finally broke down and Googled it. Sure enough, “constant pain in your leg muscles, accompanied by swelling” was one of the “call-your-doctor-immediately” items on every list, because it could indicate a blood clot. Damn.
I felt a little bad calling the hospital where I see Dr. L, because I had never needed to call for anything between appointments. I felt like they were going to think I was overreacting. But I called anyway, and described my symptoms to the woman who answered.
I was surprised when they said to come in, and that even though Dr. L was off, I could see a nurse on duty. So I explained it to my colleagues, and drove myself to the hospital (Darling Husband was working).
When I got in to see the nurse, she made me do the usual pee-in-a-cup and get weighed routine. The pee results were fine (no protein to indicate preeclampsia), and I had actually lost weight since my last appointment. Holy crap! I forgot about the pain for a minute and excitedly asked the nurse if that meant I would have Baby Boy soon, but she said it didn’t necessarily mean that. Oh.
The nurse used the doppler to check on Baby Boy’s heartbeat, and it was great to hear it again — very strong, like it always is. She also said his head was way down, which was great confirmation. He seems to be in the perfect position and holding — what a good baby!
Then she looked at my legs and feet and ankles, and said I was quite swollen, but she didn’t see any size differences between my left leg (which was more painful) and my right. She asked if I sat down at a computer for my job, and when I said yes, she said that was really hard on pregnant women because it cuts their circulation off at the waist. She decided to find an OB to take a look, just in case.
After a short wait — while I lay on the examining table, pantless — the door opened and the MOST HANDSOME DOCTOR IN THE WORLD walked in. I was totally shocked to see a man, and such a good-looking one at that! He had the most gorgeous golden-brown Edward Cullen eyes, and was just … yum. Sorry, Darling Husband, but it’s true.
Handsome Doctor said he was going to examine my legs — thank God I had just shaved them! — and he immediately commented on how he’s seen a lot of swelling in his time, but mine was really, really bad. He said my calves felt way too “tight,” and it was because they were packed with fluid. He measured them, and noticed a three-centimeter difference between the left and right — not good news, because that could mean a blood clot.
Handsome Doctor told me to go straight downstairs to the ultrasound department, so they could do an ultrasound on my legs to check the veins (or something like that). I threw my pants back on and ran downstairs, and by that point Darling Husband had arrived — he got off work at 3:30 p.m., and his dad drove him to the hospital to meet me.
I was soooo glad Darling Husband was there, the leg ultrasound lasted 45 minutes and was SUPER PAINFUL. It never occured to me that it would hurt, but the technician was driving that wand-thing into my leg muscles with both hands, at full force. It was horrible, and tears were running down my face. I squeezed Darling Husband’s hand so hard that my rings dug into my flesh, and I had to stop.
The technician saw a spot that she wasn’t sure about, so a radiologist came in and looked at it (more gently than she did, I might add). Then they told us to go back upstairs and meet with Handsome Doctor to discuss the results. He was on-call up in the birth area, so we had to meet him there. Luckily, we’d just had the hospital tour, and knew exactly where to go.
You need to take a special elevator to get there, which means you have to go through the admitting area. I had to sign some papers and got a hospital bracelet and everything, just in case Handsome Doctor decided to admit me! That was kind of exciting (and nerve-wracking).

We saw Handsome Doctor fairly quickly up there, and he said I was fine. The pain was not an indication of a blood clot, but just because of the really bad edema (swelling). He said I could try wearing support stockings, and to discuss everything with Dr. L on Tuesday at my appointment. And then I was free to go! Adieu, Handsome Doctor … adieu!

That little scare has made me seriously reconsider when I’m going to stop working. I was planning to work until Friday, May 14 — three weeks before the due date — but am thinking it’s going to be either May 7 or April 30, now. My replacement starts on Monday, so I’m going to throw myself into training her, and see what Dr. L says on Tuesday. It’s so weird to think I might stop working as early as next week.
Weird, weird, weird!

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