Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Florinef is Not Enough

So last Tuesday I went in to see the Cardio Mystery solver.  I had such high hopes that this guy was going to figure out what was wrong with me, and be able to help.  But, he really didn't.  There were a pair of nurses taking blood pressure measurements, standing, sitting, in each arm.  Then they did an EKG.  So by the time the doctor came in, he was like, yeah you have vasovagal syncope, and "my hands are tied with you being pregnant".    Apparently, when people get this, they raise their salt intake, drink a lot of water, and take hearty lumberjack drugs to raise the blood pressure.  Only because of my history of pre-eclampsia (Chris was taken at 37 wks to the day, and I was pushing protein 2 days before Sam was born at 39 1/2 wks) we don't want me to up my salt or raise my blood pressure.  In fact, I'm already on labetalol to Lower my blood pressure (well, to bring it within a more reasonable range).  
So Cardio guy's great solution was to prescribe a new medication, Florinef, and he told me to check with my OB before taking it.  And he said drink a lot of water, eat salt, rest, and Transition Slowly when I'm getting ready to move...and see you in 3 months.
You know, looking back on it, the whole thing pisses me off.  I am thinking I won't be keeping that appointment.  We'll see.  Honestly, the odds feel good that I won't even be still pregnant in 3 months.  I want to be though...better for Bebe if I keep my legs closed for a fat long while.  But still, I felt greatly let down.
So I came home, and put a call in to the OB.   I felt like no one in the OB's office had ever heard of this medication, everyone kept asking me to spell it out, wasn't something they'd heard of, once again, I'm a freak of nature.  So I started potching around on the internet.  And really, the news wasn't good.  It wasn't on any list of "Safe" meds to take while pregnant.  Though sometimes, that happens with meds because no one is able to do research on pregnant women.  So I take that with a grain of salt.  So I waited a rather agonizing 24 hours to find out what my OB thought.  In the mean time, I found one site (can't always trust the internet, I know) that suggested that by me being on this steroid, that the baby may have trouble developing it's own steroids.  
Well, she went ahead and said Yes.  So I started the drug Wednesday evening.  Thursday, I was contracty all day, and woke from naptime thinking that the bus with Chris on it had arrived.  Only it hadn't let him off, which Freaked me out.  It would be hysterical except for the fact that when I have freak outs, I tend to get short of breath, extra swirly, and contracting...which usually leads to bleeding.  Blessedly, we only got 3/4 that time.  I am happy to say, I have now gone a whole 8 days without any kind of spotting, that's a record since November!  (Knock on wood!)
Anyway, I spent Thursday afternoon/evening laying down, contracting.   They were even timeable, about 9 min apart.  I called the on call doc about 9 something.  Only she never called me back.  By 10:30, I was pissy and exhausted.  So I went to bed.  Surprisingly enough, I was able to sleep.  God Bless Tylenol PM.
But the contracty nastiness happened again on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and even some yesterday.  I called the emergency line again, and was basically asked by the doc, if I thought I needed to come in.  And Frankly, I don't want to.  I prayed on it.  Going anywhere, let alone the hospital, is So Bloody Exhausting.  I didn't want to do it.  It's inconvenient as hell to scramble to find child care.  So I figured, my appt with the OB was Tuesday (today), I'll try to hold on until then.  Maybe, prayerfully, the contractions won't get worse.  I wasn't bleeding.  If it just stayed Obnoxious, I could handle that.  And so it did.
This morning, I gathered data.  I tried taking my BP.  I got 190/130 with a pulse of 134.  That's Bad.  Only I don't know how True it is.  My machine has been flipping out all weekend.  Some of my measures were high (150/110) but 2/3 of the time I'd take it, it would error out, or go up in to the 200s for the initial squeeze such that my arm was killing me by the time it had gone all the way down...then it would error out.  I was not getting any kind of accurate BP measurements.   In the office today it was 130/80.  Not too shabby at all.   Still high for me, but so much better than what I was getting at home.  
And I was "contracting", at least feeling painful spasms every 6-10 minutes.  But when I told my OB that, she wanted to hook me up to the monitor and observe me.  Well, so much for a quick and easy appointment, and we had to juggle Sam's child care.  I'm thankful for Margaret and Kathleen for covering for me today!  But, when they plugged me in, they were high on my belly, and not reading anything, and then they'd move it around.  Still nothing.  Every time they'd put their hands on the machine, the "contraction" measurement would jump.  How accurate is a machine that I could control if it reads a contraction by putting my hand on it?  My heart was sad.  Either a. they aren't contractions, they're just the same irritable uterus pain that's been bugging me all along, only it's hurting me more or b. my doctor's staff is incompetent   They came to the conclusion it was the Former.  And though I say OK, they may not be true productive contractions, they Hurt.  They've been Hurting me more since I started the med.  I still get swirly, only now it's Every time I sit up, such that I've spent the greater part of the last 4 days horizontal, now I've only had one "spell" that has taken me to the couch, and it didn't last hours, which as I say, is a Lot Less Fun that you'd think it would be.  However I've been making great progress on watching West Wing on Netflix. ;)
And I'm in a Bad Mood.  At least, before, when I was on just the Labetalol, the spells were bad, but there were less of them than without any meds at all, but I wasn't in as much Pain, and my mood was nicer.  Frankly, I'm not finding the Joy in the Florinef.  The fact that I still feel crappy is not selling me on it.  And the fact that I could be putting the baby's health at risk doesn't sit well with me either.  It's a Fine Line I walk, I have to take care of myself or I won't be able to grow a healthy baby, but I also have to look out for him.  And taking this new med, I just wasn't feeling like it was Helping me enough to warrant the possible risk to the baby.
I still feel swirly, still can't take care of my kids, still can't be left alone with them, still don't feel safe enough to drive my car.  I'm laying down half the day.  Only Now I'm in a pissy mood, having nightmares, and 'contractions' that are painful enough to wear me down during the course of a couple hours.

Not. Worth. It.

Or at least, that's the conclusion I came to today, when my doctor came in to pat me on the head and tell me the baby is fine.  So I told her I wanted to stop the Florinef.   She was ok with that.  Sure, it means I'll be sitting on my butt just as I was the last two weeks, and will be having the bad spells.  But maybe drinking a tub of gatorade a day, and moving more slowly will help that. I feel like I'm giving up the Hope of somehow getting better before the end of the pregnancy.  I guess I'm sad, and coming to the realization that I'm going to be worthless lump until May.    But I'm hoping to get my good mood back, and you know, anything that benefits the baby, or makes baby happy, makes me feel better.  As Kathleen said, "No More 'Roid Rage!"  That may be nice too.

At least I got to hear his heartbeat today, it was in the 140s, good and strong, my OB said.  And Eric and I snagged Sam from Kathleen, and the 3 of us went to lunch together at Red Robin, had a mighty fine burger and chocolate malt.   And Bebe loved that, he started dancing for a milkshake, and we know how much he loves french fries.  A few big pluses in a sea of minuses.