Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Good to Be Home

I am now 32 weeks along with this pregnancy and I have to say the last couple of weeks have proven to be exhausting. I remember being tired when I was pregnant with Annabelle but of course I didn't have another child at home to look after - plus I have been working 3 days a week and my commute is 4 hours each day.

By mid last week I was really starting to feel awful, and the fact that I've had a head cold for more than 3 weeks, with no sign of it budging, isn't helping. I woke up Friday and I couldn't put my finger on it but I just didn't feel 'right' so I rang and left a message with work to say I wouldn't be in.

Annabelle goes to day care on a Friday so I got her ready and waved her off and then it happened, a very strange sensation that started with my vision. All of a sudden I could see flashing lights, mostly pink and silver, in my right eye making it very difficult to see.

I googled 'blurred vision during pregnancy' and I came across several articles that said to seek medical attention as it was probably pre-eclampsia. I rang the birthing unit of my local hospital to get advice and I have to say I was disappointed in their attitude as they told me in no uncertain terms not to go there. I then rang my OBs office and the ladies there were fantastic and told me to come in immediately.

As I don't drive I decided to ring a taxi as my symptoms were worsening and by the time I got to the OBs office my right arm was numb and the right side of my face was paralysed, thankfully only temporarily.  I suddenly realised it might have been more serious than I suspected when my Doctor mentioned the word stroke! Before I could blink I was on my way to hospital, yes, the same hospital that turned me away and the same hospital that is walking distance from my house!

Thankfully they took me into emergency fairly quickly and hooked me up to machines and started all sorts of tests... the hardest bit was answering their questions as I was having difficulty reading - everything looked like hieroglyphics - and forming proper sentences. It was a strange feeling knowing I wasn't saying the right thing but being unable to form the right word.

About 4 years ago I experienced two migraines quite close together that involved blurred spots in my vision and a tingle in my right arm but nothing as scary as this! Thankfully I could remember the name of the neurologist that treated me so the hospital was able to obtain my records from him and it saved me having to undergo specific tests again! 

I spent just over 24 hours in the high dependency unit - my first ever night away from Annabelle so there were a few tears in the morning - and then I was transferred onto the ward sharing a room with 3 men all over the age of 70; now that was an experience!

After 3 days and a barrage of tests I was finally allowed to go home with the diagnosis of a Sporadic Hemiplegic Migraine! As you can imagine I was relieved that I hadn't had a major stroke but Hemiplegic Migraines come with their own issues as they are rare but severe, and can also lead to strokes - in fact sufferers are twice as likely to have a stroke as non migraine sufferers - and the more frequent the attack the more likely to cause brain damage .

While I am pregnant there isn't much they can do for me in the way of treatment but after this baby is born, which now looks like it might be brought forward, the Docs will sort out a treatment plan for me.

So for now I am resting up, I've had to finish up with work 4 weeks earlier than planned, and I am hoping that the weeks until our new family member joins us are uneventful.

One can always hope!


kasia leach said...

oh.. that must have been so scary!!
glad that they found out the cause.. not that it helps any at the moment..
good luck and rest up!!

Anonymous said...

jesus h Carolyn. You okay?? I hope you'll be okay. Big hugs and no more scares **fingers crossed**