light at the end of the tunnel?

light at the end of the tunnel?

(Caution: Might be TMI.)

What a month this has been.

In about a week, it will be a month since I started feeling icky… We’ve already passed the month mark of when I got the thrush originally.

Starting from where we left off last time… I started taking the antibiotics last Thursday. Friday morning, we left REALLY early for Massachusetts – we left the house at 4:30am to catch our flight! This would not have been so hard had we not gone to bed at 3am. :-p :-) (I really thought I could do it – get ready for our trip. I should have taken up the offers of help that several friends gave me.)

We got to Providence around noon on Friday, and met Paul’s dad at the airport, who kept saying over and over “she’s gotten so big!” It’s been 4 months since they last saw Savannah. We went home and I took a nap while Paul’s family enjoyed Savannah. It was so nice to relax. Friday afternoon or evening, I noticed that I was getting a lump. This one was different than the clogged duct. It was on top of where the duct was, and was soft and squishy. Immediately I knew it was probably an abscess. I know that you can get those from untreated mastitis, and I know they usually warrant a trip to the hospital. What I didn’t know was if it could wait until the next Tuesday to be dealt with or if I needed to get to the hospital right away.

Saturday morning I woke up early and saw that the lump was bigger, so I decided to call my doctor. The midwife who was on-call for the weekend and answered my call was the one I hadn’t been seeing or talking to about all this. She wanted to know all my symptoms from the beginning and tried to tell me it was just a clogged duct. I got really frustrated and wanted to cry. She then told me that abscesses were really rare, that she’s never seen one in 35 years of practicing, so it probably wasn’t an abscess (?). She cautioned me to keep pumping or hand expressing milk (since Savannah won’t/can’t nurse on that side anymore) because if I don’t “then it could become an abscess”. Yes, that’s what I’m afraid it’s become! Oh well. I decided not to go to the hospital and try to enjoy my weekend, and deal with it as soon as I got back to Atlanta.

The wedding on Saturday was very nice, and Savannah looked her prettiest and everyone enjoyed seeing her. Paul’s cousin was the groom, so I got to meet a lot of Paul’s relatives. Savannah enjoyed the dancing, but as the day wore on she got really tired and it was time to go. I have a few pictures I’ll try to upload before too long.

We rested Saturday afternoon and hung out with Paul’s family. I was pretty worn out from the wedding. Sunday morning I didn’t feel well when I woke up, so I sent Paul and Savannah to church without me and I stayed home to rest. We were having guests on Sunday night and I wanted to make sure I felt my best!

Nichole and Becky and their families came over Sunday night for a little cookout. It was a lot of fun! I didn’t feel well at the beginning, but after getting some food in my tummy I felt much better and able to interact. I hate feeling icky around people I desperately want to hang out with. The evening ended all too early. I was realizing that the first time the three of our families hung out was right after Katherine was born. She’s now 3 1/2, and we all have kids running around… It’s crazy how fast things change!

After they left, I went upstairs to take a warm bath and see if I could relieve the intense pain I was in by this point. When I took off my shirt, I realized that the lump had grown really big and that worried me. I showed it to Paul and we decided to go to the emergency room. We borrowed Paul’s mom’s car – which was interesting, because she drives a stick shift, and Paul hasn’t driven stick since 2003 or so. We made it to the hospital without stalling TOO often, and after about 3 hours in the waiting room they finally saw me. The doctor confirmed that yes, it was an abscess. However, he didn’t want to lance it because we were heading back to Georgia the next day. He said it would be better to drain it when I could have a chance to recover and have follow-up. He gave me some drugs for the pain and told me to try and express milk, because that was the best way to get rid of the abscess and the clogged duct. He also switched my antibiotic to one that was stronger.

It was a looong night in the ER. The pain reliever they gave me via IV hit like a brick wall. I felt loopy and out of it. Also, I couldn’t nurse Savannah for 24 hours afterwards. :-( I was able to express some milk but not a lot. At least I couldn’t feel the abscess anymore! It hurt so bad – even to just have clothes covering it! We left around 6am, picked up some formula for Savannah, and got to Paul’s parents house as Savannah was waking up for breakfast. It killed me not to be able to nurse her, but she took the formula just fine. Her grandparents watched her while Paul and I crashed in bed until around noon. Then we had to get up and pack, because we were leaving at 2:15pm for our flight.

I got a wheelchair in the airport in Providence, which was the best thing. I was so out of it and loopy that even though it’s a small airport, I think I would have struggled with all my things and getting through security. I had to pump & dump and then give Savannah formula, which wasn’t an ideal thing for an airport. She was fussy during the flight and kept trying to nurse, so it ended up being easier for Paul to hold her. We got home around 11pm last night.

The story doesn’t end yet! :-) While Paul put Savannah to bed, I decided to get in a warm bath for some relief. Almost as soon as I laid down in the water, my abscess burst. Pus, blood, and milk came out of a random hole in my skin. It felt so nice to get it all out. I tried to work on the clogged duct (massaging it) but it’s still there. :-( There is a new pain now, as that hole is starting to heal. But the tightness is feeling a lot better.

This morning I went to an appointment at the practice I used when I delivered Savannah (which is not the same practice I called on Saturday). The midwife I talked to was really nice and said everything is okay now, I don’t have to go to the hospital or anything. She took a sample to send out for testing and see what bacteria is bothering me, to determine the best antibiotic for me to take. She said I’ll be on antibiotics for a long time… :-/

So that catches us up to today. The pain is a different pain than I’ve been feeling, but I’m so glad the tightness is gone. Now let’s just work on the original problem, the clogged duct. So are we almost to the end of the tunnel? I’ve almost forgotten what my breast looks like under normal circumstances. I’m almost even wondering if it will ever be the same again. Most of all, I just want to return to a place where I feel myself again and can go all day without pain. I hope I get there!

13 thoughts on “light at the end of the tunnel?

  1. So sorry for all the yuck and pain, but glad the abcess burst and you sort of feel a little better? I’m glad Savannah took the formula just fine! I’ll keep praying for you :-).

  2. Oh, My. Word. That was the most horrible story I’ve ever heard. I am so sorry. I’m glad that you are on the mend. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  3. That is so incredibly terrible! I am SO sorry you have to deal with that! And I am so frustrated right along with you at that midwife who was like, “It’s probably not an abcess.” How dumb of her.

    I hope you get back to 100% soon! I’m pretty sure I would have amputated my own boob by now.

  4. oh wow, horrible! SO glad you’re starting to feel better at least. Did you try the garlic thing that Beth was talking about? I really hope your body gets better soon!!

  5. Jes: The garlic didn’t make any difference that I noticed, and then I went out of town, so I just stopped taking it.

  6. Good night! You poor thing. On the bright side, I’m glad the thing popped AND you got to spend some time with friends and family. Just wish you would have felt better throughout. It’s ridiculous that this has gone on for nearly a month, and you’ve had little help until things reached emergency status.

    Hope the clogged duct clears up soon.

  7. I wish I could have helped more, but am glad you are on your way up now. After years of cowering before doctors, I’ve learned that it is better to change doctors until you find one that will LISTEN to you. YOU know your situation best. May the Healer continue His work in you. :-)

  8. Yowsers… glad you’re finally getting somewhere with all this. During both of my pregnancies I’ve had to explain my rH condition over and over to health professionals, and you’d think they’d finally get it once and for all, or put it in my file and refer to it. It’s so frustrating! Hoping and praying for you that this will go away for good!

  9. Oh goodness. Ashley – I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through. I can’t believe you’ve been in pain for a month and it’s still going. I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you.

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