Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pregnancy Problem

Andrea is due to deliver on January 19th. Up until several days ago, it has been a remarkably smooth pregnancy. Normally there is a lot of complaining from the mother about back pain, uncomfortableness, weight gain. There is sometimes bed rest, or the mom is instucted to take it easy. For Andrea, the worst has been that she can't really sit through a whole movie for the last month or so. So we haven't been to the theater much.

That all changed. A while back, Andrea started complaining about itching. Lots of itching. Uncontrollable itching all over. Googling "itching pregnancy" quickly takes you to a lot of information. Itching, it turns out is very common.

Most women itch when pregnant. Their skin stretches, and gets dry. Dry skin as we know itches. Moisturizing lotion pretty much takes care of it.

Other women develop varying degrees of an itch rash. There is PUPP, something akin to a mosquito bite, and a more serious pemphigoid gestationis. That last one is pretty bad, and can slow down baby growth.

Then there is the rare one, cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). Basically parts of your liver stop working. Bile acids don't get processed right, which builds up bile salts in the skin, causing intense itching.

After longer than it should have taken, the correct blood test was finally ordered. The wrong test was done the first time it was requested, which was far too long after Andrea began complaining about it to the "doctor". The second time, the right test was finally ordered, but the lab didn't know what test it was. That was straightened out within the same day. Something like a landspeed record for medicine. Six days later...6 DAYS?!?!?!?! The test results are in. The upper end of the "normal" range for bile salts is 24. Andrea has 59 (whether that is percentages or ppm I don't really know). For those who don't like math puzzles, that is 2.5 times higher than it should be.

So, Andrea has been having trouble sleeping, what with all the itching going on. For a while she was taking benadryl. Yup, that's the first suggestion from the highly intelligent medical world. It managed to put the baby to sleep for days at a time, which is frightening (especially if you knew that ICP can have a 4% stillbirth rate). Later she was given a prescription for a different kind of allergy medicine that is targeted toward itching. Neither of those medications were really doing the job. So, now she is getting a prescription filled that actually addresses the bile salts. Yes such a thing exists. No, it doesn't have any harmful side effects for the mother or baby, even if there aren't any excess bile salts to deal with. So, WHY THE HELL WASN'T SHE GIVEN THIS PRESCRIPTION 2 FEKING WEEKS AGO, WHEN SHE FIRST COMPLAINED ABOUT THE ITCHING!!!!!?

Andrea will be induced on Januray 3rd. Because the real solution is to get the baby out, as soon as everything is developed.


Anonymous Kathleen said...

I'm getting the inkling of bitterness in this post. Can't say as I blame you.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Matt "The Bull" said...

I would love to carry a video camera around a hospital and to Dr's offices. I don't need to tell you that the "institute of medicine" (made up term ot incase the model of medical practice) in our country is. akin to FEMA. Sounds like a good idea, we through alot of money at it (I dont just mean in salary), we commercially protect it. But, at the end of the day; Medicine does not actually exist in nature(like FEMA) The way we think it does. Its very disturbring. I can't put a post like this on my own blog for political reasons. I can certifiably say this. When you go to a doctors office; His number one goal is to get you out of there as soon as possible. If the Primary Pracice phycicain does dedicate any knowledge or time it is to his sickest patients (litigation fear medicine)(about 1% of his clientel).
You have proven yourself that you could diagnose and treat many illness simply by using google far better than a middle aged retard in a white coat. Did you know we are importing foriegn nurses and doctors at break neck speeds. Remeber when Mcdonalds ran out of labor? (who works there now?) Yes the industry of medicine is going the way of fast food. Your lucky your doctor speaks english.
your assessment of the situation as presented in you blog is spot on. I have never if rarley been to a medical confrense and heard a more comprenhensive case report.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Patriot said...

I just got your comment on my site about Nalgene Bottles. Thanks for the information!

Hope everything goes well and she can be as comfortable as possible!

6:43 PM  
Blogger April said...

Wes, you know we're with you on this and wish you and your wife a happy delivery (note the absence of "quick, painless and easy" as such do not exist).

10:11 AM  

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