Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big Talker

Warning: this post talks about boobs, and not in a sexy way. Read at your own risk.

Two days ago I posted about how happy I was to have gone for a (albeit SLOW) run. I was sure that this easy re-entry into fitness would result in yesterday being a day full of energy and enthusiasm for more exercise. My thinking was I would take a walk and maybe try to do some easy strength training. (My quads - the easiest things for me to see - are so sad and limp you'd think I had never worked out a day in my life!)

The joke was on me. Yesterday I woke up and could not deny it: I was SICK. In fact, for the last couple of days I had struggled in the early mornings and late evenings. I felt like I had a fever but when I took  my temperature, it said I was 98.4. So, I blamed it on my mental state and got myself revved up for the day. But yesterday I figured out that I was using the themometer wrong! The fist "beep" is a review of the last time you took a temperature; you have to click it AGAIN to learn what your new temp is. DUH!

So, when I figured that out I learned I had a temp of 100.9. That's not horrible, but of course postpartum Mamas have to be careful about infections so it was enough for me to contact my doctor. I wasn't able to see Mary (my midwife/primary care) but I got in to see the other nurse. He was very pleasant and kind and asked the right questions. He arranged a blood draw and hearing my symptoms (fever, exhaustion, body aches) decided I probably didn't have mastitis (infection in the breast) or any infections in my lower lady parts.

Here's what's weird: he didn't look at my boobs. He asked me if they were tender (DUH! I've got a seven pound gila monster gnawing on them 10 times a day! Yes, they are tender!) or hot or had any hard or hot spots. I said, "Ummmm, they ache but I don't think there are any spots in particular that are a problem." His conclusion was that I didn't have mastitis because I would have noticed those things. And he left it at that. I know that if I saw Mary she would have said "whip 'em out, I want to see" and then we would have been sure. I don't know if he didn't want to look because he's a dude or if he truly didn't feel like it was necessary. And I don't know if I should have said, "Hey, fella, don't you want to check out the girls for yourself? It would make me feel better."

So, Gabriel and I limped home (had to bring him in case he got hungry, of course, and the darling boy slept the WHOLE time, thank GOD!) with the nurse promising he would call and check the next morning. By the time I got in the driveway. I was freezing cold, shaking like a 70's rocker due for a drug test, and incapable of forming coherent thoughts. I went to bed with about 600 layers of blankets over me. Again, Gabriel was a champion: he nursed for awhile and then slept and slept and slept so I got a great nap in.

Later in the afternoon the lactation consultant called and after I said, "Fine, how are you?" I interrupted myself and said, "Wait. No. I'm not fine. Here's what's going on..." When I explained my symptoms she said she would be really surprised if I DIDN'T have mastitis. She said I should take another close look at my breasts because the flu-like symptoms I had were almost always mastitis when suffered by nursing moms. I took another closer look and decided that maybe, maybe I had a spot that was inflamed. This spot is at an angle that is not visible to me so it's not a huge surprise that I didn't notice it before.

This morning my fever has broken and I am a sweaty mess. I feel much better (thank God, as Scott is out of town until Saturday evening!) but I still feel the sore part on my boob. I don't know what to expect from the phone call from the nurse today. I know that I NEED antibiotics to kick this mastitis. I wonder if he will insist that I come back into the office in order to get it? This would require loading up ALLLL the boys which will surely mean unpleasantness....

Anyway, I am happy to be feeling better. I am annoyed that the illness followed up a day of exercise (I truly don't think there's a correlation, but I can't deny that there might be). And I am not nearly as horrified this morning as I was yesterday at the prospect of being a single mom for the next 3 days.

But most importantly, would YOU have told the nurse you wanted him to look at your boobs?? I am really stuck on this point, feeling like I didn't advocate for myself. Awkward, right?


  1. You know I wouldn't have requested it!

  2. First of all, this wasn't a court case where you had the burden of proof! You, the patient, put your trust in the medical professionals hands..figuratively and literally. Yes, we need to be our own advocate but really, do we have to walk them through the whole procedure. THEY are the ones with the medical education. just really upsets me that too often the patient has to know more than the examiner. My opinion of him is.. he is a "numb nuts"...a "boob" ya kiddo.

  3. I agree with AuntBec! Your dude nurse should have been all over your hooters especially since their current purpose is to provide food for baby TOP G. It frustrates me when the caregiver doesnt listen! Donna Findlay

  4. Having recently been in a very similar situation, I probably would have asked the dude nurse to take at the girls. That said, I've not really ever had a dude nurse in these situations, so I can't be 100% sure I would have. I mean, he doesn't have these parts, so he doesn't really know how they operate fully - that's my thought. Regardless, I'm SO with your Aunt Becky on this. Hello. This is his job. For which he went to school for quite a while. And really since it's all about Mr. G at this point and making sure you can service his needs, he should have erred on the side of caution at the very least. So when you talk to Dude Nurse today, you better tell him you want antibiotics NOW and why should you have to drag you and 3 boys all in to see him? He should've done his job yesterday! (OK...maybe I'm being a little mean here, but that's a bit ridiculous!)

  5. Phoebe - a) I wouldn't have advocated for myself in the moment and b) I would have kicked myself for it later and c) I would have then written to the hospital about it. I know this because - although it was my ears and not "my girls" that were infected, I had a similar bad experience. I wasn't listened to, felt too sick to object, was given the wrong meds, got sicker, and finally got the right treatment. I wrote to the hospital and spoke to the doctor in charge of urgent care who "investigated" the whole thing and he was GREAT. Totally agreed with me, told me what advice he had given the nurses, etc. So, you know, with your free time and energy, it might be worth sending an email...

    Also - just for the record, even though you probably know this, too - I don't think your working out has anything to do with it. For someone who is in shape, it's possible for it to be very safe to start exercising soon after delivery....