January 30th, 2007

Emergency Room

Emergency Room

There is a coda to my LEEP story. (*TMI alert* -- medical details.)

The bleeding did not lessen overnight. I was up sometimes as often as every 20 minutes last night with heavy bleeding. When I tried to sit up in bed this morning I all but passed out. I actually saw the legendary white light at the end of the tunnel. For real.

D. called my doc who said come in right away. Easier said than done, being 40 miles and an hour's drive away. I was so weak I can't remember much of the drive up there. I can remember being barely able to get into my doctor's building. D. wanted to carry me inside, but I insisted on walking, with his assistance.

My doc saw me immediately and determined that I was just not clotting. I had 2 options: getting a vaginal pack to stop the bleeding, or undergoing local anesthesia again to get recauterized. My nerves were shot from the lack of sleep and blood loss, and I just could not bear the thought of more fun and games with needles and speculums, plus I didn't want to have to trust another cauterization that might fail again, so I said forget that.

The doc had me hang around for a while to make sure the bleeding was going to stop. Even though my blood pressure eventually came up from 80/54 to 80/65, every time I tried to sit up I felt either nauseous or dizzy. I tried sipping water but wasn't perking up. I felt empty. I felt like a ghost. I felt weak and exhausted; no surprise after very little sleep and bleeding so much. D. said I was really pale, and at one point my lips looked blue.

My doc decided I needed to go to the ER for IV fluids to rehydrate me. Great, more needles. It did make a difference, though. I began to feel better shortly, and, although still weak, I wasn't light-headed or nauseous. D. was there by my side all day, holding my hand when I needed it, giving me privacy when I needed it, making me laugh when I needed it. I never would have been able to get through such a horrible, scary and exhausting experience on my own.

Major TMI alert:
Although I started my menstrual years on pads, I very soon switched to tampons and stayed with them, due to comfort and convenience. But due to the risk of infection, after the LEEP I had to use pads again. I was soaking the ultra-super industrial-strength overnight pads about once an hour -- I mean 100% saturated. It was very weird for me to feel how heavy each one was, full of blood, when I changed them throughout the night. They were heavy, and surprisingly warm, almost like handling a living thing, full of its own blood and its own life.