23 weeks, 6 weeks + 2 days post rupture, day 3 in hospital.
Yesterday after my morning started okay, but it quickly went south. After breakfast the psychiatrist resident shows up. I didn't mind talking to her as it was nice to share some of my sadness, concerns etc about being in hospital and how afraid I am that I'm going to have another dead baby. She was nice and at least she was someone to talk to.
But then, not long after she left the social workers show up, and I have to go over my whole medical/life story again. Heart defect, happily married, working in NICU, pregnant, bleeding, off work, scary delivery, dead baby, grief, grief, grief, new job, pregnant again, happy, rupture, sad, bed rest, off work, shreds of hope, leaking, and now hospital. The social worker and her student were also nice and tried to be helpful and recommend things to keep me busy here (book cart, movies, talk therapy groups etc). After they left I was exhausted. I've run through my sad story twice with two different (caring) but also somewhat intrusive professional groups.
My mom showed up about this time, and although I was glad to see her, I could have used a nap. I was all upset and sad from my over stimulating morning and pretty much wanted to just lie there.
Then, the congenital cardiologist showed up (barged in) is more like it. With barely any discussion or preamble he states that "your heart rate is quite high so I would like to have you on telemetry monitoring". Telemetry monitoring is basically being attached to cardiac leads and then you are required to carry around a walk-man sized purse like recorder that keeps track of all the data and alerts the desk if your heart rate is 'too high'. I FREAKED OUT. I know it seemed like a 'small' thing to him, but it was just the LAST straw. I'm already so depressed about leaking, about giving up my home, about the fact that even though I'm here at the hospital there is 'nothing we can do for your baby right now'. I already worry about my health and my heart and my mental and emotional ability to carry this baby...and it was like this cardiologist was just confirming my worst fears "you're a cardiac patient, you are abnormal, you might 'decompensate' at any moment and we need to have you monitored at all times in case your body starts to give up". It was horrifying.
On Wednesday when I was at home, no one was monitoring my heart, no one was concerned about my heart rate. There were no nurses taking my temp every 4 hours. No one was waking me up to give me antibiotics every 6 hours. I was scared to be alone, but at least I had some control over my body, over my surroundings, over my life. Now I feel attacked by 'helpfulness' and I'm constantly feeling like I have to defend myself "no I don't have any cramping, no I don't have any heart palpitations, yes I'm still leaking yellowish fluid, no I need anything else" etc etc. ad nausem.
As you can imagine, this cardiologist was unhappy with my unwillingness to submit to his constant monitoring. I said he could do an ECG to monitor my heart if he wanted to (which takes about 5 minutes, and was done not 10 minutes after he left), but I was NOT being hooked up to machines on a permanent basis. Not now at least. If anything changed or I was feeling like my heart was becoming an issue, then yes, absolutely, monitor the hell out of me...but I'm not in the hospital because of my heart! I asked him to go back and review my history (he had read a total of ONE note on me and had not even seen a recent ECHO), and talk to my regular cardiologist before he proposed any other treatments. He seemed kinda pissed when he left, I was in tears, my mom who watched the whole interaction was trying to be supportive and placating at the same time, and then my brother arrived!!!!
I was anxious and stressed out for the rest of the day. When Brian arrived in the evening, I wanted to beg him to take me home. I hate this place and hate what it's doing to me mentally. They haven't even given me an ultrasound yet (my one and only favourite monitoring device) to check on how much fluid I have. I might not get one until next week or the week after.
After Brian left, I couldn't sleep. I was absolutely exhausted, but my mind was racing. I couldn't get my heart rate to slow down (scary! maybe I do need monitoring! maybe something's wrong with me!) Finally at 1:30 am, I called the nurse and asked for some Ativan (a mild sedative that's safe for baby). She was lovely and sat in my darkened room and talked to me for a few minutes until I felt calmer. After that I was able to sleep...until 6:30 am when they woke me up for temp and blood pressure checks and to give me my antibiotic. Fortunately I was able to sleep again (fitfully as my room mate was up and about around 8:30 ish), but I refused to move until after 10 am.
Now it's afternoon and I have a friend coming to visit and she's going to bring me lunch. No doctors have been in to bother me (just the nurses), so I'm okay right now. I'm dreading the cardiologists arrival as he said he was going to come back to see me over the weekend. I'm sure he's labelled me an 'uncooperative and hostile' patient, but I don't care. I'm not going on constant cardiac monitoring unless there is a damn good reason. And I really hope to never give him the satisfaction.
Are there medical professionals you've met over your lives that you've had confrontations with? How did it leave you feeling? How did you resolve the issue?