Monday, March 17, 2008

The bitch of the itch

Itching. Itching. Itching. It all starts on April 7. It’s more than just stretching skin over my tummy. It’s more than dandruff. It’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!! Eh – it will go away, right?

Well, it doesn’t. I call the doctor on Monday because she told me to. She isn’t in until Thursday, but the other doctor seems to be unconcerned. I call again on Thursday because the itching hasn’t let up. I’ve scratched bleeding sores on my toes. I sleep about two hours per night. The rest of the time I spend itching and bitching (silently). The doc has me go in for another blood draw. I’m allowed to take Benedryl to relieve the itching. The results aren’t done back until Tuesday, so it was a long itchy weekend.

The doc calls me on Tuesday (which is unusual – the nurse does most of the dirty work). The doc tells me that it’s likely the colestasis of pregnancy. It’s treatable – just some medicine to control the itching. Blah, blah, blah. However, my liver enzyme levels are VERY high. Apparently, that’s not good. She has a call into a specialist at the hospital. She’ll call me back.

The word at call back is: go – go now. We need some more tests. So, I bum a ride to the hospital and get admitted for tests. In addition to colestasis, we’re eliminating the possibility of fatty liver something-something. The basic run down on this is that if I do have fatty liver whatever, we will deliver – now.

We’re only at 28 weeks 1 day. I’m honestly terrified. I don’t really care about me. There’s not much that happens to me – it’s just a c-section – women have them all of the time. There are just so many awful problems that the boys could have. I’m scared. I’m scared for them. What will we do? They will spend so much time in the hospital. They will be tiny. They will be sick and get sick more easily as they are toddlers. That is – if they make it out of the hospital.
After a sleepless night, which included some tears, we went to have an ultrasound. The boys are still ahead of schedule. “A” is one week ahead of schedule. “B” is four days ahead of schedule. They are both over two pounds. Today, they are both head-down -which is good if we need to deliver soon. (It’s also not related to any of this liver-stuff, but the boys are growing great even if I can’t seem to gain any weight.)

Our normal doc stopped by to see us. She will be turning my care over to the specialists here at the hospital. She’s dealt with colestasis, but never fatty liver. That’s fine with me. The specialists are nice – especially the woman. She’s a blast. We had a short discussion about how ridiculous the laws are in Utah for same-sex families. We love our normal doc; I know that she will stay involved in this entire journey.

I’m still scared for the boys. I will be in the hospital through the end of the week – if not more. Each day in my stomach is two fewer days in the NICU. We’re all just going to sit around and watch my liver enzyme levels. I’ve had a steroid shot to help develop the boys’ lungs. I’ll get another one today. These shots alter the results of the liver enzymes – hence the extra time. My initial hospital tests were only a bit higher than my tests on Thursday. They aren’t skyrocketing which is good, and apparently, I don’t look as bad as most of the people who get fatty liver cuh-cuh crap, so that’s good.
I guess I’m feeling a little better today. I’ve had two docs tell me that things are OK and that I should be encouraged. I feel perfectly fine. The boys are ahead of schedule. We're bored stiff.

The only problem now is that I can’t get wireless access so that I can get some work done. I can’t possibly watch TV all day long……..
BP still nice and low. Boys still kicking and squirming. Definitely don't have hepatitis. Waiting for results of today's liver tests. Sitting around being BORED, but at least now I can get some work done. The docs will probably release me on Friday. I may even be able to go back to work. I'll be a weekly regular here at the hospital for liver function tests and non-stress tests. And, they can admit me ANY time they feel like it.

That's all fine with me. My official diagnosis so far: ????

At the bottom of the crappy things to have is the colestasis. It increases the risk of stillborn birth the further we go, but it's not completely horrible. We would just deliver earlier than we expected.

The next higher rung on the crap ladder would be hepatitis. Ruled out.

One step up is pre-eclampsia, but since my blood pressure is ridiculously low, that's pretty much been ruled out.

One step from the top is HELP syndrome. I haven't looked much at this one yet, but it's not great.

At the top of the shitty ladder is acute fatty liver of pregnancy (yes - I finally know the name). If it turns out to be this, we will be having babies very soon, but again, I'm not presenting any acute symptoms of anything at all. Honestly, I may just be a person with high liver enzymes for some reason. It could be completely unrelated to the pregnancy.

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