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What do you say about preeclampsia?

What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby annegarrett » Thu Jan 29, 2004 01:10 pm

This is the eternal question. A 25 year old woman, glowing with her first pregnancy, sees me playing with my four year old one rainy day at the mall. She is watching her niece. After some chit chat about the awful weather, how old my son is, the tyrant two year old who is dominating the slide, talk turns to her pregnancy. I ask how far along she is. She is 32 weeks. She asks if my pregnancy was easy. I stop. I really stop. I don't know what to say--part of me wants to shake her shoulders and tell her how terribly awful and scary what happened to me was. Part of me wants to shield her from the truth. I mean--what is the sense of worrying her unnecessarily?! I imagine her going home in tears to her husband who curses me for frightening his wife. Zealot, he says, whacko, he says and I know that 95% of the time--he is right. 5% of the time--sadly--I am the one who is right. I never want to be right, believe me.

So I found myself in that situation with a woman who clearly had preeclampsia just last week. She had called for information and her doctor had sent her home. Not knowing that flashing lights was a warning sign of a stroke, she had not mentioned it to her doctor and he had failed to ask. "That's so freaky," she said, "I hadn't mentioned that to anyone, not even my husband." Then she said, "I guess they think I have preeclampsia, but it isn't really that serious, right?! All I could think about was the fact that this Saturday I would be speaking at the memorial for Marianna Wesling-Williams. Mari, who should be delivering her first baby sometime soon here, will be memorialized because she and the baby died. She was 39. She was intelligent and from all appearances got good high risk care. Yet she died. And here was this young, kind hearted woman asking me to reassure her that she would be fine.

Of course I did--I reassured her she would be fine--but I did say that this disease could be very dangerous, I did say that sometimes we lose babies and I did say, sadly, sometimes we lose moms. But I quickly added but of course that wouldn't happen to her. Of course she would be fine. Am I right to say that? How can I know? It is so tricky and frankly--just wrong that we, the women, have to be the front line of defense against this disease--and we have to risk being called zealots, and whackos, and we have to frighten some women so that we might maybe save a few. If you are one of those women that we are frightening--know we are not doing it easily--we don't enjoy scaring you with our experiences--but we want to save you the pain and suffering we experienced so that you might not have a similar story to share one day in the mall when you are sitting with your baby. Or god forbid, not be alive to share it. As I told the woman on the phone--don't you worry about being a total pain in the butt. You are paying this doctor's salary--that is his job. If you have to go back 10x this weekend--YOU GO--because I would rather we be called zealots and whackos--then know that we could have saved someone and we didn't--because fear of looking foolish kept us quiet.

Please join me in honoring the memory of our women who have died by contributing to the Marianna Williams Memorial Research Fund.
https://fp7.adhost.com/preeclampsia/donate.cfm

And on Saturday--keep the Wesling-Williams family in your thoughts and prayers.

Take care,





Anne Garrett
Executive Director
Preeclampsia Foundation
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby laura » Thu Jan 29, 2004 01:17 pm

Bravo, Anne!

Send the Weslings and the Williams our love, would you?

And thanks for being Anne [:X]

Laura-28
DH Jack-31
Alicia 5-13-98 (35 weeks-severe PE)
Camille 4-17-03 (36 weeks- htn and oligo)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/c/camilleandallie/
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby shelbys mom » Thu Jan 29, 2004 02:49 pm

Thank you for everything you do, and we do to help make this a more educated universe !!!!!

Kim, mom to Shelby 32 weeker due to pree-e, and hellp, now a crazy 2 year old!!!
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby paljane8 » Thu Jan 29, 2004 05:01 pm

From one zealot to another-best of luck with your speach at the memorial. Our prayers are with you as well as the family.

Nancy-35
dh-34
ds-8yrs
dd-7yrs
Scott-born 05-14-99 @38 weeks-PE
Janie-born 05-12-03 @37 weeks-PIH, small for gestational age (oligo and low blood flow)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/4/4lbs/
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby taras mom » Thu Jan 29, 2004 05:33 pm

Keep fighting the good fight, Anne![:)]

Carol (38)
DH Bill (40)
Tara Mairichi
12/7-12/9, 2002
The Mightiest Little Angel
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby aimeejane » Thu Jan 29, 2004 05:41 pm

Anne, I struggle with that whenever I talk to a pregnant woman I don't know. (The ones I know have heard it many times already! LOL) I usually end up telling my story, if the situation warrants. I figure it's better to scare someone a little than to risk having another pre-e mom as uninformed as I was up until I had my seizures. Maybe we are zealots, but we're zealots doing what little we can to save lives.

Thank you for everything you do! My thoughts will be with you and the family on Saturday.

Aimee - 28
Dh - 30
Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
Ds Kalen - 7/10/03 (36 weeks - preeclampsia)
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby angelical » Thu Jan 29, 2004 05:51 pm

When I talk to a pregnant woman - - friend, relative, stranger -- I usually say "Okay, I HAVE to give you my preeclampsia speech. If I don't I'd never forgive myself if you got it without understanding!" I do feel like a zealot, but if I lost a friend because she didn't know....... [V]

Thank you, Anne, for giving us the courage and the direction in this fight we are all in.

Sharel

------------------------
Sharel & Kevin
Aaron - 28 weeker
Born 5/2/02 due to preeclampsia & HELLP

Our miracle boy is doing great!!
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby akemt » Thu Jan 29, 2004 06:46 pm

quote:
Originally posted by annegarrett

we have to risk being called zealots, and whackos, and we have to frighten some women so that we might maybe save a few. If you are one of those women that we are frightening--know we are not doing it easily--we don't enjoy scaring you with our experiences--but we want to save you the pain and suffering we experienced so that you might not have a similar story to share one day in the mall when you are sitting with your baby. As I told the woman on the phone--don't you worry about being a total pain in the butt. You are paying this doctor's salary--that is his job. If you have to go back 10x this weekend--YOU GO--because I would rather we be called zealots and whackos--then know that we could have saved someone and we didn't--because fear of looking foolish kept us quiet.



Since I know the stories of ladies who had had Pre-e scared me when I read them, I'd maybe put that little blurp where anyone new to the site would read it before reading about someone who delivered at 24 weeks and nearly died...just so they know, we are scaring them for a reason.

Catherine (22)
DH Britton (27)
Emma Margaret (03/02/03) 37 weeks from PIH & oligo
Baby #2 due August 11, 2004
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby annes » Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:14 am

I have never written in to the forum yet, but I read what you wrote and wanted to say something. I have severe pe, and before it onset, my feet were so swollen, I looked scary! One of the women in my office who is in her 60's kept mentioning it to me. I got really upset, because I was self-conscious. I read in one of the books that people used to think swelling=unhealthy, and that wasn't always the case. I thanked her later. Because she kept mentioning it to me, I kept mentioning it to my OB, at every appt., because I wanted to be able to say to my office friend " I told my OB and she said I'm fine!" My OB kept a close eye on my BP and got me into the hospital immediately when my BP elevated to high levels. I don't think you are a zealot, you are a concerned person. I never thought I could have a complication in my pregancy, but that one friend reminding me that my feet looked terrible really helped me be more aware. [:I]

Anne
Parker 7/6/03
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Re : What do you say about preeclampsia?

Postby akemt » Fri Jan 30, 2004 02:02 pm

Welcome Anne (Parker's mom)

Catherine (22)
DH Britton (27)
Emma Margaret (03/02/03) 37 weeks from PIH & oligo
Baby #2 due August 11, 2004
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