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Have you suffered from HELLP syndrome or had a pregnancy complicated by an underlying disorder? Discuss your concerns here

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Postby May2011 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 01:21 pm

by May2011 (2 Posts), Thu Dec 22, 2011 01:21 pm

Hi, I'm new to this site. I had Hellp in May of this year. I was never told in the hospital that I had Hellp, I saw it on my chart. It was only after I left the hospital that I checked it out on the internet. My platelets were as low as 25 at it's worse. I was given an epidural before they realised I was in Hellp. I spent 4 days in the HDU & the doctor did say one day that I was 'high risk'. To be honest I felt fine so I never asked any questions. I assumed I was only there because they couldn't remove the epidural until my platelets went up.
Anyway I have been to 2 doctors & neither of them have heard of Hellp before, so when I tell them I don't feel well in myself, they just assume it's because I am a mother to a young baby. I occasionally get a lazy/dead left arm, some days I just can't motivate myself because I am so tired even though I get a full nights sleep every night, on occasions I feel slightly weak and dizzy. Is this a result of the Hellp?
Thanks
May2011
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Re: Newbie

Postby tree » Thu Dec 22, 2011 09:47 pm

by tree (819 Posts), Thu Dec 22, 2011 09:47 pm

I am sorry that you had to find us here. You might get some better informed responses after the holidays, but I will write something now in case it helps. I don't know if your symptoms could be related to HELLP or not. They could be, or they could be caused by any number of other things. I spent a year getting tested for various things to try to learn why I got HELLP and felt horrible afterward. I think that the only useful result I got was that my liver was still not quite healthy at 8 weeks and was fine at 12 months. You might be able to see your GP for a physical and basic bloodwork to make sure that your body is actually back to normal. Some women find that they have autoimmune conditions, thyroid problems, or clotting disorders that may explain why they got HELLP. However, many of us do not have any underlying conditions that could be linked to HELLP or subsequent symptoms. It is frustrating either way.

I do not think that the medical community has a good understanding of the long-term health implications of pre-eclampsia and HELLP. They manage the acute condition as well as possible, then they usually say you should have a complete recovery very quickly. It took me about 18 months to feel healthy again after HELLP. I felt much better after about 8 weeks, but it really did take over a year for me to feel like myself again. This long recovery seems pretty common among women on the forum. The actual definition of recovery varies widely from person to person and so does the time to achieve it. I defined it as feeling well enough to do many of the things I did before I got pregnant.

HELLP puts you under tremendous physical and emotional stress. I know that my recovery and months of exhaustion were linked to post-partum depression and mild post-traumatic stress problems. I didn't get treated for that until my daughter was over a year old, and that really helped with my energy level and motivation to do things. Nearly dying or being so sick that your doctors haven't heard of your illness is extremely stressful, and it is normal to have trouble processing the experience. You might want to look into getting screened if you think this could be an issue for you. Many of the women on the board have needed a little help to deal with the aftermath of HELLP
Happy Holidays to you!
Daughter born April 2009 at 35 weeks due to Class 1 HELLP
tree
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Re: Newbie

Postby May2011 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 03:58 am

by May2011 (2 Posts), Fri Dec 23, 2011 03:58 am

Thanks. The lack of understanding on this condition is frustrating. This site has helped a lot.
Happy Christmas to you too
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