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