What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Have you suffered from HELLP syndrome or had a pregnancy complicated by an underlying disorder? Discuss your concerns here
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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby annegarrett » Sat Sep 18, 2004 05:41 pm

Youtan--just so you know--"right shoulder pain" is specifically listed in our main website under Signs & Symptoms. This is usually caused by referred pain from the liver--it is very specifically the RIGHT shoulder and it is acute. I had it with my third and refer to it as the Vulcan Death Grip. I couldn't even wear a bra (TMI?) because the pain was so intense.

Anne Garrett
Executive Director
Preeclampsia Foundation

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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby trine berry » Sat Sep 18, 2004 05:44 am

I know this is an old topic, but thought i'd share (now i've found you lot i am opening a wall inside me and everything is rushing to get out....):

I was sick and vomiting a lot through out my 25 week pregnancy. During the last 2-3 weeks, my hands and feet swelled enormously, and I hardly slept due to back pain. I was also on tons of medication, so was sleepy all the time, but unable to sleep more than an hour at the time due to the pains. I guess it was my lower back (is that where the Liver is?) and the only place I was confortable was in a hot bath, expecially at 4 am... it was horrendous.

I can't really remember the last week or so, as my mind is so blurred, ubt my husband tells me i got more and more distant, more and more pale, and in the end he dind't recognise the person resting on the bed, which is why he took me in to the hospital. Thank god he did...


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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby akemt » Fri Aug 27, 2004 02:56 pm

Tanya, I know some women who've had the "air pockets" cause them pain post-surgery because they settled under their shoulderblades. That is not to say that I have any idea what caused your pain, but that is a possible cause.

And yes, we all wish there was more standardized care and wide-spread knowledge about preeclampsia and its relatives. Thats a big part of why we are here on this forum...to help move it along however we can.

Catherine (23), Moderator (pregnant again)
DH Britton (28)
Emma Margaret (03/02/03) 37 weeks from PIH & oligo
Lara Julianne (07/31/04) 38 weeks Borderline PIH & gallbladder fun!

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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby youtan » Fri Aug 27, 2004 12:07 am

It is completely amazing how common it seems for the medical profession to not take this seriously. I'm so glad that these forums have been started. Maybe all of this talk will enable the doctors and in some ways more importantly - OB nurses and interns to be on the lookout (so they will pass the info to the peri). I see their point, tho'. Everyone complains about pain in different ways.

But, after reading through all of our stories - this pain is REALLY accute - it REALLY hurts! There is no ignoring the pain. It should be absolutely routine to check labs/liver/protein, etc. on any woman who complains of these pains - especially if they already have high BP. Is it really that rare that its just overlooked?

I was hospitalized on a Monday for high BP and on the mag for a couple of days when suddenly the 'pain' began. It was hours before anyone realized it wasn't heartburn. No one took me seriously - I had no idea that HELLP syn. even existed. It was very scary. I knew that one could get eclampsia - my mother had that when I was born. So, with the family history and me already having high BP...anyway, I'm preaching to the choir!!

The pain (my 1st preg): horrible, scary - on my right side, under the ribs. I had diarria, but I'm not so sure it wasn't because of all the Tums and other such pills they gave me. After several hours, a peri finally showed up to the hospital and prepped me for an emergency c-section.

In retrospect, after my 2nd pregnancy, 4 days after - I had some severe pain in my right shoulder. They told me that it was just an air pocket from the surgery. Any thoughts on that - could it have been a sign of HELLP?

1st preg: PE&HELLP/27wks/DS 1lb 10oz - now 5
2nd preg: PIH/32wks/DS 4lb 8oz. - now 2

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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby melissa71502 » Wed May 19, 2004 04:56 am

The pain was my only symptom when I had HELLP syndrome. My pain was very minor, but wouldn't go away. Everyone told me it was the baby pushing on my lungs. It was in the upper mid/right part of my chest. I thought it was heartburn because I never had heartburn before, but thought that is what it should feel like. I was sent to the hopital for an ultrasound of my gall bladder and blood tests after I told my doc. The tests revealed low platelets and elevated liver enzymes. I would insist for the liver enzyme labs. Better to be safe.

Kalindi 7/25/02 (HELLP)
Madelyn 2/5/04 (PIH borderline pre-e)

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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby nborrayo » Thu May 13, 2004 02:42 pm

My pain went on for weeks, mostly at night, and across my whole upper abdomen. It felt like my ribs were broken or bruised. I had to take tylenol, and lie on a sharp incline just to get any sleep. The doctor kept asking if I thought it could be heartburn or indigestion. I KNEW it wasn't. People kept telling me that the baby was pushing it's feet under my ribs - I knew it wasn't that either because it was constant, and the baby wasn't that high. My doctor was great but my tests kept coming back normal, so he could not do anything except keep monitoring me. I had high blood pressure and that is what eventually sent me to the hospital. They did not know I had HELLP until just after I had a caesarian when the hospital blood tests came back.

Claire born 12/12/03 - 3 weeks early due to HELLP

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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby caitlynsmama » Tue Apr 13, 2004 07:08 am

Hi! I am new to posting. I would like to attempt to put my two cents in here. The pain I felt when I was found out I had HELLP was as bad as a contraction in my lower abdomen. It was so intense it took my breath away and then it stopped. I had a fetal stress test done the day it was the most noticeable and my daughter was doing great but everything was just downhill from there. My bp shot up to 163/105 and I was admitted into the hospital and put on bedrest and Caitlyn was born four days later via emergency c-section. I am hoping once we are ready to have another early to late next year that things will go easier but we are prepared now for the worst:o)

Shannon Mommy to Caitlyn Elizabeth 30 weeks, 3 days born (8/26/2003) early due to PE, IUGR, HELLP syndrome, premature rupture of membranes

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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby carinh » Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:41 pm

I had severe HELLP Synd and SEVERE chest pain. I thought it was heartburn. The pain was in my sternum and it hurt so much that I couldn't lie down and couldn't get a full breath of air into my lungs. I cried in pain and exhaustion because I couldn't sleep. I refused to go to ER at 3am because I felt it was heartburn. After taking half a bottle of Tums every hour and throwing up at 7am I decided to head to the ER for a prescription strength heartburn med, still believing nothing was wrong because the pain was in my chest and back, not my belly. I was in so much pain I could hardly walk. Breathing was horribly painful. My liver was enlarging, my platlett count dropped, my blood pressure skyrocketed, and I was blowing up like a balloon. I was taken by emergency C-Section 30 minutes later at 32 weeks. My son was 4lbs. 3oz. I tried to be strong and blow things off instead of listening to my body, it almost cost me my son's life. I was lucky. Don't ever dismiss something that you feel is terribly wrong. It's better to be safe than sorry. Even if it means waking up your husband or neighbor to take you to the ER.

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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby amandavl » Fri Mar 26, 2004 08:45 pm

I know this is an older post but just wanted to add to it...

I never experienced any pain - only an "uncomfortableness" right between my ribcage at the base of the sternum. Like someone was taking their fingers and pressing there, right below the sternum. It was a feeling I had from about the 4th or 5th month until the termination of the pregnancy at 35 1/2 weeks. It could've gotten to the point of that severe pain that is mentioned all too often here, but, thankfully, I was on top of my game and monitoring myself at home for bp and protein in my urine and caught the increases and was immediately sent to the hospital by my doc. I often wonder what would've happened if my HELLP had gone any further, but I thank God every day that it didn't. How sick would I have gotten? I was VERY VERY lucky...

My DH and I are planning to start trying for another by the end of the summer. I tell myself not to worry, but I do. It's uncontrolable, really. If the only experience you have of something wasn't all that you hoped it would be, it's still really all you have to draw your hopes from, you know? Scary stuff. "Hope for the best but expect the worst." I dohn't know how else to progress...


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Re : What does the abdominal pain feel like?

Postby gossamer » Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:25 am

I am brand new here but I had HELLP Syndrome last year. I suffered from epigastric pain for 10 days before I was finally hospitalized. I complained to 3 different doctors about the pain and they all told me to take TUMS or Rolaids for indigestion. It hurt so badly I couldn't lie down or sit up or stand up or walk or breathe or sneeze or cough. The only relief I got was in a hot bath lying on my tummy resting my chin on the ledge. I took so many baths that by the time I finally went to the hospital, my skin was all flaky and dried out from the hot water.

"Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were a minute old, I would have died for you.
This is the miracle of life. " -Maureen Hawkins

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