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Post On Friday, November 16, 2012 By mahjooba
I consider myself a survivor of this disorder. During my first pregnancy, I didn't even know what preeclampsia was. My doctor hadn't even discussed it with me. Even when I was sent to the hospital due to very high levels of protein in my urine at 39 week, no one mentioned preeclampsia to me. As a result, my son was born only four pounds, and I didn't have a clue to what had caused him to be so small. I had done my part with everything right (I could have died from preeclampsia. I wish my gynecologist had told me. Perhaps he wasn't familiar with it either).
With my second pregnancy, twins, I decided to research my son's low birth weight, the high blood pressure, water retention, etc. I was happy to find a name: preeclampsia.
I tried to make my new doctor aware of it from the beginning. But for some reason he was not very much interested in listening to me. So as my pregnancy progressed, I started to bloat up from the water retention once again. I continued to try to tell my doctor about how all my symptoms pointed topPreeclampsia like my last pregnancy, still he was not very interested, in a weird way.
When I reached my 30th week of pregnancy, my symptoms became more pronounced. So at my next doctor visit, high levels of protein was found in my urine, and I was finally directed to go to the hospital. I was a little over 30 weeks pregnant.
At the hospital it was the same story. My symptoms were not taken very seriously, even after I had gained 7 pounds from the past day, when I stepped on the scale. The nurse told me that the scale was off by a few pounds. I was sent home.
At home, I felt like dying. My body had bloated up like a balloon; I couldn't even recognize myself when looking at the mirror. I couldn't even breath; I felt like someone was choking me (high blood pressure). My stomach had become hard as a rock due to contractions. I had severe pain in my right side, underneath my rib cage (liver-related). My eyes hurt. It truly felt like I was going to die.
When I went back to the hospital the next day, I was only hospitalized overnight, placed on magnesium, and sent home once again. The severe pain in my upper right side was disregarded. I really could have died with my unborn babies.
My condition worsened to levels I had never experienced before. I tried calling my doctor several times, but he did not return my calls back. So I decided to go back to the hospital the following day. After checking my blood pressure, finally they agreed to induce me and take the babies out at 32 week and five days (the only known cure for preeclampsia!!).
Although the babies were born fine at around three pounds each, my blood pressure had skyrocketed to numbers unimaginable, 180/120, etc., and would not lower (I could have died). The nurses tried different blood pressure medications, and none worked on me. One night shift nurse scared me to death by injecting me with blood pressure medication like every five minutes, and it still wouldn't lower.
It had only been a week since I had given birth. Many blood tests were conducted to find out the problem to my blood pressure, but everything came back normal. I walked and talked fine, without any high blood pressure symptoms.
The doctors and nurses were in a state of panic over my blood pressure. I was being over medicated. None worked. If only they had listened to me when I first came to the hospital, but was only to be sent home.
Finally I had enough, and asked to be discharged. And after some long discussions about the risk factors, I was given three different types of blood pressure medication to take' religiously', and was sent home. I decided to take none and after a day of being released from the hospital, my blood pressure started to lower by itself.
So if you're a preeclampsia patient, speak out for yourself, because many doctors and nurses don't know what it is. Listen to your body. If your experiencing the symptoms I described, you need to demand to be induced, because women and unborn babies have died from this disorder being disregarded or not taken seriously. No one understands your body better then yourself, especially when it comes to preeclampsia.
I found out I was pregnant in the middle of everything. I was finishing graduate school for my MSW... Read MorePaige