Sunday, September 28, 2008

What Happened

About a month ago, I started having severe headaches. Progressively severe. Two weeks ago, I started missing work because the headache pain was so overwhelming. I have never felt pain like that in my life, and every day would be worse than the day before.

I tried ice. And heat. And chiropractors. And doctors. And medications. And herbs. And massages. We did bloodwork and uninalysis and a CT scan and an MRI. We didn't find anything conclusive to explain what was happening to me.

Last Saturday, after narcotics had failed to alleviate the pain and I had developed double-vision, I was admitted to the hospital. Specialists were called in on my case, but no one really knew what was going on. I lost the ability to move my right eye. We decided to try inducing, hoping that it was a hormonal headache that might be cured by delivery. We tried inducing on Sunday, and again on Monday, with no progress. (Just to say, the pain of Pitocin-induced contractions didn't even compare to my headache pain. At all.) I remained in the hospital until Tuesday, when we decided there wasn't much more to be done.

My birth plan, the high priority I had placed on a natural birth was stripped away, one line-item at a time, as things like "brain tumor" and "anyurism" became more and more a part of my world. I was unable to see beyond the pain I'd be enduring for the next five minutes, let alone contemplate the long-term affects of what was happening.

On Friday (Sept. 26), we received a phone call at home that I had tested positive for West Nile virus. For which there is no treatment. For which there is not enough evidence during pregnancy to provide any indication of what to do there. I'd never had a fever, or a rash, or any other West Nile symptom other than headache (encephalitis) and vision abnormalities.

On Saturday (Sept. 27), I woke up and my headache was gone. It was the first time I'd been without pain in weeks. The damage to my eye did not automatically repair. It may take up to months to regain the full capacity of that eye. It is patched over most of the time, as I can't process the two distinct images I'm receiving from each eye. But each day it seems to regain more of its mobility. Reading is difficult, I don't know when I'll be able to drive again.

The baby. The baby seems fine and healthy, and we've decided to let her stay put as long as she needs. Our case is being tracked by the State Dept. of Health, and I hope that it helps someone else in this situation know what whether it's best to stay pregnant or not. We just don't know at this point. That said, I've sure had a lot of contractions these last couple of days, so she's welcome to join us anytime now!

Sorry if this post is totally disjointed, I'm not my best these days, but I thought I'd let everyone know what was going on.

17 comments:

Lindsey J said...

Oh man :( I feel so horrible for you! We will be praying for you & baby.

If it's any help, I have heard that WNV can pass through breastmilk, so perhaps having her in utero while you get better is safer than risking her getting it as well.

~M said...

Feel better!

Li loves David said...

My prayers are with you and your family!

mare said...

will keep you and your family in our thoughts

Midwest Chick said...

I hope everything gets better for you soon.

Carrie said...

Tenille - oh I am so sorry you have gone through all this!!! I am praying! Thank you so much for letting us know how you are doing. I'm so glad that the headaches are gone now. I get migraines, and while they probably don't compare to the pain you were having, I know how miserable having a migraine can be. You are in my thoughts Tenille!

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

I am so sorry but at the same time glad to hear it has nothing to do with cancer, and that the baby is fine!
Hope you feel better soon, I'll send a prayer your way.
Sarah

zdoodlebub said...

Oh, sweet mama, you and your family will be in my prayers. Love and good health to all of you.

Marc of the Web said...

Tenille,

I've been concerned about you and am grateful to hear that you finally discovered the source of the problem and at least know what you're dealing with. All my thoughts and prayers are with you for a safe and speedy recovery. Best of luck with the baby, and get well soon! We're all thinking about you!

Marc

Frugal Finds said...

Oh my goodness! First...I am praying for a healthy baby!
Second... I am praying that you will be fine too. No long term effects.
I wish you the best!
Keep us posted!!

Sarah Beth said...

wow, never would have guessed that...our prayers are with you!

Jamie said...

Tenille, we are praying for you and baby!

Rest. Get better. Welcome that healthy baby!

huddtoo said...

WOW! West Nile?? That's so scary. But, I'm really glad it's not something way worse!! I can't imagine your pain, and having to be induced - over and over, and having it not work...HUGS!

Here's hoping that baby comes on her own terms and it goes smoothly!!

sdantiquer said...

Tenille,

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care of yourself! Get well soon. Glad to hear you're back to work, even tho not full-time. I know you have great support from family, friends, and your employer!!

Take Care!

sdantiquer said...

Tenille,

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care of yourself! Get well soon. Glad to hear you're back to work, even tho not full-time. I know you have great support from family, friends, and your employer!!

Take Care!

Scott said...

Please contact me...go to www.westnilepregnancy.net

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