I Heart Demerol

REFRAIN: [to the tune of “Wild Thing”]

Dem -er -ol

You make my cramps stall*

You make pain management … grooovy

Oooohhhh, Dem -er -ol

Dem -er -ol, I think I love you.

*I know that Demerol, unlike NSAIDs, doesn’t really stall the cramps. I know that it just interferes with the perception of the horrifically painful cramps, but at a certain point, I don’t really care what is happening biochemically, just that I am not in pain. Besides, it is difficult to rhyme words with Demerol.

D&C #1, Part A (October 2006):

I found out at 10weeks that I had a blighted ovum (i.e. anembryonic pregnancy = no baby but everything else). This was a Monday. On Friday, I was scheduled for a D&C. I came in on Thursday and cried all through pre-registration and the requisite bloodwork, and then came in bright and early on Friday for the procedure. The highlight was definitely the general anesthesia. Awesome stuff, especially the concoction they give you en route to the OR which is filled with sedatives and pain medicine. I woke up. I was no longer pregnant with a sac. I ate a cheeseburger. I went home.

D&C#1, Part B

Nine days later, I start really cramping and bleeding. Bleeding right after a D&C is normal but starting over a week later is not. I had nothing at all right after the D&C, so this was especially dramatic. I was sent to the ER, by which point I was in a considerable amount of pain and the bleeding was getting worse. Not knowing what to do with me, they did a ultrasound to rule out an ectopic and then pumped me full of NSAIDs (no Demerol this time, folks). I felt a little better. The bleeding slowed down. I didn’t have an ectopic. They sent me home.

D&C #1, Part C

Two days later, eleven days after the original D&C, everything really went downhill. What I thought were painful cramps before were nothing compared to what I had now and I was continually bleeding as well as passing golf-ball sized clots. Back to the ER. By the time we reaching the hospital I was really screaming/crying, and they took me right back to a bed this time instead of making me languish in the waiting room. After THE. MOST. PAINFUL. PELVIC. EXAM. EVER. (by a doctor I only remember as “Dr. Bighands”) and another ultra sound, the doctors determined that I must sill have placental tissue in my uterus that was missed in the D&C, Part A. The pain was agonizing and the three doses of morphine did nothing to help (yes, THREE doses of morphine didn’t touch the pain.) The ER doctors decide to call in an OB consult.

The OB surgeon, who was a tiny little woman with tiny little hands, told me that Dr. Bighands didn’t do any measurements, except to note that my cervix was dilated (NO! really??), and she would need to repeat the pelvic exam. I think my hysterical crying was her first clue that this was not going to be easy, so she told me she would give me pain medicine and make sure I was “comfortable” before doing the pelvic. She gave me a concoction of Demerol and Zofran (Demerol can cause nausea). (REFRAIN)

I was admitted, put on a Pitocin drip, and left to “expel” whatever was left in my uterus in the privacy of my own hospital bed. I could have pain meds whenever I wanted (REFRAIN) and I was promised that this would be the end of it. Some nurse sent something I had “expelled” to the lab that was identified as placental tissue, so I finished the course of Pitocin (just to be sure), walked around the maternity ward (where they put me) and looked at the happy mothers and their sleeping babies, and then went home.

I was told this was “bad luck” and that it had no bearing on any future pregnancies. Riiiiiiiiiight.


June 6, 2007. Miscarriage #1.

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