I Can Has Cupcake?
In the spirit of never doing anything the easy way, I had some complications from my most recent D&C. I am writing this a little (okay, a lot) hopped up on Vicodin, so please excuse any non-elegance.
Yesterday I woke up to cramps and bleeding. I re-read my discharge papers after the D&C and comforted myself with the knowledge that “YOU MAY HAVE SOME VAGINAL BLEEDING AND DISCHARGE ON AND OFF FOR 2 WEEKS. SOME WOMEN HAVE NO BLEEDING WHILE OTHERS HAVE CRAMPS AND MAY PASS CLOTS.” While the symptoms were unpleasant, I did not really think there was any cause for alarm.
Yesterday afternoon, I was still feeling crampy and decided that taking my umpteenth nap of the week was certainly the panacea. I think I slept for a few hours but when I woke up about 6PM, things were noticeably worse. The bleeding was heavier and full of clots and the cramps were now out of the menstrual cramp and into the “get me some &^%$ing pain medicine, please” realm. I called my OB’s office and spoke to the midwife on call. She told me to go to the ER. I cried and swore and went to get my husband, but he was already waiting and ready to go.
The good news is that sometimes women have a “slow bleed” after a D&C that doesn’t manifest itself until 72+ hours later. It builds up in the uterus, and then when the uterus rightfully decides that it is not happy about the situation, cramping and bleeding ensue. This is presumably what happened. My hormone levels had dropped into the 1300 range (down from 44,000 pre-D&C), so the OB on call was confident that there were no more “products of conception” left.
I was sent home with Methergine, a drug that helps contract the uterus and stop bleeding, and Vicodin, both to be taken every 4 hours. My husband set alarms so I got every dose of my 6-pill Methergine regimen right on time. It appears to have worked as the bleeding has slowed down considerably.
Things I have discovered in the past 24-hours:
1) Methergine and Vicodin both go down better when served with a cupcake (either vanilla with chocolate frosting or chocolate with vanilla frosting), hence the title of this post. Link
2) If you ever have to go to an ER and need a pelvic exam, you can request that only an OB/GYN do one on you. The midwife who told me to go to the ER told me to ask for the “House Doctor” (i.e. the OB on call) and after my experience with Dr. Bighands, I didn’t need a whole lot of convincing. The ER doc looked almost relieved when my husband stated I wanted an OB consult. OBs regularly do pelvics, know what to look for, and know what is “normal.” Whatever the extra wait time is, it is more than worth it.
3) Inter-muscular Demerol (REFRAIN) lasts much, much longer than IV Demerol. It will knock you on your ass (perfect for your pelvic!!) so be sure to have someone there who can translate and remember medical babble for you.
4) ER nurses who advocate on behalf of their patients for pain medicine are really angels in disguise. When I told her that morphine didn’t really do anything last time, she made sure to ask for Demerol (REFRAIN). When the IV Demerol wore off, she asked the doctor on my behalf (I was too busy writhing in pain) if it was too soon for an inter muscular injection. Then she gave me said injection the second it was approved. I love you, Becky.
5) It is just as painful to get an ultrasound from a male technician when you are cramping and bleeding than from a 5-month pregnant female technician when you are not: pregnant cervixes are tender; post D&C cervixes are tender; pregnant mothers of non-viable embryos are also tender.
6) I have the best husband in the whole entire world. He is my best friend, my best advocate, and the only person I want by my side when going through this kind of yuck.