What Fresh Hell is This?

I had planned a lovely birthday post for/about Lorelei today, but instead I got Mastitis.

Have you ever had Mastitis? If so,

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If you’ve never had Mastitis, or maybe never even heard about it, let me tell you what it’s like.

It usually strikes me in the middle of the night — I wake up feeling like maybe I was sleeping weird, pressing on my boob somehow. After a few minutes it gets more achey, and I am having trouble getting back to sleep, so I go pee. While I’m in the bathroom I feel for plugged ducts and try to express a little milk into a washcloth to see what’s going on in there.

Some combination of the pain and the Mastitis itself makes my blood pressure plummet, and I get the full and fuzzy feeling in my ears, my peripheral vision goes dim, and I almost pass out. Last night my BP was around 80/45. Somewhere around this point I usually start crying.

I know all the to-dos for Mastitis, so I start checking them off the list. I try to do some more massage to clear the duct, I drink a ton of water, and I get in a hot bath. At this point I’m usually starting to feel feverish, and get myself stuck in the bath constantly reheating the water to just shy of boiling. I can’t get out because it’s cold outside of my watery cocoon. I begin to wonder if I will just have to live in the tub from that point on.

The other night I was in the bath at 1am moaning in pain when Lorelei comes in and starts wailing and sobbing because I won’t get out and cuddle with her. Happy birthday dear, I’m just trying not to have to go to the hospital two years in a row.  She did get me some water, but then she sat on the stool next to the tub and switched between crying and asking me for details about the whole plugged duct thing. I just wanted to be alone.

I finally got out of the tub, teeth chattering, feeling like I would never be warm ever again. Every joint in my body ached, I had a raging headache, and I couldn’t keep my legs still. One of the biggest things you’re supposed to do for Mastitis is continue nursing/pumping frequently. This is where I always think you have got to be effing kidding me. So much as touching my boob makes me practically pass out, and I’m supposed to let this pinchy little almost-toddler nurse baby nurse, booby inferno. It’s the least funny joke on earth.

My fever broke at some point overnight, and I woke up in a sweaty mess of sheets and pillowcase. Yesterday I still felt weak, achy, and with multiple plugged ducts. Somehow I had to muster the energy to celebrate Lorelei’s birthday with her. Luckily I have great friends who offer to host a get together where I don’t have to do much.

Last night I was so sick again, every joint hurt, and I was feverish. I went to Urgent Care first thing this morning, and got a shot of Abx and an Rx. I had to let the PA know that no, my breast isn’t that swollen, it just produces a lot more milk so it’s bigger. Nursing mom problems.

As long as I stay on top of the ibuprofen I feel moderately okay. I’ve still got some very plugged ducts going on, and nothing is helping.

I have no earthly idea how I’m going to get everything done for Lorelei’s birthday party, and I’ve already lowered my expectations to practically nothing.  At this point I would just settle for not having my underwear on the bathroom floor. I like to dream big.

 

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2 Comments on "What Fresh Hell is This?"

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Catherine Long
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Sending you lots of un-plugged-duct love. I felt like I ruined my son’s sixth birthday – his last as an only child – when I went into pre-term labor with our second child. I insisted that he and his dad go to Chuck-E-Cheese while I sat alone in a hospital bed hooked up to IVs because I so desperately wanted him to have a good day. (Never mind that I could have delivered a preemie while they were playing video games. WTF?) The pressure we put on ourselves as moms is so intense. I feel you.

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