|Photo by Jenny Hall Photography|
OK, not to be unfair to varicose veins...let's start with them. They run in the family and they run crazily all over our legs. I had them before this pregnancy. Two or three little bumps at the back of my thighs, one vein delta at the back of my knee. Nothing tragic, nothing pretty. Two weeks ago I had a photographer friend in town. I love her photos, so I asked her to do a belly shoot for me. Trying to figure out what the best outfit would be for the occasion, I put on a non-maternity stretchy mini dress and a pair of heels. It did not use to be a mini dress before I got pregnant, but the belly now claims most of the fabric available. It looked good! I was impressed. Until I noticed something bulging out of my leg. At first I thought it was not possible. It could not possibly be so ridiculously three dimensional. Then I looked closer. There was no way to deny it. What the hell happened?? When?? How??
The veins and lumps are triple the size. My legs look like my Grandma's legs used to look, only she was 70 years old at the time. What can I say...genes were not kind to me and my pregnancies have been downright mean. I did my research, learned that I am pretty much fucked and should better just suck it up and maybe buy some compression tights. I went to the pharmacy, hyperventilated over the price tag ($60 plus? I could find a decent pair of new shoes for that!) and once back home proceeded with putting them on. Which is a story of its own. It would be easier to fit an elephant into a matchbox. After about 20 minutes of struggle, they were finally on. I was sweating, out of breath and generally as exhausted as after running 10 miles. I should have just bought new shoes.
The shortness of breath reappeared yesterday morning, only for different reasons. I got up in the morning and went on with my business as usual. But I felt like I could not breathe properly. My lungs were not cooperating, my heart was beating faster and I saw white and yellow spots. After some hesitation (you don't want to be the crazy hypochondriac, right?) I phoned my husband. He had to leave the patient he was currently seeing and cancel another one. Now you know why those jerk doctors who let you wait 2 months for an appointment don't even bother to show up in the end.
When we got to the ER my blood pressure was low (normal for me), my heart rate was high (not normal for me) and they decided to give me an IV with fluids. A young man who was clearly in training attempted to insert the cannula into my vein. I am not scared of needles and I understand that we all have to learn, but I was quite relieved when the nurse finally stepped in and decided to take over at the attempt #3, because by then I was kind of ready to pass out.
I know I should be glad it was nothing more serious than dehydration, but I feel like a prize idiot for getting myself into the emergency room for something as lame as not drinking enough water. Especially after I made it through months of puking without getting dehydrated. Now I can wait for another astronomical bill to arrive while all I needed to do was fill up a cup with water that comes pretty much for free. Lesson learned, I suppose. So raise your glasses and drink up! And excuse me as I go to pee for the millionth time today.
PS: After consulting the doctor (aka my husband) I feel it is necessary to add that it possibly wasn't all about water. Anemia is another factor in the picture. I am anemic. I am often anemic even when I am not pregnant and when I am pregnant, it obviously doesn't get better. There is also a slight chance that this episode was a result of a pulmonary embolism. But because that option scares the shit our of me, I decided to stick with the water version. I'd rather be silly than sick. So there...full disclosure. Now excuse me as I go pee for the ten-millionth time today.