Yesterday while I was pumping my left breast was on the hard side and I had a quick thought pass through my head, "Man I hope that doesn't turn out to be mastitis." The day went on and I wasn't feeling great but I chalked it up to several nights in a row with being woken up so much and not resting during the day, the way I'm supposed to. We had dinner and swim lessons and I started to nurse Brecken as soon as Christian was asleep. It immediately felt like my nipple was put in a stapler when he latched on the left side. SO painful. I pulled him off and grabbed it in pain and then I felt the warmth. Oh my God, it is mastitis I thought. I had it once before and waited it out through the night and became so so sick that night, I knew I had to call right away. I called the hotline and nearly an hour later they called me back, only for me to miss the call. I called them again and waited another 40 minutes for them to call again. I was beginning to feel sicker and sicker as I waited. I was telling Mark how the carseat is so hard for me to carry that my knuckles hurt. Turns out it was joint pain from the mastitis. Soon it was my hips and knees too. I had all the symptoms: breast tenderness, red mark on the breast, pain while nursing, swolleness, it won't empty all the way & aches and pains...everything except a fever - so far.
Finally I spoke with the nurse and she confirms on the phone, yes you do have mastitis and need to be seen immediately GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. She said the infection can spread to your blood stream so I needed to be checked out immediately.
I was surprised. I thought they'd give me a antibiotic prescription over the phone. Instead I headed over to St. John's by myself. I brought some water a magazine and a book. I no longer sat down in the waiting room and she called me for triage. After that she confirmed I did have it and I got into a room right away and I sat in the chair rather than on the bed. She closed the curtain in the room and the sound of it made me cringe. I was immediately taken back, in my mind, to the NICU. The nurse spoke to me as I sat in the visitor's chair rather than the patient's bed. When she returned she told me to put on the gown and lay on the bed. I did so when she left. I gently laid on the bed refusing to remove my shoes, I was in no way going to get comfortable. She came back and checked a couple things and said I appear to be dehydrated and needed to give me an IV of fluids to help my milk flow and production. As I turned my head as she put in the IV I had a flashback to the IV they put in while I was in labor. I closed my eyes and it was such an overwhelming feeling I started to cry. I whispered to the nurse my son had been in the NICU and I haven't been in a hospital since and laying there was really difficult for me. She was immediately concerned and asked if I wanted to change rooms. I assured her it wasn't the particular room, more the overall experience. She asked who brought me to the ER and I said I came alone and she said, "Oh honey, I think you need someone here with you." She left and I called Mark crying and he couldn't even understand me. I was like a was having a panic attack. It was hard to breath and it took everything I had to stay in that bed. Mark called his mom to come over and soon he was by my side. I was so tired. My eyes swollen from crying and my joints hurting so bad I couldn't hold my legs still. I was checked by the doctor and had to have the full bag of IV fluids and a couple hours later I was discharged with a prescription and tips on how to get the breast unclogged. I promised Mark I'd take it easy tomorrow (today).
It's hard to believe we're having, yet, another set back. I just want to live a normal life. It's so frustrating there's another thing to worry about.
Hopefully I don't have a strange and illogical fears of hospitals now. Hopefully that was a one time feeling. Hopefully I feel better soon.