We are still on the theme of those who should know better but don’t act it, and today’s lesson features someone you least expect – Yours Truly. That’s right – me.
You see, two things happened to me during the Easter period. My baby was born on Holy Saturday, and ten days later, I almost died of post natal complications.
I had gone for my doctor’s visit on Holy Thursday and after checking my vitals, the doctor declared I was to be admitted. Reason? My blood pressure was high and that was a bad sign in pregnancy. There was no contestation from me or the family. On Saturday, the baby was born after 11 hours plus of induction. He arrived a full three weeks before his ETA.
I was thereafter given a clean bill of health and discharged the next day with the full complement of anti hypertensive medications.
On the second day post delivery, I was still feeling tired and light headed and my feet were swollen, but I put it down to post natal stress that would go away with sleep. First mistake.
By the third day, I was suffering slight headache. Some colleagues came to see me and took my BP reading. It was relatively alright and since I was taking my medications, it wasn’t an issue. How wrong I was.
Well, my mother came to spend some time and was badgering me about my swollen feet and the other symptoms I kept complaining about. But I kept reassuring her that I had a visit due with the doctor soon and that I would tell him everything. Besides, I was faithfully sticking to my medications as prescribed.
This continued until ten days post partum. I was so dizzy I couldn’t stand straight. My head was pounding like a bass drum. And my feet were still swollen. So my mother suggested I sleep, which I did. During my sleep, my mother and hubby decided not to play along with me anymore, so he paid my doctor a visit and told him about my symptoms. The doctor then sent for me.
Once I got to the clinic and tried to get into the consulting room, he flipped. “This woman, you want to die, abi? Go check your BP first, then come.”
My vitals were checked and I knew there was trouble when the nurse shook her head. I asked her to give me the reading but she refused and hustled me into the doctor’s consulting room. There and then, a decision was made by the doctor and his team. I was to be admitted immediately and kept under observation and strict bed rest with treatment. My BP? 180/120! Even I shouted at that!
My phones were taken away. My baby placed with my mum and on formula. I was placed on a cocktail of pills and injectables for 3 days and two nights. Even the telly in my hospital room was disabled. I was just ordered to sleep, eat, pee and take medications. It was a horrific experience for me and my family.
Well, the BP was monitored keenly and when it was stabilised on the 3rd day, I was discharged again with another drug cocktail and strict warning to adhere to my bed rest. And I’m doing that.
LESSON: I was careless. And foolish. Of course I knew better but I assumed too much. The doctor eventually explained that on getting to the clinic, I was seconds away from a stroke or some other hypertensive crisis, and that it appeared as though I wasn’t getting enough rest at home. Upon getting those symptoms the first time, I should have gone back to the clinic for further observation and avoided all that drama. I came face to face with my own mortality and it is not wisdom. Don’t be like me. Now, I know better. If it quacks like a duck, it obviously is a duck!
What caused those episodes, you may ask?
WORD OF KNOWLEDGE: Just like you have preeclampsia – which I talked about in the previous edition – there is also post eclampsia. (Your gynaecologist is your friend).
I had high blood pressure, and to avoid preeclampsia, I was monitored and induced, and I had my baby. No stress. But my doctor explained that sometimes the toxins that cause this blood pressure to rise take a while to clear from the system. In the meantime, they cause eclamptic fits, increased blood pressure and some other symptoms. My case was a hit-and-miss because if I hadn’t come in when I did, I would have had a fit or a stroke or something worse, and then survival would have been less than 50%. Then all that joy would have turned to sadness.
This is my testimony. If you don’t take anything away from this, please take this saying: If it quacks like a duck, it is obviously a duck.
Till the next edition, keep being healthy, my people.
Written by Nene Ezike