Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lady Lump Update

And the saga continues. When we last left off, I was supposed to be on bedrest and had another appointment scheduled.

It was hard to be on "bed rest" because Jerad was working and Marshall doesn't understand the concept of "hey, the mama needs to rest." But I did try to take it easy. Jerad volunteered to sleep with the baby and give him pumped milk and let me sleep in another room to at least have a more restful night. Normally Marshall nurses 2-3 times during the night. Sleeping with Jerad, he only woke up ONCE. Its a lot different when there isn't a never-ending food supply sleeping next to him I guess.

Monday I went to another appointment with Andrea (the lactation consultant). Quick side note: Marshall had gained 8 oz since Friday. So even though I'm dealing with all this crap, the little guy is thriving. Which is my main motivation for sticking with the breastfeeding. I don't know what I'd do if he was having trouble gaining weight on top of all this! Andrea didn't think things were looking better, and called Tiffany (the midwife/naturopath) to see if she would look at me for a second opinion. Tiffany said I could come right over. She thought that it would be safe to wait another 2 days before doing an ultrasound or anything else so that the antibiotics would have had a whole week to work. She explained all about abscesses and Mastitis and told me I could also try alternating hot and cold compresses. Andrea asked me to come back on Wednesday to the weekly breastfeeding meeting she has in her office so she could take another look at me.

I went to the Wednesday meeting which was so fun. SO FUN. There were about 18 moms and babies. We all sat around and nursed and talked. Andrea answered all sorts of questions. I am definitely going to go whenever I can! Anyways, she took another look at me and decided I needed to see an OB since I had been on antibiotics for 6 days by that point and it was starting to look worse. So she thought that Dr. K at Creating Harmony could take a look and have it ultrasounded and probably switch me to another antibiotic or refer me to a surgeon.

She called Creating Harmony to get the OB to see me right away and the receptionist would NOT go for it. Andrea was like "please just tell Dr. Kromhout that she has an abscess that has been going on for 16 days and it is affecting her breastfeeding and see what he thinks." Still the lady would NOT go talk to him. She said the soonest I could get in would be Friday and that was them doing me a huge favor. Finally since Andrea wouldn't let it go she said she'd check to see if a nurse midwife could see me (which makes no sense because Andrea has a Master's in nursing which none of the CNM's do, plus is a breast specialist... but whatever) then the receptionist said that all the midwives were double booked for that day so they couldn't see me either. Andrea basically pestered until I got a 3:20 apt and the office girl receptionist was all snarky and said if I was more than 10 min late they'd give my apt away (um, I've NEVER been late there).

*I know I bitch a lot about Creating Harmony, but I think its mainly just that I have bad luck there. I know so many people that LOVE them, so don't let my bad experiences dissuade you.

So, we got there at like 3:15 and waited 20 minutes. Then the med assistant took me to take my blood pressure and even though Andrea had explained everything to the receptionist, how long it had been going on, what kind of things I'd been doing to treat it, what kind of antibiotics, all that she had written down was "breast issues." I had to re go over everything. Then I waited in the room another 10 minutes. The nurse midwife came in and kept asking me if I had discovered the lump before breastfeeding and I was getting confused. I was like "it appeared 16 days ago." And she would be like "so before breastfeeding?" I guess she thought Marshall was less than 16 days old maybe. I dunno. He was sitting right there and is clearly more than 16 days old. Finally she took a look at it and said "oh my gosh." Which isn't what you like to hear! She didn't touch it, or anything just looked real quick.

She went and talked to Dr K who said it needed to be drained (without ever seeing me) but he didn't do that so I needed to go to a surgeon. The nurse midwife came back and told me what he said and I told her Andrea really thought I should get an ultrasound. She was like "just go to the surgeon and he can have that done if he thinks. You should try to get in today to get this taken care of asap." Which fine, whatever. I asked her how they drained it and she said she didn't know, in her 30 years of midwifery she has only had one person with that problem. Then she was like 'thanks for coming in' and I asked her if she could at least write down the surgeon's name and number for me which she did and that was that. They didn't call him to tell him I needed to get in now or anything. She saw me for MAYBE 4 minutes.

If you're a patient its hard to convince a Dr that you actually need to be dealt with right away. The surgeon they wanted me to see couldn't get me in for a month, and one of his partners wouldn't do anything before 2 weeks. The receptionist at the third partner's office was nice enough to move things around and get me in the next day. I called Andrea to give her an update and she was livid that the midwife didn't call and get me in that same day.

That whole apt made me again SO GLAD that I switched to Tiffany. When I went to see her about it last week she really examined me, asked me a ton of questions, then explained all about how breasts work and how these problems happen and what to look out for. She asked me if I was worried about it or had any questions. Keep in mind that it was the same situation, the lactation consultant called her and said "hey I think you should take a look at this" and she got me in within 30 minutes. AND didn't charge me even though it was like a 30 min apt.

It makes such a difference seeing a doctor that isn't overbooked. They have the TIME to talk to you and establish a relationship. Both Andrea and Tiffany have given me their cell phone numbers and told me to call any time I need to. When I go in, they know me, Jerad, and Marshall's names and remember our patient histories. The appointments are never less than 30 minutes, are usually closer to an hour, and I always leave feeling like they care and I understand what is going on.

Today I had the appointment with the surgeon. He gave me some local anesthetic then stuck a HUGE needle in the lump and sucked a bunch of puss out (if you think that's gross... just be glad it wasn't you!). He was pretty clueless about breastfeeding. First he told me that he didn't know if it was safe for me to continue (luckily Andrea had already told me it was), then even though I had told him I was breastfeeding, he covered my entire boob in gauze and tape and told me to leave it on for a day. Yeah like that's gonna happen.

I thought that he was going to either aspirate or surgically drain it that day, but I have to go back next Monday. I guess he is going to have what he took out cultured, then go from there. I tried to ask questions, but honestly he was super old and deaf and we weren't communicating very well. I pointed out that I also had another smaller lump on the same breast that wasn't going away with antibiotics and he felt it then said "that doesn't impress me" and didn't take a sample from it. I have no idea what that means. Is he going to deal with it on Monday? Is he not going to do anything? Who knows. As of right now I still have a huge lump (and a smaller one), but now it has a hole in it from the needle, hurts way worse, and according to him "may burst open and drain."

I guess I can sum up by saying "fml."

1 comment:

Paige said...

Oh sweetie... you are such a trooper. I can't believe how amazingly you are dealing with all of this. Though my heart breaks for what you are dealing with, I am equally (possibly more) elated that you are continuing to breast feed. I know how easy it would be to give up, and you are really giving Marshall an enormous gift by keeping it up. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Glad you liked Andrea's "class"- they were my sanity during some crazy times, and the saving grace for my PPD. I love her!