Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Post Traumatic Stress

About a month ago, I found out that the wife of one of my coworkers had developed severe preeclampsia 34 weeks along into her fourth pregnancy. She had never had preeclampsia before, but there it was...the nasty, horrifying preeclampsia monster attacking again. I made a mental note to pray for his wife, and hope for the best.

Well, nearly four weeks have passed since then, and today, I saw my coworker. His wife popped into my thoughts immediately.

"Hey! How is your wife? And, how is baby?" I said unsure if his wife was still pregnant.

As he turned his face toward me, I saw it...the post-preeclampsia stress, the realization of how close "this close" actually came and landed on his wife and child. For the next half an hour, he walked us through the events leading up to severe preeclampsia. Unfortunately, his wife suffered from severe pulmonary edema and subsequently developed congestive heart failure. He rushed her to the ER after her obstetrician blew off three times of reporting she felt she couldn't breathe. In fact, breathing had become an effort just standing still, and the OB never bothered to listen to her breath sounds. The ER physicians took her seriously and eventually treated her with Lasix to relieve the severe edema.

While my coworker's wife's story was scary and horrifying, what was such a big reveal for me is that as he recounted her story, post-traumatic stress took over within me. I kept a relatively calm appearance, but I had an overwhelming urge to go crawl in a dark spot somewhere and curl up in a ball. I wanted to yell, shout, scream, and cry at my outrage toward the Preeclampsia Beast and all that it does to unsuspecting women and their families.

I'm confident that I had an anxiety attack, but I worked through it with some relaxation music...yay for iTunes and some slow breathing. I guess this entry is just me letting some more of it out so I can keep on going. I march one day at a time now to stay ahead of my survivor issues...for now.


cisna said...

Hi very nice site. I also know a lady and her little girl who is a pre-eclampsia survivor. It is very traumatic and I can just thank the LORD that I had my 2 babies without any trouble.

Anonymous said...

My baby just turned 1 on 12/12/2011. I understand so much what you are saying. I was diagnosed on November 28th, 2010. They kept me going with magnesium sulfate (god bless that stuff) and was able to prolong the birth until 34 weeks. Baby is doing great, no problems. Mama on the other hand is a mess. I felt like a failure at everything -- couldn't breastfeed, didn't have the nursery finished, and my postpartum depression is still lingering a year later. My blood pressure is still high and I can't shake the gloom of this time of year. I am hoping that it gets easier.

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