Tuesday, July 7, 2009


If you missed the beginning of this story, read this first.

To follow up on the story from yesterday...

After the egg-retrieval I spent two hours in the recovery room because my nurse's computer crashed. This made me VERY uncomfortable and unhappy. I just wanted to see my husband and get the report from the retrieval and go home. They finally released me, escorting me in a wheelchair to my car. And so the super fun-time OHSS party begins.

I began feeling very ill in the car. We only had a fifteen minute drive from the hospital to our house, but somewhere on the highway, I informed Kev that I was going to faint. And so I did. As he maneuvered the highway, he held my unconscious head in his hand, in an attempt to keep me sitting upright even though I had gone completely limp and fallen between the two front seats of our little SUV. As he later recalled the story to my sister, he said that people probably thought he was some kind of creep riding around I-35 holding on to a cadaver. I regained consciousness at some point, but don't remember the rest of the ride or our arrival at home. Somehow, Kev got me into my PJ's and brought me downstairs to lay on the couch - my new home for the next four days.

If I remember correctly, my sister and sister-in-law came to visit later that afternoon. I was already incredibly bloated by the evening, and walking from the couch to the bathroom was excruciating. As I walked, I was a slow, hunched-over, crying mess of a woman. The Darvocet prescription I was given did nothing to alleviate the pain. I was not in pain from the procedure - I was in pain because the excess fluid on my abdomen was crushing my organs.

Maybe now would be a good time to explain Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome for those of you who are fortunate enough to not have experience with it. OHSS may occur during or after a controlled ovarian stimulation for an IUI or IVF cycle. I have experienced OHSS twice - once during an IUI cycle which we were forced to cancel, and this time, which also caused us to cancel the fresh embryo transfer and postpone two months for a frozen embryo transfer. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Mild symptoms cause discomfort, while severe require hospitalization and have, in rare cases, caused death. Symptoms include collection of fluid in the abdominal cavity which causes bloating, shortness of breath, organ pain, possible organ failure, ovarian torsion, decreased urine, dehydration, dizziness, fainting, and vomiting. Here's a good article on the subject written by a woman who has experienced OHSS.

By Friday evening, I was bloated, dizzy, fainting, short of breath, had very little urine which was tea-colored, and in moderate pain. Saturday, my symptoms worsened and I was in so much pain from severe bloating that I could barely breathe, while movement was excruciating. I fainted every time I tried to walk somewhere. That evening, my symptoms were worrying me and I decided to phone the doctor on call. I described my symptoms and she said that as long as I was still urinating and not vomiting I would be okay. She told me to stay on the couch and only move to the bathroom with assistance. She called in another prescription for Darvocet and some nausea medication. Sunday, the pain subsided a bit and only hurt when I moved, as opposed to constant pain, even when at rest. I did, however, faint about six times.

Urination was painful and infrequent, but because I was urinating a little bit, I didn't think I was dehydrated. I was wrong. Very wrong. I wish someone would have described the symptoms better to either me or my husband. I would have gotten help by Saturday when I really needed it. Perhaps the hospitalization could have been avoided.

Monday morning, I woke up and took two bites of an English muffin with jelly and promptly vomited - violently. I took some nausea medication and slept for a few hours. When I awoke, I called the fertility clinic and told them about my morning, but also told them that I was feeling better. Once again, I was told that I would be okay. My embryo transfer was scheduled for Wednesday.

Kev brought me a delicious portabello sandwich for lunch at about 1:00. I was starving. I ate the whole thing. I took more nausea medication and went to sleep. Four hours later, I woke up and began vomiting violently. This time, it didn't stop. Thirty minutes into this frightening episode, I reached for the cordless phone and managed to dial Kev's office. Between retches, I begged him to come home and help me. He promptly left, but got stuck in traffic. Wonderful. When he finally got home, he called the doctor on call and she said that if the nausea subsided then I would need to take more of the nausea medicine. She said that I even needed to be woken up during the night to take it. She scheduled a visit to the clinic for the next morning, so Kev called my parents and asked them to come in to town to take me to my appointment since he had to work.

I woke up to vomit at 3:00 AM. I didn't stop. Kevin woke up at about 4:00 and asked me what the hell I was doing in the corner of the dark basement with my head in a trashcan. I told him I didn't want to wake anyone up, but that I had now been vomiting for over an hour. He called the doctor on call again and told her that I needed to go to the emergency room. Escorted by my mother and father, I carried my giant white trashcan to the car as I continued to vomit violently. I have never experienced such extreme nausea and pain. I wondered if it would ever end.

We got to the hospital at around 4:45. Thanks to the doctor on call, I was able to bypass emergency and be directly admitted - still puking into a mauve-colored plastic bucket - to the last room in the entire hospital. It was a double room, and my poor roommate had to listen to me vomit for hours. That's not to mention the poor man with whom I shared an elevator. I can only imagine what he must have been thinking when he heard my wailing and retching. At one point, I actually cried out to God to help me.

There's more. Lots more. I'll finish up this story tomorrow. Stay tuned.


Hope in Virginia said...

You poor thing!

'Murgdan' said...

Oooops...left comment on the wrong post. For my comment to this post...see the comment on your dancing post...which was much funnier and involved less suffering.


Allygator said...

OMG! How awful!!!! I hope you are feeling better!

armyadamsgirl said...

i am so sorry you went though that i am hoping the FET brings you the baby you so deserve

Mad Hatter said...

I am really sorry that you've gone through such a horrible and what must have been terrifying experience. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have recovered and are feeling much better. So glad that you have an adorable puppy on the way - our puppy just turned one year today and he has brought us so much joy. *HUG*

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