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Old 04-05-2007, 08:05 AM   #1
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What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

I'm 24 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and have been having a lot of unexplained health challenges during this pregnancy. Prior to this, I have been perfectly healthy, rarely get sick other than a sinus issue when the weather changes drastically in the spring/fall. I've never had an major illnesses or anything, and my family is all relatively healthy as well. My OB says my symptoms are not normal pregnancy stuff and referred me to an Internist with a specialty in cardiology, who ran all sorts of blood tests, heart tests, etc., referred me to another endocrinologist, a pulmonologist, etc. I have been tested for everything from gestational diabetes, low blood sugar, anemia, Graves disease and Hashimotos (I have antibodies but my thyroid labs are in the normal range now and my symptoms aren't and never were thyroid-related, accoring to 3 independent endocrinologists now), Addison's disease, adrenal problems, cardiomyopathy, low blood pressure (I do have low blood pressure, but my symptoms are unrelated to that and it's not low enough to be causing issues), and 10,000 other tests that I haven't a clue about. Everything has come back normal and I look fantastic on paper. The docs have no idea what's wrong with me and are out of ideas on what to do at this point, but are fairly confident that it will all go away once the baby's born (not due until the end of July).

In the meantime, I have been progressively getting worse and feel like I'm 70-85% dead every single day now, particularly since taking a turn for the worse last week. I have been forcing myself to only do the things that are critical, which is basically taking care of myself and my 2-year-old on a daily basis and going to doctor's appointment after doctor's appointment trying to figure out what's wrong with me, only to have them look at me like they're on Candid Camera or something because my symptoms are so bizarre and no one's ever heard of anything like this. All of the docs are stumped, no one can solve the problem, I can't seem to manage this thing on my own very well anymore, and no matter what I do or don't do, I'm still progressively getting worse.

I feel like I'm in a no-win situation with DH, who won't even talk about this whole mess with me or what to do about it. Basically, I am at the end of the line with trying to SOLVE the problem and feel like my only alternative is bedrest (I'm not even sure what exactly that means), but I'm a stay-at-home-mom and that will be a HUGE upset and inconvenience to my entire family, so I'm trying to keep that as a last resort, but I feel like I'm about there now. I'm not able to think very clearly anymore (I'm usually the problem-solver of the family), and DH refuses to admit that I even have a health problem, let alone what our options are for dealing with it, other than "drink more OJ...take more vitamins...don't do so much" all of which I've been doing for months now and aren't making things any better (nor does it make me feel any better that he's poo-pooing the fact that I feel like I'm 70-85% dead every single day, which that in and of itself frustrates me to no end, in addition to his attitude towards it). He's mad at me for even thinking about bedrest (as if I'm going on a voluntary "vacation" or looking for an excuse to be lazy), but healthwise, I just can't seem to manage taking care of myself and DD (2) right now (I live for her and it kills me to think that I CAN'T take care of her right now) and am still getting worse, despite my best efforts to consciously do NOTHING that isn't critical.

I left a message for the Internist, who's already told me after the last referral that he's "fishing" now and out of suggestions. I also left a message for my OB, but honestly, I would assume she'll just put me on bedrest (DH will probably be really mad at me for even calling her, but he won't talk to me about it, I feel like I'm dying and can't think straight anymore, so I need SOMEONE logical to help me figure out my options from here - DH won't talk about it!).

I don't expect anyone here to be able to solve my health problem, but what I'm looking for are suggestions for possible ways to avoid or minimize the impact of bedrest (what exactly does that mean anyway?), which would be a HUGE upset and inconvenience to my entire family. I'm a stay-at-home mom with a 12-year-old and a 2-year-old. My mom lives 45 minutes away, but my dad works from home, so they'll take my kids on occasion but can't take them every day, plus I have difficulty getting out of bed to even get DD2 out of bed most days, which has been challenging. I asked them to take the girls overnight for 2 consecutive nights next week (spring break) to see if I can just take care of myself for a couple days (DH was a little upset about that because he doesn't like it when my kids are over there - my mom isn't the greatest at actually watching DD2 who gets into everything). We are a single income family, so DH taking off work to deal with all of this is not an option, plus we really need him to save his time off for when the baby's born (end of July due date). I feel like I'm out of options and can't think clearly, and DH won't face the fact that I can't seem to manage this on my own anymore like I've been trying hard to do over the past several months. Any suggestions?

For anyone who's been on bedrest, what exactly does that mean? I only briefly talked about it with my OB, but at that time, we thought it best to try to consider all of the possible ways to solve the problem to avoid that scenario. She mentioned something about the hospital and my insurance, but I was confident that it could be easily solved and I could manage on my own at that point, so I didn't want to talk about it. Would I have to be in the hospital, but if not, I would assume I'd need someone to take care of me at home if I can't get out of bed, come downstairs, or take care of myself, right?

 
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

well unless the kid is gonna fall out of you or you are at major risk of having a premie, then you wouldnt need some one to take care of you, but you would need to take it easy... and you would need to see if friends and family can help you with your dd.

im supposed to be on bedrest, im 28 weeks tomarrow and this baby is expected to be a premie and its due to a surgery i had 2 months prior to this pregnancy... i was told at first to just relax, and try to have your feet up as much as possable. and to not be runnin all over all the time. now im suposed to be on full bed rest, staying in the house, keeping my feet up and staying in bed as much as possable. i say supposed to be, though i have a 4 year old autistic-adhd son, so its pointless

im sure if your doctor puts ou on bedrest, then it will be light bedrest. the relax and take things easy one, you most likely wont be stuck in bed. i do want to remind you that each pregnancy is harder than the last, and while you may feel like your almost dead, it may just be you need to take naps and go to bed early... this is my third and im often more confused and lose things easyer, and am alot more tired... good luck to you.

 
Old 04-05-2007, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

I wish it were just normal pregnancy stuff, but it goes well beyond that. I have been taking it easy and ONLY taking care of myself and DD for a couple months now and letting everything go that's not critical. DH is doing the grocery shopping, errands, cooking dinner, etc. DD12 is doing the laundry and helping out with DD2, housework and miscellaneous stuff around the house. I've been trying to go to bed early, take naps whenever possible, and rest when I'm not sleepy. I've put myself on a "light" bedrest in an attempt to avoid actual doctor-ordered bedrest but am still progressively getting worse and am having a difficult time taking care of myself even, let alone DD. I am winded and feel like I'm going to collapse if I stand long enough to peel an orange or walk a few steps (since the first trimester, so it's not pressure from the baby). I feel like I'm constantly working against an energy "deficit" and paying for energy I already expended days/weeks ago with zero left over for today when I wake up in the morning, and it goes downhill from there.

Last Wednesday, I had a new doctor's appointment and parked a ways away from where I needed to be. I had a 5-10 minute walk, which I took slowly. I was a little winded when I got there and my blood pressure was up slightly, but I was relatively okay then. That evening, I was a little more worn out than "normal" but not too bad off. The next morning I woke up feeling like I got hit by a mack truck and didn't have the strength/energy to even get out of bed. By late afternoon, I was extremely winded and couldn't catch my breath like I had just finished running a marathon. Ironically, I didn't do ANYTHING all day, and was forcing myself to sit down and relax for a good 20 minutes before the episode came on. Even after lying down for 45 minutes, I was still just as out of breath and thought for sure I was going to die that night - from a 5-10 minute slow walk THE DAY BEFORE. It's so bizarre! I couldn't physically get up to even take my DD12 to her choir concert that we've been looking forward to for months (in 12 years, I've NEVER missed a major event in her life!). I had to seriously contemplate going to the ER but got talked out of it because I'd end up on bedrest in the hospital sooner, which would be a huge inconvenience for everyone. I have been even more winded, worn out, etc. since then. I even wake up winded and out of breath in the middle of the night several times a night now like I've been running a marathon in my sleep! It's difficult to sleep or take naps being even more winded than "normal" for the past week, so now I'm dealing with the headache and effects of not sleeping well on top of everything else that's been going on, and now I feel like I can't even think straight. On Sunday, I felt so bad I couldn't even get out of bed to go to the bathroom until after noon when I had to roll out of bed and crawl there.

I wish this was all just normal pregnancy "just take it easy" stuff. When I say I feel 70-85% dead every day, I mean, I feel like if I expend ANY energy (even just getting up to get DD a glass of milk), I feel like I'm going to collapse and suffocate to death. It goes well beyond just being more tired and worn out from a 3rd pregnancy. That's why I feel like I'm to the point where it's getting increasingly difficult to take care of myself, let alone DD2. I can't walk to the fridge or even pick up a gallon of milk without feeling like I'm going to die, let alone walk back to the table, and every little thing I do gets compounded.

Every doctor I go to looks at me as if I'm absolutely crazy. They've never heard of a delayed reaction energy "deficit." Well, neither have I but it's very real and kicking my butt. Even the pulmonologist (lung specialist) who deals with breathing issues every day said he's stumped and was secretly looking around for the Candid Camera. My OB says it's definitely not normal pregnancy stuff and she's never heard of it either, and she has been dealing with pregnant women for years. At this point, everyone's baffled and I'm out of options for actually solving the problem, and am trying to weigh my options for managing the problem that I just can't seem to get under control, despite my efforts to not do anything critical. We're all assuming it's some bizarre pregnancy-induced thing that will go away afterwards (it has to or I'll surely die with sleep-deprivation and caring for a newborn in addition to these challenges).

I don't know what to do anymore. All of our friends either have 3 young kids of their own or work full-time, so there isn't anyone who can help me out during the day besides my mom, but my dad works from home, so I hate asking her for too much. Watching DD over at my house would be a big inconvenience to her, but would be more ideal for me, since driving to my mom's and back (about 45 minutes each eay) takes a toll on me. I haven't asked her for much other than watching DD for doctor's appointments and for 2 nights next week (she wasn't thrilled with that but reluctantly is checking her schedule to see if she can work it in because she knows I'm not well). I don't really even know what specifically I need, so I don't know what to ask. I can't seem to think clearly and DH won't talk about it with me.

 
Old 04-05-2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Sorry to be so long-winded (isn't that ironic?!). I forgot to add that the pregnancy itself and the baby seem to be fine, so there's no threat of the baby "falling out" or anything, which is why my OB has been letting me do my own thing to try to get it under control. I just feel like I'm going to collapse and die. As long as that doesn't happen, the baby should be fine...LOL!

 
Old 04-05-2007, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

jmcummins - Have they done a 24 hour urinalysis and/or a sonogram of your kidneys, liver, and adrenal glands?

 
Old 04-05-2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

I've read that it is no uncommon to be really tired during your second trimester, although yours does seem quite extreme. I have been exhausted and am awaiting my 3rd child. I'm 32 weeks along and have been beyond tired since 2003 At one point my doctor thought it was an iron deficiency. have you been checked for that or possibly for depression? I did read that it could cause the types of symptoms you've been dealing with. I know how frustrating it can be. Although the fatigue hasn't been my main issue, it's been hard dealing with what's going on and trying to raise your other children as well. Good luck and I hope you are able to solve this problem soon!!

 
Old 04-05-2007, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Hi there J , well iv'e just read your post and am really sorry that your'e going through this right now . Im sure that your docs have checked everything that they think they should check by this stage , but im just wondering if you've ever heard of a condition called M.E ??? I'm from Britain and i know that before i left there (around 2 1/2 years ago , to come to Canada) they were doing research on this , but the majority of Proffesionals , doctors ,specialists etc etc, where not giving this condition the time of day , saying that it's all in the mind and it wasn't actually a real disease!! The symptoms of this are almost exactly what you are describing along with a sort of depression . I actually have a friend who has this and has had it for years , she was a healthy outgoing 25 year old , and then all of a sudden , she couldn't get out of bed , had NO energy to speak of and just felt all together terrible , she is only now getting the treatment she needs after years of her family fighting with her doctor !!But her life is very limited now and she is not even half of the person she used to be . I don't know if it could be this and i dont want to scare you but , do a little research for yourself and see what you think .
Also , on a more personal level ......honey ,you really need to start getting a wee bit angry at DH for not recognising the state you are in and refusing to talk about it !!! You are obviously sick , you know that ,and he does too , and i think this should definately be taken a lot more seriously by him and .. maybe .. your doctors . DEMAND that this is what is happening to you and you need help , even if all the checks on the baby are fine , this is still not good for you both . I feel really bad for the situation you are in , and it doesn't sound like you have much support around you. I know you have responsibilities but it does sound to me that you DO need a few days bedrest , complete bedrest , which means , STAY THERE !!!!! Move the tv in , get books , mags and shut the world out and think about you and baby for now . I only wish i could come and take the load off for you to do this hun !! Hope you find an answer to this and take care of yourself and that wee one

 
Old 04-05-2007, 03:05 PM   #8
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Jaxie - what does M.E. stand for?

srivera - no I don't think they've run a 24-hour urinalysis and they haven't done any sonograms, except on my heart and on the baby. They check my urine at the OB's office every time, and they checked my cortisol levels, but I think that's it with the kidneys and adrenal glands. I don't know what liver tests, if any, were run.

I wasn't at all depressed before this, but I can tell you it's been quite difficult emotionally dealing with not feeling well day in and day out for the past several months, especially with 3 1/2 more months to go before the baby's due. Today, I talked to my Internist who said he's officially out of options now and referred me back to my OB for options on how to manage it since he's not going to be able to solve it for me. I left a message for her but haven't heard back from her yet. That was a huge blow. I'm trying to stay focused on how much we want this baby and how much I love my kids and family, and that helps most days. I love my life, and I WANT IT BACK!

 
Old 04-05-2007, 03:24 PM   #9
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Do you have any pain? Kind of all over? Sensitive skin to pain, like things that normally would not hurt you begin to hurt, like light pressure? and/or joint pain?

Do you have flu like type symptoms at all?

 
Old 04-05-2007, 03:49 PM   #10
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Hi there J ,

M.E stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome .
I don't really know much else about it :, what causes it , who it can happen to etc etc , but there will be a tonne of info on the net about it , it's worth a look , im sorry if iv'e scared you but i just want you to get some answers and like i said before , they were researching it in Britain , and since iv'e came here ,iv'e never heard about it or anyone talking about it, so i don't know if its even came up yet here as an issue ??? Not sure ........but punch in one of the above titles for it and there should be a load of stuff for you to compare your symptoms to . I hope this helps ,if not i hope you find a solution so that you can get back to normal .
Take care and keep us posted
xxxxxx

Last edited by jaxie 77; 04-05-2007 at 03:50 PM.

 
Old 04-05-2007, 04:07 PM   #11
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

I think Jaxie and I are on the same page with CFS.

 
Old 04-05-2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Thanks! I'll check that out and see!

srivera - I haven't really had any pain, but some of my joints recently started aching. I assumed that was pregnancy stuff. I had a cold for 6-7 weeks between Thanksgiving and mid-January, just before all of the thyroid stuff came about (via bloodwork, my symptoms apparenly never were thyroid-related). I never actually felt well after the cold symptoms went away, so I've pretty much been sick since a few weeks after we found out I'm pregnant.

My sister-in-law mentioned the breathing thing might be anxiety. I don't have a lot of stress in my life, but this illness has caused tention in my family (the novelty of helping "mom" has long since worn off), plus the worry of possible hospitalized bedrest and someone else taking care of DD(2) has been something I've been trying to ignore. Not to mention the normal fears/stress of the thought of adding sleep-deprivation and a newborn (I'm trying not to even consider the possibility of this hanging around after the baby's born). I didn't think I was really stressed out or anxious about it, but I have been more upset and frustrated by this whole thing lately and the breathing thing has gotten worse in the last several weeks. It just seems odd that it would get really bad the day after I expended the energy of walking for 5-10 minutes, when I'm also dealing with a delayed reaction energy "deficit" that's very bizarre and seems to be related. I've been more frustrated than worried/nervous/anxious, but I guess it could be anything at this point.

 
Old 04-05-2007, 06:06 PM   #13
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Oh my God, CFS sounds like it! Thank you, thank you! I have to say from the few things I read on the CDC website, I really hate the idea of that diagnosis and the fact that, if that's it, it won't go away after the baby's born. But, I feel "justified" that I'm not crazy in trying to explain my debilitating bizarre symptoms of sleep not replenishing my energy and no longer getting a fresh start each morning ("unrefreshing sleep"), and the delayed reaction energy deficit where I feel like I'm continually paying for energy I used days/weeks ago ("postexertional malaise").

But, now I'm freaked out by the possibility of a long-term illness where I won't get my life back, and dealing with sleep-deprivation and a newborn when I can barely do ANYTHING anymore.

Whom should I call to check into it more? The Internist told me he's never heard of that (my bizarre symptoms, not CFS specifically). Should I call him and mention it (he's ruled out everything under the sun and told me has no clue anymore) or look for a new Internist or some other doc?

 
Old 04-05-2007, 06:07 PM   #14
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

I don't think anyone answered your bedrest question. I agree with the CFS or depression/anxiety diag. I have anxiety and had some minor depression, so I felt similar to you upon wakening daily before I got preg.

Bedrest ( I had it when I was preg for DD, now 3, due to preeclampsia), is usually when they tell you to relax in a recliner, couch or bed for the day. You can get up to go to the bathroom and to shower and fix yourself a lite meal. Nothing major. That is what I was on for bedrest. It is different if they hospitalize you, but I am guessing they would only do that if the baby was at risk. Good luck. I will pray for you. This sounds rough and tough, and I know how hard it is to have a little one at home. I think being tired is normal when you have a little one at home and are preg. That could be a big part of it too. When I first got preg, I thought that I had diabetes, b/c I was so tired I could barely function. I found out I was preg and was like "oh!" Then I took it easy and rested. I am still tired and worn, but plug on, knowing that in 19 weeks, I will have a baby to care for, and hopefully will be tired b/c of caring for a newborn and a 3 year old. My thoughts and prayers are with you, maybe you could consult a therapist. It couldn't hurt!

 
Old 04-05-2007, 06:16 PM   #15
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Re: What should I do? Bedrest alternatives?

Sounds like CFS or Anemia. There are a few types of anemia I would do some research on that. Also have you heard about mirror syndrome? Try looking that up.

 
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