December 6, 2012

So here I am with a gallon biohazard jug and 16 pounds of ice...

24-hour urine collection day.  Thank God I'm off because don't see this really happening--successfully--while at work.  So today will be spent working on my group project for history class, working on the rest of my other homework, and collecting my own body fluids.

For those of you who aren't nurses or medical professionals, the goal of this collection is to determine how much protein, if any, that I am excreting via urine in a 24-hour period.  If I excrete 0.3g of protein or more, I may have preeclampsia.  They'll evaluate that plus my blood pressures before they give me an official diagnosis.

Hopefully, all of this is for nothing, that we'll find out that I only have gestational hypertension or--even better--the nursing student from yesterday was wrong about the high blood pressure reading in the first place, the weight gain is just the new little one's way of making up for lost time, and I really need to put the salt shaker down.  It still wouldn't explain the vision issues I've been having...but that could have a variety of other causes.

That being said, I did a little refresher reading up on preeclampsia because I believe in hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

Mild preeclampsia can be managed at home...the literature says bed rest and possibly medications.  I read that as "stop working" but that I don't have to chain myself to the bed 24/7 because the old little one still has needs that need to be met.

Moderate to severe may require I check myself in for more hands-on management by medical professionals.  The good news is that I am within 2 miles of a hospital--I could even walk it if I had to.  The bad news...because we're military, it's not my hospital.  I can use the local hospital for an emergency, but should we talk extended stay, the military will want me at their place.  Should it come to that, maybe I could negotiate being farmed out to the local hospital...but I'm not going to think about that yet.

If I were to have preeclampsia, the only cure for it is delivery.  I'm currently at 28 weeks:  if I were to give birth today, it wouldn't be great.  The kid would have a fair shot at life, but there's way too many risks that he a.  wouldn't make it or b.  would have developmental issues from being born so early.  The goal according to the literature would be to get me and little one to at least 32 weeks.  Going longer that that would be far better--they would try to get me to go as far towards 40 weeks as we could.  But at least at 32 weeks, his odds of survival without issues are much better.  Also, they can prep him to mature his lungs.

Again, not really going to think about that yet either.

Ended up going in yesterday for half a day, for admissions and to orient a new nurse.  Patients are commenting that the baby belly has really popped out of nowhere.  Staff keep bring me pretzels and peanut butter cups.

Going to have some coffee, get to homework, and try not to think about sausage and egg sandwiches...because I've been craving them lately, and I'm trying to watch the sodium intake.


Medic2RN said...

When I was working in the ICU, 24 hour urine collections were my least favorite thing to do.
It goes without saying, I hope that you do not have pre-eclampsia.
Best wishes your way....

Meriwhen said...

I tell you, I will never take peeing for granted ever again. I actually toughed it out all night because I didn't want to attempt filling the container while half-groggy at 3am.