My husband called an ambulance and I waited on our couch downstairs while shaking out right arm. It was still a bit tingly but after a few minuets it felt back to normal. A moment later really tall paramedics & firemen. I don’t know why I remember them being so tall, they were like giants. Being that I’m only 5’4 everyone taller than me are giants. We have a light fixture chandelier in our front room and they kept having to duck out-of-the-way as they were asking me questions. I guess I should have been worried about what was going on but I felt just fine. They were taking my blood pressure and it was really high. About 180 or 190 over something. (I wish I could remember) But I do remember them saying her BP is high we need to get her going. I’ve never had issues with my BP. It’s always been a healthy number. I didn’t feel any different either.
As my blood pressure was being taken my 10-year-old came downstairs. There was no need to have my boys feel panicked so we kept it is normal as possible. As he walked down the stairs and saw lots of strangers hovered around me, he clearly didn’t care because he looked at his dad and said “Dad, can I have a Popsicle?” and proceeded to walk into the kitchen. Ha!
One of the paramedics wheeled in the gurney and asked me to get on it. I said “Really? Can’t I just walk? I’m feeling fine.” He said no and I sat down and he started to buckle me in. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my boys but a popsicle was clearly more important than “Where is mom going?” and I was glad about that.
That morning our street was closed off because they were repaving our block. Which they had already done by 7 am. They gave everyone notice to move their cars the night before. Well if you’re wondering where the ambulance parked it was right in front of our house! They didn’t care, they busted through that street tape and parked right in front of leaving tire tracks and all. I can still see them on the pavement to this day. SORRY NEIGHBORS!
As he wheeled me outside and down the driveway the hot summer air blasted this pregnant girl almost taking my breath away. Yuck. It was hot outside but it was at least cool inside the ambulance. It was my first time in one.
Inside the ambulance the paramedic started to put an IV into my hand as we started to drive and all I could think was “Don’t you want to do that when we are parked?” but clearly he knows what he’s doing. The driver turned on the radio and was rocking Aerosmith. And I was just fine with that! The paramedic was really nice and started asking me questions of what happened and I started laughing. As we drove the 5 minuet drive to Summerlin Hospital he didn’t use a siren and stopped at every red light. As we got close to the hospital I started to tear up. Not because I thought there was something really wrong with me or the baby, I was of course concerned about that, but all I could think of was “What is this going to cost in medical bills?”
When we got to the hospital I knew my husband was going to be there soon. He had my step father, who lives a few minuets away come and pick up my boys. They took me up to labor and delivery where I said thanks & goodbye to the paramedics. They took me back into a room where there were about 4 curtain dividers with other women hooked up to monitoring machines. I then proceeded to change into a gown and get hooked up to a fetal monitor. My blood pressure was back to normal and everything looked good with the baby. My husband arrived andI started to talk about the cost of all of this, my husband quickly said “It doesn’t matter, it could cost a million dollars for all I care and don’t worry about that now. We will figure it out later.” It did make me feel better.
The doctors asked many questions in the many hours I was there. When describing my 20 minuet episode the doctor thought it was best to do an MRI for me and an ultrasound for the baby to see if there was anything going on. He also mentioned since I was pregnant they probably were not going to do an MRI with contrast because it would be bad for the baby.
The time came to be wheeled down stair where I waited for my turn in the MRI machine. I’ve never had an MRI done before but I’ve seen many done while watching the T.V show Greys Anatomy. They wheeled me in and put me up on the table. The technician was a really nice lady and explained how it was going to work. She said it would be loud int here so she handed me ear plugs and put the headphones over my ears. She helped me lay back and put this white covering over my head. I started to stress out. I immediately felt claustrophobic. The music that was on was some piano classical music but it was muffled through the ear plugs. I told her, probably loudly since I could not really hear. “THE MUSIC IS CREEPING ME OUT, IT SOUNDS LIKE AN EPISODE FROM LOST!” I told her I didn’t want the music and she took off the white covering from my head and removed the earphones. She then laughed and told me she was going to leave the room and we were going to get started.
As the table slowly went into the machine I started to panic. Maybe it was being that I was 6 months pregnant and you’re not supposed to lay flat on your back, I had a hard time breathing. I didn’t like the fact I could not move my head and I had to lay as still as possible. I fidget anyways and since I was told to lay still, I wanted to move more because of it. As soon as I was inside the machine she left the room and turned it on. I heard banging and loud noises which she explained to me and I began to yell “I’m panicking, I’m PANICKING, I’M PANICKING!!!!!!!” She immediately turned off the machine and ran into the room to get me out. She helped me sit up where I began to laugh and apologize. I asked her if this happens a lot and she said more than you know, don’t feel bad! We tried to get me in the machine 3 more time and each time I freaked out. She even brought my husband in to see if it would help calm me down. Um, no. At that point she decided maybe I needed a break and that I should go down the hall to do my ultra sound and she would put in an order for Ativan to help calm me down during the MRI.
I didn’t like the thought of being drugged up or whatever. I’ve never had Ativan so I didn’t know what to expect and that worried me but they said it was ok being pregnant. So I agreed. A nurse came in and administered the Ativan in my IV and it just made me feel more calm and a little sleepy thankfully. After the ultrasound of the baby was done they wheeled me back into the MRI room and got me up on the table. I decided to keep the ear plugs out, no music and she sad that maybe putting a mirror on the white head-piece would also help so I could see out and not feel so claustrophobic. I said that would be great and she also allowed my husband to stay in the room. What’s a little radiation between partners? I like to know how long things will take and she told me about 10-15 minuets and that she would tell me when we were half way though and when we were almost done etc.
OK… I can do this. Big deep breath. Lets go….
As I entered into the MRI machine I was a little panicky but my husband held my hand and I could see out with the mirror attachment. It was loud with banging noises and I didn’t mind. I liked the distraction. Everytime I started to panic I kept telling myself it was almost over. I also used my ear plugs like you do with a stress ball. Halfway through the Ativan started to ware off. Drugs in my system flush out really fast, which I’m told is a good thing. But hello! It’s not good now! Right then the tech came over the loud-speaker and told me I was almost done and I mentally tried to keep myself calm and still. I knew if I moved or started to panic I’d have to start all over again and OMG I did not want to do that.
I DID IT!
Back upstairs in labor and delivery the doctor has a chance to look at the ultrasound & MRI results. He came in and told us that the baby looks awesome and there was nothing to worry about there. Howe ever, I had a small bleed in the left upper part of my brain. And because I was pregnant they could not do any further testing to see if there was any other issues. They were not sure exactly what caused it. It could have been that I was really stressed out and my spike in blood pressure caused the bleed or something else. They were just uncertain. Since Summerlin hospital didn’t have a Neuro department they suggested that I be transferred to Spring Valley hospital about 20 minuets away. So back in the ambulance we went!
To be continued…