My Week from Hell, Literally...
As some of you may have been wondering why I haven't posted all week and have been virtually missing
from my social media channels. It's a long story, but I think it's important to tell. If you have about 10 minutes, you can follow along. I will set a warning that there may be graphic descriptions. Onward....
About 2 weeks ago I started to have pain in my left breast. I knew exactly what it was because it has happened 3 times before! The first time scared me pretty bad, but I knew it was something to do with breastfeeding since I had just finished about 3 months prior. An antibiotic cleared it up and I was on my way. The 2nd and 3rd times scared me even more because they were about a year apart and I knew they had nothing to do with milk ducts. Each time my breast got red, swelled up to about twice the size and had a hard lump. I mean, that would scare anyone. Each time they were treated with antibiotics and each time I had to go with a double course since the first round didn't work.
Fast forward to about three weeks ago. I was in Florida, we were getting ready to go home and I felt a pain in my breast. I thought it was from wearing a bathing suit and doing all those swimmy things so I didn't even think twice. In hindsight, I should have know! I left Sunday night and by Wednesday morning, it was twice it's size, hot, and had a gold ball sized lump. I called my doctor and he said to come in on Friday. By the time I saw him, it was very (I mean the worst pain I have ever been in) painful. It had swelled to about it's max and the lump was the size of a small pancake. The doctor gave me a Z-pak and sent me on my way.
Well, Tuesday rolled around and I was in so pain that I was crying. I am usually a tough girl. If you ask my friends or family for me to cry, it has to be really bad. The lump took up almost half my breast and was rock hard. I had one inflamed lymph node and just overall miserable.I called my doctor and he said he really wanted me to wait until Thursday to see if the anti-biotics would run its course. THURSDAY?? I tried to convey the fact that nothing is getting better and it was getting worse. Nothing... Finally I called the next day and I found out the doctor I was seeing went on vacation. Really?!? Did he even care about my issue? Probably not. Because of that, I will be requesting to NOT see that doctor ever again (my usual doctor was out of the office when I first went in). When I talked to the nurse, I insisted on some kind of pain medication. They said yes, but I had to come in since they couldn't give narcotics scripts over the phone. I said fine because I needed something stronger than 800mgs of Ibuprofen.
Thursday, the next day, I went in. The nurse was awesome! She gave me the script and asked if I wanted the doctor to look at the now infant-sized lump. I gladly agreed. She said she could rearrange the schedule and fit me back in around noon. I went to go to the pharmacy to fill my script and I got a phone call. It was the breast surgeon that said she had an opening at 11am if I could turn around and come back. I did... I sped all the way back. I was in desperate need to some type of relief. I got back and they took me in the back right away.
The breast surgeon came in and took one look at me and said, "yup, let's do this right here and now". Whaaaaat?!?! Yes, she was going to do an outpatient little ditty right in the office. She told me that if she didn't do it there, the infection was eventually going to make it's way out of some part of the skin on my breast. So, she tried to numb me. She did tell me it probably wasn't going to work since there was so much infection. She was right. It didn't work. I felt everything! I felt her cut and I felt (what felt like 5 gallons) all of the infection pour down the side of my body.
I felt immediate relief! It was like a water balloon that was filled to the max and about to burst any moment. My breast started to regain color. The next 2 minutes were extremely painful as she squeeze the infection out and then packed the wound with gauze. She diagnosed me with periductal mastitis and took a couple swabs for further testing. Fast forward to today... I am almost a week out from my procedure and besides the gaping hole in my breast, I am feeling so much better. My sister, who works in a hospital, does my wound packing and checks for infection every day. BTW she is 9 months pregnant. Yes... that is a great sister. I go back on Thursday to see what the next step is but I have a feeling it it positive. The only downfall is that I can't work out for 2 months. You know I am a spin freak so this is going to kill me. I am already planning on possibly walking around the track for my gym hour. Something to keep me in shape.
So, please, please, please for the love of the lord listen to your body. Get to know your body. recognize when something is wrong and seek help right away. If your doctor isn't listening to you, insist... Insist until someone listens to you. I know this isn't my typical post, but I thought it was important to tell this story. We are all strong women and we have this little magical instinct. We know when something is off. Act on it! Trust yourself and be strong about your needs.