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Unfortunately It Happened to Me
A story about a
new mother's experiences with an extremely unusual form of
A month before
the birth of our child, I found it very difficult to do things, like
sit, walk lay down and to get up. I spoke to my obstetrician about
this and he advised that this was normal, that everyone is like this,
so I did not think any more of it. Then finally the day came. It was
the 21st of May at 12:30am when I started my first contraction. We did
not go to the hospital until 9am that morning as the contractions were
every 10 minutes apart, but I was able to handle them. When we got to
the hospital, we stayed in our room until 1pm, when they took us over
to the labour ward. There were some difficulties, so I had to have an
epidural, but finally on 22nd may (her due date) at 12:25am our
beautiful daughter was born. We went back to the ward at 2am and I
slept, as I felt exhausted.
I was up again at 11am and walking around, feeling proud of what we
had brought into the world, she was beautiful. At 2pm, I started to
experience a fair bit of pain when I tried to move and walk, but I
thought that this was a normal thing to be feeling after giving birth.
By 5pm that night, I was unable to walk at all and any slight movement
would send severe pain down my legs, even wriggling my toes caused
this. My husband notified the staff and they thought that it was just
some sciatic pain that people can experience after giving birth. But
that night, I knew it was more that that as the pain was horrendous, I
was not even able to move my toes, let alone my legs.
I deteriorated over night and this is when they knew that there could
be a problem. I had an MRI as they wanted to check that there was no
damage done with the epidural, this came back fine, mind you, it was a
terrible experience being moved onto the MRI table, I even blacked out
due to the pain, though the hospital staff appeared to think that I
may have been over reacting about the pain that I was feeling, as they
would not give me anything for it.
It wasnít for another few days until they put me on morphine, as the
pain was unbearable, and even then some of the nurses did not think I
was as bad as I was making out to be. I had every possible doctor and
specialist come in to see me, as well as physios, and no one could
explain what was wrong, but the physio though that it may be the sacro-iliac
joint causing problems, but the specialists did not agree. I then
started to get terrible spasm which would rip through my right leg,
all the way down to my toes, it look like waves in the ocean rippling
towards the sand.
Then, the head of pain management came in to see me as no one could
explain or understand what was wrong with me. He had to sedate me to
be able to x-ray my pelvis and leg as they thought that I might have
broken my pelvis giving birth. Apparently, I screamed out in pain
under sedation, which alarmed the pain management specialist, as there
should be no reaction to pain or movement under sedation. This is when
they transferred me to critical care, as the spasms were much worse.
This is where I spent the next four days. The critical care unit was
disgusted with my condition as I had not been cleaned properly in the
labour ward (this is due to me not being able to shower and the nurses
were giving me sponge baths) and I had not been to the toilet for 12
days (I had a catheter put in the labour ward as I was unable to get
up, even then they first made me try and sit on a bed pan which was
incredibly painful) and they wondered why I was not feeling like
eating anything. The critical care unit had to give me an enema under
sedation, which was degrading, so that I could clean out my system.
They also placed me on a drug that was so strong; someone has to sit
by my side telling me to breathe, as I would stop breathing. It was a
self-administering drug, that would release every 5 minutes, but
whenever I had a spasm, I would press the button, which seemed like
every thirty seconds. I do not remember much, only what friends and
family have told me, but one friend pulled back my bedding when she
watched my face and saw my heart rate go through the roof. She was
shocked at how my leg was rippling due to the intensity of the muscle
Eventually they made the spasms subside, and I was able to return back
to the ward where after a few more days, I had to try and move out of
bed and into a wheelchair, as I could not walk. When I returned to the
ward, the labour ward advised my husband that my daughter was to be
discharged, as she was not a paying patient, she was only 2 weeks old
and my husband was staying with me overnight for the whole duration of
my ordeal. My husband and family were disgusted by this and spoke with
the head of the hospital who advised that this was their decision and
that our daughter could remain in the hospital, but the nursing staff
would not look after her. This was another horrendous situation that
we did not need to deal with seeing as I was bed ridden. Basically,
the family was placed on a roster system to assist with looking after
our daughter while I was rehabilitating.
I had physios work with me every day, and after being in hospital for
one month, I was finally allowed home.
I was in a wheelchair for a further two months and had to have friends
and family stay with me all the time while my husband had to work, as
I was unable to walk due to the damage to my sacroiliac joint. I had
been diagnosed as having an extremely unusual form of sacroiliitis.
This was not fully determined though until after I left hospital and
had further x-rays done, as the x-rays done in hospital was
inconclusive as my bowels were full. I still donít understand why
these were not followed up. I then had to go to physio and
hydrotherapy for several months to build up my muscles, as there was
so much deterioration.
Eventually, I was able to use a walking frame for a further few months
until I was able to weight bear. Then, I had to use a walking stick,
as I was still very wobbly. So, after giving birth, I was not able to
walk unaided for five months.
I hate the fact that I do not remember anything for the first two
months due to the medication that they had me one, and for the fact
that I was not able to breast feed due to the medication, and for the
fact that I was also not allowed to hold my daughter due to the large
quantities of medication, but I am thankful for the beautiful daughter
that I have. We love her with all of our heart as all through this,
she did not scream once, cry once or even keep us awake. She is our
beautiful little angel who will always be so special to me, regardless
of what I went through. I would also like to sincerely thank my
husband, my family and friends (you know who you are) who stuck by me
and helped us through this very difficult time where others chose not
Inflammatory & Infectious