As I headed out to work on a cold and rainy morning, my gas light turned on. I had willed my car to just take me to work with the promise of stopping and giving her gas when I was on my way home, and it was warmer. Well, she did get me to work…but decided to throw a temper tantrum on the way home and stop working. (I was two minutes from a gas station!!!) Thankfully, my honey worked close and, surely didn’t mind leaving an important work luncheon to come help his pregnant Love in distress all because I was too stubborn to get out in the cold and pump gas.
What I didn’t realize at the time this happened is that it would be my last day of work. For four days following this photo, I had severe shortness of breath with exertion and weakness, especially in my legs. I could barely walk and I was extremely fatigued. It felt like the beginnings of a major Transverse Myelitis flare up, and it was.
On day four, I took a trip to the Emergency Room. I had numerous tests completeded, including a chest CT to rule out a pneumothorax (I had a bilateral pneumo back in September). After consulting the neuro team, the ER doc came back to me and told me I was having a flare up and “Expect to have a very difficult rest of your pregnancy.” He advised that I should be doing minimal activity since my body was obviously having a hard time keeping up with my pregnancy.
Bedrest?! Was this guy nuts?! I still have 3 months to go and four kids to try to keep up with! Ugh, not what I wanted to hear. The first 24 weeks of my pregnancy had gone so smoothly (considering). I had hoped that TM was giving me a break but, alas, not so much. I’ve also learned very quickly, since my little ER trip, that listening to my body is a MUST. Pushing myself leads to nights of tears and my dear honey having to dead lift me in and out of the bathtub, off the toilet, and out of bed.
At this point some, or many, of you might be in the same boat that I am. We’re thinking, “Well crap…What do we do now?!” Well, here’s a few things for starters ( I am working on following my own advice. Nobody ask my BFF or my neighbor how successful I’ve been!)
- While bedrest used to be commonly recommended for pregnant women, it’s not anymore. So, if your doctor is recommending, or insisting, that you go on bedrest, LISTEN.
- Watch what you eat! I already wasn’t getting much exercise to begin with and now I’m almost completely sedentary. This means I’m at a higher risk of gestational diabetes and extra weight gain. Before this, I was giving into more than the occasional craving for sugary snacks. Now I’m being very vigilant about eating foods that don’t have a bunch of sugar in them because I know I’m not burning any of it off!
- Acceptance – Oh this is a hard one for use fighters isn’t it?! Having a chronic illness means being a warrior of our affliction and we are used to fighting tooth and nail to keep our independence. BUT, as we should be doing anyways, it’s so very important to listen to our bodies. Find some good books to read, take up crochet, and binge watch Netflix. Enjoy the downtime now because in a couple of months, you won’t have any!