Monday, August 10, 2015

31 weeks

L-8 weeks to go!

I've had some off and on itching since my belly started expanding, but it has all been limited to my belly, around the stretch marks.  Last week, the itching started getting worse: back, hips, legs, arms.  I've been scratching like I'm trying to get my skin off! 
My guess is that it is PUPPP; that being said, I see Dr. B. in a week for my 32 week appointment and, since I plan to ask him to draw an LFT and SBAT to rule out Gestational Cholestasis.  Peter's mom brought me a cooling, anti itch gel that works for a few hours, but camphor (the active ingredient) is contraindicated in pregnancy.  Recommendations for helping the itch were Sarna lotion and Redmond Clay.  The Sarna has ingredients that are contraindicated in pregnancy and I have yet to find the clay.  I did find a Gold Bond oatmeal lotion that I'm alternating with the CVS brand eczema cream.   Peter's lathered this on multiple times a day over the weekend and, although it still hurts, it is getting better.  I had to skip church on Sunday just because I was so uncomfortable.  :(  Honestly, at this point, I think I'd run around naked around the block if it meant getting the itching and irritation to go away!

UPDATE (4pm): So, I spoke with Dr B, who called in a favor to a Dermatologist friend and that doc got me in for an appointment this afternoon.  You know it isn't good when the doctor looks at your back and says "O my God!  That is.... wow."  She said it was quite impressive (not what you want to hear!) and that she was amazed I'd lasted all weekend.  (Me too, sister.)  She said it looks like a reaction to something; her guess, based on when it started, is that it happened at the spa I visited last week for a prenatal massage.  It wasn't my normal spa (I had a gift there), which I've gone to for years without issue.  She said it could have been as simple as the oil the used or (YUCK) something that was on the therapist's hand.  (I sure hope not).  The massage was only back and glutes (through a sheet) so it makes sense that the area impacted by the rash was my back and not anything else, except in isolated spots that she said didn't look like the same thing and are probably pregnancy (or mosquito!) related.  She prescribed a pricey but safe for pregnancy, class 1 topical steroid and said that, by Friday, I should start to see improvement with it clearing completely in 2 weeks or so.  If it isn't better by Friday, then we will have to pull out some not-so-pregnancy friendly oral steroids, which I really, really want to avoid. 

I want to cry, honestly.  If I estimate the cost of the doctor's visit, plus the cost of the prescription and the lotions I bought over the weekend to try and mitigate the pain, my guess is $250 or more.  Not to mention, Peter took the time off to drive me to the doctor (near my OB, so 45 minutes away) because I cant drive (I can twist or turn because of the pain and tenderness.)  I did send the spa an email, explaining the situation (but not blaming them) and asking for the type of oil, etc, that was used so that, in the event this doesn't clear up, I can at least tell the doctor what was put on my skin.  And, for the future, I'll be sticking with the spa that I know, no matter what.

My only issue thus far in pregnancy (other than tiredness) has been Gestational Thrombocytopenia.  When I was initially pregnant with Nicholas and Sophia, my platelets were measured around 11 weeks and came in at 150,000/μL, which is the lowest of normal.  Each pregnancy has dropped my counts, coming in around 110,000/μL with Michael.  For this baby, the highest has been 112,000/μL but because Dr. B. anticipates them dropping more, we have discussed different options.  Right now, I'm taking papaya extract and papaya leaf tincture, in addition to papaya leaf tea, in an effort to boost my platelets naturally.  (One word: NASTY.  I don't like papaya anyway but this stuff is gross.)  While ingesting these isn't my favorite part of the day, it's better than the alternative.  The plan is have my blood checked at 32w then again at 36w.  If my platelets are still above 105,000μL, then we'll check again at 38w and prior to delivery; if all is well, then no worries.  If they are below, that, then I'll have a dose of corticosteroids and a retest at 37w with another dose and retest at 38w.  If that doesn't raise or stabilize, then we'll move on to an IVIg infusion at 38w,and then prior to delivery.  So, fingers crossed, the papaya is going to do its job!  While research is still being done, it looks like the possibilities of platelet increase are very positive, so I'm saying a few extra prayers and downing the nasty!  Nettles and alfalfa are other natural treatments for low platelets, so I may add a cup or two of a mixture of those herbs to my tea drinking.  We'll see.  I'm planning on calling Dr. B. today to see if he will call in lab work for the SBAT, LFT, and Platelets so that by the time I see him, those results are in.  That way we an rule out the Cholestasis in favor of PUPPP and get an update on the platelets in one swoop!

Otherwise, things are good.   (Which sounds funny to say when I've spent the last few days in agony over this rash and inflammation, LOL).  Lucas is moving and happy to give me a little nudge (or two) when I'm finally asleep. :)  We are pretty much baby ready, which seems nuts.  And only 55 days to go!  Woo Hoo!  He's going to be here before we know it!

31 weeks... Only 8 weeks to go!

1 comment:

sunflowerchilde said...

I read this with interest, because for about a month my scalp has been insanely itchy, and now it seems like there is a rash starting down my neck and onto my shoulders. It doesn't sound nearly as bad as yours, and the itchiness seems to have abated a bit, or at least isn't constant, but I haven't really thought about seeing the doctor. Maybe I will call tomorrow!