If you missed Part 1, catch up here! It ended with me inducing a cycle to begin fertility medication.
Cycle Gone Wrong
On day two of my cycle, the bleeding became really heavy. I figured it was just because I hadn’t had a real period in a while and that it wouldn’t last very long and would lighten up (because I was used to fairly light periods when I did have them). But, after a full day of really heavy bleeding, I realized something was not “right”. Unfortunately, it was the evening of December 23rd at this point which meant that my doctor’s office was already closed and would be closed for the next two days – so I could not call my doctor and ask for help. I just hoped that it would lighten up soon… but it just got worse.
The next 36 hours were brutal. I was soaking through my pants in 30 minutes. I was confined to the couch. I couldn’t sleep (I had to set an alarm for every hour to change it was so bad). I missed going to my family’s for Christmas Eve. And Christmas. It was absolutely miserable and I didn’t know what to do.
Time To Go To the ER
Finally, on the morning of Christmas day, it was still not any better and I knew I needed to see a doctor. I called the hospital and asked to speak to the on-call Ob-Gyn Resident. She was extremely nice and said that she would like me to just come into the Emergency Room as that would be the quickest way she would be able to see me and she would let them know I was coming. I put myself together a little and packed a tote of essentials to keep me entertained for the day in case we were there for a while and we drove down to Iowa City to the emergency room.
We got there around noon, and since it was Christmas is was basically deserted, which means that I was able to be seen right away. Since there was nothing noticeably wrong with me and I didn’t necessarily feel sick (just a little tired and weak) no one was really in a rush at first.
I explained to the ED nurse and doctor what was happening, they knew Gynecology would be down soon so they asked me to change into a gown, they took my vitals and then, as standard procedure, drew some blood for some tests. That was a mistake.
The Real Emergency
After the nurse took the blood, she left the room and we were basically left to wait until someone came back to see us. But almost immediately, I started feeling extremely sick. I was light headed, nauseous and started getting really, really hot. I looked at Miguel and told him that the nurse needed to get back in the room NOW because something was not right.
Miguel frantically went out in the hallway to try and find our nurse, she came back with a throw up bag – but as soon as she saw me (apparently, I was blue), decided to take my blood pressure – it was 60 over 40. That is really bad. The ED doctor must have heard Miguel searching for help as he was in the room almost immediately after we got that reading and he started calling for blood. The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by doctors and nurses. I don’t remember exactly but there must have been seven of them.
I was simultaneously given three IVs as once, one with blood for a transfusion, one with fluids for hydration and one with medicine to make my bleeding stop. I was given oxygen, hooked up to a heart monitor and a catheter was inserted. I was told I was ice cold, but I felt so hot. I felt so weak and sick, but I thankfully never lost consciousness. During all of this commotion, I was also given an ultrasound to check to make sure nothing wrong abnormal in my uterus that needed immediate attention.
Once I was stable after the blood transfusion (I ended up getting 2 pints of blood), the doctors slowly started filtering out, I was able to speak to the on-call Ob-Gyn resident and doctor – they explained to me the medicine they were giving me to stop the bleeding and also balance my hormones, and Miguel reappeared (without me even noticing, he had to leave the room because he was so worked up seeing me like that it made him sick). I was told that I would be admitted to the hospital overnight for observation because I had received a blood transfusion. We were left in the Emergency room for a little bit for monitoring and then we moved to the Women’s Health floor to stay.
After that, it was pretty uneventful stay. Although I was confined to the bed and still had all three of my IVs and catheter inserted the entire time which was super uncomfortable, my bleeding started to lighten up and all of my vitals were stable for the rest of the stay. We were discharged the next afternoon to go home and I was given an prescription that would continue to keep the bleeding at bay. I felt pretty good. Honestly the worst part was the pain on my hand and arms from the IVs and the mark the tape from the catheter left on my leg (I had an allergic reaction and it basically burned my skin off).
And that is the story of how I hemorrhaged on Christmas Day and went into shock. I had lost so much blood that taking just a couple of small vials in the emergency room pushed me over the edge and my body was like “you do not have enough blood anymore.” I am glad I was in the emergency room with all of the resources to immediately help me though and the doctors acted so quickly.
Continued in part three.