Carpal Tunnel Update

My obstetrician referred me to an orthopedic doctor to discuss my options. I met with him on 6/18, and we decided to try cortisone injections in both hands. The only issue with doing that was my gestational diabetes. Cortisone can raise blood glucose quite high, which can be dangerous for the baby. They and I contacted my diabetes educator to see what needed to be done. The answer was pretty easy. I need to refer to a chart to correct my blood sugar levels before I eat. So, my goal is to have a blood sugar level around 100 before a meal. If my test has a level of 130 or higher I simply add more insulin to what I would normally inject before a meal.

I had my cortisone injections yesterday, and so far the blood sugar plan is not going smoothly. My level was actually under 100 before my dinner (first meal after cortisone), so I didn’t have to correct for that meal. I just had to take what I thought would be the correct dose for that particular meal. Apparently I did not calculate my dose properly. Two hours after eating my blood sugar is supposed to be 120 or less, but mine was over 200. I used my regular night time dose to adjust my fasting blood sugar, and it seemed to work fine (even with the elevated level after dinner). My fasting level today was 90, which is the cut off during pregnancy without being considered high. YAY! My happiness didn’t last though. I ate my regular breakfast, without insulin since I don’t use insulin at breakfast and tested an hour afterward. At an hour after a meal without insulin my goal is 140 or less. I tested in the 170’s. That’s not awful, but I either should have had less carbs or more protein. I am hoping my numbers stay ina nice safe area for my little girl.

The cortisone injections have caused me some discomfort. First during the injection I had some “zings” as the doctor described might happen. OUCH! Then a few hours after the injections my palms started aching. The doctor gave me absolutely no information on how I should treat my hands after the injections. He just said the medicine might take a few days to work, and stays in my system for 2 weeks. After the medicine wears off my body should naturally take over the anti-inflammatory relief. I don’t even have a follow up appointment to schedule. I just need to call in 2 weeks to let them know how my hands have responded. If my pain level is greatly reduced then I should not have to worry about any other treatment. If my pain has only slightly decreased or stayed the same we will discuss surgery options. Apparently I am allowed carpal tunnel surgery while pregnant, but it would be with local anesthetic only. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

I went to work this morning, since the doctor didn’t advise against it. I couldn’t stay though. I do very repetetive work using a box cutter to open cases for 10 hours a day. My right hand which holds the box cutter was numb, and I had shooting pains down my thumb towards my palm while cutting. That was a new pain, so I have to assume it’s related to the injection. The left hand had some shooting pains while moving cases too. I decided the best thing for me to do was go home, rest and ice my hands. I had read online that those things are recommended after the injections. I wish my doctor had mentioned it. He was nearly an hour late for my appointment, and once the injections were done I was ready to go. I probably should have asked about limitations, but oh well I earned 2 hours of pay before I gave up. 😉

I’m trying to see if leaving early will be covered by my intermittent leave. Otherwise I will “get in trouble” for leaving early and it will be on my record for 6 months. That would make leaving or calling out for any other reason very difficult without getting into more serious trouble at work.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome

This week has been awful in regards to my carpal tunnel syndrome. Because I have a very repetitive job I have been dealing with CTS for years, and treating it with ibuprofen. Unfortunately during pregnancy you can’t take Ibuprofen. I haven’t worked or done much since Friday afternoon, but I am still extremely symptomatic. My hands go numb using my phone, showering, cooking… basically no matter what I do. 😦

I wake during the night with pain and numbness. I had a hard time working this week, since I have to hold a box cutter. At some points I couldn’t feel it in my hand. I asked if there were any other light duty options for me since I am currently working with restrictions. The answer was sweeping and dusting. Holding a broom at the end of my shift instantly made my right hand go numb. I thought maybe it was because I had been working all day, but last night I swept up a mess and again instantly went numb.

I am concerned that I may not be able to work much longer. I have worn splints at night, but am still suffering. I need to work another 6-7 weeks in order to have job protection. I really wish I could just take Ibuprofen. This is my fourth pregnancy to reach this gestation, but most certainly my worst experience with carpal tunnel.

Viability and a scare.

We’ve reached the 24 week viability milestone! So, why today of all days does my little girl decide to be still?

I drive to work at 3am, and my commute is nearly an hour. During this time I have been used to my little girl bumping quite a bit. Today however, she was not active. I was stressed all day trying to feel her move. I would feel a light bump here and there that may have been her, but it also could have been my gurgly tummy. I shared my worries with my husband over the phone during my breaks, and of course caused him to worry too.

I worked my whole shift without feeling definitive movements. I did have another hour long commute to sit through and hope that my being still would get her to wake up. I had a cold drink and snack to try to get her moving too.

Finally, I felt movement! I still planned on taking a listen to her with our home Doppler as soon as I got home.

We found her heartbeat fairly easy, and felt some relief. It was such a hard day fearing the worst. I could imagine calling my doctor to tell them how I hadn’t felt movement and couldn’t find her heartbeat. I imagined starting my maternity leave to deliver my deceased baby and recover. Awful thoughts and situations run through your mind when you are pregnant after experiencing loss. I was fortunate today to only imagine the worst, and not have to experience it.

On a happier note, my blood sugars have been great. I was able to cancel my next diabetes appointment, and am only required to check in from time to time by email or phone. 🙂

I will be having ultrasounds every 4 weeks starting in 4 weeks to monitor the baby’s growth. I will also start non-stress tests twice weekly at 32 weeks. That seems early to me, but I will do whatever the doctor suggests.

I have a teenager!

Today my son turned 13. It’s crazy how time flies.

We brought him and his friend to an amusement park. It was opening day for the park, and it happened to be perfect weather. 🙂

The friend he brought was actually his ex-girlfriend. Yeah, she dumped him but they are still best friends. They both agreed dating was more of a high school thing than 7th grade thing. Lol.

They had a great time. It was very hard to keep up with her though. She has way too much energy.

We gave my son his first cell phone, and he was pretty surprised by it. We figured since this was his first year in public school, it might help him keep in touch with his new friends this summer. We are monitoring his apps, even though the service gives him the right to choose to be in charge at 13. He understands why we want to do so, and is happy to comply.

Back to work

I was released back to work with restrictions. I am not allowed to lift or pull more than 30 pounds.

I spoke with my direct manager today, and he feels we should be able to work around those restrictions in my department.

My H.R. manager however makes me believe I will have to do something else in the building. They have a new program for dealing with people who need accommodations, so I get to be the guinea pig. I was shocked that they would allow me back at all. The program allows for 90 days of temporary light duty, similar to if I had been injured at work. At the end of 90 days you can apply for an extension for another 30 days too.

I hope I don’t have to do boring/tedious work, but at least I will be able to earn some money and keep my baby safe.

I will see how it goes Tuesday morning.

Ultrasound Update

I had my anatomy screening yesterday. It confirmed the results of our Harmony testing. We are having a girl. My husband and I really needed visual confirmation.

The technician did not see any subchorionic hemorrhage concerns, and I haven’t had any bleeding/spotting for days now. I thought those results would lead to my return to work, but I was wrong. There were no anatomy anomalies viewed, but baby girl did not cooperate much when it came to viewing her heart. The doctor was not concerned though, and we have an echo scheduled for May 8th anyway.

Back to my not returning to work… The doctor who saw me right after the ultrasound felt that I should have some restrictions due to the bleeding and my history, but we left it up to my regular ob to make the final decision. I saw her later in the day, but she hadn’t seen the ultrasound report yet. She was not comfortable with sending me back to my highly physical job with heavy lifting. She felt more comfortable restricting me to lifting no more than 20 pounds or the weight of my youngest child. (24 pounds) Her explanation was that if my placenta tore from the uterus at this gestation and I had to deliver, the baby is not viable. I had expected to try to work, and if I had more bleeding look at our options from there. I hadn’t really thought about the bleeding leading to premature delivery. She requested I take the next 3 days off to give the office time to see the report.

At this point my husband and I are much more willing to keep me out of work for the remainder of my pregnancy. My income is not worth my baby’s life. I know my doctor will request lifting restrictions if she allows me to return to work at all. I am fine with that, but my employer will most likely fight it. That would lead to my being out on a medical leave.

I may lose my position and shift, but after the baby is born I will still have a job available to me. Keeping this little girl safe is worth whatever may happen.

Excited for an actual vacation

I have taken this past week off of work due to my pregnancy complications. It wasn’t a vacation, but I have been taking it very easy. I even managed to read a book. 🙂

Last night we had friends over for dinner and actually made reservations for a camping trip in June.

I am still waiting to have my ultrasound on Tuesday to make sure returning to work Wednesday will be safe, yet here we are putting money down on a trip I hope I will be able to take. May have been premature on our part, but I have been spotting very little over the past few days and am feeling fine. I suppose as long as I take it easy on our trip it won’t matter if I am home or in a camper…right? That is as long as my condition doesn’t worsen and lead to strict bedrest or hospital bedrest.

The husband of the couple we are camping with seems to be like me, and was thinking about things to pack last night on their drive home. The list maker in me wanted to do the same thing.

We have vacationed with the wife and her ex-husband before, but not her new husband and we’ve never camped together. They booked a tent site, and we booked a water and electric site. We don’t rough it in our family. I like to use an electric griddle to make pancakes, and I like to play games by lighting that allows you to see what you’re doing. We have actually brought a mini fridge, tv, and video games camping in the past. Our fridge has since been donated, so we’ll have to survive using coolers and ice.

I am excited to have this new experience with our friends, but super nervous about camping 7 months pregnant with a 3 year old and 1 year old. Just last night the one year old woke up every two hours screeching. My friend said her son who is almost 4 wakes up talking and screaming during the night. We might get kicked out of the campground or we’ll have to sleep in our cars to buffer the sound.

I am happy that we took the plunge and booked the trip. I am such a pessimist and would normally be too nervous making reservations knowing the multiple things that could go wrong in a high risk pregnancy.

The campground we are going to has a fantastic pool attraction for the kids, and nice playgrounds too. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. If we can’t use those amenities it will be sad.