Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Longest Weekend of My Life: Waiting

This is the fifth post in a special bi-weekly series.  Please check back next Saturday for Part 6.

Part 5: Waiting

I was planning to take the kids to church on Sunday. They had all recovered from their stomach troubles and I wanted to stay on a normal schedule. There was nothing I could do about my situation, and I felt it best to provide normalcy for the kids. I had also decided not to say anything to my older children about what I was going through. I'm normally very open with them about everything, but in this case I wanted to have more information before I said anything to anyone. My husband and I had decided to keep it between us. We also didn't want to risk the possibility that one of the kids might say something to someone else.

I woke up Sunday with a horrible sore throat. I couldn't speak without intense pain, and I decided it was best that I stay home from church. My oldest son made a couple of phone calls for me to let the Primary presidency know I wouldn't be able to play the piano that day, and to make arrangements for his grandparents to take him and two of his brothers to church.

We had a relaxing morning at home. I read my book and rested as much as I could. I couldn't talk to my kids but with a whisper, and I found the house was quieter than usual as a result. I was grateful I'd borrowed a couple of books from my sister in-law just 2 days earlier, because those books were helping me stay focused on something other than the potential crisis at hand, and because of the nature of the books it was also providing me with spiritual strength and peace through what could have otherwise been a very difficult waiting period.

I thought about calling the hospital lab for my initial test results, but when I checked my purse the little card the lab tech had given me was nowhere to be found. I did a little bit of online research about ectopic pregnancy to make sure that what I was thinking was accurate. My thoughts were confirmed as I read that termination of the pregnancy is necessary, and the longer it goes undetected the higher the risks are. If the fallopian tube is damaged it can potentially be life-threatening, requiring major abdominal surgery, and that confirmed my suspicions as well. I was comforted to find that surgery isn't always necessary, if the problem is detected and treated early. I was hopeful that if it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy I had a good chance of a non-invasive treatment and comparatively easy recovery, because it was still quite early.

I also reached out to my small community on Facebook. Without disclosing my personal situation, I asked for experiences from other women who have gone through similar struggles. I found great strength and comfort in their words and in reading about their personal experiences.

Sunday afternoon came, and it was time to go back to Instacare for my next quantitative blood test. By then my pelvic pain was completely gone. I was hopeful for some conclusive information, but as I thought about it I realized the lab work might take some time, and with it being a Sunday I had no idea when I would receive the results and possible diagnosis. I dropped my husband off at an appointment and I drove myself and our 5 children to the Instacare building. One of my kids got a bloody nose on the way, but the oldest was able to help him get the bleeding stopped and cleaned up. The boys were content to stay in the waiting room while I followed the nurse back with my little girl on my hip. The nurse poked my right arm with the needle as I practiced my breathing and looked away. She explained that the sample would be sent by courier to the lab that evening, and the results would likely be in by Monday afternoon.

Part 1: Preface
Part 2: Bittersweet
Part 3: Numb
Part 4: Peace
Part 6: Writing and Reading
Part 7: Decisions

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