My body, the Cactus
I finally have a PICC line and I now do one bag of IV fluids a day to help me combat dehydration. After just one bag of fluids late the other night, I was able to stand up without my body seriously threatening to faint. I could also breathe SO much better when sitting and standing due to my blood pressure being raised by the fluids. The next day, the home health had to come and change my PICC line dressing before work. My body was already dehydrated again and so my heart rate was resting between 150-160s, and spiking to the 180s upon standing.
I was very short of breath again, so the nurse recommended that I not wait to do my IV therapy until I got home from work. I decided that it would be risky to wait too long for the fluids, so I packed my IV fluids, tubing, and other supplies and brought them to work with me. I popped into the nursing lab there at work and borrowed an IV pole. I did not have any appointments in the lab that day, so I hooked up the IV and waited to feel better. After the 4-hour infusion, I noticed that my lower legs were feeling tight and swollen. I texted my nurse about it, and she said that when the body gets too dehydrated and finally gets fluids in it, it will try to store extra fluid inside of the tissue to store for when it needs it again. It’s sort of like a survival mechanism. It reminds me a bit of how dessert cacti store water to have during droughts.
Today, Saturday, I woke up feeling stronger in the morning. I could stand up without almost blacking out and get around fine. I also haven’t had any contractions since starting the fluids at home. After lunch, I could feel my heart rate spiking and my shortness of breath starting to happen again. So I hurried up and finished the chores I needed to get done, fixed myself and Nathan some lunch, took a bath and got set up for more fluids. I am doing the bag of fluids as I type.
I am SO grateful for having the resources to treat my chronic dehydration here at home. Nathan charms the nurses when they come. He makes sure that they all know that I am ‘his mommy.’ I explained the IV therapy in a way that I thought his little 2-year old brain could grasp. I explain to him that the bag of fluids is “special water” to keep the baby happy in mommy’s belly. He then did the cutest thing ever! He asked me if the baby was swimming in the special water, and since it kind-of is swimming in the amniotic fluid, I told him yes. He then looked really hard into the IV bag and I realized that he is thinking that the baby is in there swimming!
I had to rethink my approach and ended up explaining to him that the baby stays in mommy belly and it is the “special water” that goes the baby, not the other way around. He seemed satisfied with that, and now calls my IV fluids “special baby water.” He also now says that is baby brother is, “a fish in mommy belly. It grow big and swimming like fish in special baby water.” Close enough. 😉