Monday, June 21, 2010

Mastitis: It Sucks!

If you've ever had Mastitis, I'm sorry. I would never wish this upon anyone - it's awful!!

This past weekend I had my first (and hopefully only) bout with the nasty infection. I feel one hundred times better, but still not 100%. Mastitis is a breast infection, caused by the spread of bacteria into my milk ducts either because my milk wasn't entirely drained each session or from a bacteria that entered my breast while I was pumping. Either way, I hope that bacteria never finds me AGAIN!!

Last week was kind of a rough week. On Wednesday and Thursday, Rylan was particularly fussy both days, and wasn't sleeping just a ton. These 2 days were rather stressful for me, unfortunately. On Friday, I got up early and headed to a Father's Day breakfast with my dad's side of the family, and had a short shopping stint with my mom and dad afterwards, before heading home for the rest of the day. I felt fine all day - maybe just a bit tired from getting up earlier than normal to make breakfast on time. Rusty had a softball game Friday night, which I skipped out on, to stay at home and take it easy.

At about 1:15 or so early Saturday AM, we woke up for a feeding. I woke up feeling a little funny - the backs of my arms were sore and I had a really hard time making fists, or doing much else with my arms/hands, besides just generically moving them. It was almost as if my muscles were diluted. I commented to Rusty how weird it felt, but that was that. At nearly 3a, Rylan still hadn't gone to sleep and was getting all the more fussy, so I got up and fed him a little more. By now, my whole body had been overwhelmed with the sore feeling that started in my arms. My back stiffened up and my neck was KILLING me.

Rylan was still a little fussy, but I couldn't stand the soreness and aches any longer. I grabbed his swing, and plopped him in it right next to my side of the bed, and I crawled back into bed. This is when the chills started. At first I didn't think a ton of it. I assumed everything was a mixture of exhaustion and fatigue from the prior week finally catching up with me, so just tried to relax it all away. The chills, though, started getting worse, along with the aches and pains. After laying there for about 30 minutes, I finally woke Rusty up and asked him to get a thermometer. Yep... I had a low fever at 99.2*. I'd briefly remembered reading about breast infections and how they felt flu like when they were severe enough, so I had Rusty break out the books to re-read and see what else they said.

Rusty got me some Tylenol to help break the fever and dull the aches. He also finished taking care of Rylan and finally got him back to sleep. Several hours later, I woke up to find that my fever finally broke. I was laying in a bed of my own sweat (literally!!). **PS - I HIGHLY recommend getting a water proof mattress cover for all pregnant women/new moms. I can't count the times it's already saved our mattress between me being hot/sweaty during the end of my pregnancy, baby spit up, and now this.** I was so relieved (and hot). I fell back asleep and woke up an hour or two later only to find I had even worse chills than I did earlier that morning. The aches and pains had dulled a bit, thankfully. I quickly took my temperature to find it had gone up to 101.2*. WHAT?!

At this point, I felt certain that I had a breast infection. The only missing ingredient, though, was that I didn't have one specific spot in either breast that fit the rest of the symptoms for Mastitis. I had generic soreness in both, but that didn't seem quite right. I read a little bit more online about home remedies to try. I popped some more Tylenol, along with hot compresses and more sleep. The Tylenol temporarily worked each time, but then when I'd wake up again about 4 hours later, the chills were increasingly worse.

At about 1p, we reached the breaking point and finally called my OB/GYN. I woke up with a fever of 102.8* and felt like I was near death. Side note - I was really frustrated because no where did any of the readings say what doctor I should call. I didn't know if breast infections fell into my GYN's bucket or someone else's. I just decided to call her anyway... So I called. Since it was the weekend, I got rolled over to the after hours service. Within a few minutes, the nurse practioner at the office called me back and confirmed it sounded like a breast infection. She called in a prescription for me right away and said it would take about 24 hours for me to finally start feeling better. In the meantime, she recommended I stick with the Tylenol to help break the fever and to battle the aches and pains.

Rusty picked up my prescription and some soup for me a little while later. By Saturday evening, I was feeling quite a bit better, but still not great. With each passing hour as the antibiotics pumped through my system, I felt better and better.

It took until Sunday evening/Monday for me to finally "find" where the infection is. The rest of the symptoms that the books all talk about manifested. It's amazing to me how quickly my immune system responded to the infection, before I even could tell where it was.

Going back to early Saturday morning, Rusty was an absolute lifesaver all weekend long. He so selflessly helped Rylan and me out all weekend without complaining once. I stayed in bed almost the entire day Saturday, unless I got up to use the restroom or pump. He was so sweet and stayed in there with me most of the day taking care of Rylan and making sure I had everything I needed at every moment. This all overlapped to Sunday, his first Father's Day. I felt so awful that he had to spend HIS first Father's Day taking care of me. That's not the way it was supposed to be... At least it leaves plenty of room for improvement for next year!!

Take it from me - Mastitis sucks and you NEVER want to get it. If you ever think you have it, I really would recommend calling your GYN right away. Better safe than sorry!!!



Mommarazzi said...

Soooo sorry you had to experience that! I never did and I'm not sure I would have known that's what it was. Glad you are feeling better!