Monday, September 21, 2009

Pain Relief

I had a frightening headache for about 48 hours. It lounged across my forehead like a bad toupee, sort of sliding over my eyes. I went to sleep with it and woke up with it two nights in a row. I took tylenol and sequestered myself in a darkened room with a cold washcloth and I started to think that it might not be possible for me to live anymore.

By the time it finally occurred to me to call my doctor I was sure that something was terribly, terribly wrong with me. Aneurysm, tumor, temporal arteritis... you know, the standard google-induced paranoia. But also, the last time I was 13ish weeks pregnant, I had terrible headaches. And that didn't end well, so of course I was thinking the worst. Luckily, my doctor had a magic solution ready that didn't even require a trip to the pharmacy. She told me to take a motrin.

Yes, it turns out that you can actually take motrin during pregnancy. All of that tylenol-only is simply a precaution against something that isn't a problem in early pregnancy. Although that changes in the third trimester - then you really shouldn't take it at all. There is some risk of premature closure of a duct in the heart during a critical time after about 20 weeks. Actually, in some cases if a baby has to be delivered prematurely they give ibuprofen to specifically speed up the closure.

So, who knew? The funny thing is, my progesterone suppositories and the dexamethasone also had long warnings about not taking during pregnancy, but I was so determined to do whatever my doctor said might work that I never worried about it at all. By the time you have jabbed yourself full of nun pee, it's funny that a little motrin can be such a source of anxiety.

Now that my headache is finally gone, I can go back to the anxiety that probably caused it in the first place - worrying about my upcoming ultrasound. I know that I should "be positive" and all that, but it's hard to think about these next scans, the next round of screening, the next few weeks, without remembering that feeling of utter helplessness and loss. Sometimes I feel like my whole sense of this pregnancy is a murky black-and white feeling, a ultra-sound representation of the kind of feelings a pregnant person is supposed to have. The happiness is in there somewhere, you just can't see it from the outside yet.


Gwynn said...

OMG! I wish I'd known about Motrin during my pregnancy. I totally remember those head-splitters. I had one that lasted a whole week and I thought I was going to die. I can't imagine dealing with that and little one. Thank goodness you made it to the other side!

I'll be sending tons of positive energy your way, hoping that all is well and wonderful at your ultrasound.

p.s. Thanks for the kick in the butt regarding pre-schools. I made a few appointments. I'm still trying to figure out how to find out which are the really good ones in the Pasadena area.(I'm so lost when it comes to this. Definitely not my forte!)

DAVs said...

I'm glad you got some relief from your pain from the headache. Now wishing you could get some relief from anxiety and worry about the pregnancy. When I was so distraught over my Dad your words in a comment helped me so much, and I only wish I had something to offer that would provide similar comfort....sigh. Sending you big internet hugs.

Best When Used By said...

I'm glad you called your doctor and were able to get some relief. Like you, I'm trying to avoid all meds. But your headache sounds unbelievably debilitating - you had to do something.

I did not know that they give Tylenol to help close the newborn heart "holes." While in utero, the baby obviously doesn't need to breathe air, so the heart forms handy dandy holes that allow the blood to bypass its trip to the lungs. Within hours of birth, the holes close! All on their own! Usually. Sometimes they need help.

I hope that with the next few scans and tests you get some reassurance. Maybe go shopping and buy some cute maternity wear or a baby might help bring some color to the murkiness.

pain said...

I feel your pain. I had a headache that lasted for three days. I took Excedrin Migraine and it only dulled the pain. So I tried Tylenol rapid relief and now I'm fine.