Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | June 22, 2010

A few thoughts … on Mastitis.

Incase you were wondering if all I was going to ever do on this here blog was post pictures of my adorable children, that isn’t my plan.  It’s just that I have been dealing with a little thing called Mastitis.  It is likely not a subject everyone would prefer to hear or read about it.  However, I would like to keep record of a few things for future reference.  It’s your call if you want to continue with these words … but you have been warned that it will be about female anatomy. 

To start off you must know that Mastitis is a horrible, horrible, horrible infection.  To put it mildly.  If you know anyone that has dealt with it on any level I ask you to give them sympathy.  I don’t care when it was or how mild, or how severe, it is not for the weak and nobody should have to deal with it … it is that bad friends, that bad. 

We all hopefully know that I prefer to stay positive here on the blog, I don’t whine about people who irritate me or complain about the in’s and out’s of life … at least that is my goal.  I could have failed a time or two, but it is my goal.  This will not be a post to complain, just a post to get some things off my chest.  Ha.  Pun accidentally intended there. 

I would like to just list some random thoughts and experiences that have happened in the past 3.5 weeks.  Yeah … 3.5 weeks, I said it was bad right? 

  • The first week of what we didn’t know was going to turn into Mastitis I tried everything I could to unclog the ducts.  We tried homeopathic, and everything else recommended before heading to the Medical Doctor.  I went in the day that the redness and streaking appeared.
  • The second week after seeing the Dr. and her saying “Oh My!, you definitely have Mastitis” I was put on an antibiotic.   8 days in with little change, I was put on a stronger antibiotic.   7 days in with that antibiotic and little change, I was given a shot of antibiotic, and another even stronger antibiotic.  I also had cultures taken of the good and bad milk, blood drawn, and an ultrasound. 
  • That is where we now sit.  Waiting for this strong stuff to do its thing … if it will. 
  • I pump full-time.  Mathias does not nurse … long story, but neither of my children could/have nursed for longer than about a month.  There is some issue that we have with getting the milk out for them to drink unless it is pumped.  That being said,  I have been pumping every 3-4 hours for 3.5 weeks.  Tired?, oh my yes!
  • Mathias has been on half formula and half-frozen b*east milk for 2 weeks tomorrow.  With this new antibiotic it will be at least 2 more weeks and he will have to go to full formula bottles shortly as the frozen supply is dwindling fast.  I have had offers of b*east milk but I can’t do it.  I loved to give it away when we had surplus but for some reason I just can’t bring myself to actually use someone elses.  Odd I know.
  • Mathias has not had any issues with the transition, not one and for that I am thankful.  He is the sweetest and best baby a mother could ask for.  I won’t say that I love all that his pregnancy has put me through in the past year but he is worth it, he is my joy and I will survive.   No way I could be mad at this face.  Don’t you just wanna kiss him!?

 

  • The pump that is hospital grade is no longer getting out the milk and/or Mastitis.  This means that I have to hand express it.  That has been the deal for about 2 weeks.  It takes hours at each session of trying to get it out.
  • The strain that is put on a body with this infection is difficult.  It is emotionally, physically, and psychologically challenging.  It is especially difficult for a control freak … just sayin’. 
  • Mastitis brings with it fevers that start with chills and put you down for hours.  Thankfully most of mine have been at night when little ones were asleep.  The last one however was on Father’s Day evening which meant Loren did the nightly baby stuff with dinner and baths.  I know that you all know how great he is, but really … he is great.

So there are the facts.  Fun? … not so much.  But there is a lighter side that I hope to find and share with you.  If you don’t find the humor or lighter side that is ok, at least I do.

  • I have never received more sympathy as I have with Mastitis.  The look on women’s faces is priceless.  I really should bring my camera when I tell them and make a coffee table book.  The faces are that good.
  • The faces of the few that have actually “seen” the b*east affected are even better.  Apparently it is pretty bad.
  • When you live with it, it becomes just “normal”.  When Loren comes home at night and I am pumping he makes a horrible face and I say “what? it isn’t better?, I swore it was better today!”.  
  • Pretty sure that I have much stronger hands and arms then I did before. 
  • My butt has been sitting in the same chair for so many hours a day that I think it misses the chair when I can actually be up.
  • I have prayed more prayers than I thought possible and called upon anybody who can help over and over again.
  • I think that I have asked Loren “can’t I just be done!?” a hundred times in the past few weeks.   He mostly answers with “I sure hope so”.
  • Kicking children during diaper changes can be a problem.  Thankfully they are “happy kicks” and not cranky ones but in my view they are just plain old painful ones. 
  • Children have no idea what “oh honey! … don’t press on that b*east please!” means.

Over all, this experience is just that … an experience that I will grow from and learn from.  Through it all Loren has been amazing and the kids terrific.  I can’t complain … well, I could but I chose the non-complaining road here. 

Once this is all done I might just have enough energy to think of some things to write about.  Mastitis or not, life is still happening around here.  Babies are growing as well as the garden.  There are Mama Hens with baby chicks roaming through the grass, and cattle in the field enjoying the fresh green grass.  Flowers and sunshine abound most days.  Life is still very good … very good.  Thanks for sharing in our journey.

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Responses

  1. Oh Bummer! You are really having a hard time! I hope healing comes soon for you! And the ultrasound confirmed a, er – maybe, many clogged duct(s)? Not something else? No puckering, is there?

  2. Add me to the list of folks praying for you!! Man, I am so sorry girl! I have never had it… but I can imagine the pain is INTOLERABLE. However, you seem to be tolerating it. Mostly cause you dont have a choice I guess. Ugh. I’m inserting my foot in my mouth now.

    :)

  3. My daughter had mastitis when she tried to nurse. The latation lady came to the house and was quite nasty. We both ended up crying. I can relate to you.
    June

  4. Have you tried popping a cabbage leaf inside your bra, on the infected side for a few hours? I know it sounds weird and old wives tale-ish but I tell you, it works a treat. Just try it for a few hours, not all day. Because the infection is so bad maybe another session with a new leaf later on that day or the next day might also help.
    Good luck!

  5. You poor lady, I wish I could be near you and help with the cooking and things. I did not know women could get this. We used to have a dairy farm and the heavy producing cows would get it. The vet inserted a small tube in the infected tit and let it drain plus antibiotics. I know the milk has to be released to get some sort of comfort.

  6. My prayers have been with you! Like you said this is a horrible thing to have to go through….the chills and fever and painful breasts!! I never had it but the Lord knows I wasn’t strong enough to deal with it, but as a nurse I know it is serious. Like I said in the other area (parenting) if you aren’t better I would encourage you to come for a second opinion and stay with us. Hopefully you don’t still have symptoms….too long if you do. Cute picture of Mathias above!! You will have stories to tell him someday about all you have had to go through to have a wonderful son like him, same with your daughter.
    May God bless you and you are in my prayers!!


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