Sunday, April 15, 2007

Why Blogger is annoying; plus caps vs. no-caps

Blogger has developed an annoying hiccup since being eaten by Google. Occasionally when I attempt a post, Blogger will just plain eat the post. No notice, just -- gulp! Also, it won't let me mark the text of my post and then save it, to guard against such happenings. This is making me think about moving to a different blogging provider (or whatever one calls these things).

So, this is more-or-less what I said just five minutes ago (eaten by Blogger):

There may be times in the near future when I will dispense with caps in some of my posts. This will be not because I have some retro longing for archie and mehitabel, but because I have a baby in one hand, and it takes two hands to deal with the Shift key and capitalize properly. I figured out that if (like much of the rest of the world) I just don't give a rat's ass whether or not I have proper spelling and punctuation, I could get down a lot more of my thoughts in pixels. And since these are some of the most important weeks of my life (to me -- not necessarily to Gentle Reader), I do want to get my thoughts down, as much as possible.

you've been warned.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I like cats, not PUPPPS!

(Full disclosure: I am typing this at 4 a.m., while pumping, and just after having bottle-fed both boys. I think I have offically entered New Motherdom.)

This will be short since I have about five minutes left for this pumping session, and I think that going to BED would be rather nice about now! (My dear husband is taking the next shift with the boys.) But I have to bitch about the latest development in my pregnancy. Oh? You thought my pregnancy was over? Well, me too. My body, apparently, has other notions....

While I was still in the hospital after having the C-section, I noticed some itching on one thigh. Not even bothering to examine it, I put some hand lotion on it and went to bed. Same thing next day: itching, lotion, ignored.

A day or two after leaving the hospital, I noticed that my thigh was itching like a sumbitch. I finally dragged out a hand mirror to check it, and found a lovely patch of red dots in a random pattern. "Oh shit," I thought, "it's my herpes again." (Another full disclosure: like a significant portion of the population, I have herpes. I didn't catch it sexually, but that's a whole 'nother story. In any case, it flares up occasionally, often as pustules on my thighs or buttocks.)

I had to come in to my HMO on Thursday to have my staples taken out, and after making several phone calls to "make it so," managed to get Dr. Blinky to look at my bumps. He said it didn't look like herpes to him but obligingly took a sample to have tested. I was self-medicating with acyclovir pills and topical acyclovir (which is incredibly expensive -- $100 for a lil-bitty tube), but by the next day decided that Dr. Blinky was probably right -- it looked to me like freakin' SHINGLES, not herpes, and by that time I was frantic. Was shingles catching? Who knew? Could I manage to kill or maim my boys with my body's ill-timed illness? I didn't want to find out. My poor husband was putting up with me wailing like a banshee (really, folks, I'm not a crier, but with a combination of post-pregnancy hormones and this stress, I was spouting tears like nobody's business). I finally managed (by crying on the phone) to wangle an appointment with another doc in the "urgent care clinic" that evening.

That doc diagnosed me as having PUPPPS -- something I had distantly heard of during my travels through infertility, but having seen that it was extremely rare, I ignored it. Hah, hah. FYI, PUPPPS is a nasty, itchy rash, peculiar to pregnant women and (rarely) those who have just given birth. Turns out that PUPPPS -- which feels exactly as if you've stripped naked and gone cavorting in your local patch of poison ivy -- is more common to moms of multiples, and is also linked to moms who have boys. Seventy percent of women who get this have had boys. So here I am ... twins, boys, PUPPPS. Yay.

The doc gave me fluocinonide, a steroid ointment, for the PUPPPS, which I slathered on all affected surfaces (which was a LOT), only finding out later that one is supposed to use this stuff "sparingly." I saw a dermatologist a couple of days later, who took a biopsy from my thigh, and added Sarna lotion to my regimen, as well as condoning my use of Benadryl (which I read about on the Internet). Really, the Sarna is the most useful stuff of all. It has menthol and various herbal crap in it that makes me smell like someone's incontinent grandmother, but it does get rid of the itch, at least temporarily.

I am now finishing up this post a couple of days after having started it, and I have good news/bad news about the PUPPPS. Good news is that the redness is fading and swelling is going away, so it looks like the PUPPPS will last for two or three weeks as opposed to two or three months. Bad news is that my blood pressure has shot up to the range of 155/105 or so. I have NEVER had b/p readings like this in my life. These readings resulted in my being dragged back to my HMO (along with my entourage of husband and kidlets, since I am still restricted from driving) for blood tests to rule out preeclampsia (which, again, is supposed to happen to you before birth, not after, but with me, who knows?).

All blood tests turned out fine. So it looks like the b/p is a result of simple stress (HAH! Ya think?) or possibly the steroid cream. (None of my docs agree that the steroid cream could be causing this, but on, it says in black and white pixels that one of the side effects of fluocinonide ointment is sudden high blood pressure. So there.) Anyway, I have taken myself off the steroids, and am now using just Benadryl and Sarna, and am taking my b/p every day. We may have to follow up on this some more, but I don't think I'll stroke out today. Um, probably.

BTW, the boys are simply adorable. What wonderful kidlets. I'll try to actually write about THEM in the next!