Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Protein Levels

Here is an excerpt from my latest CaringBridge post if you are not following along.

Note - when you go to CaringBridge, you are asked for a password if you have previously established an account, as in you've followed someone else on CaringBridge in the past.  The password is not specific to my journal.  Also, I'll never know that you read my journal unless you leave a comment; I know more about my readers on Blogger than I do CB)

Other note... Ella is making some steady progress over the last couple of days (as chronicled on CB) for which I am tremendously grateful.  I've decided that I definitely do not want to duplicate posts between this site and CB on a regular basis, but still figuring out how to balance it as in the near future I just don't see how I can keep up two separate spaces at the same time.  I'm not going anywhere...  I just need to figure out the balance.  Once things calm down...


I'm too tired tonight to go into a detail of my 'condition' and its impacts, I do need to summarize a few tidbits tonight.  My follow up with the Asheville high-risk OB is in the morning... so hopefully I can come out of that with more information and finally write that entry about my health.

I did, however, speak with my local (to Charlotte) OB today.  I called my nurse there this morning and told her I would like to know what the results of my 24 hour urine test were, the test that I completed on Thursday morning before Easter.  And additionally I told her I'd like to make an appointment to sit down (or by phone) with my doc - Dr. R - to review what led to all of this, if it could have been caught sooner, etc.  Simply put, closure.

Dr. R called me today, we had a good conversation.  I'm not going to go into the full detail on this discussion at this time, just the highlights.

*Remember, my OB appointment on Tuesday before Easter was with a different doctor in the practice, Dr. V. as patients are encouraged to rotate their appointments after 20 weeks between the different doctors in the practice in the event your doctor is not available at the time you deliver.  Fairly standard practice.

While I turned in my test to the doctors office by noon on Thursday, I'm told the results for my 24 hour urine test were not received from the lab by Dr. V until after I had already called my nurse on Monday to report what had happened and that Ella was here.  

Dr. V actually had to call the lab for the results (Dr. R was on vacation last week).  Apparently when the lab ran my test they didn't believe the results and decided to rerun the test.  I have no idea how long it takes to run these tests, I just provided the sample.

The good news is my liver was not affected, it was normal.  

I did have just a little bit of protein in my urine... below are the thresholds for protein in urine for a pregnant woman:

< 300 Normal
> 300 Pre eclampsia
>5000 Severe  Pre eclampsia

My results...  23,000

Go on, the normal response to this is OMG!!!  Yes, this is 4 1/2 TIMES the threshold for 'severe'.  You can say it again.. OMG!!!

It's a wonder I was functioning at all...  

At this point, I don't know what having this information a few days prior to when I went to the ER would have, or would not have done for Ella and me?  Obviously things happened the way they did for a reason, but there was definitely a process breakdown between the lab and the doctors office that needs to be addressed (and Dr. R sounded like those discussions were already underway).  

As I mentioned, I have a follow-up with the Asheville doctor for myself in the morning.  And Dr. R and I discussed a number of other things.  There are a lot of thoughts to put together around all of this so it's going to take some time to write that post.


  1. That is unbelievable! Thank goodness your liver is OK. That is a major communication breakdown to say the least-I can't believe that happened. Very scary. Hope you and Ella are doing well given everything.

  2. O.M.G. Just how swollen were you? I've never even heard of levels that high! I'm glad you had a chance to talk to your OB. And I'm SO thankful that you are getting better and that things weren't much worse. So thankful.

  3. First of all congratulations on BEAUTIFUL Ella!! And you are a beautiful mommy.

    Second of all so very thankful you and your gorgeous babe are here. I too am amazed you were able to function. A testament to what an amazing mother you are!!

    Many many prayers coming your way to envelope you and Ella and all your family and friends in hugs.

  4. OMG!! Some people need to be taken to task on this mix-up, the lab especially. They should have acted quickly and informed the Dr, even if they wanted to re-run it to re-confirm. I am glad to hear that Ella is doing well, and I hope you can recover quickly.
    Sending lots of healing thoughts to you both.

  5. OMG (and my eyes bugged out just a tiny bit too), that really is shocking. It is actually quite amazing to know that you are okay after going through all of that. Thanks for the update on Ella, I have been thinking about her a lot and wondering how she is doing.

  6. Holy crap! I am so glad you are okay after #s like that!

  7. Wow. Being a doc that delivers babies, I know exactly what that means. 23 grams of protein in a 24 hour urine sample? I've never seen anything even close to that! You were sick!
    Here's what I would ask: if your blood pressure was already in the severe range (meaning more than 160/100) when you had your appointment with Dr. V, they should not have let you travel, and should've probably admitted you, put you on bedrest, and gotten the 24 hour protein in the hospital. They should've also given you steroids to help mature Ella's lungs in case you would need a preterm delivery (maybe they already did, because it seems like her lungs are amazing if she's off the CPAP?).
    Anyways, reading your story, I'm SO glad that you are okay. Someone was definitely watching over you, and you are very very lucky that you didn't have a stroke with a blood pressure that high. Extremely scary. So, yes, I'm glad you're having a sit-down with your doctor, because if there were signs of this before the day you delivered, they should've been watching you more carefully...
    I hope you are feeling much, much better. The good thing about preeclampsia is that delivery usually cures it, and you'll probably be off your meds in less than a month.

  8. Holy schnickies. I didn't even know that was possible. Thank goodness you are okay.
    Prayers for an easy NICU ride..


  9. Oh BB, how did you function to drive out of town, etc.? I am so sorry that the lab screw-up (and no one at the doctor's office following up) put Ella's and your lives at risk. I check Caring Bridge daily but do not always comment when you post. I love that you were able to Kangaroo with her for two hours the other day. It really sounds like that was the best thing for both of you. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your sweet girl. My thoughts and prayers are in NC with you.

  10. Oh, BB, that's simply astonishing. I'm so glad you're doing as well as you are. I was also wondering if you'd had a chance to get Ella at least one dose of steroids (I had two, maybe 48 hrs apart, at 31 weeks when it was decided that Tiny Boy was headed likely for an early delivery). I'm also assuming that if you did a 24 hr urine test that you were already showing signs of a problem, right? In my experience that's not standard practice unless routine pee tests start showing elevated protein. But, wow, wow, I'm just glad you're okay and Ella is doing so great for 25-weeker. I was a preemie myself (33 weeks) and always feel a connection to those tiny babies I hear about online.

  11. oh wow. i am so glad you are ok and that ella is doing well and stable in the nicu.

    thinking of you!


  12. I'm not an expert but I know a little about FMLA. It covers taking care of preemies but you still get only a max of 12 weeks. You don't get a separate 12 weeks for yourself--only 12 weeks per year total. Does your state have any additional job protections?

  13. OMG, I am just getting up to date here. I'm so sorry to hear about your severe preeclampsia and pre-term delivery as a result. (I, too, had severe pre-e but was fortunate in that it was diagnosed early on and I was already 32 weeks and made it to 34 before having to deliver.)

    I will be keeping you and little Ella in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Wowser!!! I a glad you are following up with the docs....they need to look at their internal systems and make sure this doesn't happen in thr future. Glad you are doing well....andBaby Ella is being a champ!!

  15. Oh wow. That's horrifying. I'm so thankful that you are safe!

  16. Yes, thank goodness you are hear to tell about it. Something went terribly wrong in the lab and could have killed you and your precious baby.

    I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Don't worry about updates--just be with your baby girl. Hugs.

  17. Just over from S's blog (Misconceptions about Conception). Just wanted to give you some love as you recover and give you my prayers for you baby girl's health. I too am a fellow CCRM mommy...weird we have not crossed paths yet. Hugs to you...

  18. OMG BB, that is insane! I'm so glad you both are OK.

  19. New here from Misconceptions about Conception. So glad to hear that you are continuing to recover. Praying for Ella's health.

  20. I've been following along on CB but wanted to comment here to let you know. I still can't believe what you went thru & are going thru but am just to grateful you & Ella are doing well. You both truly are blessings on this earth.

  21. I'm so glad you and Ella made it through that alive. One day at a time, and vent all you want!!!!

  22. It's okay to vent, this is a tough and emotional time for you. I am so glad Ella is doing well. You take care of yourself, and as another comment said, one day at a time. Thinking of you both.


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