While waiting to pick up Ethan from school, I overheard a very pregnant mom telling her husband on the phone about her latest OB appointment. Yes, I was eaves dropping but it was for a good reason.
She had been experience swelling in her hands and they were also numb and itchy. The doctor had assured her that the itching was due to the swelling. But if other extremities started to itch to call right away.
Something about my liver functions.
Something about your liver functions? That’s all they told you.
They didn’t tell you about the other symptoms? The headaches. The blurred vision. The high blood pressure. The pain in your side.
They just briefly mentioned the itching on your feet and it might have something to do with your liver?
Why aren’t we told more about HELLP? Why aren’t we told more about the warning signs and what to look for?
I know if I wouldn’t have trusted my gut and insisted on seeing a doctor bad things would have happened. I could have stroked out. Ethan could have died. I could have died.
Why aren’t we told the bad things that could go wrong?
I get not wanting to scare someone but armed with warning signs and symptoms, HELLP can be treated.
But back to my eavesdropping.
Being who I am, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I butted in after she hung up the phone. I apologized for being nosey but gave her the short story of what happened with Ethan. I didn’t tell her to scare her. I told her so she had all the information.
She thanked me for sharing my story and for giving her some more things to look for.
I find myself telling more and more women I run into about HELLP. They’ve never heard about it. Or “oh it was a little asterisk” in the baby book.
It’s time for HELLP and other preeclampsia related disorders to be more than an asterisk in the baby book. They need their own chapter. Hell, I could write a book with the stories of other women with stories similar to mine and, sadly, worse.
It’s time for us to speak up and share our stories to help others!