I blogged awhile back about my first experience with a blocked milk duct. It apparently did not fully heal/resolve right away, as I had the same problem in the same place on November 4, 21, 28, and 30. During the beginning of all this a milk blister appeared, and it seemed likely that the blister was the cause of the blocks, since I had to work to get milk to come out of that area, and even when it did come out, it wasn't flowing as freely as it should. I called Tricare on the afternoon of the 30th and set up an appointment to have the milk blister looked at. The appointment was for Friday morning, Dec. 2.
Later that evening (the 30th), I went to bed feeling that things were "off." I had done what I could to help prevent/relieve a blockage, but it wasn't resolved when I went to bed. Sure enough, I woke in pain at 3 a.m. and woke Zaden up to nurse. After doing everything I knew to do (from extensive reading on the internet!), I was exhausted and very frustrated.
God is so good and gracious! That morning my friend Shirley had planned to come to our house to be with the kids so I could go out and run errands. I told her when she called that I was not up to running errands, but I would be glad for her to be with the kids so I could take a nap. Meanwhile, my friend Bethany, who had read a note from me on Facebook about my woes, called to ask if she and her husband could bring a meal to us for that evening.
The day progressed with Shirley reading to and playing with the younger kids and overseeing piano lessons, lunch, etc. By the time I was nursing Zaden in the early afternoon, it was obvious something was wrong, as my skin on the affected side had turned a bright red. I called the lactation consultant, who told me that if I couldn't change my Friday appointment to get seen that afternoon, I needed to go to the ER. The family health clinic did not have any afternoon openings, so off to the ER I went with Zaden and my neighbor Chris. I was SO thankful that Shirley was able to stay and help with the children--the older 3 had activities in the evening, and arrangements were made for all of that to happen without me.
Thankfully things went all right at the hospital, other than having to wait an hour or so in the waiting room. I got some antibiotics to take and came home. Shirley shooed me to bed, so I lay down for about an hour or so and woke to a quiet house--she had put Lucan and Kenna in bed, and the older three weren't yet back from karate and play rehearsal. Though I woke feeling shaky and having a slight fever, I felt much better overall. The redness was much improved, as was the pain and discomfort. I was so thankful Shirley had been able to arrange her schedule to be at my house for a total of nearly 12 hours! Her help and encouragement were invaluable.
By the time I nursed Zaden for the last time (after Skyping with Ted following the return and bedtime of Charis, Tobin, and Arden), I was feeling SO much better, and that was with only one pill!
The ER doctor wanted me to keep my Friday morning appointment, so Zaden and I went to base early in the morning while Jessica stayed with the other kids. (The older 3 never even knew she was here, as they slept the whole time I was gone!) After hearing my whole saga and the list of all the things I had been trying, the doctor said that I had done everything EXCEPT antibiotics and said that the milk blister should resolve once the infection is all cleared up.
So, that's where I'm at now: taking antibiotics and keeping an eye on things. The blister did indeed lessen quite a bit yesterday, but I have noticed this afternoon that it is back, as large as ever, and milk is not flowing very readily through it. :-( I guess I need to continue to be vigilant with the Epsom salt soaks, hot compresses, etc. I had not done those things as much since I was seeing improvement, and let's face it, I don't have a lot of time to be doing anything that isn't absolutely essential!! Please pray with me that this issue will be fully resolved, once and for all, and that I don't have any recurrences once this round of antibiotics is finished!