Medical Mixed Bag

Hannah has had several appointments this week. Unfortunately having just gone back to work after being on holiday I haven’t been able to go with her, but her Mum could.

On Wednesday she went to the maternity ward to have her regular BP measurement. The midwife really wasn’t happy with the state of Hannah’s very puffy ankles and feet, and pulled in an obstetrician (not Hannah’s regular one). This obstetrician was also concerned by the oedema, and wanted to admit Hannah. I’m not sure how Hannah got away, but she did. Maybe it was a prison break. Regardless, her BP was okay with a diastolic pressure of 85.

Next up was her eye appointment. During pregnancy, diabetic expecting mums are meant to have eye checks every three months to monitor for any retinopathy (explanation here). Hannah had some retinopathy and laser treatment back in the summer, and since then has not had any appointments to see the eye doctor because they have repeatedly cancelled the appointments. So this visit was long overdue. The doctor was furious about that, not being happy that the administrators had ignored the fact that Hannah was pregnant in rearranging her visits. Unfortunately Hannah does have retinopathy in her right eye again, and needs to have further laser surgery to prevent its spread. This is very, very painful, and the last time Hannah had it under general anaesthetic, but this isn’t possible now Hannah is pregnant. Unsurprisingly, Hannah is upset that she has to have this again, and this really is unwanted stress.

After that she popped into the diabetes clinic, and yesterday had her checkup with her diabetes consultant. On the whole they were quite happy with her progress. Her HbA1c has popped above 7, but given the raging hormones and how these affect sugar levels, that is quite good. Her consultant was a little concerned about the blood pressure levels, which in someone without diabetes would not be a worry. Due to his worry about the BP, he has put Hannah on some pills to lower it. These pills are regularly used in pregnancy and so are okay, and it is possible that after the birth she can come off them. When Hannah saw the obstetrician on Wednesday he had said that the oedema was down to her diabetes, and nothing to do with the pregnancy and not a precursor of pre-eclampsia. Hannah asked her diabetes consultant about this, I think he was doubtful that was strictly true, given that Hannah has never had oedema before being pregnant and said that he wouldn’t argue over it. It’s nice to have doctors agreeing over the cause of symptoms.


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