You’ll have to forgive me for my brief hiatus…. Monday morning I woke up feeling pretty worn out, which I attributed to nursing a newborn all night long. By the time I got home from taking Summer to school, my tiredness had progressed to body aches. A few hours later I felt like I had the flu. The right side of my chest was really sore, and when I looked at it, there was a large red spot on the underside. It was the dreaded Mastitis.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of this lovely illness, click here to be enlightened.
Fever, soreness and pain, aches… I had it all and it was horrible. As soon as I realized what I had, I called my doctor’s office and they said he would call in an antibiotic for me. I was so relieved I didn’t have to go into the office. I was useless that day and the day following it.
As soon as I thought I was feeling better, my fever would come back and go up rapidly to 103, and it would take over an hour to go back down after taking some medicine. I was shaking so badly when the fever was up. The girls kept bringing me blankets to warm me up.
Then when the fever would break, I would start sweating and couldn’t get cooled off for anything. During all this, I had to nurse Jace constantly because it helped the breast that had the mastitis to stay drained. I applied warmth to it as advised with a heating pad, warm washcloth, and then a hot water bottle my dad brought me. I even tried the ol’ cabbage leaf in the bra trick for swelling and engorgement pain, which seemed to help as well.
Joe did what he could, but he had to work a lot so my mom helped me get the girls to and from school, among other things. I don’t know what I would have done without her.
I finally started to feel better Wednesday. I had a doctor appointment to check on my incision and make sure I was healing well, and he checked out the Mastitis as well. He told me to keep it drained, keep applying heat, and finish taking the antibiotics and it should clear up completely. It’s Saturday now and I feel normal, just a tiny bit of redness is left and the clogged ducts from the swelling seem to be clearing out.
My advice to any breastfeeding mama who starts to feel like she’s getting the flu… call your doctor. RUN to the phone. Don’t wait, because the longer you wait, the worse it’s going to get. And may the force be with you.