May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month. I was unaware of that until this year. I knew that it existed, but besides swelling I didn’t know the symptoms of it before I ended up suffering from it during my pregnancy. Another thing I was unaware of before this experience is that the high blood pressure from preeclampsia can cause LASTING damage to your body’s major filters: the kidneys and the liver.
2 months after I had our daughter, I had labs drawn that showed I had a high BUN: Creatinine Ratio. This score indicated that my kidney health wasn’t so great after going through severe preeclampsia and HELLP. Its been 6 months since I had those labs drawn. I am still dealing with swelling, headaches, and blurred vision. I am going to have more labs drawn, and this time I am going in with a laundry list of labs I want drawn. According to the preeclampsia foundation’s website (preeclampsia.org), there is a gambit of testing you can have done to see if you have an underlying condition that led to your body’s development of preeclampsia (i.e. lupus or a clotting disorder). I want my general practice doctor to test me for: Thyroid Issues (T3 T4); lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies, and beta 2 glycoprotein antibodies; Factor V Leiden, PAI 4G/4G, or the MTHFR polymorphisms; Kidney Function. If all of these come back normal and fine, then I don’t have an underlying cause for preeclampsia or HELLP. If they come back abnormal, then my preeclampsia could have just developed for some reason that researchers have yet to be able to figure out. The whole ‘yet to figure it out’ thing is why I’m marching in the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia this year. I already marched in the March of Dimes March for Babies for Abigail. I’m walking in this walk for US. If I had not developed this disorder, Abigail would have been born (most likely) full term without any issues. Why is this disorder, that has been around for MILENNIA, still unsolved?! If men were dying from this I guarantee that there would have been more effort put into solving it.
On top of pursuing testing, I am taking some major steps to be healthier for my little girl. I am tired of suffering and being swollen and fatigued. As of this past Monday, I started the Mediterranean Diet. I cleared out our pantry and am making only meals that follow the standards that are listed basically on this website (https://authoritynutrition.com/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan/). It is a heart healthy diet, and as I went through this ordeal, I am much more likely to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes than women who did not have preeclampsia or HELLP. Since I didn’t even make it to the last trimester, I am 2/3 more likely to have a life ending stroke than someone who didn’t. Time to practice preventative medicine to a new degree. I have to be here for my miracle baby.