I was diagnosed with mastitis this week. I’m on day five, and I’m still in severe pain. The pain is a touch better but at its peak, it was truly as intense as labour pains. Here’s my timeline of my mastitis experience:
Day 1 – I woke up feeling normal but after walking Ben to the bus, I came home and couldn’t shake the chills. When I went to nurse Will, the moment his lips touched my left nipple I was hit with a bolt of pain. It felt like someone was pushing large needles into my areola. I thought it was another clot in a different location (same breast), so I kept nursing hoping it would go away. But things just got worse. Throughout the day, I experienced chills and pain. I had to crank the heat up to 25 and sit beside our fireplace with a blanket on. I wish I saw my doctor that day but my husband was away on business for the week, and the thought of taking Will with me was very overwhelming. So I did my best to work through it. I drank water, I put hot compresses on my breast, and I continued to nurse.
That night I experienced sweating and pain. I knew I had a fever, but I couldn’t find my darn thermometer. I was hot, clammy, and chilled.
Day 2 – By morning I was feeling very sore but a bit better. I gained more energy throughout the day and even gave both boys a bath that evening. I thought things were on the mend…minus the pain. I went to bed and woke up around four a.m. with severe chills. I was freezing cold – like paranormal activity cold. It was such an intense experience. Finally, after cranking up the heat and putting two pillows and another blanket on me and around me I fell back to sleep.
Day 3 – I woke up in excruciating pain and a hot forehead. Benjamin was acting like a normal five-year-old – refusing to put on his snow pants, being moody about going to school, etc. I could no longer handle parenthood on my own feeling the way I was feeling. I broke down. Benjamin saw his mommy break down in sobs as I begged him to please stop whining and get ready for school. A part of me wanted to run upstairs and go to bed, letting him fend for himself. Another part of me was embarrassed and mortified that my boys saw their mom, their role model, their caregiver, have such a breakdown. I’m supposed to be the strong one; I remember thinking. But here I was feeling very weak. All I wanted was for someone to take care of me. This is the day I finally went to the doctor. Will had a babysitter, and I made an appointment. My fever was 102 and then 103. I was scared that it kept moving up. I was in so much pain I could hardly put on my clothes. My doctor prescribed me with antibiotics and told me I’d need an ultrasound to rule out an abscess. I can’t bear the thought of an ultrasound right now. She said I could wait until next week. She also said I should call my husband home or have someone come in. I went home to bed (I probably shouldn’t have been driving).
My parents came around 3. I don’t remember calling them. But they say I did so I believe that to be true. I’m so thankful they came. I don’t know how I would have handled the two boys on my own.
Day 4 – I continued taking antibiotics and ibuprofen. The pain shifted from my breast to my armpit and then to my upper back. There’s no lump just swelling. I still had a fever, and I spent my day in bed. Thank goodness for my parents.
Day 5 – This is today, and I am seeing the doctor again. The swelling is creeping down my upper back. It’s odd. I am still in pain with a bit of a fever. I just want to make sure my symptoms are still in the normal range. I’ll provide an update when I can.
In the meantime, have you ever had mastitis? How did you get through it?