Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blood and Pregnancy Don't Mix

My easy pregnancy luck had to come to an end at some point and Monday at 10:15 in the morning my luck ran out. I was in the reading room quickly grabbing some books for my reading group as I only had a few minutes when I felt a cough coming. I quickly walked to the hall to cough in "privacy" and had a rather heavy productive cough which is rare during the day for me lately as my lungs are usually pretty clear. I then felt what I believed to be a plug in my mouth along with a foul taste. The coughing didn't stop there and my mouth started to fill with this slimy foul mucus. I ran as fast as I could to the bathroom to spit knowing something was terribly wrong. As I slammed the door shut I was spitting into a paper towel only to see to large balls of gelatinous blood followed by thin regular blood. What the hell?! I have never felt better lung wise these past 3 months how the hell are my lungs bleeding? I started freaking out in my head. I think the recent death of a fellow cyster due to a massive lung bleed made me much more panicky than I would have been otherwise.

I had no idea what to do, but I also knew that I had 8 first graders waiting for me to start a reading group and I was already late. I ran from the bathroom and to the classroom with tears still filling my eyes. I luckily pulled it together before the kids noticed and got through the next 1/2 hour. Of course I have another group immediately after and didn't have time to check the status of my lungs.

The second my lunch break started I ran into the bathroom and called my doc, leaving a message. I then started coughing and spitting. It seemed to only be streaking at this point. I was so baffled and afraid of what the doc might say. He called me back pretty quickly and went through a whole explanation as to the causes, course of action, and that although scary the amount I coughed up was not reason for concern. He believes the plug I coughed prior is what caused the bleeding and that the jell-o like blood had pooled in my lungs before the plug was completely coughed out. Of course the slimy fresh blood was just that. Since I am currently taking Cayston and feel great he did not put me on antibiotics. He told me to call immediately if it happened again.

When I got home from work I went straight to bed for a 2 hour nap. I figured my body needed healing time and I wanted to take it easy. I should have looked online because everyone says not to lay flat after a bleed. Oops. I woke up feeling like my lungs were full of crud till I coughed out all the pooled thick blood. I then couldn't stop crying (hormones?) because my husband and I were supposed to set up put Christmas tree and I slept through the whole evening. We ran to Target to buy Vit K (couldn't find it) and to get a tree stand. A little back note before I had taken my nap I ripped off my work pants (who sleeps in pants) and upon awaking I quickly pulled them on to go to Target. As we are getting a Christmas tree stand (after being there about 25minutes) I suddenly realized my pants were INSIDE OUT! You could see the stupid seems and everything! My husband thought it was hilarious and after a good laugh myself I just wanted to bolt. We did get the tree stand and I waited in a busy line with my inside out work pants. Sheesh!

Fast forward to the evening. I slept propped on a bunch of pillows (not comfortable) and slept fine until 1:30. I could feel once again old nasty blood pooled in my right lung (now I know where the bleed came from) so I got up and coughed as much of the old nasty crap out of my lungs. This was the last that I have seen the blood besides a little streaking. I get some old dark blood sometimes with my mucus, but overall it is gone.

Here is the part that freaks me out the most. This is the first and only time I have ever in my entire CF life had true hemoptysis! I have had streaking sure, but afew Tablespoons of pure blood? Never! My lungs have never been bleeders and it freaks me out that in pregnancy it has to start. From forums and message boards it seems that some people start hemoptysis during pregnancy (please have this a one time deal for me) and some people with chronic hemoptysis stop bleeding during pregnancy. There seems to be no scientific studies on this topic, but I think it is about time the CF world looked deeper into CF, bleeds, and pregnancy!


  1. must have been so scary, I dont cough up blood either, its happened to me once and typically on a Saturday! I freaked out and the CF Doctor on the phone was making out like it was no big deal which made me angry! Praying it was just a one off for you xx

  2. I've been doing this for the past two weeks now, and it feels terrible. I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this during pregnancy. I can't imagine how scared you must have been and probably still are. I hope this is a one time deal and it doesn't happen again! I'll be saying prayers.

  3. Thanks for your support ladies. I wish you didn't have to deal with it as well, but it is always good to know that others can empathize.

    Gemma- I agree, it is so terrifying that it is hard to believe it's "no big deal", but I am glad because I was a little worried that it was the end of me..a little dramatic, but true!

    Megan- I am so sorry you are dealing with this too! Ugh, CF sure puts us through some nasty challenges. I hope yours goes away asap! I have been thinking about you lots lately!