Friday, February 6, 2009

Uterine Steal Syndrome

I haven't been very inspired to blog lately. I suspect it's partly due to Facebook destroying my ability to describe life in anything more than one-sentence status updates. It's probably also in part due to the fact that J is growing up (sniff, sniff), and while he remains wildly entertaining, he doesn't say as many goofy things that lend themselves to funny blog posts anymore.

But I think the the bulk of the blame has to go to child #3.

There's a phenomenon in vascular surgery known as "steal syndrome." It occurs in some dialysis access grafts where too much arterial blood flow is diverted to the venous circulation, starving the tissues downstream from the graft. It's seen in some people with a blockage in a major artery to the arm, causing blood to be rerouted from the brain when they use their arm muscles.

Although I've never seen it described in the medical literature, I'm convinced that a similar phenomenon occurs in pregnant women. I'm currently experiencing it for the third time. My fellow female surgeons and I like to refer to it as "Uterine Steal Syndrome." It's a condition in which all the blood which normally flows to my brain, making me the witty, intelligent person I usually am (a-hem...) is being sucked up by an organ a few feet further south. Hopefully the end result is a healthy, witty, intelligent child. In the meantime, though, it's making for a scatter-brained mom.

I displayed this condition today. I was leaving work and had to drive 25 min or so to my Ob appointment. I really had to go to the bathroom, but decided to hold it since I knew they'd want a sample when I arrived. As soon as I checked in, I got my specimen cup and ran to the bathroom. The sensation of "Ahhh" quickly turned to "Oh, shoot" when I realized I was still holding the unopened cup in my hand. I had held it for a half hour so that I could give a specimen, only to forget what I had been suffering for as soon as it was time to perform.

When the nurse asked if I'd left a sample, I sheepishly told her, "No, I'll have to try again later." I didn't really feel like giving any further explanation right then.

Despite the fact that for the past month I've had to go about every 20 minutes around the clock, and despite the fact that I guzzled a whole bottle of water (after they weighed me, of course), I could not squeeze another drop while I was there.

So that's my excuse. In a few more months, I'll blame sleep deprivation and post-partum hormones. Today, I'm blaming Uterine Steal Syndrome.

1 comment:

Nicole Lewis said...

I totally agree, but what's my excuse now that I'm not PG? I call it "mommy brain."