My Experience As A Gynecologist and Preeclampsia Survivor

January 19, 2024 By Susan Contreras

My Experience As A Gynecologist and Preeclampsia Survivor

I am Susan Contreras, Venezuelan gynecologist in Paraguay, here my testimony.

4 years ago Alessandro, my son, was born.

As well 4 years ago I got blinded and ended up in intensive care due to Preeclampsia.

My heart blows from happiness with each baby, you can imagine the meaning of the birth of my child, for me was more than extreme happiness and joy. I celebrated it all, since the positive test, the sex revelation, each baby shower, in each ecography I was even more eager to see him. He came after a painful loss, making me even more anxious. My pregnancy passed wonderfully, though it had its discomforts in the first trimester and the fatigue of the sleepless nights that my vocation carried on. Finally that day my room was full of flowers, finally my Alesso was in my arms. between the visit of friends here in paraguay that are like my family the time to go home came on, with great joy and 3 kilos of life in my arms.

Everything was perfect until the third day, I felt my chest was like a drum and shortness of breath enunciated that something was going the wrong way. Only seconds were taken by me to find my tensiometer to prove what I feared: my blood pressure was high. Immediately came to my mind the diagnostic-word “PREECLAMPSIA”. I, as a gynecologist, previously healthy, with all my life dedicated to taking care of women and their babies, was having preeclampsia. The rest occurred very quickly. I dressed up as fast as I could, trying to put on shoes that didn’t fit me as I had swollen feets as toads. I say goodbye to my kids with the hearth destroyed, blessing them as it is traditionally made in my country. On the way I called the doctor of emergency to advertise to him that I was having postpartum preeclampsia and to make them prepare all for my treatment.

When I arrived at the hospital I felt an intense pain, as if an invisible thunder crashed into my head. Some minutes before I lost my vision. I knew it was an imminent convulsion, I was screaming the dose of the drug, and fervently asking to hurry and to take count of the minutes necessary to take the dose of the antihypertensive drug. I was thinking… If I with an immediate diagnostic was into that condition, what would happen to the womens that didn’t know it was preeclampsia. They, who don't know to recognize their symptoms, or even worse, go to a medic service and not being treated adequately. I swear for my children I was worried about me but I was thinking about those women, who didn’t have the opportunity to be treated fast enough or without the accessibility to a the good health service. What will happen to them? I was responding… They die
Susan, they die. Mentally I said to myself if I went out of these conditions I was going to do everything in my power to make every pregnant woman know what preeclampsia is, and its difficulties. I thought in Thiago my older son, he is a good soul, and I have educated well enough to be a man with manners. Although Alesso, my 3 days baby I didn’t even wash him once, who would give to him all the love I had to him? Who?
-Susan , we are going to make you go intensive therapy, your blood pressure isn’t going down.

I already know it, i was resigned and felt the stretcher start and turn so fast that the breeze brought my hair to my face. The elevator opened and in the intensive care unit was all as I expected. Stings and needles were entering my body at the same time, it felt like I was getting stabbed. The urinary catheter, the heat of the magnesium sulfate entering my veins… I remember everything, I felt all, though I couldn’t see it. It is true that when you can’t see your other senses are more sensitive. Suddenly I heard really quietly that my kidneys started to fail, my platelet count started to decrease… My head was about to explode. I knew, my memories were about to vanish. At last I didn’t die, I’m here healthier and stronger than ever to tell you about this story that has taken me 4 years to write.