Mastitis abscess - need some strength...! (bit long)

(19 Posts)
Lexilicious Thu 24-Sep-09 08:54:23

Hi all, not my first post, I've namechanged. Got mastitis. Ow ow ow ow. Got nearly 8 week old boy, my first, big lad, feeds bloody constantly. Love him to bits, even when he's wriggling and headbutting my poor inflamed boob. Gorgeous smile.

I think I've got brilliant support and advice off HCPs - thought I was managing blocked duct ok since 2 wks ago, had 6 wk check last tues and GP said it was M and put me on an antibiotic, Fluclox. Also referred me to local gynae unit because of something else. By the time that appt came (friday) the redness had spread and it was frickin agony. called GP in the morning, had appt straight away, additional referral letter about the mastitis, and at the gynae unit they increased my antibiotic dose (Metronidazole and Cefalexin) but warned me DS might not think much of the taste of C. As it turns out he's fine with it.

Boob continues to be sore over the weekend. I continue to feed off both, through gritted teeth sometimes, once or twice there's been wailing and tears, DP distressed for me and running around doing everything in the house, ah, love him. Baby totally oblivious. Look on google images for 'mastitis abscess' on tues and decide to go to GP again. Appt yesterday morning with Dr whose first phrase was "your breastfeeding career"... YES!... and who then rang round hosps to get a breast-friendly on-call surgeon to see me later that day. Also changed antibiotics again - replaced C with Augmentin.

Aspiration - unpleasant. Gak sent off somewhere to check I'm on the right antibios. Appt coming with breast consultant on Friday who may order an ultrasound of the whole boob because the original blocked duct is now a huge lump about half the volume of the breast.

Just wanted to share a bit. I am really pleased with the care I'm getting, especially the focus being to avoid any impediment to bf-ing. Have to spill a confession though. I am absolutely bloody determined to get through this as MIL has been telling me since he was 1 day old (when I was struggling with latching on and colostrum not really impressing him much) that she got an abscess, had an excision and had to stop bf-ing my dp. Admittedly it was the 70s, and she wasn't bothered about giving up, but I do feel the need to do better. I know it's not supposed to be a competition...!

sleepsforwimps Thu 24-Sep-09 13:25:25

I totally admire you, I suffered cracked nipples with my first and that was agony enough, I think what got me through was knowing that for me bottles weren't an option. I like you was totally determined to breastfeed. Keep strong, keep your chin up, keep looking at that gorgeous baby and his smiles and know this is just a small blip (a painful, teeth gritting, toe curling blip I know) but it is just a blip, you will get to the stage where this has all cleared up and you will enjoy breastfeeding as much as your ds.

Ineedmorechocolatenow Thu 24-Sep-09 13:26:55

Wow. You poor thing. No experience or advice to give, but didn't want you to go unanswered. Well done with persevering and hope you feel better soon x

Lexilicious Thu 24-Sep-09 14:15:24

thanks both of you! I have been through the bleeding nipples stage too in the first two weeks. Actually got a blister on the end of the nipple which was deeply unpleasant. Good thing I am quite stubborn.

wow, what a star. I'm really impressed and I really hope it all gets sorted out for you soon so you can on to love and enjoy all that is great about breastfeeding.

Lexilicious Fri 25-Sep-09 10:03:26

Thanks (slightly embarrassed at 'what a star' but that's awfully lovely of you)
Crao news - Breast Consultant is having a day off today because he's on call this weekend, so I can't be seen until Monday. You know, it's not so bad now. It looks horrific - an angry red patch with an obvious pus-bubble at its core - but now I know the most evasive way to latch baby on that side, and to hold his arms out of the way so he doesn't paw at the tender skin, it's manageable. Still terrified they'll end up getting the knives and forks out and slicing through all me precious ducts.

Lexilicious Fri 25-Sep-09 10:05:12

Crao=Crap blush

Lexilicious Sat 26-Sep-09 23:47:10

me again.

Too Much Information - read if you dare! wink

It's burst. From an academic point of view it's very interesting watching one fissure develop on the site of the aspiration needle, and another near it. And it's happened because I went out to a wedding and got 6 hours of engorgement putting pressure on it.

But, practically speaking, what the hell do you do on a Saturday night with a nork that's gushing pus (for two hours so far!) just an inch from the nipple? Need to keep it clean I suppose, and try to avoid boy getting pus in with his 4am feed. And my goodness but abscess-pus smells odd.

piprabbit Sun 27-Sep-09 00:20:51

Oh my Lexi - that's got to count as one of MNs most graphic posts smile.

I think you are right about keeping it clean and avoiding any kind of breastmilk/pus milkshake.

Hopefully you'll actually feel a bit more comfortable, for a while at least.

HansieMom Sun 27-Sep-09 00:52:22

How about pumping on the affected breast for a few feeds?

Really interesting story!

Ineedmorechocolatenow Sun 27-Sep-09 13:28:39

Bloody Hell.... you poor, poor lady.

No advice, but best of luck. Are you seeing the Breast Consultant tomorrow?

Lexilicious Sun 27-Sep-09 14:05:30

Ooh thanks all, I thought I was talking to myself for a while (not that that would bother me).

Been at A&E for three hours this morning. Woke up to a soaked bra and bed, had fed boy in the night when leakage wasn't yet evident. It was only ten mins or so to get triaged and then two hours watching every other fry-up-scalded-finger, woke-up-feeling-funny-after-last-night-on-the-lash, twisted-ankle-playing-sunday-football going in and coming back out with a gleaming white dressing or vibrant green prescription. While I sit sobbing a bit and oozing through breastpads into a previously clean bra.

Then suddenly I was called, and some young pup of a doctor (who says that lucky me, he's actually from the Breast Team) asks me to describe the progress of the case up to now, tells me it's not an abscess at all, 'just mastitis, and that's not pus, that's milk', and while I'm distracted trying to remember names of my series of antibiotics through floods of tears he jabs another needle in and draws off milk from the already wounded duct patch whatever thing. I wail and howl when what I really want to do is leap back in agony. Then he says that's all. The results from Wednesday's sample aren't ready so we still don't know if the antibiotics are the right ones, and then, with a cheery 'bye, see you at clinic tomorrow!', he leaves the nursing staff to express some more pus milk from the bleeding wound and dress it cleanly.

Now home. I am still a gibbering wreck but DP has just brought me chicken soup so I'll leave it there.

Lexilicious Sun 27-Sep-09 14:07:39

PS this breastfeeding lark, and all its unfortunate side-effects, really validates me As A Woman, I feel.

TheProvincialLady Sun 27-Sep-09 14:16:38

OMG you poor, poor thingshock

Have you rung one of the helplines to see if they have any advice about helping your healing?

You definitely qualify for Advanced Womanhood status now. And Grade I Martyr.

Lexilicious Sun 27-Sep-09 17:00:35

Thanks TPL. Yes I did ring the NCT line in the earlier state when I realised it was not just a blocked duct. It had started getting excruciatingly painful to feed from, it was hot to the touch, and I didn't really know how to tell BD from Mastitis, plus having the MIL's abscess story bouncing around the back of my head. The bf counsellor was nice, talked me through hand expressing on the phone and hot/cold compresses. Unfortunately I either didn't do those diligently enough or the antibiotics were useless or the infection was determined to take hold. Or all of the above!

But the thing is that to get an actual diagnosis and drugs there's no substitute for going to the GP and them actually looking at and prodding the nork. Must remember to ask the specialist tomorrow whether the object of his treatment is keeping me breastfeeding or just treating/removing the bad bit. The doc who syringed it today was muttering about different antibiotics not good for baby. I haven't got enough EBM in the freezer to keep boy fed if on such an a/b for a few days, I'll use the breast pump to try to keep supply coming but I'll have to chuck the milk. Boo.

MintyCane Sun 27-Sep-09 17:20:26

Exactly the same thing happened to me. It was worse than giving birth. You are utterly amazing ! I carried on feeding for another year afterwards but then it happened again sad I gave up that time. I actually fainted twice from the pain and I did childbirth without any pain relief. Sending you lots of strength. If you do give up it is ok, it is astoundingly painful and and you do need to put yourself first somtimes for the sake of the baby.

Lexilicious Wed 14-Oct-09 21:58:04

Hello again! Saw consultant that Monday, two weeks ago, and another one of his team on the Friday (both blokes). The infection had gone, it was just the ooze that needed time to go. So now it's two weeks later and it's still going on. Actually at the end of last week it had healed, but only superficially - the blocked duct is still there, between the wound and the nipple, so the milk has an easier exit route through the wound as it can't get to the nipple.

It burst again Sunday, and I called the breast clinic to see the consultant again. Been today and another one of the team basically said it'll go on like this for as long as there is a milk supply behind it. Eeeewwww.

Choices: stop bf-ing and it'll go away; stop-bfing on that side and it'll go away but I might be a lopsided shape; keep feeding and hope it heals itself, properly, from the inside, and doesn't get infected.

Not keen on the middle option, out of vanity (getting married in Dec). More inclined to keep feeding but concerned about keeping it un-infected. Thinking I prob need to avoid things like swimming, anyone know for sure?

Got follow up visit at breast clinic in 6 weeks. I suppose in a way, it being wounded like this keeps me extra-conscious of my 'breast health' and perhaps less likely to allow another blocked duct to develop? And I do love feeding my lovely lovely boy.

mumofoliver Fri 23-Oct-09 10:48:55

Hi Lexi

How are you getting on? I'd love to know as I had almost an identical experience with my DS 2 years ago. Did you manage to carry on? I gave up in the end as the "hole" was grim (although not infected) - have a lovely scar as a result!

And probably a bit late but I was advised to avoid swimming.

Lexilicious Wed 25-Apr-12 09:34:31

Just in case anyone stumbles across this, the end of the story was that the fistula wound healed just in time for my wedding (weekend before Christmas), I went back to work full time in January 09 just as he was starting solids and remained exclusively breastfeeding (expressed at work, had enough private room / refrigerating facilities). DS went on to cows milk at a year old, and I continued breast feeding (steadily reducing to just the first thing in the morning feed) until April 2011 - DS was 20 months.

However... DS is allergic to penicillin (found when he was just over 2, when he had A/Bs for tonsillitis). Now, I have zero evidence that it is anything to do with it coming through in my milk from that cocktail I was taking at about 8-10 weeks, but it's possible.

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