When I get dehydrated, my body has a couple of different ways of letting me know, depending on the severity of the dehydration. If it's the weekend, I usually am not as good about drinking enough water, which means by Sunday afternoon, my lips are chapped. This has been remedied for the most part since I started keeping a water bottle next to the bed at night (because I snore, apparently enough to make Alann leave the bed every now and then, so my throat hurts when I wake up). If I get really dehydrated really badly, really quickly, I develop pleurisy. (And it's always my left lung, which I think is a little weird.) Pleurisy is basically a very painful condition. Your lungs, like most vital organs, sit inside a double membrane. One membrane is against the lung, then there is a space full of fluid, and then there is another membrane. This keeps your lungs from scraping on things as they inflate and deflate. When the fluid goes away, the membranes scrape on each other and IT HURTS! Drawing a deep breath is nearly impossible. Coughing or yawning or any other sudden intake of breath makes you want to cry. People or dogs leaning on the side that hurts makes you (me) really cranky. Pleurisy can be caused by many things, including an infection, and can last up to two weeks. Luckily, I've only ever had it because of dehydration, so it usually lasts a few hours and then goes away as long as I make a conscious effort to drink a few large glasses of water or have some Gatorade.
I recently endured an 18 hour bout of pleurisy. We just got a new water cooler at work, and the water tastes thick to me. (Yes, I know, water can't taste thick. But it does, ok?) I don't like it as much as the old water. I'm hoping I will get used to it, but until then, I've known I wasn't drinking as much as I should, and I've been trying to take steps to make it more palatable (like slices of lime and orange in the water). So Thursday morning, all of a sudden, it hurts to breathe very deeply. I'm well aware of what the pain is and why it's there. I've had probably 10-15 rounds of pleurisy since high school. It's a good reminder to stay hydrated for the next 6 months or so. So I started my usual self-remedy: drink a lot of water. I finished two mugs worth of water before I left work (that's about 60 ounces- almost a whole day's "requirement"). Our Hypno teacher told us that the number one cause of premature labor is dehydration, so I was concerned. I didn't want that to happen. Plus, did I mention that when your lungs can't function properly, IT HURTS?? K, just making sure. One mug should have been enough to get rid of it. It should have gone away before I left work. It's never lasted that long. So I went home and was still having a hard time breathing, and was in a lot of pain, and was drinking like a fiend, and it was still not going away. Alann took pity on me and we went to Walgreen's. I've been wanting a vaporizer for a while (hoping it would help with the snoring maybe a little) and I know we will probably need one for Claire anyway. Plus he needed some Rx refilled and I was almost out of Sudafed. We would have made a trip to Walgreen's this weekend anyway, it was just pushed ahead in the priority list thanks to the pain in my chest. After drinking a large bottle of Gatorade, another 16 oz of water, and running the vaporizer, I was still in pain. It didn't go away until 3 or 4 in the morning. I must have been more dehydrated than I thought. I drank at least 100 ounces of fluid yesterday (without being up any more often last night to use the bathroom). So the moral of the story is: Drink enough water. If the water supply changes, make sure you are drinking enough. When you are 8 months pregnant, drink even more. (Or is it 9 months? Can I possibly be 9 months pregnant already? I guess 36 weeks divided by 4 makes 9. Wow. I don't feel 9 months pregnant. It's gone so fast. I wonder if I will get any bigger. I don't feel like I've grown too much the last few weeks.)
In other local news, my hands are swelling more, and becoming more numb more often. It's becoming difficult to do things like tell if I've washed all of the shampoo out of my hair. Or type well. Or control a knife. Cooking is getting a little dangerous for me, between the numb hands and huge belly that rubs against the counter or stove top without my knowledge. And now it's both hands, and not just my left. It's normal for me to go an entire day without feeling my fingertips. I've also lost sensation in the skin around my belly button. I guess that's kind of helpful since I run into more things with my belly every day. I won't feel the pain anymore. =) (By the way, pregnancy is not the cure to clumsiness. So don't try it.) The first day I noticed that I couldn't feel my belly anymore, I wasn't sure if it was my fingers that were senseless or my tummy. So Alann helped me by pulling some of the peach fuzz on my belly. I didn't feel it at all. My back aches if I sit too long. My feet ache if I stand too long. It's a lose-lose situation. I guess I sound like a 9 month pregnant woman huh? And no, the swelling hasn't gone down in my feet. Though the increased protein consumption has cut my sweet craving in half (which is good, because I have been eating a lot of sweets. Well, a lot for me. That will make Claire a sweet baby right?).
When we were at Walgreen's, there was a plethora of Valentine's candy floating around, but I also found Cadbury eggs! I love those stupid things. Alann doesn't understand how I can eat them, since the center is almost pure sugar, and I don't like things to be too sweet. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate, but I love dark chocolate. Super sweet and I don't get along. Unless it's a Cadbury egg. MMMMM. (Of course, when I eat them, I usually take a bite, put the rest down for an hour or so, and then finish it. Because that much sugar bomb in one bite is too much.) Darn it, now I want one. When I was in college, my mom and sisters used to send me packages because getting a package was the highlight of every college student's day, and I always looked forward to the Easter package because I knew it had Cadbury eggs in them (and I was too broke/ poor/ cheap to buy my own).