Night Fever

I just cannot shake the mastitis.  My breast is staying relatively soft and is only a little lumpy.  But I have a low-level fever that will not go away.  Three different antibiotics haven't budged it, mega doses of vitamin c haven't worked, assorted immune-boosting pills haven't helped.  I'm currently sitting around with cabbage leaves stuffed in my bra in the hope that old remedies prove the best.

I'm not sure what to do next.  My doctor here has run out of antibiotics and interest – he wants to give me a pill to stop the lactation.  My online research though suggests that the pill isn't always effective and can have nasty side-effects.  I don't want to wean cold turkey anyway because it would be very stressful for both me and Petra, at a time when we don't need any extra stress.  But I'm not sure how to go about weaning slowly while I still have mastitis.  I fear that I'll get more clogged and more ill if I try to reduce Petra's breast milk intake.

Somewhere in my searches last night, I found a passing mention to weaning from one breast only.  Now that's something I hadn't considered.  It might work because I'm only infected in one breast and I produce enough milk that Petra would be well-fed from the other breast.  If it did work, I could be rid of this everlasting fever without having to wean Petra.  Of course, I'd still have to go through the how to wean from the infected breast without getting sicker conundrum.

I only need to last until we reach Vancouver in just over three weeks time. I have confidence in the various doctors and health practitioners I used to see there.  But what to do in the meantime is the question.

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11 Responses to Night Fever

  1. Anya's Mom says:

    I'm so sorry that you are still having problems with this. I'm sure you've been massaging the spot to try to break up the clog, right? If you decided to go to one breast only (something I did before I had to stop all together) I hope that will solve the problem. If the fever does not stop when you stop bfing on that side you may have an abscess that will need to be surgically drained. I kept getting fevers even when on IV antibiotics while in the hospital for over a week until all three of my abscesses were drained. The infectious disease doc said that when abscesses form they can get a hard rind around the spot that keeps the antibiotics from reaching the infection, so until that rind is opened up the infection will not clear up. I certainly hope this is not what is happening to you. I just don't want anyone else to have to go through what I did, so sometimes I come across as a little bit of an alarmist ;)Good luck!

  2. Janette says:

    Oh lord – three abscesses qualify you to be an alarmist. What you went through sounds very nasty indeed. Could you feel the abscesses? Or were they in there quietly festering away without you knowing about them? I do worry about the possibility of getting abscesses as the infection keeps lingering on and on.

  3. Janette says:

    PS: How did you go about weaning from the infected breast? I'm not sure how to slowly stop the milk supply.

  4. Anya's Mom says:

    I wrote about what happened here. The first abscess (the one that put me in the hospital) was on the top of my breast near the areola and was very close to the surface, so I was aware that I had an infection there, but not how serious it was until I went to the doctor. By that time the skin was peeling away and pus was almost oozing out (sorry, yucky!). The other two spots were much deeper. The doctors were keeping an eye on them while I was in the hospital, but they weren't revealed to be abscesses as well until an ultrasound was done. The infectious disease doc thought that they had dropped the ball by not being more aggressive. It was such an unusual circumstance that I think no one could really believe that I could have 3 different spots and on both breasts. The doctors still marvel over it whenever they see me. I think they thought that once they drained the first spot and put me on antibiotics I would get well quickly. Each night the nurse would say, "ok, no fever tonight" and then I would get a fever. Everyone was flummoxed. As I said, though, it was a really unusual case! If you don't feel like you are getting sicker, or the red area is not spreading I wouldn't worry too much. Hope I haven't scared you!

  5. Anya's Mom says:

    I never had all that much milk, I think, which makes the situation all the stranger. I simply stopped pumping and breastfeeding on that side. I'm not sure if I had any engorgement as I was pretty distracted by the gaping hole and the still red spot on the underside of that breast. When it was time to stop all together (after the draining of the spot on the other breast) the doc prescribed me a pill that is actually intended to treat Parkinsons, but as a side-effect will also stop lactation. Again I don't really remember any engorgement and had fairly minimal leaking. I think my breasts were so traumatized they were happy to give up the work 😉

  6. Janette says:

    Oh, you do not want the doctors marvelling over your case. When it comes to medical things, nice boring and ordinary is best! I'm glad to have the info about abscesses so thanks for (even the gory) the details. I have no red patches or sores, just a few blocked ducts and a low-grade fever, so I'm probably ok as far as abscesses go at least.

  7. Janette says:

    Yes, gaping holes and red patches tend to take your mind off other things! It sounds as though you had a really really nasty time of it. I don't wonder that your breast were happy to quit. Switching to formula must have been a huge relief.I've got milk for miles, especially in the left (infected) breast, so I'll have to figure out how to ease off gently.

  8. WorkingTitle says:

    So sorry to hear it's not clearing up. Hope you don't mind a little prayer being sent up for your health! Wish I could do something in addition to make it stop :)Have you tried calling a Lactation Consultant through La Leche League? (for the one breast weaning advice)

  9. Then says:

    So sorry you are still dealing with this mess. I hope it either clears or that you are ok until you can get to Canada. I never had mastitis so I can't imagine how rotten you must feel. Sending good thoughts your way!

  10. Janette says:

    Thanks for the kind words and good thoughts – I appreciate them.I did call the La Leche League here. Unfortunately, the local consultant wasn't particularly helpful so I'll contact the Vancouver branch when I get there to get help with weaning from one breast. I don't want to do anything without support in case I make myself more unwell.I'm feeling a little better today – cross fingers for continued improvements!

  11. Janette says:

    Thanks for the kind thoughts! I really appreciate the kindness of my Vox mum neighbours.

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