Mom Shares Milk Duct Clog After Doctors Didn't Believe She Was In Danger

One of the most frustrating things about the body is that it only has so many ways of telling us what's wrong with it. There are symptoms that give doctors something to work with, but the conditions these symptoms point to can often overlap.

So it's understandable that misdiagnoses can happen. However, some women and patients of color have reported a problem that makes this confusion worse. Namely, it's that when they are deeply in pain and have reason to suspect a certain condition is causing that, they find their concerns dismissed by doctors.

And as one rough story illustrates, it can lead to much more perilous situations when doctors don't believe what their patients have to tell them until it becomes impossible to ignore.

Back in April of 2020, Tyler-Marie Oates found herself developing flu-like symptoms while visiting her parents' home.

As she told Buzzfeed, she initially brushed these off as coming from fatigue, but she became more concerned when her fever reached 103.8 degrees and she also developed body aches, pounding headaches, and chills.

Since she also had difficulties pumping breast milk for her then-newborn daughter, she started to suspect that she had mastitis.

For those unaware, mastitis is an inflammation in the breast that is characterized by swelling, redness, warmth and pain there.

But according to the Mayo Clinic, it's also not uncommon to develop fevers and chills as a result of mastitis.

And while there are multiple causes for this condition, the most common is a blocked milk duct that comes when a breast isn't completely emptied during feeding.

Unfortunately, the more obvious symptoms of mastitis hadn't developed yet, so doctors ran tests into other matters (including COVID-19) when Oates shared this suspicion.

So she was moved into the COVID unit until her relevant test came back negative, but further issues developed while she was there.

Her fever spiked again and she felt immense pressure and pain in her breast.

As she said, "When I would pump, hardly anything would come out, and if it did, it was blood."

Worse yet, her heart rate became dangerous high while her blood pressure quickly dropped, a sign of the body's life-threatening response to infections, which is known as sepsis.

To get rid of the infection at the heart of this issue, Oates, her boyfriend, and some lacation nurses worked to pump out the over 10 clots that had built up inside of her.

And what she didn't say in her TikTok was how difficult and painful the process of doing this was, as each clot was roughly the size of a shoelace when it came out of her nipple.

As Oates put it, "It was not pleasant by any means and would honestly burn on their way out."

Although she was cleared to continue breastfeeding once she had recovered, her experience compelled Oates to switch to formula.

In her words, "When something like that almost kills you and takes you from your baby, you have a fear of ever doing it again."

h/t: Buzzfeed

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