That's right, I've got it, and it's not so fun. The guy making my appointment for me didn't know how to spell it or if it was important enough to get me a sick call appointment. Those weren't his words, but that's the gist of what he said until I assured him that getting me in sooner rather than later would be best for my breast. That shut him up. He probably thinks I have some rare form of leprosy and my breast will fall of. It, in fact, feels like it could. Either way, I got my sick call appointment.
For any of you who, like the operator on the appointment line, don't know what mastitis is, let me tell you. It occurs when a duct in the breast gets plugged and then becomes infected. It most often occurs in breastfeeding mothers, usually in the first few weeks post partum, when engorgement frequently occurs. It can happen other times too, though, like 59 weeks post partum. It makes your breast extremely sensitive to any touch, including bras and children crawling on you. Mastitis also comes along with fever and body aches, which kicked by butt for two days. It often needs to be treated with antibiotics, although not always.
Hot compresses and massaging the plugged duct, which is no where near a good time, can help relieve the pain. And I learned about another home remedy, something new about produce. Cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties. I had heard that it can be helpful when trying to wean, help keep the engorgement down. I didn't have to deal with that with my first two and I'm not weaning Tyler at this point, so I didn't even consider it. But a friend of mine, also a doctor, suggested it.
I googled it and found stories about cabbage retracting splinters, being wrapped around sprained ankles and swollen toes. Apparently it's good stuff. For those trying to wean the cabbage can be used continually. For those of us still planning on breastfeeding, but really hoping to break up that clog in the pipes, a few hours on, a few hours off seems to be the consensus.
So I tried my first cabbage leaves earlier today, for two hours. Progress! (Imagine I sang that.) I still have one duct that's being stubborn, but hopefully another round of cabbage therapy will release that too.