August 07, 2009


When my mother went to my doctor's appointment with me, she asked my doctor if he would also be delivering my baby.  I said, "Mom, it was his job to get me pregnant, that's all."  I had to stop myself from adding "thank fricking heavens."  My next appointment is set up with a maternal-fetal medicine doctor.  I am almost out of the fertility clinic for good.


I need my doctor for one more thing.

You think he came through?

I met with him again Wednesday to discuss doing a test that will map the baby's chromosomes and prove definitively whether this baby carries the unbalanced translocation that would be its death sentence.  Every person I've talked to -- my doctor, the genetic counselor, the OB nurse -- has posed the same question: What will you do with this information once you get it?  What will you do if your baby receives a death sentence, because if you're not going to do anything about it, then there's no point in gathering the information.  Ignorance is bliss, right?

I disagree.

It's entirely possible to carry this baby the entire nine months, birth it, and watch it die hours or days after it's born.  And if that is my fate, I need to know it.  Because that means that hitting the second trimester, the point when most women sigh with relief, means nothing for me.  I cannot sit here and wonder every week if this will be the week my baby finally dies.  It could happen in week 7, as my previous pregnancies, in week 18, as Julia experienced, or in week 25, 32, whatever.  And I just need to know if this is my fate, because I cannot enjoy this pregnancy and bond with this baby if I keep waiting for it to die every single day.

So I encourage nurses and genetic counselors to ask their rehearsed question of what a patient will do with the info, but to also conversely ask "Can you live without knowing?"  I believe I am the type of person who can't.

This test has to be done between 10 and 12 weeks, and since I am already 10 1/2 weeks along, the decision had to be made fast.  Ironically, I never felt like I had to give this much thought yet because I kept expecting the baby to die on its own.  So this decision snuck up on me.

My doctor sat with me on Wednesday and asked the "what will you do with this info?" and pretty much let it be known that he advised against the test, but in the end he said that if I want to do it, I should call the referrals lady and she would get me another appointment at the major metropolitan hospital that I went to for the genetic counseling.

I went home and called the referral lady.  She said, "Honey, I can't make you that appointment without your doctor putting the referral in the computer.  And he has left the office and won't be back the rest of the week."

I am just dumbfounded.  I now have to wait until Monday to get a referral to then try to get a same-week appointment.  Why didn't my doctor just put it in the computer while we were sitting there if he knew he was going to be out of the office the rest of the week?  Why did he take an already stressful situation -- making life and death decisions -- and make it even more stressful by having me sit on my thumbs for an extra five days waiting for his stupid self to code something in the computer for me?

What an asshole.  Pardon my language, but I am just so done with that man.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, literally!, as I was getting up to leave, I recounted something that happened the last miscarriage.  The miscarriage-inducing drug that was given to me during my second miscarriage was inserted vaginally so it could work its magic more quickly.  Because that was an emergency visit, I did not see my regular fertility doctor but whoever was on call.  That doctor explained in detail how the medicine worked and what I was supposed to do with it.  So when I saw my doctor for the third miscarriage and he prescribed the same medication, well, I had already been to that party.  I said I had already taken that same medication once, and my doctor said that breaking the pills in half would make the drug act even faster.  So that's what I did.  I took eight jagged, broken pieces of pill and inserted them gingerly and painfully into my vagina.  Oh holy moly, that hurt.  So I wanted my doctor to know this because, ahem, he doesn't have a vagina himself and maybe has never considered the abuse that jagged pills can inflict.  Maybe it's not worth it for them to act Even Faster! if it causes that kind of discomfort.

He just stares at me and goes, "You were supposed to put them in your mouth."

Four months ago, my doctor handed me a medication with no accompanying written instructions and expected me to know how he intended me to use it, when he knew darn well that there were two different modes of employ.  And then he looked at me like I was a complete moron for having chosen the wrong method.

Seriously.  Flames, on the side of my face...heaving...breathless...

I want that referral and I want it now.  And I want to get him the hell out of my life.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:19 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 948 words, total size 6 kb.

1 This post left me sitting stunned with my mouth hanging open staring at the monitor. If doctors are supposed to be the best and brightest, we are ALL in a lot of trouble!!! How awful for you to have to suffer even ONE MORE pain or stress because of their incomplete instructions or actions.  Damn!

I understand how you feel about the test. Knowledge empowers us, even if it is bad news. I hope your news is wonderful. When you schedule the test, just PUSH them to fit you in before the window for testing is closed. Hopefully the staff at the hospital that does the testing will be more responsive and supportive than this guy has been.

You are walking a difficult path these days. I wish you peace of heart (and good results from the test).

Posted by: Amy at August 07, 2009 10:02 AM (9fDOS)


Chorionic Villus Sampling may not be the best option. CVS has between a 1% and 1.9% fetal loss rate (there are differences between the various studies), meaning almost 1 out of every 50 or 100 CVS tests results in a terminated pregnancy.

You may want to opt for level II ultrasounds instead. My wife and I had a similar decision and, while not as certain, they were a far safer alternative than an invasive test.

Posted by: GB FL at August 07, 2009 11:07 AM (3r84X)

3 I'm spitting angry for you.  Seriously.  That doctor is grossly negligent, particularly because knowing you I'm well aware you make it your business to be as absolutely informed as possible.  There's NO WAY you missed that instruction.  There's no way he so much as hinted at it and you missed it - for the love of Pete, you took notes during a miscarriage in case you needed them in the future.   Someone that detailed is most certainly NOT going to miss those kinds of instructions. 

He should be reported - he's effectively causing you to potentially lose necessary medical care because of his negligence.  And it IS negligence.  And he has a history of this.

What a utter piece of trash that doctor is.

Posted by: airforcewife at August 07, 2009 11:53 AM (CDkfD)

4 GB FL -- Please provide further information and links.  All info I have found online and been quoted by doctors is a <0.5% risk.  And since I already have a 50% chance of miscarriage, 50.5% (or even 51.9%) is only one small increment higher.  Also, were you using Level II ultrasound to specifically check for a chromosome abnormality?  I was told that ultrasound cannot detect mental retardation.  I would prefer to know more about your "similar decision" before I decide if I should weigh your advice, if you wouldn't mind explaining more here or in a private email to me: tryingtogrok -at-

Posted by: Sarah at August 07, 2009 11:59 AM (TWet1)

5 [speechless]!!!

Posted by: queenie at August 07, 2009 12:17 PM (s6EYz)

6 *speechless*

But only temporarily. Wonder how often that doctor's been slapped by a patient. Obviously not enough, because that's just... OBVIOUSLY not enough.

OTOH, it sounds like he might be one of those on whose learning a slap would likely have no effect. Can't wait 'til he's back so you can be rid of him.

In the meantime, ditto to Amy's wish for peace of heart... *hugs*

Posted by: Krista at August 07, 2009 01:00 PM (sUTgZ)

7 After everything your doctor has done to you until now, I thought he must have finally gotten his act together if you were still seeing him.

I was wrong.

He doesn't seem to see you as a human being. I wonder how human he is. He appears to be going through the motions, not remembering what he said and not considering your needs.

Initially I thought you should reported him ... but would that really stop him from doing this to anyone else again? Maybe it wouldn't hurt to try.

Or would it? Would reporting be a single-step process? I imagine you want nothing to do with this guy in any shape or form every again. The less you deal with him, the better.

Your situation would be a nightmare no matter who your doctor was. But he doesn't seem to realize that - or care.

He'd better give you that referral first thing Monday. I'd call him. I wouldn't count on him remembering. How hard could it be for him to make a referral?  Too hard, apparently.

Finding peace of heart will be hard, but I hope you can find it.

Posted by: Amritas at August 07, 2009 01:50 PM (+nV09)

8 That doctor takes the cake.  You are a smart, diligent, inquisitive person.  Can you imagine the damage his brand of bedside manner & lack of helpful information could do to someone considerably less so?

I'm sorry you are still dealing with his ridiculous behavior.

Posted by: Guard Wife at August 07, 2009 02:37 PM (qk9Ip)


Heck, if you don't report him, I might have to.  I'm sure there are a few others that would be glad to complain.  I promise I won't lie or anything, just complain.


Posted by: Kate at August 07, 2009 06:16 PM (J1l7A)


Someone should grab him by the balls and yank him around for a few days. 

I am SO sorry you went through this.  If you have the emotional energy right now, DO report him. 

If you've ever questioned your ability to get through a hellish situation with grace and poise, DON'T.  Anyone who could go through what you've been through and put up with with this asshole is an INCREDIBLE person of strength and grace and grit and amazingness. 

Posted by: Val at August 08, 2009 11:25 AM (5btL/)

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