Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fried Chicken and Babies

I've been a patient at my gynecology practice for 2 years. It's primarily a midwifery practice with some backup doctors around. I liked being seen by a nurse midwife because it's a much more personal and less clinical experience than those I've had with doctors in the past. Every time I went for an annual exam, I saw a different person, which also never bothered me, although it is a little bizarre to exchange first meeting pleasantries with someone who is about to root around in your lady bits.

Frank and I went there together a few weeks ago for my first prenatal appointment and it's no exaggeration to say the whole experience was a nightmare.

My appointment was in the morning, when the office was just opening. It's a large practice and the waiting room was packed with pregos. The lady behind the desk was already yelling at people everyone who came through the door to sign in. When we were finally called back to the exam room, the very nice nurse/medical technician/Lincoln Tech graduate had the wrong codes on the form explaining why I was there. Codes that she kept repeating to me as if I knew what she was talking about. She then said she had to go find out why I was mislabeled or whatever and she would "be right back". We're left alone in the room for about 20 minutes. I fell asleep on the table and Frank tried really hard to keep his head from exploding.

Then a little old lady walks in and introduces herself as the midwife and asks me how my other baby is doing. I tell her I don't have any other babies. She then asks if I had the baby somewhere else and that's why she doesn't have it on the chart. Again I tell her that I've never had a baby before, but I'm working on one right now. She finally gets the message and moves on to asking us what we expect for this pregnancy and what kind of birth we want to have. I told her we have no plan, none of this was the plan, we're totally shell shocked here. She asks why we didn't consider abortion.

Are you kidding me lady?! We're both sitting here, wondering when the world turned upside down, and you as my health care provider ask me why I haven't considered abortion? What type of shit is that? I don't need any effing reverse psychology where you reveal to us that we've been ready all along! This isn't an after school special!

I calmly responded that we're over 30, we've been married for over 5 years, and while this wasn't the plan, we can handle it. Abortion isn't for us.

She then spent the next half hour counseling us on how we can do this. She just talked and talked and talked. Finally, she got around to asking some medical questions about family histories and then said she had to go see how many people were waiting to see me because I wasn't really scheduled for a prenatal visit. I hadn't even taken my pants off yet! Ten minutes later she comes back and says she does have to go but she'll examine me first. She uses some stupid little external Doppler stethoscope to look for a heartbeat and finds none. She actually examines me and tells us "that's about an 8 week uterus". She writes a prescription for prenatal vitamins, tells me to make another appointment in 4 weeks, and sends me down the street for some blood work.

Not exactly the experience I was expecting or looking for in my first visit. When we left the place, Frank very gently suggested that perhaps we should consider changing doctors. Like, getting an actual doctor. He said he was pretty sure that place was selling fried chicken out of the back office. I was surprised to find myself wanting a more clinical experience. So we made an appointment with the doctor who delivered Frank's son. He has his own practice and we'll see him every time we go. And he went to medical school.

Next on my list; the hospital. I am making appointments and touring some facilities because I am not sharing my room with some damn crackhead.


Lora said...

Hey, I had to share my room with a crackhead and I turned out just fine.

Not really. It was awful and I sent my baby to the nursery when I wanted to sleep because I didn't trust her. She didn't even know how to spell her new baby's name.

She went into labor AT THE BAR for christsake. She THOUGHT SHE MAY HAVE PEED HER PANTS.

That said, I loved Penn, and wouldn't change if I had another kid.

The Swiss Miss said...

Hell yes, find a new doctor. Get yourselves some clinical experiences STAT!

Rinny said...

Me too! Run to a new doctor as quickly as you can. Kick off your shoes in the street if you need more traction to run faster.
Geez....that's horrible.