Thursday, April 28, 2011

Doctor Visit

At our last Ob visit there was a grandmother in the waiting room with a teeny tiny baby girl.  Z and I oohed and ahhed over her and the grandmother smiled at T.  A few minutes later the mother came into the waiting room and it was clear she had been crying.  Her mom asked if everything was OK and she shook her head no and began gathering all the stuff that comes with having a new baby while telling the grandmother to follow her back to the exam room.  I whispered to Z that I was sure that part of her placenta was retained and that we should expect to wait a while to be seen. 

The practice I go to is very small, there were just two doctors and a third has recently been added.  My doctor delivers his patients the vast majority of the time, which is really rare now.  The trade off of having a doc that delivers is it seems like he is always delivering.  But it really doesn’t bug me because I want to have his undivided attention when it’s my turn.  Yes, he was late to our miscarriage D&C because he was performing an emergency c-section to deliver twins.  The anesthesiologist handled that situation like a whiney brat; seriously my experiences with anesthesiologists have been overwhelmingly negative.  Do you have to be a major douche bag to go into that specialty?  And he’s missed every appointment I’ve had with him so far with this pregnancy.  So while it isn’t ideal I do understand why it is happening.  I’ve gotten to know the other two doctors, who are both lovely and attentive, and I’m comfortable with whoever I’m seeing. 

It was a while before we were taken back to a room and the nurse did tell us our doctor had to leave for the hospital due to an urgent situation and we would be seen by one of the other doctors.  I had been trying not to cry since I figured out what was going on with the new mom.  I told the nurse I knew she couldn’t talk about it, but I was pretty sure the woman I’d seen had retained part of her placenta.  And if there was any way I could do something, anything, even just give her a hug and tell her it would be OK I would love to.  Because I had been there, I knew how scared she was, and I just wanted to comfort her.  The nurse very kindly told me she wasn’t allowed to say anything because of confidentiality but if I’d been in that position myself she appreciated me wanting to help another patient going through it.  I knew that would be the case, and I felt really foolish, but I was unable to help myself from speaking out.

When the nurse left I really started to cry.  Z seemed at a loss as he so often does when it comes to my hormonal crying jags so I tried to explain what had me so upset.  Because it certainly wasn’t thinking about my own experience.  I mean I wish the whole thing hadn’t happened, but in all honesty I don’t carry any bitterness or hurt about it anymore.  Which is pretty great considering I sure as hell did just a year ago.  Switching doctors was the key to letting go (my old doctor is technically part of the practice, but her office is across the hall and I don't think her patients are often seen by any of the three in the main office).  After I starting seeing my current doctor and his associates I felt like I was in capable caring hands.  The miscarriage experience proved that terrible things can happen medically, but as long as I am dealt with compassionately I will come out all right at the other end.  It might take a while, there might be a shit ton of mourning that needs to happen, but treat me with kindness and ultimately I’ll learn to live with whatever happened. 

What had me so upset was the realization that no matter what I could have said to that woman it wouldn’t have helped her in the moment.  The terror of having to go back to the hospital for a surgery days after delivering, even if it is for a minor issue is insurmountable in the moment.  The physical pain that accompanies the blood clots only makes the panic more acute.  There is no way to tell a woman that if she can just fast forward in her mind to 20 months in the future it will no longer feel like such a big deal, her kid will be amazing and wonderful and not at all scarred from the experience.  If she is nursing and her mom has to give her daughter a bottle or two of formula while she is in the hospital it isn’t going to matter a bit.  She was caught in her own living nightmare and she just had to go through it herself.  Nothing said in the moment would help, but I did know that her medical care would be exemplary.  I knew the doctor we shared would be kind and let her know how sorry he was she was going through this, how the pain she was feeling was real and that he would do something to fix it.  And I knew that as she looked back on the day eventually she would be able to find comfort in his words and actions.  But all that knowledge couldn't change her pain in the moment.  So I cried for her.  I wonder if it wasn't a bit like praying for her, you know, if praying is your bag.

I love how he looks drunk when he wakes up.

We had a little rain on Tuesday. 

And we suddenly had a little pond in the backyard.  I've always wanted a pond!

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