Sunday, February 11, 2007

DAY 11: Dr. Sunshine

The first night that I was here, I had a resident doctor who is learning under my doctor. He came into my room and evaluated me. He had nothing good to say. He is the one who sent me into a tailspin - I hold him totally responsible for that first restless night. He was explaining my situation and felt very led to tell me the facts:

"You are really in an awful situation, I'm so sorry".
"We have to keep this baby inside of you until at least 24 weeks."
"There is no chance of survival if the baby is born before then."
"Your cervix is so short, we really don't have a lot to work with."
"IF, we make it to 24 weeks, then we will start giving your baby steroids so its lungs can develop"
"We will have one of the neonatologist come in at that point and talk to you about all of the risks involved with having a baby that early"
"You have a raw deal" (or something to that affect)

Anyway, I think you get my point. He just wasn't going to give the smallest glimmer of hope. The truth of the matter is there are thousands of women who are in my situation every day, and they make it to 36,38, and even 40 weeks. I'm not even considered to be in "pre-term labor" right now. I'm not having contrations, I'm not bleeding, my water hasn't broken, and I am maintaining a stable status. I understand not wanting to give false hope to your patients, but "Come on...."

So, since then I have seen him a couple of other times, and he just brings a dark cloud into my room everytime. Somehow, he manages to get the "24 week" comment in every visit.

Well, this morning he came in and went through his routine: "are you bleeding?" "are you having any pain?" "do you feel like you've had a gush of fluid?" "has your water broken?"
I just want to scream, "Don't you think I would notify the damn nurse if any of this was happening?" "Don't you think I might push that little red nurse button?" "Don't you think you and any other doctor on this floor would have been notified?" AARRRRGGGGG!

I restrain from shouting all of those things and let him carry on, and here is what our conversation amounted to:

Dr: "Well, we have an ultrasound on Monday to see you if have lengthened anymore" pause

"We are really hoping you stay pregnant"

WAIT - Did I just hear that correctly: "We are really hoping you stay pregnant??" Could he have possibly just said that? Are you F------ kidding me? (Sorry Mom, Ted, Ursula) That's what he has to say? We are really hoping you stay pregnant? My jaw dropped, but what's worse is that he kept talking.

Dr: "22 weeks on Tuesday, that's good, but 24 is our magic number"

Me: "Well, actually I think 32, 34, 36, or even 38 are my magic numbers"

Dr: "Yeah, those are great, but we're gonna do a dance at 24"

UNBELIEVABLE. I'm in shock. I think the dancing is going to happen when I ask that he not bring his dark clouds into my room anymore!


Anonymous said...

Unbelievable and completely unacceptable. Unreal. I hope the mere fact that you keep a blog is at least a rumor on your floor. It'd be a nice, indirect and non-confrontational way of getting messages across.

Ah, hell. Just confront him.

Big Jon, Bully said...

You think you have problems? This morning I woke up on a rock spinning at thousands of miles per hour, surrounded by the vacuum of space and colds as low as absolute zero.

Imagine how difficult it will be to get my core temperature back up.

Anonymous said...

Wow! How unreal is that, that so-called Dr. needs to go back to bedside manner 101 eh? Well I hope, soon, you let someone high above him in the Dr. ranking system know of his unbelievable behavior!
I'll get back to your email about collages soon A k.

Anonymous said...

I think you should let all the wonderful pregnancy hormones out on that charming doc ... then point him to your blog where we are all talking about his wonderful bedside manner!!

(note my careful use of "wonderful" and not some vulgar Spanish expletive!)

Hang in there Ashley and let me know when I can come kick that docs tush for you!!

tamerlane said...

someone needs to put that doctor back in - he's not finished yet.

Unknown said...

There was a story on the news just last night about a premie born at 21 weeks who was going home from the hospital. He had spent time in a NICU after birth but he was strong and healthy and an amazing testament to the power of love and good medicine.

That Dr needs to learn that hope is the best medicine he can grant his patients. Perfect love casts out all fear. Remember that.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Hi Ashley, we got referred here from your hubby's other blog.

I can totally see a doctor acting like this. They don't mean to be emotionally clueless, but they are. It sounds like he was trying, but not effectively at all.

Hang in there. I will say a prayer that all goes well, with sanity intact.