Sunday, December 6, 2009

The doctor

I feel so empowered these days, in some ways. Back in July when I first consulted with my ob/gyn, to say I was nervous would be an extreme understatement. Dr. X was always nice enough for my yearly visits, and I remember him trying to stifle his laughter when I told him of our plans to use natural family planning as birth control. It did always bother me that he never addressed me by any name- neither first nor last. It was always, "Hey, how are you?" as his greeting. Regardless, he is a very smart man and I was confident in first. I went in to the first meeting armed with months worth of my charts and a head full of phrases like "luteal phase" and "cervical mucus" that I was intimately familiar with. I had a list full of questions. Unfortunately, Dr. X wasn't too interested in my charts and what they showed or didn't show. He did answer some of my questions, and ordered some preliminary blood tests.
Then it came out that my prolactin levels were funky, so I went on Parlodel (Bromicriptine) to bring down the hormone. When the nurse called me to tell me my inital blood work results, I attempted to ask a few questions about what prolactin is in general, what my level was exactly, how it affects my chances for pregnancy. That woman couldn't get off the phone fast enough. When I went home to explain to DH about the bottle of pills I now had- I could barely offer an explanation. What's prolactin? Umm...a hormone? What are you taking? Ummmm....pills? After a little Internet research, I was a bit better informed, but was perturbed that I couldn't get answers to my questions straight from my doctor's office. After the first month, I went in on Day 24 to have my blood work done and waited patiently for a few days for the results. This would be my first set of results after being on Parlodel for a month. The nurse who called with my results was very sweet as she explained that I had a hormone called prolactin that was elevated, and that it could hinder my ability to get pregnant, so the doctor was going to put me on Parlodel. I had to stop her and explain that I was already on Parlodel, that this was my second month getting bloodwork done. My passive-aggressive-Irish-temper flared (inside my head ofcourse) WHY did this nurse NOT know that I was already on Parlodel? Didn't she have my chart in front of her? Didn't she know that this was my second round of bloodwork? THEN she asked me what dosage I was on. REALLY? CHECK. MY. CHART. Be informed, health professional!!!
The next month, I ended up in the emergency room with a severe pain on my right side that would not go away. It was unlike any pain I'd ever had before. It eventually subsided and I followed up with an ultrasound the next day at Dr. X's. His general attitude was unlike it'd ever been- rushed, snarky and a bit defensive when I tried to ask questions. He didn't find evidence of anything and said the pain might've been from when I ovulated, but he wasn't sure.
All of these things and more made me start the hunt for a new ob/gyn. After weeks of trying to get appointments with several recommended doctors, I finally got in with Dr. A. She is a world away from Dr. X. She allowed me to just explain my journey thus far and even laughed when I used the term "OPK kits". She said she felt like she was talking to an RE, which made me felt like she got it. That I have some knowledge and something just isn't right. Then, she said some scary words: "I think you need to see a specialist."

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