Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doctor woes

I had a doctor's appointment first thing this morning, and I was so frustrated I was almost in tears by the end of it.

My doctor, Dr. L., who delivered Lily and Campbell, is wonderful. She's a kind, caring person, and I have complete trust in her. And until this morning, I've only ever had one complaint about a staff member at her office, and when she heard about my complaint, Dr. L. called me to apologize and take care of the issue.

The problem is that she is on indefinite leave from the office because of some serious health issues. I knew about this the last time I went in and saw her lead nurse practitioner, whom I trust as much as I do Dr. L. When I finished my appointment last time, the nurse practitioner told me we'd figure out a game plan for the rest of my pregnancy and my delivery, which is going to be a c-section, at today's appointment.

The problem is that I saw one of the other nurse practitioners today, and she acted like I was insane when I relayed what the other nurse practitioner said.

Here's part of our conversation.

RNP: We'll set your c-section date when we get a week away from your due date.
HOK: Ummm, Dr. L. and M (the other RNP) told me that we'd be putting my c-section on the calendar at 20 weeks, which didn't happen. And M told me at my last appointment that we'd put it on the calendar today.
RNP: No, that's not how we do things. We'll set it a week out with whichever doctor is on the schedule to work that day.
HOK: But what if I want to pick which doctor does my surgery.
RNP: Well, you certainly have the right to do that.
HOK: Does that mean I should look at switching to one of the other doctors in the group?
RNP: Well, you certainly have the right to do that.
HOK: Is there one in particular you can recommend?
RNP: You'll need to go to our Web site and look at all the doctors and make your choice that way.

The RNP also kept saying that I only needed to see a doctor once a trimester, and my saying that it's already been almost a trimester since I saw Dr. L didn't have any effect on her. I gave up at that point because I was about to get hysterical.

When I stopped at the appointment desk on my way out, I asked for an appointment with Dr. C. One of my best friends who is in the same position has switched to her, and I have another friend who has seen her for three challenging pregnancies and three c-sections. I have an appointment in three weeks. I asked the appointment scheduler if I was allowed to come back as a patient if Dr. L's health issues cleared up and she returned to practicing. She assured me that I could.

I suppose I'm especially touchy about this because it's not the first time it's happened. When I was 6 months' pregnant with Ella, my OB was diagnosed with MS and had to shut down her practice. I switched to one of her on-call partners based on the recommendation of a friend, and I ended up hating the doctor and her whole staff, except the nurse practitioner, but I wasn't allowed to just see her for the remainder of the pregnancy, no matter how much I begged.

I'm really afraid of having a repeat situation, even though I know it's not likely. Plus I feel terribly selfish for being upset at having to switch doctors when Dr. L is facing the possible end of her medical career. I just need to suck it up.

But still . . . I am upset and worried.


Memarie Lane said...

Oy, it must make things so much more difficult dealing with C-Sections. My midwife came today for our home visit so she could get the lay of the land for the birth. I'm so glad I have this option!

Anonymous said...

Dr. L's illness in no way invalidates your upsetness. It *is* upsetting to have to change doctors, and that's total crap, only needing to be seen once a trimester. Ugh.

Becca said...

Drop the feeling of selfishness and continue to advocate for yourself. Pregnancy is serious business: we are bringing a PERSON into the world, and OUT of your body. And a c section is SURGERY. you need to be comfortable and happy.