Thursday, January 23, 2014

The terrible experience...and my savior Dr. Pham.

Today was my first appointment with my new Dr. at the Fremont Kaiser facility and it was the worst experience I have ever had with a Dr in my life. We'll call him... Dr. N. If you really want to know who to avoid, email me and I'll give you his name. But for this post I will refer to him as Dr. N. 

The nurse called me back and took my weight. 137.2lbs.. woo! I've gained 2lbs since starting my meds. Some women gain 15!! I was shown into a tiny exam room and sat on a very low exam bed. Apparently the facility used to be a pediatrics unit so everything was smaller scaled. The nurse took my blood pressure, and typed a little on the computer. She didn't ask me if I had children, had ever given birth, if they were healthy births..nothing. Then she asked me to disrobe from the waist down and the Dr. N would be in shortly. When Dr. N walked in, he didn't smile, shake my hand or even say "Hello." He said "So how're you feelin." and I said "Uh I'm having some morning sickness.." and he cut me off saying "Haha..thats normal. So you had some questions about the genetic testing?" I said "Yes.. I'm a surrogate so I wondered if it was necessary to test ME since the baby is not genetically mine." The demeanor of Dr. N instantly changed. He suddenly seemed to long to be anywhere but in the room with me. He explained vaguely how the testing worked and to ask my IPs if they would still be interested. The nurse took over to go into a little more depth and the Dr stood impatiently with the ultrasound wand in his hand waiting to get things over with. The entire attitude and demeanor of this Dr. was almost as if he were annoyed that he were wasting his time with me. As if he didn't need to attempt to show any interest or care because I wasn't the mother. He saw me as a business. A business transaction sitting on his table. That made me less of a human to him and less of a patient. I asked him to look for the blood remaining in my uterus to know if I should maintain light rest.  I started filming the ultrasound and asked if we could hear the heartbeat. He said "Its too early to hear a heartbeat. You wont be able to hear one until 12 weeks." I was instantly taken aback. I had two videos of ultrasounds with heartbeats. The whole ultrasound lasted I am not kidding, 30 seconds. He froze one frame angle and took a rough measurement of the baby and said. "Ok." and pulled the wand out. I said "Did you look for the blood?? Is there still remaining blood?" and he squinted at the frozen frame on the screen and said, "Nope. I dont see anything. You're fine." and then told me "I need to go take some needles out of the woman in the next room. Don't want to over cook her." and then walked out. I began to tear up. I was being blatantly ignored when I had serious questions that needed answering! The nurse frantically tried to fill in various gaps as I cried saying again how important it was that he be sure there was no more blood so I can behave according to what is best for the baby! I didn't want to resume normal activity and have something happen to this miracle baby because some Dr was too lazy to look harder on the ultrasound! The nurse went over more information about the genetic testing when about 5 minutes later the Dr poked his head back in the exam room and said "Uh...what's going on here?" She said "Oh I'm just going over the genetic testing paperwork with her now." and Dr.N said "Oh need to finish up because we have other ladies waiting." and then shut the door. Even the nurse stood with her mouth open before coming up with some lame excuse for him like "Oh he's just checking on us to see how we're doing." No. He's rude, and he doesn't care about me as a patient. I left that appointment feeling insulted, angry, and still concerned about the state of my uterus and if there was still blood remaining in my uterus. I cried the whole way home.

When I got home I filed a formal complaint against Dr.N. and switched my Dr to Michelle Pham. When I explained what happened to Kaiser on the phone the scheduled me later in the day for a re-do appointment with Dr. Pham. My experience with her was infinitely better. Normal even! She smiled and shook my hand on entry, and asked about my experience earlier today. I told her everything and what my concerns were and she was happy to help me feel better, and more comfortable. She performed the ultrasound and even suggested to me that I film it for the IPs!! Haha! I said Thanks ya I love doing that! We listened to the heartbeat (that lying jerk face Dr. N.. I KNEW it wasn't too early to hear a heartbeat. Even on those machines.) the heartbeat was in the 180s! Dr. Pham looked for a long time from multiple angles and said she didn't see any residual blood in my uterus. That my body has most likely reabsorbed the remaining old blood. Then she checked my ovaries and gave me a routine breast exam. She spoke to me about my IPs, and wrote down their names in her notes. She said she liked to know their names so they were real people to her. I said "You will probably meet them eventually! I'm sure when they come out here they will come to appointments with me!" She was very excited and honored to be included in this journey for my IPs and myself. I felt so comfortable with her and was so glad her nurse asked me normal first appointment questions about my previous births, and issues from pregnancy. It was much more "normal". I left feeling happy and like a human again. :)

I will still not be doing anything strenuous and will still be using my babysitters so that I can rest and catch up on missed sleep. Childcare every now and then is a real blessing!

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