Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Introducing Doctor Debbie Downer!

I scheduled a doctors appointment for today in hopes of getting some answers as to what was going on with my last cycle. Taking into consideration the extreme pain and the early AF last week I really felt like something was wrong. Unfortunately my doctor is out of town until the first week of November, so I was scheduled with another doctor from her practice.

I was nervous about meeting with another doctor since I feel so comfortable with my current doctor, but since I wanted to get things figured out before I was supposed to take my Clomid prescription tomorrow I sucked it up and took the early morning appointment.

So my first bad vibe was from the other doctor's nurse. She didn't even look up at me as she called my name and brought me back to the room. Didn't say a thing to me. That was strange but... whatever. Then the doctor comes in. She introduces herself. No "Nice to meet you", no "How are you doing today?" Nothing. Besides obviously sizing me up, (yes I know I look young! I'm not!), she doesn't even crack a smile or look me in the eye. I get the feeling she is extremely put out that she is having to see me, and her tone is almost as if she's doing me a favor rather than me paying for a service (and boy, am I paying!). She almost accusingly tells me that my doctor is in Baltimore...as if I should have just waited to see her a week. From here on we shall call her Doctor Debbie Downer or Dr. DD.

Dr. DD asks me to tell her what is going on. I launch into my detailed explanation of my horrendous pain last Tuesday, the nurse telling me it is ovulation, my period starting on Saturday, the lack of spotting or cramps, the fact that it stopped Monday night and started up again this morning. She doesn't even appear to be listening to me until I tell her the only thing I did differently this cycle was take the Clomid at night and mention that I don't see how that could make that much of a difference. Dr. DD's head snaps up,

"Actually it does make a difference, " she tells me accusingly, "We always have our patients take it at night." She stares at me like this is the root of all my problems and makes me feel like a complete idiot. My doctor never said anything about time of day making a damn difference!

At this point I can tell she does not think very highly of my doctor. She makes offhand comments like "When I prescribe Clomid I have my patients go on Birth Control for three months " and "Why haven't you been referred to an RE yet? I always refer to an RE" and "Why would you have your doctor do a HSG? Since you're paying out of pocket I would think you would want the best job possible done." (My doctor specializes in HSGs but I digress...)

Dr. DD then tells me she's going to examine me. She speaks to me as you would a small child, very slowly and deliberately "Put your feet in these and then scoot down here." Like I've never been in stirrups before, good grief lady, I've been here before a time or two! Except for perfunctory "Does this hurt" when pushing on my stomach and "This is going to be cold and you are going to feel pressure" she doesn't say a word.

When she's done Dr. DD tells me that by the looks of my cervix that she doesn't think I'll get pregnant without an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). She seems to think that my LEEP procedure in January has damaged my cervix. Hmmm, that is funny because THREE OTHER DOCTORS have complimented me on my cervix. Yes, I said complimented because whenever they've been down there they've always said "Oh! Your cervix looks fantastic! It looks really good!" Almost to the point where I am thinking of enrolling my cervix in John Robert Powers modeling school because they have always been so complimentary.

When she's done she sits me down and tells me that she obviously has different ideas on how to treat IF patients because she was one herself, again giving me the distinct impression that she does not agree with my doctor's treatment plan and does not think very highly of her. As if the fact that she has dealt with some form of IF makes her opinion more valuable. As someone who has dealt with IF I cannot believe the terrible bedside manner that Dr. DD had. How could she have possibly been an IF patient when she treats someone who is going through the same thing with such disregard? Her attitude completely shattered any ounce of credibility she may had have with me.

On top of it all she gave me zero answers other than "Sometimes Clomid messes up your cycle" regarding the early AF and the debilitating pain on Tuesday. I'm taking her advice on one thing, I'm not taking the Clomid this cycle, it just doesn't feel right. I've already made an appointment with MY doctor to discuss all of this on the day she gets back to the office, November 1st. So really I'm no closer to understanding what is going on than I was this morning before my appointment. What a waste of $60...

However, even after all of that the worse part of the appointment was after the doctor had hurried out of the room and I went to the restroom. While I was washing my hands I heard a rhythmic, "ker-thump, ker-thump, ker-thump". It was a sound I am only familiar with through television and movies but it was unmistakable...a heartbeat. As I walked out of the bathroom I passed a curtained room and heard a woman's thrilled voice "On honey, it's our baby's heartbeat!" There is nothing worse than walking out of an appointment like that one, after 19 months of TTC, and hearing someone else hearing their baby's heartbeat for the first time. I can't believe I made it to the car before breaking down in tears.

"Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm."Come in," she said "I'll give you shelter from the storm.""
-Bob Dylan


kathryn said...

I have been following your story on the Nest and just wanted to let you know how sorry I am that you are going through this.

I only have BOTB and haven't started the actual TTC process so I can't identify with how you are feeling...just wanted to send some good thoughts your way.

My fingers are crossed for you! I will continue to follow your story...I just know it's going to have a happy ending!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry this wasnt the visit you expected to have. Hopefully you can take this visit as a much needed second opinion, and look at your situation in a completely different light. I have not found myself in your situation yet (I haven't been trying all that long) but from what I could see, Doctor DD just isn't interested in sugar-coating things. Are you sure that there is no credibility in what she says?

Hang in there, maybe between her and your regular doctor you may get some insight into what you need to be doing to make that baby fast!

I agree though with one think you mentioned she said - you ARE paying out of pocket, so you want the best treatment possible. if she has another way of doing things, hear her out!

Good luck, you deserve the best. I can't say I blame you for breaking down in the car. it's a long journey you've been taking and I am sure you're ready to get somewhere already.

HUGS for you, darling. You are the best. (and your cervix is pretty cool, also, lol).

Busted said...

Ugh - that doctor sounds just awful. It really is amazing the difference in how you feel about the process based on the doctor. Good luck with seeing your actual doctor soon!

-Busted (bustedbabymaker.blogspot.com)

Leah said...

**HUG** Hang in there hun, I know it's hard, and I've wanted to give up more than I can count, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

And I'll be more than happy to punch Dr DD in her face if it makes you feel better.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog on the list that BUSTED has on her blog, and thought it might be really helpful to see that you are not alone:


Meg said...

That is horrible. Really horrible. Dr. DD should have her kneecaps removed. Why do people like her choose professions like hers?? I just don't get it. She should work in a lab or something away from people.
And they should let you go to a different office than the heartbeat people. Maybe in a different town. I can't wait to hear what your doctor has to say about DD.

Jenni said...

Hmmm. Looks like Dr. DD was right about your cervix! Sometimes the best doctors lack bedside manners. Maybe what you read as impatience and hostility was really just Dr. DD trying to help get you pregnant as quickly and affordably as possible. Just a thought.

Bev said...

Hmmm, I suppose there is a chance that she knew better than three ob/gyns, the doctor that did my HSG and my RE, who all said my cervix was not the problem but...I'll never know for sure.

Honestly, I know rudness when I see it and she made me feel as small and silly as possible. I would love to give her the benefit of the doubt but she treated me like and idiot and was rude about her fellow practicing physician, my doctor. I'm not mistaking those things, really I'm not. To this day it still stands out to me.

I would have loved to go to the RE right then and there, as she suggested, but my insurance didn't cover anything IF related whatsoever. I couldn't even fathom the expense at that point with my Real Estate career completely taking a nosedive and me not knowing when my next paycheck was coming.

Anyways, long response, but I'll admit thre is a chance she was right about the cervix, but everything else, her attitude and her treatment of me and my doctor, was just plain unacceptable.

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