Frustrations After Pregnancy Loss: The Medical Process
There are many things different this time, like my location but overall I've had similar frustrations. Here are my frustrations of the medical process, some funny and not so funny. Medical:
Thank God for the Emergency Room Doctor and the OBGYN Doctor that was on call that night. The Emergency Room Doctor really rubbed my partner the wrong way mainly because he felt that a woman and/or parents should not be told that they are losing their baby in the hallway entrance to the Emergency Room. Everyone in the Emergency Room waiting area saw our reactions, there was no buffer or time to collect myself from finding out to turning around to hear my four-year old daughter ask "Mommy are you okay?" Personally, the only thing that upset me about that moment was that I had no time to collect myself for me the location is small peas.
There are a few medial annoyances that I experienced this time around that I didn't have to deal with before mainly because I was living in Italy and I was dealing with Military Doctors not Civilian Doctors. One out of the three of my biggest annoyances with the medical process this time is that the next day I called to verify the procedure of how to follow-up with the Doctor who did the surgery. One of the requirements was that I see my primary care doctor, this was my number one annoyance I did not want to tell my story in such a delicate time to a man and a murse who do not have a real clue on the obstetrics of a woman or what it feels like to lose. But that next Monday I sat in his chair talking to his murse, which to a certain extent was very humorous as one of his first questions were "Do you have any signs of depression?" My answer was "um yeah a little, I assume that's to be expected". Then we sat down after he took my vitals and he said "So you're here for a follow-up after an ectopic pregnancy?" I truly wanted to answer "Nope, sunshine I am here for you to make sure I am sane" but I didn't I said "yep, I had surgery at 3 am last Monday." His reply was "sometimes life really sucks" and then went to my file and asked the dreadful question of "How many pregnancies and how many live births?" My answer was "5" he quickly replied "how many live births?" I answered "2". The look in his face was truly of one where you could tell that he was unsure of what to say next but he mustered up the words "sometimes life really sucks." I truly felt bad for him, he was maybe 19 or 20 and still wearing his high school class ring and I got the sense that maybe he hasn't truly experienced such a delicate tragedy himself.
My second medical annoyance was the "depression question". The day I called to see the process of seeing the OGBYN Doctor I spoke to a nurse on the Woman's Clinic team after she advised me that I needed to now see my primary care to get the referral to see the OBGYN Doctor who did the surgery she asked how I was doing emotionally and if I needed to speak to a psychiatrist. I truly understand that it was out of a courtesy but it was the day after I lost my pregnancy, give me time to process. My pet peeve with that is those associated with the Military know that if you see a counselor or a psychiatrist for more than 6 weeks (which is the general length of treatment) you automatically get "coded" meaning the next time you go to move duty stations you will have to go through an extensive medical clearance to verify that base has the proper counseling services available for you incase you relapse and if that base doesn't have those service expect a decline on the medical clearance and a new set of orders to drop. I had to go through this experience when leaving Italy because I saw a counselor for just about six weeks after my hospital roommate died, it came down to just two weeks before leaving Italy before I knew if I was going to California or not. Also, that the coding does not go away until after 5 years of being untreated. I know there are some serious mental health issues that need a constant "in case sh*t happens we have this service here at this base" but for those who experience pregnancy loss or loss in general and choose to seek help processing the issue should not be put through such an extensive process.
My third medical annoyance was before I lost Samson and from what I can tell only happens when your at stateside bases. When you potty on a stick at home and you get a positive pregnancy test you have to go in to verify it with the Medical Group that you are definitely pregnant, which is understandable. When I found out I was pregnant I had to give blood and get an appointment with a Major. During that appointment we discussed Samson's due date, the way she would write my referrals for a high risk OBGYN and for a regular OBGYN that were to be seen separately during my pregnancy. Take note: these referrals take 3-5 business days to process which meant I wouldn't get an ultrasound until at least another 2 weeks from that Thursday before I lost Samson. If I didn't go in that Sunday to make sure Samson was okay there is a high chance I would have waited until I got to see one of the Doctors I was being referred to meaning that this ectopic could have easily ruptured because last time I waited until almost 9 weeks with Max to make sure everything was okay. Those who have a history of multiple pregnancy loss especially ectopic's need to at a location that they can do ultrasounds immediately (my earliest ultrasound was at 5 weeks with Ellie)...because honestly having an ectopic pregnancy can be a life or death situation.
As I prepare my self for my follow up appointment tomorrow I hopefully will get closure to the questions that have collected in this brain the last two weeks.
*This "Frustrations After Pregnancy Loss" has ended up being a series as I cannot cram all of it into one blog post.