The Five Most Important Things I've Heard Recently

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's Friday and I am not entirely sure how we got here. I have a lot of things swirling around in my head for potential posts and updates, but today, the only thing I can manage is to sit here on this couch, finish a bunch of laundry, and write this. And so I present to you, five things said by physicians in the last 4 weeks that have kept me going.

To say that I have had a mixed bag of experiences with the medical profession would be quite the understatement. In fact, I could probably say that more of my encounters with physicians have been less than stellar. Sometimes that has been because my doctors didn't have time, or didn't want to take the time, to really listen. Sometimes, it's because my symptoms didn't fit into any neat little box that they could check on an insurance coding form. But once in awhile, I've been fortunate enough to find a caring, empathic, innovative physician who has made me feel like more than a file full of paper. Even though one of the doctors I've dealt with was a total jerk, I've been pleasantly surprised by most of the encounters I've had since.

1 | "You have been through so much, and I am sorry this is still happening."

That was Dr. C, one of the reproductive endocrinology fellows that works with Dr. S. I walked into the office last Thursday without an appointment and not only did the nurse come out to speak with me about what was going on, Dr. C squeezed me into her schedule to do an ultrasound. I had never met her in person, but after introducing herself when she came into the exam room, she put her hand on my shoulder and this was the first thing that she said. It meant so  much to hear that from her, and to feel like I was going to be well-cared for.

2 | "This did not happen because of something you did or didn't do. It is awful and it sucks and everytime it happens to one of my patients, it hurts. I know it doesn't feel like it, but you will be okay, and you will get pregnant again."

This was Dr. T, my OB. We've spoken a few times since I miscarried and every time, she has been kind and understanding, and she makes me laugh. Humor is tough, because you never want to make it feel like you're trivializing someone's pain, but Dr. T makes me smile every time we talk. I really appreciated that even though she sees this happen really frequently in her line of work, she acknowledged how awful it was. I feel like I can connect with her as a patient, and a woman, and I really trust her to take care of me. People have asked if I want to change doctors for the next time I get pregnant, but I can't imagine having someone who isn't Dr. T being the physician I trust with my care, especially after this.

3 | "There is no need for you to feel the depth of this pain that you're feeling."

This was Dr. G, my psychiatrist. After the miscarriage, I was really not doing well. I wasn't sleeping well at night, I was waking up crying, and I was hiding in bed all day. I wasn't eating. I felt like I would never feel okay again. When she recommended that I take Klonopin to help me sleep, I resisted because I felt like I would be covering up the feelings that I needed to be working through. She laughed and said, "Klonopin is good, but it's not that good." I took the Klonopin for a few days, slept, and suddenly, life didn't seem like the alternative was a better option. She also made room in her schedule for me so I could be seen weeks ahead of my original appointment. I have had a lot of psychiatrists, but none with whom I felt I could also do therapy. 

4 | "This is going to be different for your husband than it is for you, and that is okay."

Interestingly, this was from my rheumatologist, who had nothing to do with my obstetrical care at all. He called to check on me after I sent him a message to let him know what had happened. That, in and of itself, was such a big deal to me, since he was basically just calling to make sure I was mentally okay and to tell me that from an autoimmune standpoint, there was some bloodwork that could be done if I wanted it. He shared with me that his wife had miscarried, and I said that now he had two beautiful children. He replied, "And you'll have beautiful children, too." He also talked about how miscarriage is different for men and women, and I really appreciated that because it validated a little of how I had been feeling. 

5 | "We will get through this together."

This was Dr. S, after I saw him on Wednesday for a follow-up. He is one of the kindest, gentlest doctors I have ever had, and he talks to me like I am part of my care team. When he came into the exam room, he looked genuinely upset that I was still having issues. I feel like he is so invested in my health and care, and I am just one of his many patients. It's really encouraging when I feel like my doctor really wants to be a team, and it's not just talk. When he said that, and shook my hand, I really felt like someday, things will really be okay.

And so, I soldier on. The one thing I keep reminding myself is that someday, I will have a patient who has lost their child, and maybe I can use this experience to be like these physicians that have helped me through my grief. 

Stay warm out there this weekend, and see you all on Monday!

- A

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you've found such caring, understanding physicians. And I'm glad that you're soldiering on, friend.


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