Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Injuries - those self-inflicted and ones I wish I could inflict on one other

I'm not angry because I'm grieving. I am angry because I see her [midwife who first dismissed my panicked call, then took her own sweet time to get to the hospital. time elapsed between call and actual cervical exam:6-7 hours] name as one of the practicioners here today and it is all I can do to not seek her out and do physical harm to her.

Do you hear what I am saying? I wish physical harm on one of the people in your practice.
And for that reason, I can't come here anymore. You haven't fired her. You promise disciplinary action. But she is still here. After over a decade at the office, I can't come here again.

Does she see my dead babies in her dreams at night? I hope so. Because I do.

I am not angry because I am grieving. I am angry because I don't think I should have to be grieving. And I blame her. Do you hear me? I blame her. I hate her.

And all of this is met with hugs and hand holdings, and "I understands" and "I see what you are saying" all boiling down to, "there, there, sobbing woman who is obviously not in her right mind, please don't freak the fuck out on us. There are pregnant women and children here."


This morning postpartum exam was much, much harder than anticipated. I honestly was fine until I saw the midwife's name. Tears. Unstoppable. They left me in the waiting room too long because by the time I got back to the room my blood pressure was sky high (you think?) Barely made it through the nurse's questions (also done with the hushed "I understand" tone) and got to the doc. And that's when the above conversation happened.

I wished her husband (my favorite ob in the practice) were there. Because I honestly do think he understands. He was there. Called too late. And was angry he was called too late. I wish my husband were there, because I honestly think he would have gone ape shit after the 2nd or 3rd condescending tone. He was mad enough after the fact when I told him.

Could those 6 hours have made a difference? We've already been through this. We will never know. We will never know.


And here you might ask, what about legal action? Malpractice? Negligence? Look, I doubt we could prove the first, perhaps the latter. But have you participated in a medical lawsuit? They are awful. And take years. And force you to dredge up statements and facts that hurt the first time you say them, let alone the hundredth. They force you to put a price on lives. Or loss of live. I don't think I want to go there. I don't want fucking money. I want my daughters. And I want that cunt fired.


So the visit ended after my exam (I mean, I still needed one) with a I am so sorry to see you go. I am sorry it came to this but you have to be someplace where you are comfortable. I won't take it personally....

Which, frankly, irked me. But by then, I was spent. I told you, crying just wears me down. It's not something I am used to and it exhausts me. So, if any of my friends in real life have an ob/gyn to recommend, all ears over here (email me privately).


Fast forward to phase 2 of my day - MRI for the knee that I bothered after about a week of what I thought was a very, very sensible beginning to a running program. My expectation? Insurance covered it. Doc suggested it. Why the heck not. I was expecting an "oh, it's nothing, probably just a strain. Go home and keep icing and doing what you're doing. Good luck and have a good life. Bye."

No such luck.

Spent my 20 minutes in the tube listening to Led Zeppelin on the headphones in between beeps and buzzes (nice one, mr. tech! thank you!). Got pulled out and saw the concerned smirk on mr. tech's face. What? Whaaaat?

"Well, I'm not supposed to say anything. The radiologist has to look at everything first, but from what I can see, boy, you did a job on your knee. blah blah miniscus...blah blah
MCL...ACL...I might have even seen a hairline fracture...You'll probably be seeing an ortho guy soon...."

And at this point, I laugh. A big belly laugh. Because frankly, it was funny. And I hadn't smiled all day and it felt good to stretch those other muscles.

UPDATE: my doctor's office just called. Looks like the primary injury is "non-displaced fracture of my tibia." The ortho dudes are calling me tomorrow.

Well there you have it.

In better news, hubby thought the knee injury was equally funny. You dumb ass. We are celebrating my dumb ass-ness by eating steaks (good for my yin, right?) and getting tipsy on good red wine.

Even better news: we are going to a rock concert in a city that isn't ours tomorrow night. Because we want to. And because we're feeling bold, we turned it into a mini-trip. Leaving work early (me), staying in a fancy 4-star hotel (priceline, holla!) and doing dinner out too. If we're lucky, a friend who works in said city may even join us. We are both so excited for this little, little break.

So there, I wasn't all gloom and doom today. In fact, none of my days this week had been gloomy. Just the first part of this one. But now it's over. And it's past 5 pm. So it is totally legit to crack the (first) bottle of wine.


JP said...

I am sorry that you had to go through that today at the OB practice. Here's to finding a great new doctor who meets your needs!

That also sucks about the knee.

I am glad to hear that you've had a not so gloomy week and that you are going on a little getaway.


michelle said...

Wow I would say you have had quite a day. I left my OB/GYN for a much MUCH lesser reason (she told me there was no need for me to be crying over a cervical biopsy that was being done in her office - SHE does many of these each week she told me). After my friend talked me down from slapping her - my friend went onto explain that while SHE the doctor may do many biopsies a week, it was me THE PATIENT who had a history of cancer and if having a biopsy freaked me out she better deal with it (god bless good friends). So I totally get why you would not be able to go back to the office.

The fact is unless you feel 100% comfortable move on to a new place. Yes it sucks that you have to move on - she should be the one to be made to move on.

Your anger is understandable and you should not have to explain it to anyone.

As for the knee... another sort of similarity....2005...I thought I would learn how to day after lessons....blown out menisucs...luckily a quick small surgery fixed me up....

Here's to hoping you are back to "marathon" training soon!

p.s. thanks for your comment on my blog...sanibel can NOT get here soon enough!

Ryan's Mommy said...

For what it's worth, I'm angry too. That midwife needs a swift kick in the ass on her way out the door. I would personally give it to her if I had the chance.

See, total strangers on the internet want to do your ass-kicking for you. Since your knee is broken and all.

Enjoy your night out.

Amy said...

Wow. What an absolutely craptastic day. I can't believe you kept it together as well as you did with that doctor.

And your knee!Ohmygoodness! I can't believe it got that messed up in such a short time. I'm sorry I gave you those podcasts... This just sucks. All of it.

Except for your wonderful getaway! I hope you have a fabulous time, get really tipsy (or more), and enjoy your luxury accomodations!

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Geez, M. Suckage until 5 pm, for sure.

I can't imagine what it was like to be faced with that woman.

And crap on the tibia.

Enjoy the heck out of that wine and that concert.

Getting tired of hugs from me? Here's another:


Dani819 said...

I have sobbed through every bit of every post-partum exam. And there is one nurse at my OB's office on whom I wish all sorts of gruesome bodily harm on a regular basis. We, too, are switching. Totally get it.

And, by the way, I can imagine how that laugh sounded when you found out about your knee- probably about how mine did a few weeks ago when I coughed so hard I burst a blood vessel in my eye. Gallows humor, anyone?

Hope that was some very good wine.

Anonymous said...

You plans to rock sound like just the thing, as long as you don't rock out too hard and further aggravate your knee.

And I'm so sorry you've had to deal with all that crap with your midwives/OB practice. You should not have to find words to so perfectly express your anger. You should have your babies.

stacyb said...


i am so sorry that you had to go through that. i'll kick her in the butt for you too.

here's to the weekend! sounds like you and husband have planned a great one. your resilience and ability to still laugh and have positive/happy time with your husband is a real gift.

Nadine said...

It doesn't help and this is soo assvice, but, send her this blog post, she should feel like cr*p, and that's it.

Anonymous said...

I find your anger so refreshing and real! I like that you swear (do I sound like a 4th grader? Hmmm, I'm 41.) I hate that you went through what you did then and now AND I hate that midwife for you too!


Lisa DG said...

You are a grieving woman and there is no need to worry about your behavior. I actually made a scene in the OB waiting room at my post partum exam- they needed to give me a time out in a private room.

There are always going to be those what if's and a need to blame yourself or others (better them than you). As you say, there is no way to know what if. It is just the curse we live with now, and try our best not to obsess over.

Take it from someone a little farther down the path- I still obsess over whether a different doctor, or different actions on my part, would have yielded a better outcome- though it is not as painful now.

chicklet said...

I hate when people treat you/we like you/we are crazy because of what we've gone through - that that's where ALL our anger comes from, that we can't tell the difference between something we feel temporarily vs will feel for years and years and years. Yea, you're mad right now, of course, but that doesn't mean that you won't still be mad about this woman for years to come. So to treat you with hushed tones, fuck them. You have every right to be angry that she is still there. Every right.

Lacri said...

When I went for my 6-week post birth checkup, the OB's nurse/receptionist brightly asked "How's your baby?" This would be the same person that greeted me, weighed me, took my urine dipstick and chatted to me about my pregnancy, and who said "I'm so sorry about what happened" when I went to have my incision checked 3 days after the birth (since I'd discharged myself from hospital). Thanks to her for making it brutally clear that I'm just another nameless patient to be processed.