An Acute Case Of Miscommunication

| Working | January 5, 2013

(I had a gallbladder attack when I was 10 weeks pregnant, and learned that I needed to have it removed. It was apparently important enough to do while I was still pregnant, so I scheduled the surgery.)

Doctor: “Okay, we need to get you in as soon as possible. We can do this next Wednesday if that is okay with you.”

Me: “I guess that will work. Are you sure I have to do this while pregnant? Can’t I wait until after the baby is here?”

Doctor: “Your gallbladder is acutely infected. It really needs to come out now. I’ve got you scheduled at [local surgery office] for next Wednesday.”

(2 hours later…)

Doctor: “Hi, sorry to bother you, but we’ve had to change locations for your surgery. The place we scheduled you at can’t operate if you’re pregnant. We’ve rescheduled you for the 16th and [major hospital].”

Me: “Uh, okay, that’s not exactly reassuring. Why can the hospital do it if the other place can’t?”

Doctor: “Well, they’ll have a labor & delivery nurse on hand just in case, and they have fetal monitors available for during the surgery so we can make sure everything is okay. The other place doesn’t.”

Me: “Okay, I suppose.”

(Day of surgery: The anesthesiologist is naming off every single piece of equipment that will be attached and what it is used for, but I don’t hear a word about the fetal monitor.)

Me: “And of course the fetal monitor for making sure the baby is okay, right?”

Anesthesiologist: “Ha ha, that’s a good one!”

Me: “Um… what? ”

Anesthesiologist: “Wait, you’re not kidding?”

Me: *thinking HE’S kidding* “That’s funny.”

Anesthesiologist: “So you ARE kidding?”

Me: “Okay, not funny anymore. Does it really not say this in your notes?”

Anesthesiologist: “Uh… no.”

Me: “Are you kidding? They switched everything around and had me come here because I was pregnant.”

Anesthesiologist: “Are you sure you should be having this surgery while pregnant?”


(In the end, they scrambled to get the L&D nurse and fetal monitors, so all was fine, and the baby was unharmed. Fortunately, the actual surgeon knew well in advance that I was pregnant, but he was blown away that the files didn’t reflect that.)

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