MRI = Milk Restrictive Invention

, , , | Healthy | November 20, 2017

(It took my husband and me several years to conceive. I wasn’t overly impressed with my induced labour of 48 hours that resulted in emergency C-section, and I struggle with breastfeeding that can’t be resolved by any method. I am feeling pretty down about not being able to do anything unassisted and am not 100% happy about having to top up every meal with formula but I am determined to keep going with breastfeeding. I’ll admit this is probably out of stubbornness, but it means a lot to me. Meanwhile, I have to have an MRI that I had to reschedule while pregnant and when I make the appointment, I ask if it is safe while breastfeeding. I am assured it is and though I am dubious, I will admit that I don’t look into it further, assuming they know better than I do. The appointment comes up and I leave my six-week-old baby for the first time with my husband and drive myself (also for the first time since the operation) to the radiologist.)

Receptionist: “Yes?”

Me: “Hello, I have an appointment for an MRI. My name is [My Name].”

Receptionist: “Here.”

(She thrusts paperwork at me. I fill it out, listing my allergies and so on, and note that there’s a question asking if I might be pregnant or breastfeeding. I put a tick next to it and finish the form. Handing it back to the receptionist, I ask about the question. She says it’s fine and tells me to sit down. Since I am the last patient of the day, I am taken in before I have a chance to ask her more and I figure it’s better to ask the tech anyway. The radiologist technician glances briefly at my form and sprints off down the corridor with me struggling to keep up. He obviously wants to get out for the day because he’s saying all his introductory explanation spiel to me similar to the squirrel from Hoodwinked. When he comes up for air, I manage to talk.)

Me: “The form asked me if I am breastfeeding.”

Tech: *casually* “Yes, you can’t breastfeed.”

Me: *thinking over his poor choice of words*

Tech: “…are you breastfeeding?”

Me: “Yes, I am breastfeeding. I did ask about this when I booked the appointment. They said it’s fine.”

Tech: “We have to put the dye in you and it’s toxic so you can’t breastfeed for three days after the MRI.”

Me: “That doesn’t explain why they didn’t tell me this when I booked.”

Tech: *looks confused*

Me: “I asked reception today, too. She said it’s fine.”

Tech: “What would they know?”

Me: “Actually, I’d imagine they’d know who can and cannot come for an MRI since it’s their job to book and take appointments.”

Tech: “Oh, yeah, probably then. Well, I can’t answer for them but the dye is toxic. You can’t breastfeed for three days. So just don’t breastfeed and you’ll be all right.”

Me: “That’s okay. I will just reschedule.”

Tech: “Can’t you just stop for a few days?”

Me: *feeling pretty crappy* “I am sorry but I can’t just casually stop breastfeeding.”

Tech: “Just breastfeed more and store up milk for three days.”

Me: “…”

Tech: *cheerfully* “You know you can freeze it, right?”

Me: “It would take me at least a month to build up three days worth.”

Tech: “Okay, we’ll reschedule for a month. That will give you time.”

Me: “…”

Tech: *getting irritated* “Or, just go buy formula. It’s really not that bad.”

Me: “Of course formula isn’t bad, but that’s not the point. If I stop I might not be able to keep going at all.”

Tech: *getting angry* “Then go buy a pump and just throw it away for three days. But make sure you wash it properly because it’s toxic.”

(I am thinking this is not his business and I don’t want to talk about it, but also as I am now teetering on a cliff between furious and devastated, I go on.)

Me: “I need to physically feed her and I can’t just stop. Yes, I pump, but I need to do both. It’s not your business but I have been through too much to throw it away casually like you want me to. Forget the MRI. I am leaving.”

Tech: *cheerful as his workday has ended sooner than he expected* “No worries. We can book you in when you’re ready.”

Me: “Thanks, but I will go somewhere else, with properly trained staff who know what services they can and cannot provide and give proper information in an understanding way, when I am no longer breastfeeding.”

(I was temporarily impressed with my own ability to string more that three words together because I never stick up for myself and I was shaking like a leaf, and I made my way back down the maze-like corridors without getting lost. I also managed to get my referral back from the receptionist who talked to the tech in front of me about how I couldn’t get the MRI because I am breastfeeding, to which the receptionist asked “so when do you want to rebook?” and I responded “like h*** I will be,” before leaving and getting in my car. I cried in the car and they never knew it. For that, I was thankful.)

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