A Short Pregnancy

, , , | Healthy | April 23, 2019

(During my third trimester, I am being seen one visit by a doctor who is not my usual ob/gyn. My usual doctor is about five feet tall — 5’2” in heels. I’m 5’3” if I don’t slouch, and my baby is about six pounds. As the doctor in this visit is going over my information, verifying who my doctor is, and checking the size of my baby, he finally exclaims loudly:)

Doctor: “Jeez, there are a lot of short people involved in this pregnancy.”

(My husband and I kept it together but had a really good laugh later on.)

College Doesn’t Cause Less Anxiety, Trust Us!

, , , , , | Healthy | April 22, 2019

(I was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder and panic disorder at nineteen, and have been on anti-anxiety medications since. Sometimes, they stop being as effective, or the side effects become worse, and I need to return to a doctor to change my prescription. This was never an issue before, as my dosage is low and I don’t require strong or addictive medication. However, after moving, I go to see a new doctor. The clinic has gotten all my medical records from my previous one, and I have filled out the forms, detailing my conditions. The doctor is a general practitioner, is male and middle-aged, and immediately seems to be only paying half-attention. I am a twenty-five-year-old female.)

Doctor: “Now, why is someone like you on anxiety medication?”

Me: *confused* “Because I have an anxiety and panic disorder. I was diagnosed years ago, as it says in my file.”

Doctor: “Have you ever tried losing weight?”

Me: “Uh, yes. I’ve been on diets since I was five. I do eat healthy, and I walk a mile almost daily–“

Doctor: “And you’re not working.”

Me: *having no idea what this has to do with anything* “No, not yet. I just moved states with my family.”

Doctor: “So, you plan on working? Or are you going to school?”

(I have absolutely no idea where this conversation is going, or why he’s suddenly asking about my life. In the back of my head, I’m hoping he’s trying to figure out what medication to put me on if I’m entering a more stressful situation.)

Me: “No, I’m not planning on going to college, and I’ve started looking for a job–“

Doctor: *cutting me off in a grandfatherly, scolding tone* “Now, why aren’t you planning on going to college? There are lots of good colleges around here.” *starts naming off colleges*

(I am getting increasingly embarrassed and flustered. I attended one year of community college, but my health had taken such a terrible turn from the constant stress and panic attacks I nearly ended up in the hospital. I didn’t continue.)

Me: “I’m… not really interested in going back to college, sir. Can we get back to my–“

Doctor: *dismissively* “Now, now, I’ve got a granddaughter your age; I know what I’m talking about. You don’t need more pills. What you need is to get your degree, lose weight, and find a good man to marry. You’re anxious because your life isn’t heading anywhere! I’ll put you on [medication] for now, but when you come back, I expect you to be enrolled somewhere, you hear?” *winking at me* “Doctor’s orders.”

(I was so bewildered and humiliated I just wanted to get out of the office. I took my prescription and never returned to his office again. I’ve had doctors be unprofessional before, but I’ve never had one lecture me on how going to college would magically cure my mental illness!)

Are You Sure You’re Sure?

, , , , , | Healthy | April 21, 2019

(I have appendicitis and have presented at the hospital late at night. These conversations take place over the time between then and finally having surgery the following afternoon. My cis female partner is with me throughout.)

Doctor: “Any chance you could be pregnant?”

Me: “No, this is my only sexual partner and she can’t get me pregnant accidentally.”

Partner: “Well, we aren’t using contraception.”

Me: “True. We’d make a fortune if you did get me pregnant, though.”

Doctor: “We have to do a pregnancy test, anyway.”

(Forty minutes later, in the surgical assessment unit…)

Junior Doctor: “And any chance you are pregnant?”

Me: “The GP did a pregnancy test and it was negative and no, no sperm has been anywhere near me.”

Junior Doctor: “Well, we will do another test.”

(Two hours after that, when I am finally seen by the on-call registrar…)

Registrar: “You must be in agony. Any chance you might be pregnant?”

Me: “You’ve done two pregnancy tests tonight, both negative. This is my only sexual partner. Please, can you just give me some pain relief?”

Registrar: “Yes, we will get antibiotics and saline set up via a cannula and get you some pain relief and then admit you. We need to do swabs for MRSA and a pregnancy test.”

Me: “I have not been able to keep anything down, including more than a sip of water, for over twelve hours now. I am quite dehydrated. The chances of me being able to pee into a cup are very slim.”

Registrar: “Well, just do what you can.”

(A few hours later, I am admitted in the middle of the night and finally given pain relief, and I wake up on the ward.)

Nurse: “Now, we have an order for a pregnancy test; apparently, you couldn’t produce a sample last night, but now that we have fluids in you, you should be able to.”

Me: “I have had two pregnancy tests already since I got here, but sure, let’s do a third.”

(Later, during surgical rounds…)

Surgeon: “Right, well, you’re on the list for urgent surgery. We will need to do a pregnancy test before we can operate, though.”

Me: “You have done three already. All negative. My only sexual partner doesn’t produce sperm and we are not trying for a baby.”

Surgeon: “Three? Maybe I can check those results.”

Me: “Thanks.”

(Nope, the nurse appeared with another cup for me to pee into. I had my appendix out and I was very definitely not pregnant.)

Would Rather Deal With The Fungus

, , , , , | Healthy | April 19, 2019

I am extremely susceptible to fungal infections like ringworm. It’s not a real problem, for the most part, just an unsightly nuisance. I had a mark on my arm that I knew from experience was a fungal infection, but the OTC drugs don’t work well on me, so while I was visiting a new doctor about an unrelated issue I asked her about getting a prescription for it. The doctor asked me why I needed it, so I showed her the mark on my arm and explained my history with these kinds of infections.

The doctor immediately got extremely snotty and annoyed with me. She said that I wasn’t a doctor — which is true — and that whatever that mark was, it was not a fungal infection, and that it could be very serious. She said I should tell her about any worrisome marks and then let her do her job — determining what they are and making decisions about my care — without making guesses about what the problem is. She announced that she was going to look at a sample of the mark to determine what it was and what needed to be done, took a skin scraping, and flounced out of the room.

Five minutes later she was back. She wouldn’t look me in the eye while she told me it was a fungal infection, handed me a script, and then marched out.

Out Of Control About The Birth Control

, , , , , | Healthy | April 14, 2019

(I am coming in for a routine checkup with my GP. I am female and he is going through all the questions. Then, we get to the contraceptive part.)

Doctor: “Are you on birth control?”

Me: “No, I don’t react well to it.”

Doctor: “So, what do you use for protection?”

Me: “Condoms.”

Doctor: “Condoms are fine and all, but not 100% effective. You should really also be on birth control pills.”

Me: “Well, I tried taking the lowest dose offered, but I gained a ton of weight and was always throwing up while I was on it. I don’t react well to it and prefer not to take it. Condoms work just fine.”

Doctor: “Just using condoms is like playing Russian Roulette! It does not protect you 100%!”

Me: *thinking to myself that the “pullout method” was more akin to “Russian Roulette* “Well, again, I get really sick when I’ve taken it in the past, so I really don’t want it.”

(He went on for about five minutes more on how I was being “risky.” I couldn’t help but feel he was being a “pill pusher” and not listening to what I was saying. At that point, I was 26 and married with a steady job, so if I did accidentally become pregnant it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Every time I went in after that, he was always pushing birth control. I think I need a new GP.)

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