Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Mother’s Instinct

I guess I already have it.

Or maybe it’s not the mother’s instinct, but listening to that still, small voice.

I have had a head cold for a couple weeks now. Last week, it felt pretty severe so I went ahead and called my doctor. I didn’t know if I had an infection or if it was just something my body would work through. Either way, I thought it best to check it out.

My doctor was out of the office and, because 2 other doctors from the practice were gone as well, they told me to go to an urgent care. I was nervous… I think I went to urgent care once as a teenager and it wasn’t a great experience. I tried to be positive and headed over there.

After waiting 2 1/2 hours, I was finally called into see the doctor. He walked into the room, sat down at his desk, asked me about 2 questions and then told me I needed to be injected with allergy meds. He made this declaration without looking at me at all: not in my nose, not in my ears, nothing. When I questioned this and asked to call my OB first to confirm it was okay to take the injectable med, he became irate, and told me I must know it all then. He refused to consider another option except the injectable (his words).

I had explained that it took me nearly 8 years to become pregnant, I had a previous miscarriage, and lost a twin this time. I explained that this has caused me to be extra cautious about taking medicines. He didn't care saying, "Lots of women are in your position". He told me it was his way or no way, and stormed out of the room.

He never came back, so I waited a bit and finally went into the hallway to hear him telling a nurse, "Don't give her anything, she can fix it herself". I went back into the room.

The next thing I knew, the nurse entered the room with the injectable medication. I took one look at it and felt like I had been punched in the gut. It wasn’t the needle (I am an injection pro now; I could have given it to myself!). Something deep inside said, “Don’t let her give you that medicine”. So instead I asked the nurse for the name of the drug, called my OB, and they told me to go somewhere else immediately.

Because they ran my insurance and collected the co-pay *prior* to seeing the doctor (I have never heard of this before), they refused to reverse it. Thus, I was told my insurance would not pay for another visit to a different urgent care. My last 10 minutes in that office consisted of the front desk nurse telling me *I* had refused treatment and she felt really bad and all but that’s the way it is.

Commence uncontrollable crying.

I drove myself to another urgent care for attempt number 2. I cried the entire 45 minute wait. I had never been treated like that by a doctor. I felt shocked, degraded, sick and miserable.

When they called me back, I was apprehensive to say the least. Luckily, the second doctor was wonderful. He put Beanie’s well-being first, exploring different options to bring relief without harming the baby. I ended up with a topical medicine that went straight into my nose, not through my blood stream. He also commented on my experience with the first doctor, saying it was ridiculous to immediately inject a pregnant woman with allergy medicine when there are so many other, less invasive options available to consider. He urged me to report the first doctor, and to fight with my insurance on covering that visit. I paid cash for the second urgent care trip, and was so grateful I had the means to do so.

(UPDATE: A few days later, I went to see my Primary Care doc. She diagnosed me with a severe sinus infection, ear infections AND strep throat! No wonder I was so miserable!)

When I got home, I googled the medicine the first doctor wanted to inject me with. It stays in your system, radiating the medicine from the injection site, for three weeks. So for weeks 9 – 12 of my pregnancy, I would be absorbing a medication with the following warning:

This medicine should be used with care during pregnancy as not only could it endanger the mother, but it could also endanger the life of the fetus. In addition, it has the ability to hinder the growth of the baby. Corticosteroids act as catalysts, and may increase the danger of slow or retarded growth of the fetus. The medication may even impact the baby’s immune system by hindering the development of baby’s steroid hormones after birth.

It’s possible I could have taken that drug and everything would have been fine. But it is also possible the result could have been very bad. Regardless, I am thankful I listened.

On a lighter note, Ryan thought it would be fun to snap a pic when I was in the peak of my misery. I didn't even know he did it! Notice my sweet kitties trying to comfort me... too cute!


Krista said...

I'm so sorry to hear you were treated so terribly, Michelle. That sucks! Some doctors have such big egos that if you even question them just a little bit...they fly off the handle. I agree that you should report the first doctor.
I'm so glad you knew better then to just take some injection you knew nothing about...you are going to be such a good Mommy to Beanie!!

Alan and Abby said...

Wow, I CANNOT believe that Doctor! The whole time I was reading this I was thinking...report him! What a complete jerk! He was so unprofessional and intentionally hid the facts from you because he was being arrogant and lazy! You go for not giving in to a bully!

Michele said...

REPORT THAT DOCTOR!!! What a jerk!

A said...

WOW, I would totally report the first place. Great job on standing up for yourself and going to the second place- Way to take care of yourself and your little one!!

Richard and McKenna said...

WOW!! Good job listening to your motherly instinct! You should DEFINITELY report that doctor! When I was 8 weeks I had a motherly instinct moment that I think also saved my little boy! I was on progesterone pills and my progesterone was really high so they told me I could stop taking the medicine. They had been checking my progesterone every week to make sure it stayed up but decided that they wouldn't check it anymore since it was so high at 7 weeks. But I felt VERY strongly I should have it checked a week after stopping the medicine. Well they did after I demanded to have it checked and my progesterone fell SO fast and to the lowest number they like to see in pregnancy! They told me to start taking it asap and everything was totally fine. It was SUCH a close call and I really feel like that saved my little man. So good job for listening to that prompting!!

Mrs. Lydon said...

I am so glad you followed you instincts. And I am so sorry you has someone who was obviously MUCH LESS than a doctor. Dont they take some sort of Oath that should prevent such treatment. My good lord. I hope you are feeling better.

J said...

Wow - good for you! Just remember...You are a mom now.
You know best. Don't let anyone talk you into anything that does not feel right. So many women take drugs that their Dr. might say are ok - but I truly believe that staying away from ANYTHING unnatural during the next 8 months is best! That includes anything..even over the counter drugs some say are safe. Why in the world would you risk anything at this point?....
Unless it is a bacterial infection..You body has the ability to heal itself...Remember anything you take, the baby takes.
Ask yourself..would I give this to a developing baby?? In most cases the answer is NO!!

Sarah said...

Oh. My. Goodness. This gave me the chills. Please PLEASE report that doctor. What is he some kind of crazy psycho?!!! Thank God for your motherly instinct. Wow. I am appalled by the whole thing. So glad you got out of there. Too bad you didnt have a can of mase on you :)

Hillary said...

I cannot believe the dr treated you like that - it is SO WRONG! And that he could have given you something that would have harmed your baby...makes me so angry! I'm thankful you followed your instinct and went elsewhere.


Stephanie said...

That's crazy! Good for you for standing your ground and going to another clinic.

Cheers said...

I am so sorry you went through that but so pleased that you did not let them intimidate you!
Absolutely that Dr should be reported.... just who the hell does he think he is????

Lechelle said...

I found your blog today through a mutual friend's blog list, I hope you don't mind. I've enjoyed the few posts that I have read. After two horrid miscarriages and one beautiful adoption of a perfect little boy, I am 14 weeks pregnant and it feels like every day we are fighting for Blueberry to survive. So I just wanted to say I hear you. our journey is different, but I hear ya.

I'm cheering for your Beanie!

Mrs. Bushey said...

Wow as someone who works at an Urgent Care I just can not believe that. I would report that doctor for his treatment towards you.

Also we do collect co-pays before seeing patients sometimes because many times patients try to skip out without paying.

I'd also submit your payment you made to the 2nd clinic to your insurance company, they might reimburse you all or even part of it.