Since I don't blog on weekends, I have several posts stored up for you. They include:

What Happened on Friday ... Bedside Manners
What Happened on Saturday ... Night-Night, Liberty!
What Happened on Sunday ... No More Highchairs
What Happened on Monday ... Partido De la Sorpresa!
What Happened on Tuesday ... Lost and Found

So obviously, I need to have a really boring Wednesday, Thursday and Friday so that I can catch you up on my weekend.

We will commence with "Bedside Manners."


I have just begun my seventh month of being pregnant, and I visited my doctor once again for the routine monthly checkup. Now, I am not intending to doctor-bash, so I will just tell you that I have never felt the warm fuzzies with this doctor. The only reason that I began seeing her was the fact that our regular family doctor no longer covers OB, so I needed to find someone. I called the hospital, and they told me that since Dr. X was new in town, she was looking for patients. I didn't know her, but I also didn't know any of the other doctors, so why not.

I now know why not.

After our first visit, Jeremy told me that he did not like her. He wanted me to return to the doctor that I had used with Liberty, but that doctor's office was 50 miles from my work, and after we moved when I was eight months pregnant with Liberty, it was incredibly inconvenient to drive all that way for a weekly appointment. (Not to mention the fact that the distance to the hospital made me hyperventilate when I thought of it.)

I am very thankful that the small hospital in our new town is only two minutes from my work and fifteen minutes from my house, so for that reason alone, I chose to stick with Dr. X. And I really liked her nurse.

Every month, I met with Dr. X, and it felt like we had never met before. Some people just have colder, stiffer personalities, and I assumed that was just her style. Plus, she had just graduated from medical school. I decided that she must be concentrating very hard on her job and establishing herself, so she did not have much effort left to pay attention to her patients as people. (Now that I typed that sentence out, I sound really stupid, but that really is what I thought.) I figured that she would gradually loosen up as she got more comfortable in her position, so I kept cutting her slack on her "bedside manner."

Jeremy lost it when she told us that she had never done a C-section before, that mine would be her first. We had an intense discussion at home. My argument was that every doctor has to have a FIRST at some point in their life, and if I refused to be her first, how would she ever get to second? Jeremy's argument was nobody is doing a first anything on HIS wife. (Which made me feel loved and special, but did not make me look for another doctor...although I was nervous. I'm not eager to be a guinea pig, after all.)

This month, at the beginning of the appointment, I asked her for Jeremy's FMLA paperwork that I had given her the month before to fill out. Last month, she had told me that she was too busy to fill it out at that time, and that she would have to give it to me at my next appointment. When I asked her this Friday for that paperwork, she looked at me blankly. I explained what I was talking about, and she told me "Oh, I must have lost it. Have your husband pick up another one from work, and I'll fill it out for you." She didn't even apologize or seem bothered. I sighed, but did not see any point in arguing with her.

We were halfway through our appointment, when I asked her conversationally, "When do we get to schedule the C-section? Is that something that can be done now, or do we need to wait until closer to the time?"

She mumbled something that I did not catch, so I repeated my question.

"When are you due?" she asked me.

Now, I don't know about you, but that is information that I expect my doctor to know. I mean, seriously, she was the one who gave me my due date in the first place. She was the one holding my file in her hand. I can understand if she forgot it, because she probably has lots of patients and why should she have their charts individually memorized, but when she is in my room, checking out my progress, I expect her to have brushed up on my chart.

Rebellion raised it's head, and I said, "In July." I didn't want to just TELL her the date. I wanted her to work for it...what am I paying her for?

"Oh. What day?" she responded.

"It's probably in my chart," I answered in a calm tone of voice as I nodded my head towards the folder in her hand.

"Hmm," she read the chart, "July 31st."

"Um, actually, last month you changed it to July 29th," I informed her, my confidence in her knowledge plummeting.

"Oh, 31st, 29th, I'm not worried about a few days. You're not very far along, anyway," she commented breezily.

Oh really?

"And I'm going to be on vacation at that time," she continued.

I waited for her to let me know who would be filling in for her while she was on vacation. She did not continue.

"So, will I get to meet the person who does my C-section beforehand?" I asked nervously.

She shrugged. "He'll probably call you." Her nose remained buried in my chart this entire time.

"Okay," I hesitated. "So should I set up my C-section through you, or through him?"

She closed my chart decisively, "Let just listen to the baby's heartbeat right now. We can talk about that later." She pulled the microphone from the nearby counter and approached my belly with a tube of jelly in her other hand. We listened together in silence to the heartbeat. "Sounds good," she said brightly as she wiped off my belly. I pulled my shirt down and watched her gather her things and walk towards the door. "I'll send Jenny in with your paperwork, and I'll see you next time."

"Wait, are we going to talk about the C-section?" I wondered.

She sighed and walked back into the room. I got the distinct impression that she had hoped I would have forgotten. "If now is a bad time to schedule it..." I began.

"No, no," she interrupted, and she sat down on the swiveling desk chair in the corner of the room. She pushed off with her foot, and the chair rotated until her back was facing me. She picked up the phone on the desk, dialed a number, and covered her mouth with her other hand. In a low pitched voice, she spoke into the phone, "Hi, this is Dr. X, and I have a patient here who insists on scheduling her C-section right now."

I listened in disbelief. Two thoughts popped into my mind (I just typed two thoughts pooped into my mind, which is what it seems my thoughts have been doing to me recently, but I corrected my spelling just for you. You should feel special.) 1. I did NOT insist! 2. Does she think I cannot HEAR her?!

She paused while the person on the other end spoke. "I know," she answered sympathetically, "But she just has to know. She's not even due until July 31st." Her tone of voice was distinctly snide.

I thought about leaving the room completely, disgusted and amazed at her rudeness, but instead I got up off of the examining table and walked over to where she was sitting. I sat in a chair so close to her that our knees were almost touching. She swiveled her chair so that her back was to me once again, and she spoke into the phone, "I know. I know." Her voice indicated that if she had to bear with my ridiculous request, then the other person would have to also. I do not know what the other person was saying, but judging from Dr. X's tone of voice, they seemed to be comrades in this burden of having to patronize me, since I was the PAYING CUSTOMER!


At that moment, I decided to switch doctors.

"Well, I'll make sure she understands that this is tentative." She emphasized the last word and glanced over her shoulder at me, then she hung up the phone.

A bright smile appeared on her face, and she warmly told me, "Your C-section is scheduled for July 25th." Her quick change in personality and tone of voice surprised me, and I wondered again, Did she think I couldn't hear her on the phone?

I thanked her and watched as she quickly left the room. I sat back in the chair, completely amazed at the rudeness I had just witnessed, and at a loss to explain how someone whom I had expected to show complete professionalism had turned into a high-school snot before my eyes.

The nurse, Jenny, walked into the room and sat down at the desk. She smiled at me and made conversation while she looked at the papers left for her by Dr. X. "Oh," she said in a puzzled voice, "It looks like you are scheduled for another glucose test. Did something happen?" (I just passed a glucose test last month.)

We discussed the fact that I had no clue what she was talking about, and she decided not to pursue the fact that she did not understand those orders either.

After leaving the hospital, I called the receptionist and asked her how I could go about switching doctors. My next appointment is in two weeks with Dr. Y. I've heard good things about him, so I am hopeful.

Honestly though, Dr. Y won't have to work hard to be an improvement!

And yes, Jeremy, you were right. This is the sentence that he has been waiting for, you know. :-)
1 Response
  1. Kristin Says:

    Wow, I would feel very uncomfortable using her as my OB doctor. They tell you in school to never tell patients that they are first in any procedure! She doesn't seem to act like she needs patients very much, so I'm sure she'll be fine without you! Glad you decided to switch, I would be nervous for you! :)

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