March 19, 2009


So we go into the ultrasound room, shared again of course, but at least this time we're first. The ultrasound tech -- mind you, the exact same person as last week -- comes in with a big grin on her face and squeals, "Are you excited?" I guffaw a No right in her face. And then I remind her of who the hell I am and why I'm there.

Seriously, I couldn't invent more churlish behavior for this entire process if I tried.

I had my mother in stitches last week regaling her with tales from The Hospital Of The Absurd. I never blogged these at the time, but they become more ridiculous when taken as a group:

  • When I wanted a checkup before we started trying to have a baby, back in January 2007, I saw a doctor and wanted to run through my medical history, have a few blood tests run, and get some clarification on some stuff I'd read in pregnancy books. I asked her what advice she had for someone trying to get pregnant. Her response: "Just pray." Thanks, but um, that's not really medical advice. My mom already told me that one; I was hoping that since you were a doctor, you might tell me something I didn't already know.

  • When we finished things up in the ER in December 2007 after we learned Baby #1 was dead, the outprocessing nurse had to have us sign some forms. She looked at the paper and exclaimed, "Oh, you're pregnant! Congrats! How far along are you?" We just stared at her not knowing what to say until I said, "Um, well, we just found out that we're not anymore." Really, who congratulates a dejected-looking pregnant lady who's been admitted to the ER?

  • When I did the first IUI, my doctor told me, "Now I want you to have sex every night for the rest of this week." I said that sounded like a great idea, but did he have somebody in mind? Because, if you'll recall, I'm here on the exam table alone because my husband is deployed. But thanks for not remembering any detail of my life, again.

  • When I went to the ER six weeks ago because I was bleeding, the male nurse asked me, "Are you sure it's not your period?" Yes, I am a 31 year old woman who sits eight hours in the ER for her period. That makes perfect sense.

  • And let's not forget the gems I did blog about: the pregnant doctor who did my D&C, the who's-on-first phone calls, and of course the shared ultrasound room.

    Anyway, if we were writing another absurd chapter to this whole annoying story, I'm not even sure you could guess what happened today.

    The baby is still a Schroedinger's cat. The results were again inconclusive.

    Basically, the embryonic sac has grown, and there's now a yolk sac inside, which means progress, albeit weird progress since we're about two weeks behind schedule. Babies are supposed to have heartbeats at 6 1/2 weeks; we are at 8 weeks and still no heartbeat. But there was growth, so the doctor can't confirm that the pregnancy is over and advise me to remove it. It's just moving too slowly. This baby wants to gestate like an elephant.

    Yep, more WTF news. We are supposed to go back tomorrow and talk to the doctor.

    This is absurd. But it's par for this course.

    (And before anyone even suggests it, because the first person I told this to this morning already tried: No, I did not get pregnant two weeks later than I thought. That was while the husband was at SERE and I'd already taken a positive pregnancy test. Not possible. Please don't try to concoct sci-fi fantasies about how this could be a healthy baby.)

    Posted by Sarah at March 19, 2009 09:51 AM | TrackBack
  • Comments

    No, not again! I never imagined this would happen!

    Your stories convince me that the most insensitive sign up to work in a very sensitive field. People with functioning hearts couldn't handle it. Hence the Hospital of the Absurd. It's like a medical Hotel California:

    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
    Posted by: Amritas at March 19, 2009 10:24 AM

    Love ya, honey.

    Posted by: Carrie at March 19, 2009 10:26 AM

    A year ago I thought that doctors were like engineers: they solved problems by applying science. Now I know that they are more like accountants: they solve problems by applying rules (and "creative" is an insult). Once you understand that, you understand a lot about medicine.

    If you want to really understand a medical issue, you will have to do the work yourself. The doctors will help you, but only minimally, or in a negative way, to tell you when you're wrong (telling you that you're wrong is actually a big help, don't ignore them when they do that).

    Posted by: David Boxenhorn at March 19, 2009 10:44 AM

    Let's print this list and then take a quick drive down when I'm in town for SBL...we will track down each of these individuals & whack 'em with a sock full of nickels. SERIOUSLY.

    Posted by: Guard Wife at March 19, 2009 11:41 AM

    WTF? Where do they find these people? You should write a book. Seriously.

    I imagined that you would have an answer one way or the other and it really blows that the Doctor can't give you one. So now you get to stress out more. Yay.

    Posted by: Mare at March 19, 2009 11:42 AM

    sucks. and the things you are having to deal with almost sound unbelievable. But then I remember the childhood lesson from my dad 'People Suck' and it somehow seems likely.

    Posted by: wifeunit at March 19, 2009 11:52 AM

    I don't know how well the keeping your feet in the air... you know... after works, but in the interests of trying absolutely everything, maybe you should make Russ do that.

    If nothing else, it'd be fun to watch.

    Posted by: Chuck at March 19, 2009 12:33 PM

    No. Friggin'. Way. I'm so sorry to hear that things are still unresolved... *thoughts, prayers, & hugs*

    Posted by: kannie at March 19, 2009 12:55 PM

    It sucks that some folks are dealt a crummy hand when it comes to parenthood. I played the same crappy hand for years and it sucks HUGELY. I know that Baby Grok is aligning with the universe somewhere, somehow.

    If GuardWife brings the sock, I'll upgrade the nickels to quarters. Hell, I'll even polish up my brass ovaries for an ass kicking of this magnitude.

    Posted by: Susan at March 19, 2009 03:59 PM

    Once the 300 hit Grokville, the medical profession there will never be the same ...

    Duh-ctors beware!

    Posted by: Amritas at March 19, 2009 04:20 PM

    I'm with all the others on the "don't make me come up there!" to all those insensitive clods.

    Posted by: Ruth H at March 19, 2009 04:24 PM

    In regards to this whole hospital you've been to, "WTF, mate?"

    What will the Dr. do tomorrow? What method will they use to discover what's going on with this pregnancy?

    Best wishes, my dear. I'm thinking good thoughts for you.

    Posted by: Sara V. at March 19, 2009 05:25 PM

    I have some idea of the waiting game your playing and how it just utterly messes with your mind. When this pregnancy started they had to date it since it was after a miscarriage and the first two ultrasounds they saw something but not something so they kept telling me to wait it out. What a giant mind game. Hang in there, and I know thats easier said then done. **HUGS to you**

    And when I was in the ER for my miscarriage the same thing happened, the nurse made a comment about how wonderful it was that I was pregnant and wasnt I just thrilled. Really do they read the paperwork or just blindly guess who is here for what?!

    Posted by: the mrs. at March 19, 2009 07:19 PM

    You've probably already tried, but is there any way you could get referred to another clinic? 'Cause I'm with Guardwife. I want to bash these so-called doctors in the head with a bag of nickels or quarters or whatever. One would think that a clinic that's been seeing you for the same basic issue fairly regularly for a while now would be more sensitive to these kinds of things, if nothing else.

    I'm sorry, Sarah. This sucks. I hope you find out soon.

    Posted by: Leofwende at March 19, 2009 09:04 PM

    the mrs.,

    I dread to imagine what a blind guess in the other direction would be like.

    The medical profession ideally requires both technical and social expertise. The two obviously don't necessarily go together. The lack of one can kill the body, but the lack of the other wounds the soul.

    Posted by: Amritas at March 19, 2009 10:41 PM

    Damn. I am sorry. Just remember, we are here for you. Feel free to vent, rage, rant, ramble, etc. And always, always, Sarah, you are loved.

    Posted by: Mary at March 19, 2009 11:23 PM

    Sarah - I hope the dr today can tell you something w/clarity and not like the rest of these insensitive asshats that you've had to deal with. Thinking of you today.

    Posted by: Keri at March 20, 2009 08:43 AM

    I have been convinced for years that no one reads ANYTHING written on a medical chart unless it goes to court. Then the lawyers all read it. Medical personnel... never.

    Every time I go to a doctor, the nurse asks me all sorts of questions, the same ones I answered the last time I was there, writes all the answers down, then the doc comes in and does the same thing. What a waste of time.

    There are no words for how wrong all of these questions were. Sheesh.

    Posted by: Teresa at March 20, 2009 03:22 PM