Saw the new Ob/gyn…

… and I think I like her. She took her time, and listened to me, and seemed interested, and actually wanted to follow up on things. She’s in walking distance of my home, too, which means less than half the travel time, and no annoying waiting for the bus.

She said everything else was fine, but my liver enzymes are high, so she’s referred me to a gastroenterologist to follow up on that, because they shouldn’t be, at this stage. She seemed very unimpressed that I hadn’t been referred to one as general follow up on HELLP, so I feel much more confident about sticking with her as my regular one after all this, too. She also spent time actually talking to me about the various optional tests that the insurance company subsidises but doesn’t fully cover, so I can make up my mind on those.

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Two steps forward, one step back

I did a lot of traipsing about in the sun today, but was definitely reminded of how much more effective it is to speak to the administrative staff in the clinics, rather than the central call centre staff for the medical insurance network.

First appointment was the really frustrating one – I turned up on time for my appointment with the new ob/gyn, to find out that it had actually been set for yesterday (when I told them I couldn’t do) and that she is only in two days a week, and Thursday isn’t one of them. I did get to print out my blood test results (although I could have done that later, too), but it was still annoying. The receptionist there was sympathetic, though, and after suggesting generally making appointments online, if I have trouble with the call centre, made me one in person for next Tuesday.

Then in the afternoon it was my first ultrasound, which went well. (There was a quiet but not-so-nice incident before it, among some of the other people waiting, but that isn’t the topic of this blog, even though it does keep playing on my mind. Let’s just say that politics and racism should not be issues in the ultrasound queue.) There was a definite (single) foetus, with a heartbeat and a head, and at 2cm long, on track for 9 weeks precisely, which fits the probable date of my last period. (Forgot to write that down at the time.)

So now I have to believe it, I suppose!

On my way out of the central women’s health clinic, I asked the receptionist (who seemed in a rare good mood, or maybe she just likes having her advice asked, rather than being treated as a pure paper-cruncher) to suggest doctors with specialist knowledge of pre-eclampsia and/or HELLP syndrome. Her response to that was to confirm I was talking about high-risk pregnancy care, and to offer to make me an appointment with a high-risk doctor there, even though I told her I don’t have a referral for that yet.

So I haven’t seen the new regular ob/gyn yet, but I have a proper appointment with her for next week, and with a high-risk one the week after, and both the blood tests and ultrasound out of the way. Of course, I barely got any of the work I’m paid for (hourly) done today, since after all that I was shattered and slept all evening (it’s the middle of the night now, so I’ll go back to bed after I post this), but I’ll make that up.

As much as I could tell as a complete non-specialist, the blood results looked fine. My platelets were good – up at my normal from my platelets donation days. Obviously I’ll let one or both doctors confirm that, but at least there’s nothing I’m panicking about.

Dissatisfied

DH and I went to a first appointment with a new obstetrician/gynecologist this morning, and were underwhelmed. I got the forms for initial blood tests (plan to do those in the morning) and dating ultrasound (booked for next week), but I’m going to try another doctor. When we started by pointing out we’re pretty scared at the moment, then not asking for details of exactly what happened, or previous medical records, is not a very reassuring precursor to saying that it probably won’t happen again, because it mostly occurs in first pregnancies. Oh, but it didn’t happen in my first pregnancy, so obviously that doesn’t work for me, does it?

Oh yes, and despite saying I probably would need more visits and monitoring of blood pressure than regular, he didn’t take my bp today (hm, perhaps he did notice I was getting extremely stressed at that point and it might not be representative), or suggest going back sooner than six weeks from now, even to the nurse’s station. I wasn’t even comfortable to ask most of my questions, and that’s rather essential, I think. He didn’t even ask/check my weight, for a baseline for pregnancy gain, or as a pre-eclampsia/HELLP risk factor.

About the only vaguely specific thing he did say is that he doesn’t think there’s enough evidence that aspirin helps as a preventative to prescribe it to me.

I should have just insisted on a referral to a high-risk doctor, whatever his opinion, but I stupidly didn’t, so we’ll have to go through all this again. This …annoying person didn’t even put the notes he took onto the computer system (although he was reading previous ones from other doctors), apparently preferring hand-written cards.

I don’t go to a doctor to be treated as a generic pregnant woman. I want to be assessed on *my* history and symptoms, not the general statistics you think you might remember.