I used to have low bars to clear in order to be my doctor. Do you have a medical degree? Do you know which area my heart is located? Do you own a thermometer? I didn't have any major medical issues, therefore I hadn't given much thought into choosing doctors.
But now I woke up at 5 a.m. with my heart pounding. The anxiety hit as soon as I unjumbled my thoughts. What was I worried about again? Oh yeah--the fact that I couldn't get pregnant. Thud thud thud. I would go down to the gym and try to run it off. But you can't outrun infertility anxiety.
OB #2 called my house and apologized for the mix-up. He told me that I wouldn't be charged for the visit (er...want to tell that to your staff who sent us bills for the next six months?). And he recommended another doctor--one who took my filthy HMO--that he had trained years earlier.
This is what I can say about OB #3: he moved quickly. He ran tests the first month we were with him, found my lack of progesterone, explained the reason for my nine day luteal phase (as well as those interesting 18 dpo charts), and referred me out to an RE. But...since every RE worth his/her salt has a waiting list...we could always try a few fertility drugs right here in the OB office...
And, come on, it's like dangling cocaine in front of an exhausted grad student three days before exams. In all honesty, would you say no if someone offered you a little non-monitored Clomid? Or a round of progesterone. With no directions. Suffice to say, if I knew then what I know now, I would have waited. The problem is that the education I have now came from the mistakes I made along the way--the questions I didn't know to ask or the things I allowed to happen. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't do those things. But I wouldn't know that these things were detrimental to my journey unless I did them. As my middle school French teacher always chirped after one of these obvious statements: n'est pas?
I stuck with OB #3 through the pregnancy and the six-week post-delivery appointment. A misprescribed medication and my OB answering my complaint with, "well, you didn't die" ended that relationship.
So what did I learn from my three OBs? Talk to a lot of people so you know the right questions to ask. Be assertive. Stick to your guns. Don't tolerate someone blowing off your fears without explanation. Learning these lessons has also opened a world of doctors to me because I don't need them to have a nurturing personality anymore. I could care less if they go home and say to their spouse: "you wouldn't believe the psycho who came into my office today." As long as they are giving me excellent medical care, running tests to diagnose problems, and taking my fears seriously, I'm fine going to them.
Then why am I throwing out my latest OB conundrum? The one that is nagging me day and night because I know what I have to do, but I'm balancing out three other elements (1) money, (2) ties to my RE, and (3) searching for a new OB when you've already seen the winners I've had over the past two years.
Which brings me (in the most convoluted way) to the question that lies at the bottom of my question: why can't two doctors come to the same opinion?
And what's the whole deal with reproductive immunology...
This and more in the next post. Damn this story is long.