SPEAKING WITH DR. X

Linda gave me Dr. X’s email address. I thought of the first day when he told me he doesn’t give out his email because he is bombarded by his patients.

You must really respect your patients when you say they “bombard” you.

I was nervous to email him.. What if he got mad at me? Well, he always seemed slightly mad at me anyway, so what was the diff?  I worked up the courage to email him and soon, Dr. X called me back. All I felt was dread when I answered the phone.

“Well, what do you want to do?” he asked.  He didn’t sound mad, but he didn’t sound caring or interested either.

“You said if I tried 3 times and I didn’t get pregnant I should do IVF,” I reminded him.

“You want to do IVF? It’s your decision,” he said, very casually.

My decision? Why was he being so lax? Where was the hard sell? Where was the push? Could I say no? Could I say I wanted to do IUI again? The first day he was all, ‘you’re 41 one you have to do IVF.’

“It’s up to you.”

“Well, I guess… I guess…”

“It’s your decision.” Now, he didn’t seem care what I decided, but he did sound like I should just hurry up.

“I mean, I don’t know…. I don’t want to do IVF if I can get pregnant with IUI, ya know?”  I was trying to think fast and talk it out. “It’s super expensive and it’s not like Dan or I have any fertility problems that we know of….right?” Did we? Dr. X never really told us much. “Right?”

Dr. X didn’t answer my question and cleared his throat. “Well, what do you think?” he was rushing me but he didn’t want to talk it through, he wasn’t helping. He wanted me to hurry and whatever I decided would be fine with him. He didn’t seem to care anymore.

I was flustered and pressured and I couldn’t think.

“You have to decide now, because you’ll need to start the birth control pill tomorrow if you want to do IVF,” his voice was strained.

“OK,” I agonized.

“Or, you can do another insemination.” He wanted to get off the phone so desperately. UGH. I should have just told Linda I would do another IUI.

“Well?” He demanded, now sounding more angry.

This was crazy. He was MY doctor. I was paying him. I needed to tell him what had been going on with me at The Fancy Clinic. Before I could move ahead, I needed to spew… “Dr. X,” I said, nervously. “I’m feeling upset about a few things.” I was talking fast, like I had to get it all out fast before he interrupted.

“Ok…” he said. “What’s going on?”

I started talking faster, “First of all, I just can’t ever get Linda on the phone and I have lots of questions so I call her and leave a message and leave my number and she always either calls the wrong phone number or doesn’t call at all and then-”

He cut me off, “You should just leave a message to have me call you.”

He was right, of course, but may I remind you all how much I dislike this doctor? May I remind you how he is not approachable nor is he a good listener? Maybe I remind you that my only link to him is an assistant who never calls back and who may not actually know that when you work in a doctor’s office you are supposed to take care of the patients and actually try to help them and actually listen to their needs.

I continued my spew, “I don’t really feel like I want to talk to you because I always feel like you are rushing and too busy for me and my questions. I feel like I’m a bother…”

“No, no,” he said, cutting me off again. “Don’t feel that way. You should always ask me questions. I’m often here till eight at night calling patients back. I won’t go home until I’ve called everyone back.”

What that says to me is, I’m here very late and my patients cut into my home life. It didn’t make me want to actually talk to him more. I looked at the clock. It’s 7:15. Ugh.  I guess now I was keeping him from going home. I talked faster.

“Well, there’s more,” I said speedily. “I’m really frustrated because every time I go in to the clinic, no one knows who I am or why I’m there and I get asked all the time what I’m coming in for and it seems to me like they should already know.”

“Huh?” the doctor says. “Well that’s strange.”

“It’s like no one reads my chart and I shouldn’t be expected to know everything that’s happening. I come to you so you can tell me what to do. And if I’m going to do IVF, I need people to know what is going on with me and help me, you know. I’m scared to do it here because I don’t trust anyone at the office. No one ever knows what’s going on with me.”

“Well, that’s not right,” he said, sort of interested now, “I’m just so surprised.”

“Yeah,” I said, “It’s pretty bad.”

“If you do IVF, I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again. You’ll be in good hands.” All of a sudden, he sounded noble; my protector with care in his voice. All of a sudden, he wanted to be my hero.

But I still hated this place. I hated him and his fakeness. He didn’t really care about me. He wanted to get off the phone. He knew nothing about me and I was just a statistic.

I wanted to be done. I wanted to be finished with all of this….

“OK,” I blurted out, “I’ll do IVF.”

I don’t know why I didn’t just switch clinics. But I didn’t.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharynmorrow/205306264/”>massdistraction</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> < a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkmabus/2194602329/”>The Doctr</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> < a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/shelbob/19488398/”>Janesdead</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> < a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

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