This post would have been a lot sharper, a lot more angry if I had written it an hour ago, but after some time spent T1 and listening to a Dashboard Confessional Pandora station I now feel like curling up into a corner and crying. And eating my feelings.
Based on your comments from my last post about an OBGYN visit I canceled my 2nd appointment with the lecturing OB and asked some friends for recommendation. All of the wives of the LDS guys that work with my husband go to Tuscan OBGYN and rave about everyone there, and though they all had hospital births I figured things would be better. I managed to get an appointment as a new patient on the very day my birth control sample pack would run out so I wouldn’t have to miss a day. After the disaster that was my appointment today, my stupid withdrawal bleeding is going to start up as my confused body adjusts to being back off the hormones again… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
(Oh, and the reason I keep going to an OB and now a midwife is that I want birth control, haven’t had a pap smear for 2 years, and suspect a yeast infection, and I want my visit covered by insurance. Several people have suggested a CNM, Planned Parenthood, or general practitioner. I have visited none of those before here in Dallas but I think they are a good choice for my third try at this.)
I ate, showered, got dressed, fed T1, changed a poopy diaper right before we walked out the door, loaded him in the car seat only to have him scream for the entire car ride there, took him out of his car seat, carried him up to the office, handed over the new patient paperwork I had filled out at home (you know, the pages and pages of it), sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes past my appointment time, was ushered back, weighed, asked the standard set of questions by the nurse, had my blood pressure taken, moved rooms, and sat and waited for the doctor to grace me with his presence.
He walked in and shook my hand, commenting on how cute T1 is (an obvious statement). He asked how long ago I had given birth, I said 9 weeks, and he asked me where I had delivered. I replied that it had been a home birth, and he went out of his way to turn away from his paperwork and back up against the counter in shock. His eyebrows raised and he asked “You didn’t see an OB your entire pregnancy?” Anticipating what was coming I told him that I had switched from a previous provider because I had been lectured on my choice to birth at home and that I was just there to get some birth control and would appreciate not receiving a lecture on my choices. He gathered up his stuff and opened the door, and I asked him to please stay and just write me a prescription for birth control because that’s all I wanted. He told me I was free to leave whenever I wanted and I asked one more time if he would please just stay and finish the appointment. He refused and left.
I left, announcing loudly in the receptionist office that the doctor had refused to see me and I would not be covering my copay (how lucky that I hadn’t payed beforehand, right?). I made it 10 steps out of the door before I burst into tears, calling That Husband on the phone and sobbing heavily. He urged me to go back in and stand up for myself, but “standing up for myself” was what had me sobbing in the first place. I guess the medical community would prefer doormats who don’t speak their mind? The medical community in Irving, TX anyway.
I cashed a check on the way home, reading all kinds of outraged tweets in response to my own tweets describing the encounter (thanks to everyone who responded sympathetically, it helped calm me down a lot). By the time I got home T1 was demanding another bottle and I had the chance to cool down. TH called me to let me know he had talked to the OB, and I had to remind myself that he wasn’t siding with the ignorant jerk who walked out on me when he said that the OBGYN had made it clear that “I didn’t want to continue with the questions that he was required by law to ask”.
Oh sure, because saying that you don’t want to be told you are a stupid idiot for choosing to birth at home and not use an OBGYN for your pregnancy is EXACTLY the same as refusing to cooperate with state mandated questions. Did his little form have on it somewhere: Be sure to treat patients like you know everything and they know nothing.
Maybe he is a perfectly nice man (and friends who recommended his office please don’t feel bad, I’m just happy you had better experiences), but he was still a jerk, and I still think that he walked out because he only wants patients who are going to nod their head and giggle at everything he says, the way I did with the last doctor, actions I’ve come to regret since. Unfortunately this post probably isn’t going to encourage anyone to stand up for themselves when it comes to their own medical care because it would certainly be easier to just lie about where I gave birth and go along with everything he says, right?
Today, I’m going to name names because I think that as someone who pays hard earned money toward insurance premiums and deductibles, I have the right to be cared for with respect. If you are a woman thinking about using Dr. Steven A. Hoffman as your OBGYN, and you plan on educating yourself and taking charge of your own medical care (as I think every woman should), I think you should think twice before using him as your care provider. Based on my experience he is not a good choice for a thinking woman’s OBGYN.
I’m feeling dejected at the thought of going through the “new patient” process once again. I feel frustrated that despite the assurance from people that “there are open minded OBGYNs out there who are able to look past anecdotal evidence and approach medical care from an evidenced based viewpoint”, I can’t seem to find those providers myself. Overall I just want to cry into an extra large tub of the richest chocolate ice cream I can find. Today was overall a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.