A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Three Doctors; or, Health Turns Out to Be a Curse

Yesterday I had two conversations with doctors.

The first was my first session with the new therapist I was checking out. And it went great! I loved the energy in her office, I loved her approach, and I feel incredibly hopeful that this could develop into a wonderful therapeutic relationship. While I see the benefit in cognitive behavioral therapy and have been able to take away some positive strategies and lessons from my sessions with my other therapist, being prevented from "dwelling" on my feelings about this issue just makes me feel guilty for having those feelings in the first place. I've set up another appointment with New Therapist for next week. Now I just need to figure out how to cancel with Old Therapist, a prospect that leaves me rather anxious.

The second conversation was an e-mail exchange with my OB/GYN. She wrote that she'll do the blood work to test my thyroid levels at our appointment next week (yay!) but that she was sure my primary care physician had already tested them.

Um, yeah, so that brings me to my third doctor. Or rather, the gaping Derridean absence that marks the place of the third doctor. I don't have a primary care physician. I haven't had one since I was eighteen and left my pediatrician's office back at home.

Go ahead, yell at me. Everyone does. But I never (and I mean never) get sick, so I haven't had the need to acquire one. The last time I had a fever or the stomach flu (but it might have just been food poisoning) was 2001. I have never in my life gotten the seasonal flu, not even when my asthmatic, pneumatic husband is ill and I drink from his glass. I occasionally get one cold in a year, and that cold occasionally turns into a sinus infection, but whenever that happens I visit my allergist to get an antibiotic. And I haven't had any colds or infections in three years. My weight is very stable. My blood pressure is always perfect. I've never broken a bone and I haven't had a serious injury since I was a child. When I had my eye exam last year at Lawyer Guy's insistence, it was the first time in 20 years I'd had my vision checked. See? I'm really, really, really robustly healthy.

And I'm also extremely phobic of needles, primarily of blood draws and IVs. Until I had my d&c, I had not had blood drawn since 1999. Doctors had recommended blood work in the past (my old psychopharmacologist said I needed to have my saline levels checked to be on the anxiety medication she prescribed me), but I ignored them, so much did I fear getting blood drawn.

Which (as I'm sure you've figured by now) is all to say: No, my "primary care" physician has not tested my thyroid levels. If my thyroid levels have ever been tested, the last time was 11 years ago.

So I'm doing this. I'm going to get my blood drawn and maybe get some answers. I'm really scared, but I want to do the best I can for my babies (the m&m and any babies to come), so I need to be brave. I might ask my husband to come hold my hand, though.


  1. Good luck with the blood draw! I hope your thyroid checks out good (I have hypothyroidism) and even though it's easily controlled by one little pill in the morning, how awesome it would be to not have to mess with it. And I don't blame you for not having a primary care doc, like you, I rarely need one because I rarely get sick.

  2. Agree with Al, above. But then on the other hand, if you DO have hypothyroidism, how wonderful to be able to fix it and know that when you're knocked up you're baby will be as sticky as can be. Either way, I think it will be a good appt.

    If it makes you feel any better, I don't have a primary physician either (not since pediatrician days!). I go to my gyno for general stuff, like when I got pink eye two years ago. I am also really fortunate to not get sick, so there has never been a need. So no scolding from me. :)

    PS I just checked your FF chart and you are hanging right in there THIS cycle my friend.

  3. I don't have a family doc either! Between moving from MI to Canada in the last few years, I just never got one. I'm planning on getting one as soon as I'm back to the US. Good luck with everything!

  4. I'm so glad that you liked your new therapist!! It's so important to have a connection to the person you're talking to-- I've gone through several and if I didn't feel like they "get" me, then it was a pointless waste of time.

    I don't have a primary care physician either! I have an ob/gyn, an RE, an ENT, etc...but no "regular" doctor.

    I know that the fear of needles makes this step a difficult one friend, but definitely get DH to come with you to hold your hand and remember that this could put you one step closer to holding your beautiful baby in your arms. It will be worth it.

    Just looked at your FF chart-- Egg's right! Looking good!

  5. I don't have a PCP either--I used to, but she left the practice and I never bothered to find someone else. Let's hear it for healthy people! I'm sorry getting blood drawn is such an ordeal for you, and I'm proud of you for doing it anyway!

  6. I'm stoked to hear that you like the new therapist! CBT has its limitations, for sure. While it's effectiveness has be proven time and again, I tend to turn my nose up at because to me it represents an effort to make therapy/social work quantitative, and, you know, therapeutic needs sometimes don't jive that way. As you've obviously experienced. ;)

    Anyway, I do have a primary doc and I attribute some of our delay in treatment to her, the one who assured me that charting and OPKs were the answer, that "it only takes one sperm!", that varicoceles do not hinder fertility, etc. So, even if you do have one, it's not all it's cracked up to be!

    You can do the blood draw! Take the hubs with you, and then you two should treat yourselves to a special drink afterwards. ;)

  7. No PCP either. And when I had one, it was still crappy trying to get in. And, god forbid you try to get healthy care, as none of them would even bother to just suggest labs for cholesterol and diabetes (which I'd toss as you well remember). They NEVER follow up anyway, so what's the point?

    I remember that you are my fellow needle phobe, so here's my assvice for you. Do bring your husband and have him in the room. Watch him during procedure. Tell him to NOT LOOK at the needle but directly at you. Do not look down at what they are doing. Chat with him about something saucy to keep your mind at ease. Let him know it's his job to keep you distracted. If you start to feel lightheaded, tell the tech immediately and have them get you to lie down. Having your brows (or bikini) waxed is WAY worse, if you think of it as someone plucking your arm and shaping it into a beautiful feature, it's a bit more bearable and gives you context for the wee bit of pain.

    If the phlebotomist spends a long time with your arm, ask him/her if they are having trouble. If they look unsure, ask if there's someone who is more experienced who can do the draw.

    Hang in there! It will be tough, but having your husband there will help keep the panic down. Mr. joined me for the first 20 or so until I got the hang of distracting myself without him.

  8. I'm not going to yell at you either, although I do have a PCP but rarely ever go, only when I need to get my migraine medication refilled and they basically force me to come. This last time she made me take the flu shot for the first time since I was a kid (because I told her we were ttc), and I was very upset. I used to be terrified of needles, but I have to say I've gotten over that pretty quick since going to the RE.

    Anyways, I'm glad you're getting your thyroid checked...and at least it will bring you one step closer to figuring out how to get that bean to stick!! And very proud of you for being brave, bring the hubs to hold your hand, and shut your eyes TIGHT, that works for me!

  9. Yay! for the new therapist. I totally agree that our situation is not about behavior modification, it is definitely more about getting in touch with ourselves and understanding what this experience means to us. I.e., we must dwell! I suggest telling your old therapist that you are leaving therapy because you want to avoid the financial burden, that way you will spare his feelings. Tell him you have some other unexpected expenses and claims on your time...

    I also haven't checked my thyroid, for the same reasons. My weight never fluctuates, and my temperature is pretty stable too. So I am betting that yours is fine, but if yours ISN'T fine, then I'll check mine too. :) Sorry you have such a hard time with the needles...

  10. Great news about the new therapist. She sounds perfect for you! Funny that you're almost "breaking up" with your old therapist - always tough. I still feel bad about leaving my acupuncturist.
    As for the PCP thing, I also did not have one from age 18 until, well, today! I got a call from my HMO and they told me they had "assigned" me one. Still, I haven't actually seen a primary care doc in over 10 years. Yikes.
    Also, the blood draw totally freaked me out. In fact, I had NEVER had my blood drawn prior to the first round of diagnostics over the summer. Now I stick out my arm with absolutely no fear. You'll be fine, but definitely bring hubby if you think it will help.