Dear Doctor Callous

And yes, I actually sent this!


Dear Dr. D,

I’m sure it will not surprise you to learn that I will no longer count myself among your patients.  It may take me some time to find a new doctor, but I will call to have my records transferred at that time.

When I first became pregnant back in 1999, Dr. S was my doctor. My pregnancy did not go well, almost from the start. I told him multiple times that I felt like something was wrong. He refused to grant me an ultrasound. “You’re a first-time mom,” he told me. “You’re supposed to worry! But, everything is fine.”  I miscarried at 13 weeks.  I do not think he could have stopped the miscarriage, but I know an ultrasound would have saved me many weeks of carrying a non-viable pregnancy.  So, I sought a new doctor.  Dr. K seemed like a good doctor at first.  However, on one of my subsequent miscarriages, she sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound.  I was told that the technician could not give me the results – only Dr. K could call me with the results.  I waited and waited for a call back.  Finally, since it was a holiday weekend and I knew I would not hear back for several days, I called her office. She picked up the phone and acknowledged that she’d forgotten to call. And then she informed me that I was miscarrying. She couldn’t remember to tell a patient that her pregnancy had failed?  Inexcusable. At that time I switched to Dr. B.  I liked Dr. B a lot. He was kind and was sensitive to my situation.  Had he not retired, I would have been happy to remain as his patient.

Once Dr. B retired, you inherited me as a patient.  From the start, I did not feel comfortable with you as my doctor. However, I’d already “fired” two doctors and am fully aware that I am the common denominator here.  Am I a difficult patient?  Maybe. I’m not sure.  I felt like I should hang in there and put up with all of the insensitivity, the insistence that I still had every chance of carrying a pregnancy to term.  It has always been more important to you to be right than to be compassionate.

I know you believe I have a low IQ and am not capable of understanding my own medical history, but I have a slew of auto-immune conditions and firmly believe they play a part in my inability to carry a pregnancy to term.  However, it’s a moot point because I already have a child (via adoption) and have no interest in being pregnant or having a baby.  Plus, I’m 43 now so the odds are not in my favor even if I did want a baby. I’m not sure if you noticed when I was in your office, but I have my daughter’s name (in her own handwriting) tattooed on my chest, right over my heart. She is all I ever wanted and all I will ever need. Instead of telling me over and over that I could become pregnant and have a baby, I wish you would have said, “Hey, I think it’s great that you found a way to become a mom. Congratulations!” Instead, my child is a non-entity. 

The reason I didn’t come in for an exam last year was simply because I did not want to go.  When a woman has miscarried four times, she develops a special kind of hatred for the stirrups.  If only someone had said, “I’m sorry about what happened to you,” it almost would have been bearable.  Instead, I am asked over and over again about my medical history.  How many live births? How many pregnancies?  When your nurse asked me yesterday if I had terminated my pregnancies or if I had miscarried, I felt like I might explode.  Could anything be more insensitive?  I don’t buy this “we have a new system” excuse. This was not the first time or the second time I had been asked the same questions.  I have been asked over and over again. I have worked in software development for 17 years and I don’t believe for a minute that it was not possible to export any data from the old system. I don’t care if it had to be printed and then entered manually. There is really no excuse for asking me if I had terminated my pregnancies. It is tantamount to having some horrible wound slit open again and again.

In April I ended up in the emergency room as a result of excruciating pain in my lower abdomen.  I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts and was advised to follow up with my regular doctor. I dreaded going, but made the appointment anyway. You informed me that my cysts are completely normal and basically gave me the impression that I had had no reason to go to the hospital. 

Yesterday you asked me if I had any questions. I did have questions. I had lots of them.  However, I’ve grown frustrated with being told I’m mistaken in every single thing I’ve ever tried to tell you, so I kept my questions to myself. And, left in tears. As usual. 


Sam said…
I'm glad you sent it and I hope you get a response. And I'm so sorry all this happened to you.

I wish you the best of luck in finally finding a compassionate, thoughtful doctor. They do exist and every woman deserves one.
Mary said…
Yep, that's sounds like a dandy of a doctor!! I don't believe anyone should be a doc unless they have a good amount of true compassion!! For the first time ever I have found a pain management doc that is so caring and compassionate I still find it hard to believe!! My last one said well nothing is working for you call if you need anything and had some other very rude remarks and cut me off several times. I was pissed. Done. I also hate it when people treat miscarriages like they are not the beginning of real people, like cells that don't mean anything!?!? Oh now that is cold!! My Sarah just had a miscarriage as I think I mentioned and I grieved, I can only imagine how a Mom feels!! I wish I would have wrote one of my past back docs, I had been going to him for at least a year, I had switched due to insurance change to this dude. I was doing pain management and whatnot and I called just because it was still unbearable and I couldn't stand up straight anymore!! I had in the mean time seen a specialist in Marshfield who said I needed back surgery but I wanted it done closer so sent him my records and current MRI. I could even tell the problem, my back looked like stairs. So the nurse calls me the day before my appt. and says the doc cancelled your appt. and wants you to go back to pain management. What?!? How do you not listen to your doc or look at the MRI because if he did and didn't see a problem that's crazy!! Anyway, sorry for venting on your blog... but I went to another back surgeon (they don't want you once you have had surgery) who did the surgery and while no pain relief I can stand up straight again!! Like any profession there are some real losers out there!!

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