Today was a busy day full of appointments. Among the many, was my OB checkup. Since I go to a group practice, they like to rotate who you see so that at some point, you have met and become familiar with everyone you might deal with on D-day.
I had yet to visit the doctor whose name receives top billing at the practice, so today it was decided that my appointment would be with him. I was looking forward to asking questions about delivery, fetal monitoring, the practice philosophy on when to induce, etc...
That was until I met the doctor.
I wasn't at all surprised or bothered by his lack of a warm and fuzzy introduction. The other doctor in the practice I met on my last visit was clinical at best, but he was professional and what I would have expected.
One of the first things out of Dr. C's mouth after taking a glance at my chart was:
"So are you just sitting around eating ice cream all day?"
I have to admit, I usually have an answer for everything. But I was a bit taken aback. For one, my weight gain since the last visit (4 weeks ago) was not ridiculous.* Two, if my weight gain was of concern, I am pretty sure that there are about a million other tactful, not to mention helpful, ways to address this.
I responded that I was eating as I have been since the pregnancy started. (Which is not health nut healthy, but is definitely not eating junk food "all day long" as implied)
He then asked "Are you having twins?"
Ummm...you are the doctor. Holding my chart. Wouldn't you know the answer to this? Pretty sure you do. Pretty sure you are taking the opportunity to tell me you think I am a fat slob again.
He felt my ankles, which I had been told at my earlier appointment with a massage therapist are retaining fluid. She gave me helpful tips on what to do to prevent full on cankle stage, why it was happening, etc... I mentioned to the doctor that the massage therapist had noticed that my ankles were puffy earlier in the day.
"You have a massage therapist? Must be nice. *disgusted snort*"
Yes, private practice doctor, I am sure that I am living in a lap of luxury that deserves every ounce of disdain you throwing my way.
He finished the ultrasound check and had me move to a chair.
"Do you EVER excercise?"
I explained that I walk a little everyday. He responded with an indistinct grumble. I then added that I just ordered a pregnancy workout DVD that I plan on adding into my daily routine.
While on the outside I was still very composed, on the inside I am wondering, if you are so concerned about the state of my weight gain, shouldn't you be doing something productive like, say, making recommendations about what I am or am not eating? Or what sort of exercise might be good for me? SOMETHING constructive rather than arbitrary criticism of a pregnant woman's weight?
I didn't lash out, because I thought to myself, weight is a touchy subject for any woman. And maybe, just maybe I am being overly sensitive.
Then he proceeds with the following:
"Who lives in your house?"
"My husband and I.
"How old is he?""
With a raised eyebrow and an unmistakable tone, "How old are YOU?"
Shakes his head and "hmph"s again.
"You know, the Orlando Slantinel (that's how he said it folks) had an article that said you could tell how long a marriage was going to last based on the story of how a couple first met. How did you two meet?"
I can't help but think how this entire series of questions is medically irrelevant, but just wanting to get done and out of there I gave a very short boring "we met in place X, we talked, I moved to place X, we married" story.
Ok, you just informed me that the story of how we met informs how long we will be together, and your response to the story is a cranky "hmph". How am I supposed to take that?
"How long have you been married?"
"7 years in May."
"Well, maybe you have a chance then."
What? Really? Are you actually having this conversation with a hormonal pregnant lady? SERIOUSLY??
At this point, he asks if I have any questions about the pregnancy (I said "no" as I just wanted to get away from this horrible man), informs me that I better not gain more than TWO pounds in the next FOUR weeks and then ends with this gem.
"Is your husband a Jehovah's Witness too?"
*Snide tone* "Well. I guess that works out then."
And that was the final word of the visit.
In the course of a very brief period, the man attempted to make me feel bad about my weight, my marriage, and my religion. I can only guess that they didn't emphasize bedside manner and asking medically relevant questions at this guy's med school.
I managed to keep my composure through the entire ordeal. Unfortunately, when I went to the hospital for pre-registration and sat down with the nice admitting lady, I lost that composure.
When I get angry, I don't scream. I don't throw things. I don't curse. I just cry. I breakdown in an embarrassingly girly mess. And I did exactly that in this poor strangers office.
I told her the whole story. She saved face for the entire medical community by using choice words for what she thought of that doctor, reassuring me that I was not being overly sensitive, and that I had every right to demand that he never see me again, and not be allowed in the delivery room.
So to the lovely hospital lady, thank you.
And now, I have a letter to compose to the group practice. Here's hoping that they honor my wishes. If not, I will sadly be looking for a new practice.
*For the record, I gained 7 pounds in 4 weeks. Throughout the pregnancy so far, I have actually been told that I should be gaining more weight than I was initially. I didn't change my eating habits, since I knew I was eating a healthy amount and figured that I would gain what I need to gain when the baby needs it. 4 weeks ago, you could barely tell I was prego. Now, I am very definitely sporting a baby bump. My blood pressure is nice and low and aside from the recent puffy ankles, I have had nothing but a healthy pregnancy.
Also, most of what I have read about this stage of the pregnancy is that at LEAST one pound a week is to be expected. Since I hadn't gained as much as they expected early on, I must say I am not too concerned about a couple extra pounds. But what do I know.