Dr. Ahmad – First Visit

Well, today was my 29-week check up. Officially, today, I am 29 weeks, 1 day. And when I tried to say I was counting as 30 weeks, Dr. Ahmad was not thinking I was funny. And so, let’s delve into that.

The practice that I go to has Drs Perry, Neubeck and Ahmad and Nurse Practitioner Sue. I began with Neubeck and saw him through the first 25 weeks. Last appointment, I saw Sue, the nurse practicitioner and was thoroughly impressed and content after my visit with her. So, week 29 I get Dr. Ahmad. Andrea had told me that he was extremely smart, was to the point (which Neubeck is not, but that’s one of my favorite things about him) and had an accent that could be hard to understand.

Well, I definitely got the to-the-point part.

He got in my stuff about why I wasn’t taking my thyroid medication. A look back at my thyroid travels and this is the summary: my doctor in Naperville was overly cautious on the thyroid thing, prescribed the pills and upped my dosage…though my numbers continued to read on the high side of normal. Because of this, I stopped taking the pills (a daily regimen) on my own, because I didn’t want to take a pill while pregnant, really, if I didn’t have to, and if my TSH levels were fine, then why was I messing with my body? So, I chose to stop taking the pills. Haven’t taken then since probably before the baby was born in any meaningful, daily way. I started forgetting, then realized that the pills were making no difference in my way of life or living and felt BETTER. So, in charge of my own body, I made a decision.

And today, Dr. Ahmad slipped in this lovely little comment (to the effect of): “Well, it’s really important that your thyroid hormone is regulated because it can cause abnormal brain development in the baby in the first trimester.”

Really?

That’s what you just said to me? So now, in addition to all my other fears that stand between me and delivering a healthy baby girl (i.e., will the cord be wrapped around her neck? what if she is born with some sort of physical impediment? what if she’s albino? blind?). So, thanks, doctor, you’ve now added ‘dumb’ to the list of things to fear.

I should have called him out. I should have said something. I DID say something when, as he was sort of trying to be done with me I said “I have a list of questions” and pulled out my blackberry and the MemoPad.

Question #1: I have severe tailbone pain. Is that normal? Is there anything to do to relieve it?

Ahmad: It’s normal. Your center of gravity shifts when you’re pregnant so you don’t tip over forward. It will get worse.

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: Awesome. Great delivery on that one, doc.)

Question #2: I have a discharge that I have some questions about. It sort of has an odd odor to it.

Ahmad: We will take some cultures. [Insert here the part where the nurse comes in so the exam can be done and Ahmad says, “If I see anything abnormal, I will tell you right away. Otherwise, the culture work won’t be back until Monday or Tuesday and then I’ll call you with the results.]

Ahmad: How long have you been with your partner?

Me: Three years.

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: Ok, so now you’re insinuating that Jon – JON? – could be a culprit in my late-pregnancy-onset discharge issue I’ve just asked you about? Could Jon be the culprit? Stop it, Lindsay. That’s stupid. Why the hell would the doctor ask me that and leave it hanging out there??)

Question #3: I have a history with hemrhoids – the inside kind. Could the tailbone pain be hemrhoids or is that separate or what?

Ahmad: The hemrhoids will get worse. We don’t do anything about them – but keep an eye on them and if they turn black and blue, then we’ll drain them. Hemrhoids are actually inflamed blood vessels (or something medical like that – my words, not his).

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: This guy is a piece of…)

Me: You know, you’re really a breath of fresh air this morning, I just have to tell you.

Ahmad: laughs.

Question #4: Talk to me about breastfeeding. I’m a fact-based, research-driven person and people SAY breastfeeding is best, but I’d really like to see the research. I’ve done my own scholarly searches and can’t find much except for this one study that was ordered by the NIH and while it did list some benefits, I just am not sure…

Ahmad: It is better, from what I have seen over the years. I understand what you mean and I will try my best to have some research – at least one good article for you – at your next visit.

(INTERNAL DIALOGUE: Wow, a doctor who is going to provide me research at my next visit, like he’s planning that far in advance?)

Ahmad: This is my pager. Someone is in labor, so I need to answer this.

Me: Ok, you do that.

I walked to the front to schedule my next visit and the women who run the office and I had a good laugh about how Dr. Ahmad had really made my morning. At least I laughed…I don’t know if it was a good one or not.

In the meantime, I was also concurrently having my glucose tolerance test (GTT) done across the hall in the lab. I arrived at 8:40 to have my blood drawn while fasting. My doctor appointment was at 9 a.m. So, I had the blood drawn and then drank the 75 gram sugar solution thing. GROSS. Choked it down is a better description. The cross-eyed phlebotomist who is normally cranky but seemed pleasant enough this day was doing the draws. Ok, fine. Good. She tells me to have my next draw done at 9:40 a.m. Ok, can do.

After my 20 minutes in the Ahmad show, I was back to the lab. So, at this point it’s like 9:20. Literally. So the cross-eyed phlebotomist says ‘oh, we have some pre-employment screenings coming in and I don’t want to have to draw you while they’re here, so I’ll draw you now.” I say “I thought I had to wait an hour from the first draw?”. She says “I have 10 minutes to play with on the draw, so I can do it now, we were at about 8:30 when I drew the first labs.” Ok, that’s a lie lady. I was still in my car, on the phone fighting with AT&T about our UVerse service until 8:35 and my car clock is three minutes fast and I had to get the paper work from the doctor’s office. But whatever, get me out of here quicker. Let’s do this.

So, I sit in the lab with my iPad and am feeling icky because of the sugar water solution thing and not eating. And you can’t drink more than a few sips of water. All awful. So, at around 9:45 the pre-employment screenings come in (good we hurried to get me out of the way…I was the ONLY person there for blood at this point of the day). There are five women who are getting pre-screened for different jobs working in various labs. Cool, something to distract me.

It’s now 10:25. I say to the other phlembotomist that I need to have my final draw done. I mean, the woman said she had 10 minutes either way and that my first draw was at 8:30. Right? This all transpired. I was NOT imagining it. The cross-eyed one comes around the corner – while still managing the other pre-employment screenings – and says “NO. You have to wait until 20 til.” The other person and I look at each other innocently. I respond, “You drew at 20 after the last time, so it’s been an hour and then it’s been an hour and 55 minutes since you said the first draw was done and I thought you said there was a 10 minute window” This is the response that comes from ol’ cross-eyed: “Miss, I KNOW how to do my JOB.”

OOOOOOkkkkkk. This is the woman I remember dealing with at other labs. Right. Ok.

So, I’m now in the room waiting to have my blood drawn and I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to go sit down, I’m ready to get this going. I’ve got like 3 minutes now until she can draw. Oh no, she tells the other one to tell me to get out of the blood drawing room. SERIOUSLY lady?

I walk out and look at her (or try to — can’t really tell where to look) and say “You are a REAL charmer, I have to tell you.”

So, I sit back down and watch this woman carry cups of urine of the last six ladies back and forth into and out of the blood draw room, hoping to God that she’ll remember to change her gloves before she draws my blood.

Finally, she says to no one in particular, “You can come back now”.

I sit there and do my normal routine when getting blood drawn. I ignore her and close my eyes. She says if it hurts tonight, to put a warm compress on the spot where she is applying pressure. Ok. Fine. Just let me the HELL out of here, lady. I’m over you.

“Thank you” I tell her.

Because that’s just the kind of sweet bitch that I am.

Anyway — today’s experience is now committed to the annals of history. Not that anyone should care, but it has been therapeutic to get this all out of my head as I’ve been pissed about it all day. And feeling icky after that sugar water. And worrying about my ‘dumb’ baby. Great day at the doctor’s office.

 

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