Sunday, November 23, 2008

Each day is a little brighter

Each day has gotten a little easier. The laughter is a little easier to come by, the jokes and banter between Daniel and I flow, and I've been staying busy instead of hiding in a hole of despair.

Probably the worst thing I've been told during this time, though, is "At least you have your two girls". I just have to explain something even though I know those people didn't mean anything mean by it. While I am very, very blessed to have my two daughters they do not replace the pain and love that I have for the unborn life that my body rejected. I loved that child as an individual with their own personality, as someone who was my son or daughter. They already had a name and a place in our home. I grieve for them as a mother who will never get to see them, hold them, smell them, laugh with them or even know them.

And I just wrote the Dear John letter to my doctor. Can I just say that was very tiring and emotional? I mean I didn't bawl my eyes out or anything (I think I'm beyond that point of the grieving process--- I'm in the very angry stage right now). I will paste it to the end of this post for those interested in "proof-reading" it for me. I want to know if it sounds like something a sane person wrote and not by someone driven purely by their emotions.

Daniel and I skipped church today. I know, we're so bad! Okay, totally kidding. God knew where our hearts were. I find it is very hard to sit through a service without crying and snotting all over the place. Worship songs always strike a very emotional chord with me and I knew I could not keep it together. I just wasn't ready.

Well I have nothing else to say really. So here is the letter. I'm unsure about whether or not I should cut out the part that says I am not paying her for her services because I felt that I didn't even receive adequate care..? Which I feel they should totally waive the fees. If they did their job in the first place then I'd pay. If I go to a steakhouse and order a steak but the waiter brings me a side salad instead you can be assured that I am NOT going to pay $30 for a salad. I only pay for the services that I receive. Make sense? Or does it just sound petty and childish (okay, don't answer that question or I may cry--- just give me a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down on that part).

Dear Doctor B.,

I find I am in a very unfortunate position to be writing this letter. Many things have happened recently that have left me baffled, hurt, confused and angry. In my mind we were supposed to be a team fighting the PCOS and trying to conceive a baby but instead I felt entirely alone. If you felt, at any point, that you were unqualified you should have referred me to someone else.

My first issue is with the Metformin. I have called your office many times asking that the dosage be increased because it was not effective at 1000mg. I never got any calls back, ever. Instead a call was always put into my drugstore for the same dosage. In fact many times my calls are left unanswered or I'd wait for hours for a return call when I should have received an answer within an hour.

My second issue is with the Clomid. I felt I was left to my own devices while using this very dangerous drug. You yourself told me that there are no known long-term side effects associated with this drug, yet I was left to take it on my own, without ultrasonic monitoring or HCG trigger shots if they were necessary. My LH and FSH levels were not monitored while on this drug either.

My third issue is with this current miscarriage that I personally believe could have been prevented. Because I had taken Clomid I should have had the progesterone supplements in my possession the same day I called to tell your nurse that I was pregnant. Please know I understand you were on vacation but I also understand you kept in communication with your staff as well and you were well aware of my ongoing situation.

While I understand that miscarriages happen for reasons beyond anyone’s control, I am completely shocked by your lack of commitment to me as a patient, especially with my unique case of PCOS and ovulation issues. I am ashamed at the behavior of the staff at [the office name] for their uncaring and indifferent attitudes. I am treated as a nuisance instead of as a patient with care issues.

If I had had the progesterone when I first called to ask for it, I believe this could have been prevented. And if it still had not been prevented with early intervention from the Prometrium then I would release you from all responsibility. As it stands I feel you are completely to blame for the “fetal demise” of this unborn life and especially for your lack of patient care and communication.

All of this is to say that my husband and I are officially firing you and we will be finding a physician who is both knowledgeable and as eager to see us achieve and maintain a pregnancy as we are. One who is willing to try any approach to ensure our little one does not suffer and die while in my womb and has a caring staff that is willing to return phone calls and not make me feel like a fool.

Please know that I will not be paying any bills to you or to the lab at your office. I do not believe I received adequate care nor was I treated with honesty and respect. One such case being that I called for my final HCG levels and instead of getting a call back, I got “sad looks” from your nurse when I came in for the sonogram and I immediately knew that it was over even before I had to sit through that sonogram and fight back tears. I could’ve been spared that embarrassment and violation if your staff would return phone calls.

A copy of this letter and more detailed explanations will be sent to your director.


Monkey's Momma said...

Wow! Heavy stuff, heavy stuff. had to be said. I think you made your point. I would not change a thing in this letter. It is well written and you sound well-informed about your body. No, you don't sound insane by any means!

I'm not the doctor and I'm shaking a little reading this!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Wow. I don't know what else to say.

I don't know about the paying bills part cause I don't know if they can legally do anything to you about that. You may want to check into it. After a forceful letter like that, the doctor may feel you are threatening her and she will try to make sure she gets payment from you. I don't know. I'm just wondering.

Also, do you have specific dates and times that you can include in your letter to back up your claims?

Anyways, well said Sis.

Andrea said...

Very well written letter. It sounds thought out and only goes into the facts with examples to back up what you are saying. While it isn't too emotional, it still conveys your feelings enough to let her know you really cared about your baby, so she should have too. I admire you for writing this!

I'm also not sure if you can legally not pay for the "services" they gave you so you may want to check into that like Julie said. And if you do have to pay, I still think you should say something in the letter about her office not charging you for the horrible service as a small compensation for the pain and embarrassment they put you through so maybe they won't even charge you.

I know that people who haven't been through this don't know what to say, but some of the things I heard right after my m/c hurt really bad too. I especially hated the, "You're still young, you can get pregnant again." I just smile and nod, but how was that supposed to make me feel better?

Ris said...

I probably wouldn't send anything to your dr at all. It most likely won't do any good...other than to make you feel better by getting it off your chest. That's just me though, I do not know her and do not know how she would react.

I am really feeling for you, Joy. I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this! Still praying for you.

Ris said...

Although, if you have an HMO, they usually have websites through the insurance company, where you can rank your dr, and make comments about the care you received. That might be helpful, as it might help other people not make the mistake of choosing her!