Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Part 37: Frustration

What in the world, the woman thought. She held in her hand a letter from the doctor's office that read:

We're so sorry you missed your scheduled appointment. Please call us back any time to reschedule.

Being late to an appointment was not unrealistic for the woman, but completely blowing off a commitment was not part of her personality profile. She was puzzled. The last conversation she had with the office left off with the nurse stating she would put a note in the woman's file requesting the doctor to give her a call about the next steps of her treatment. There was no talk about scheduling an appointment.

Emotionally charged, she called the doctor's office. The attendant on the other line took her through the rigamarole checking address and contact information. After reassuring the woman she would not be penalized for missing her appointment, she scheduled an another one two weeks out.

It had been awhile since the woman had gone into the office, but all was as she last remembered. While sitting alone in her room, she reflected on the past few months. She had been waiting anxiously to talk to her doctor so that she could start planning her life again. A noise outside the door brought her back to reality. The door began to open, and just as the woman was preparing to welcome her doctor, disappointment came over her. The woman at the door was not her doctor, but one of the young residents.

"So, how are you doing?" the resident began. "You're thinking about wanting to start trying again in September, right?"

"That's the last I knew," answered the woman.

"Ok. Well, let's get started on your pelvic exam," continued the resident.

"Excuse me?" the woman questioned in surprise.

"The doctor wanted me to do a full examination."

Considering the woman's last five appointments included sitting on a bench talking to her doctor, she expected nothing different from this appointment. A pelvic exam, however, was a different story. Typically, these require some advanced preparation, including mental readiness and shaving! Frustrated, the woman replied, "Is this really necessary?"

"Well, I can go back and talk to her and see what she wants to do," the resident said and left the room.

Eventually, the woman's real doctor entered the room and they started talking. For some reason, she and her doctor always had very frank conversations.

"Well, when I came in, I was not under the impression that I would have to be taking my pants off today," said the woman.

"You're due for a pap smear and thought we do a full exam," replied the doctor.

Nice of someone to warn me, the woman thought. "Well, if this is something that needs to be done," the woman began, "we might as well do it now. I'm just telling you, it's not going to be pretty down there."

The rest of the appointment was as depressing as the first half. Not only did she have to live through an unexpected exam, but she had to come to grips with the fact that trying to conceive starting in September was no longer an option. Due to the fact that complete molar pregnancy patients are higher risk, her doctor wanted her to follow the treatment by the book and wait the full year. I've waiting this long, she thought to herself. I guess I can wait a little longer.