Two nights ago we got a call asking for help/inviting us to a painting party fromisabeau_larkWe both really want to go. For one thing, we both really want to see her new house, and for another this is the woman who hauled our king-sized mattress up and OVER the second floor bannister so that we could get it upstairs. How could I not help after that? So. Can I paint? Can I be around that amount of paint fumes? I don’t know, and the literature is indecisive. So I’m a good do-bee and I call my OB’s office yesterday late afternoon when I remember. They do nothing except give me an 800 number for the Pregnancy Exposure Hotline. Okay – specific people to call who have the information with a dedicated line. Not what I wanted, but cool. Except that the line is only staffed Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30 to 3:30 (it was 3:45), Wednesday from 12:30 to 3:30, and they’re closed on Fridays and weekends.
What the fuck good is this? Are we all supposed to schedule our unexpected chemical exposures? What if I’d been asking for a date *this* Saturday? What the hell kind of "care" is this.
I just don’t know what to do about this. I’m really feeling like a need a different practice, but that means changing hospitals also, I think. How does one do this? Am I supposed to have six or seven "first" appointments while I try to find someone who will actually BE my medical staff? I don’t think that would fly with Cigna. Also, at this point I’m entering the three or four week window where I can have the nuchal translucency and CVS tests for Down’s Syndrome done. Once I’m past fourteen weeks those tests can’t be done anymore and I’d need to wait for the second trimester for an amnio, and that’s way later than I would want to be terminating if we get a bad Down’s result. I’m at ten weeks now, so there isn’t really any time to be screwing around.
Then it occurred to me that the nuchal translucency can only be done from eleven to fourteen weeks, and I haven’t heard a damn thing about an ultrasound appointment. For that matter, I don’t even know if that’s what they’re going to do at the first appointment. Because no one is telling me a damn thing about anything. So I called, and lo and behold – they have my appointment dates. I was good – I didn’t ask if they were planning to call me before I was supposed to be there. The appointment is indeed with Genetics and the ultrasound is for the NT – on the 14th of March, right in the middle of week 13. Nothing like cutting it fine. Given that the chorionic villus sampling can only be done between weeks nine and fourteen, I don’t know what they’re going to do about that. Will we even have results back in time to decide if the risk factors warrant a CVS? I guess I need to make another phone call. I might be able to find a phone number for the genetics department.
But the thing that’s really driving me wild is that I have to cope with this stuff all by myself. I can’t talk to the folks at work because a) I’m not going to tell anyone at work other than my supervisors for as long as I can get away with it, and b) the two ladies who have had babies recently are both Grade-A Prime fruit bats. I can’t talk to my friends because we’re not telling people until after we have the Down’s results back. And I can’t talk to my husband because he hasn’t bothered to educate himself yet. He doesn’t know what the tests are, what they do, that they have a limited window of opportunity, or any of that. He doesn’t know what the hospital offers, what the other hospital option offers, what our insurance terms are, or what would be involved in switching practices at this point. He’s got time to play Free Cell, but no time to read any of the literature the hospital sent home, or to investigate the other hospital. I’m so livid with him that I just want to cry. I shouldn’t have to figure all this stuff out by myself. He’s supposed to be involved in this too.
Is this just the way the health care system is? Have I chosen poorly? How do I know?