Do you know what I dislike? When non-medical professionals who answer the phones at doctors’ offices try to talk to you about your medical problem. Three stories:
- When we first started looking into infertility testing, the first recommendation was to use an ovulation predictor kit to make sure I was indeed ovulating. I was, and called back to find out the next step. “So have sex” was this person’s brilliant advice.
- When Leland was 3 weeks old he spiked a high fever. I took it in his armpit because I was too nervous to take it in his bum. I think in his armpit it was around 101.5? This person on the phone said he was probably fine because his actual temperature would be lower. Turns out you need to add a degree to get a rough estimate of actual temp from the armpit, and he ended up being up over 103 by the time we got to the ER. (Side story: The original person set up an appointment and I was on my way in. They called back to say I needed to take the temp in his bum, so I had to turn around and drive home, go back up to our third floor apartment with a 3-week-old in his carseat, take his temp, and find out it was high enough to go straight to the ER. Thankfully my Aunt Denise was visiting at the time so she came with me. He had a UTI and was in the hospital for a few days)
- While I was hanging out in the NICU with Elliot (3 months ago already!) my feet swelled very badly, I could barely walk. When I called to talk to a midwife on call, the answering service person said “Oh that happened to me, I think it’s normal.” Turns out I had postpartum preeclampsia and I was hospitalized for a day.(Another side story: Do you think I could get my blood pressure taken in a hospital? We were at a different hospital than where I gave birth so I wasn’t a patient. It took all day before a NICU nurse finally swiped a blood pressure stand from another floor and then promptly sent me down to the ER)
Do you know who I love talking to? There is a woman at the OB/GYN office in our town where I used to be a patient. She did all of the organizing and scheduling of our infertility testing and she was so very helpful and kind. She would call me with results and talk about everything with me. I only ever met her in person one time for a few seconds but I spent a lot of time on the phone with her. I just called her again after 3 years because we are looking for a new provider and she talked with me for a good while about what is going on with my health and what I am looking for in a new doctor, She was so glad to hear that we are no longer dealing with infertility and about our kids, and was more than happy to take time to chat about my concerns. She is just truly a wonderful, supportive, and helpful person who I think goes well beyond her required tasks.
She is also someone I always refer to by her full name – Barbara Baxter is a household name for us!