Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I've Got a Disease

Doctors are sure that my condition is curable, with their help. My disease could be life threatening, if I were to stay home and do nothing, according to most of the Medical Community. My illness needs lots of monitoring, tests and constant Doctor supervision. My illness has already cost my insurance company thousands of dollars and will cost thousands more.

My sickness is pretty common, actually, at least in females. I've even had this condition once before and I ended up in kidney failure because of it. Almost all of my female friends have had this illness, too. Some people actually get it on purpose (me included, both times!) It's been around for millions of years and it is totally preventable. In other Countries, it's not even considered an illness, nor is it usually treated in a hospital.

My Health Practitioners want me to eat healthy and not gain weight, but my condition makes me want to eat constantly and I am gaining weight, despite my healthy eating habits (though admittedly, I'm nowhere near perfect!) My condition this time around has made me hypoglycemic, so I am also craving sugars and I actually need to eat constantly (8 times a day!) so I don't get nauseous, dizzy or potentially pass out. My doctors would like for me to exercise, but also be on bed rest. My doctors would prefer for me to stay in a hospital until my illness is cured.

I don't think I have an illness at all. I think I have a miracle, a blessing, a gift. I'm not crazy, though I may be a little hormonal. I'm growing a baby in my belly and it takes a lot out of me, but I wouldn't call my future child a parasite or a tumor. I don't think of my child as a sickness or a disease. I don't think my child needs to be surgically removed, though many Doctors would disagree. I don't even think my first child needed to be surgically removed, though obviously my first Obstetrician would completely disagree and didn't ask for or receive my consent to do a Cesarean, although the reason for my Cesarean was a non-emergency (Failure To Progress).

My doctors want me to be monitored constantly. I recently had to collect all my urine for 24 hours and take it to be tested for protein levels. I've had my blood drawn and tested 5 times in the last 10 weeks, and we've still got 10 weeks to go. I've had to drink glucose drinks, pee in cups, be exposed, have 3 ultrasounds and constantly take blood pressure readings. I think I need to avoid stress this pregnancy, yet my midwives completely dumped me ("transferred" because it will be easier now than later in pregnancy) at 28 weeks pregnant. I transferred to an OB who is known for having a VERY high VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) rate and a very low Cesarean rate and who has a nice, fancy, well-thought-of Hospital. This OB requires that I have an IV and be constantly monitored once I go into labor. Constant fetal monitoring is known to cause more interventions than are necessary. Constant fetal monitoring leads to a higher Cesarean rate. I think I've convinced them to just do an IV lock and not a full IV - because with an IV I'd be tied to a pole and after my recent stint in the Hospital, I can say it severely limits mobility - and I was only 26 weeks along then. Not only that, but if I have a full IV running, some "savvy" nurse could slip me something without my consent. If you haven't figured it out, I don't trust the Hospital or the staff there.

I'm hiring a Doula, which I think is ridiculous - I have to hire someone to be in the room with me and protect my rights as a patient. I have to pay someone, out of pocket, to make sure unnecessary interventions aren't taken. I have to hire someone to tell me what interventions are being taken and what the pro's and con's of those interventions are - which should be the job of the nurses and obstetrician.

First do no harm: The motto of doctors. I feel pretty harmed by the birth of my first child, the curing of my condition. I hope to heal with this birth, but the US medical system is certainly making that awfully difficult.