An Uphill Battle

At this point in my experience with the Naval Hospital I was beyond frustrated. I was spending most of my time and energy fighting the nurses and doctors for the quality of care I needed. After I had gotten the number to a nurse at the clinic, I finally felt I was taking a step in the right direction. But a few short weeks later, I had taken about 10 steps back. I was getting nowhere again. Read about that experience here.

Last time I left off when my nurse canceled my ultrasound and made a follow-up appointment with my doctor. I was furious, but I went anyway (after all, what other options did I have?). I knew it was going to be pointless and just upset me, but I needed a refill on clomid, so at least I could get something accomplished. It was the worst appointment I have ever had in my entire life. I have never been so angry and dumbfounded at a doctor or hospital! Here’s how it all went down:

Doctor walks in, with some high school age looking girl “shadowing her” and gives me the “what the hell are you doing here” look. I feel bad for the girl, my doctor is a horrible example for her to be learning anything from. I want to tell her she needs to find a better mentor, but I bite my tongue. Nothing good can come from dissing the doctor right in front of her face. I tell the doc that my reason for coming in is that I just wanted to check in before starting a new round of Clomid. And I listed out my concerns.

1. I am not being monitored by ultrasound, we have no idea if the medication is working or causing cysts.

2. I do not feel comfortable blindly increasing my dosage every cycle just because I did not get pregnant the last. The drug is only supposed to be increased if I do not ovulate. The only way to know if I ovulate is to monitor with ultrasounds and blood work.

3. My husband is deploying soon and we are moving in a couple of months again.

4. I test ovulation every month with the ovulation predictor kits. Typically, I get 3-4 days of “high” LH before my peak surge. But on 100mg of Clomid I went straight from nothing to peak. Is this normal?

And here are her responses to my concerns:

1. I do not monitor, I do not order tests. I don’t know how you got a progesterone test done but I simply do not do that. (gives me a look like I’m a moron)

2. I won’t “blindly” up your dosage. The highest I will go is 150mg. We’ll do another month at 100mg and then up it again the month after if you are still not pregnant. (still sounds pretty blind to me)

3. You still have what, 4 months before that happens? There is a lot of time. (gives me another look like I’m stupid and wasting her time… and also, 4 months is NOT A LOT OF TIME when you have been ttc for 1.5 years with no success)

4. This one was probably my favorite response: I don’t know how that works. I don’t know anything about ovulation kits or how many days you ovulate. (awesome)

Then I get the “anything else…?” with another condescending look and I think to myself, well yes. I would really love to punch you in the face and see if you still give me that look. Instead I bite my tongue and wave my white flag. I surrender, I cannot win this battle.

The next day I went back to the hospital. This time I was going to the Tricare office. I had enough, I was switching my insurance no matter the cost. Our original plan was to wait until after we move next to switch insurance plans, but I couldn’t wait a second longer. I told the woman in the Tricare office everything that had happened and how ridiculous it was. She agreed and to my surprise she got up and went to the OB clinic to confront them directly. Well, now I most definitely had to switch to standard and pick a new doctor. I could never go back to the OB clinic again. She came back telling me “according to their charts they are doing tests and this is their protocol”. Well, I had figured that much but it doesn’t make it the right way to care for patients.

So after going through all the costs and differences associated with Tricare Standard, I decided to switch from Prime. Standard turned out to be a lot more affordable than I had thought. That is, except for IUI and IVF. Those are not covered through a civilian clinic and IVF is a pricey procedure. I found my own doctor out in town and made an appointment. Progress, finally.

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