It takes a lot to bring me to the point of tears. When I am pregnant nothing will bring those tears flowing faster than being super frustrated by someone who is not listening or willing to help. I encountered that this week by someone who was supposed to be there to help me — who clearly was not.
I’ve shared before that I have been diagnosed with hydronephrosis — a swelling of the kidney and ureter that is sometimes attributed to a complication in pregnancy. When you’re diagnosed with this later in your pregnancy, it’s often due to the baby and uterus putting pressure on your bladder, ureter, and kidneys, stopping the flow of urine which backs up into your kidney and makes it swell.
I was diagnosed at 12 weeks pregnant with hydronephrosis, likely due to stones (which I have had a lot of in past pregnancies) that are getting lodged in my ureter and causing the blockage, backing up, and pain. I saw a urologist who diagnosed me, warned me it would get worse as my pregnancy progressed, and said he would monitor me and my kidneys through pregnancy.
This past weekend the pain that I normally have and can function okay through skyrocketed. It hurt so bad (and I take pain well), that I was shaking, vomiting, and having contractions. I knew right away what it was and hoped that I could manage at home. As the days went by, it was clear I was going to need some help, and I called my urologist yesterday in hopes of some relief of the pain (I was worried for the contractions and not being able to keep food down, plus — that’s a lot of hurt). The office, thankfully was able to get me seen within a few hours and I was hopeful all would be better.
He had assured me earlier on in the month he was comfortable treating pregnant women and that I would be in good hands. Except that’s not what happened at all. This urologist looked at me as I was crying and dry-heaving in pain in his office and bluntly said, “It’s not my problem.”
He literally said that to me after the plan for over a month was to see him when I had issues and pain with my kidneys, and that all things baby-related were for my OB. He told me that it’s my OB’s issue to treat my pain, and that he wasn’t going to do anything.
I left the office, which I had hoped would be some relief finally, in even more tears — frustrated and upset that I not only wasted my time, but that he told me to suck this up for the next 20+ weeks, that it wasn’t his problem and that it was just “my lot in life for this pregnancy.”
I called my OB’s office when I got home (which was by now almost closing time at the office) and spoke with the nurse, who was so caring and compassionate — finally. She booked me an early appointment with my OB for the next morning with a plan on what to do if I needed immediate relief from the pain. I did, but didn’t want to spend the night at the hospital waiting and explaining to an ER doctor who may have been like my urologist, afraid to treat pregnant women.
A few hours ago I got back from my OB’s appointment. In 5 days I have lost 6 pounds from not being able to keep food or liquids down, and sweating so much from the pain. He showed me again why I respect him so much and the care he provides — he immediately began a plan of action for the entire pregnancy — reducing pain, making sure I am able to eat and drink enough, safety for the baby, and what to do/where to go when it becomes all too much. I was given a medication routine that would be safe for the baby, but effective in reducing my pain from stones and hydronephrosis, which means I can get back to regularly-scheduled life. He assured me he would care for me and my kidneys from here on, and was so appalled I was turned away with no relief yesterday.
:: Did you encounter doctors who were less than helpful during your pregnancy? ::
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