Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I Hate Doctors

So my Zoloft prescription ran out. That's not a pretty day in our house. Except when I've meant to run out because my addled brain has decided that it doesn't need those damned drugs anymore, and then it's not a pretty day in our house a few weeks later when I've stopped brushing my teeth or bathing and I have to call the doctor sobbing, begging for more pills. But parenthood has made me responsible (well at least more) so that's not what happened. This time.

I'd been using my ob as my supplier, but she recently left her practice and the city. So I called my general practitioner; it turns out he's moved offices. Well I don't want to drive to his new office because the old one is really close and I already drive way too far for our pediatrician and the midwives. I asked to switch to another doctor in the same practice. Of course he won't just call in the damned prescription, what with Zoloft abuse ruining our youth and all. Anyway, I had to go to the office and tell him all about myself. Yada yada yada.

First, when I tell him I'm 12 weeks pregnant, he wants to know who my doctor is. I tell him I don't have a doctor that I'm using the Birth and Women's Health Center in town and it's all midwives. This is the only midwife shop in town, and the only "alternative" to obs outside of a home birth. And he's never. heard. of. it.

OK, OK, so he's an internist. Obstetrics and gynecology aren't his specialty so it's not fair to expect him to be well versed in the local providers. But then he proceeds to tell me that if I were his wife or daughter he wouldn't recommend using only midwives. "Better to be prepared!" he says. And, remembering once again that ob/gyn is not his specialty, I should trust that he knows the latest statistics and safety concerns...why?

But there's more! When I finally get him to talk about my Zoloft prescription he pauses to look it up on his fancy little PDA because....he's not sure it's safe to take in pregnancy. He informs me it's a class C drug. I know. He tells me it's only "safe" to take until 20 weeks (according to his fancy little computer). I try to explain that the only side effect of taking it past then is possible withdrawal symptoms in the baby (and often only at much higher doses than what I'm taking). But he doesn't want to hear that because he. is. a. doctor. And doctors always know more than we little plebeians. So he only gave me 4 months of refills and talked me through how to wean myself off like I haven't managed that trick on my own 6 or 7 times.

Once again my courage failed me. I should have asked him how he would weigh the pros and cons of Zoloft versus suicidal tendencies in a pregnant woman. Because the truth is, it scares the hell out of me that I'm exposing my child to this chemical. I've read the research. I've done my homework. And even though I've decided that I'm making the best choice for everyone involved, it's impossible to know if it's the right choice. I don't need a doctor who has spoken to me for 7 minutes, none of which were about the duration or severity of my depression, to be telling me what I should and shouldn't do.

I'm really being a wuss this week.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

You've just gotta love those 7 minute doctor visits. That's actually less than the national average, which I think I read was around 8.5 minutes.

Staying on an anti-depressant can be such an unbelievable challenge. And I'm just talking about the going to see the doctor and getting a prescription part. Thanks for writing about it.

I just commented on my blog in response to your comment -- just wanted to let you know in case you'd like to read it. (I thought your comment was excellent and it really made me think.)