Hi, I saw your call for emails re: bad experiences with doctors. Boy, have I had a ton of them. But this is the most recent, and most painful to date.
To bring you up to speed rather quickly, my husband, “Chuck,” and I have been trying to have a child for the past 4 years. We have had two miscarriages. Finally, we were referred to our friendly neighbourhood fertility specialist. We first met him and he was very nice, and incredibly professional. He saw us, we filled in a 14 page questionnaire, and we talked about the situation. He first thought I had PCOS, which turned out to be not the case. Then he did other tests, and failing all that, he concluded that if I lost a bit of weight it might be helpful. He figured that, hearing that advice from him would be the push I would need in the right direction, I guess. So anyway, he sends me away for three months to work on my weight, which I do. I watch what I eat, I exercise, I enjoy life… I am careful. And we try like hell to have a child naturally.
After the three months are up, and we aren’t pregnant, we head back to his office.
Chuck and I had already discussed our plan of action – if there is a significant difference between trying to get pregnant when you are 35 and trying when you are 36, we would forge ahead and get Clomid (the next step in helping us get pregnant). If there was no difference, then we would stop, and consider our next move. I had resolve, I knew where I was going with this. But that was all a lie; I really just wanted to get the Clomid and get the hell out of there.
So, after making us wait an extra 20 minutes, a resident asks us to follow her. She is willowy, probably considered beautiful by the majority of the male population. She gracefully leads us to the back office, where we wait for the “real” doctor to arrive. He comes in, he’s all business. I tell him I haven’t lost weight (like he couldn’t tell by the fact that I didn’t fit into the chair in his office. He is impressed that I am no longer taking coumadin (long story – not relevant), and then he asks what do we want to do. After stumbling over each other, Chuck and I manage to explain that yes, we want to get pregnant, but will it make a difference if we waited until I tried the medical fast. Understand that this was something that had been talked about, and I was willing to try if it meant better chances of success.
I have never seen a doctor more enthusiastic to get me to lose weight. Nor have I ever had a doctor say that he really didn’t want to treat me because it would have been unethical. Wow. Treating me would be unethical. W… T… F? At this point I have melted into the puddle of tears that typically follows huge disappointment. I wanted him to tell me to be aggressive in my fertility treatment. That he would say “To hell with risks – start popping these pills!”, toss me a script and wish me luck. I hadn’t expected to hear him say that, if I were to present to an OB/GYN pregnant at the weight I am now, I would “cause them to grow hair on their chest, man or woman.” Again… WTF??? I don’t really remember what else he said at that point, nor do I remember much of what I said – I was too busy trying to regain my composure under what I found to be the withering stare of that silly cow resident.
Gasping for breath and snorking back the hurt, I asked him for the referral to the weight management clinic. I am going to do the Optifast plan, if they’ll have me. He happily writes down my normal glucose levels, my weight, my BMI, and scrawls the word INFERTILE as the compelling reason that I should starve myself. Great. Lovely. Fan-fucking-tastic.
I am now in the process of consuming less than 1000 calories a day in the form of milkshakes. I do this with one compelling reason in mind. I want to prove to those fuckers that my weight had nothing to do with my infertility. But most importantly, I want a child. Unfortunately the medical system has seen fit to not help me with the problem I originally presented with. All they saw was extra weight, not the fact that I am a woman desperate enough to do almost anything to have a child. If it weren’t for the facts that I am so determined and that my husband has supported me through all this, I probably would have been locked up for suicide attempts a long time ago.
[We are so glad you have your husband’s support and want to remind all our readers that there are resources available to help anyone considering suicide. -Eds.]