Friday, June 7, 2013

CD9: A Good Patient

Em at Teach Me to Braid put up a great post and ended it with some questions, asking for feedback. Here are my thoughts:

How would you describe a good patient?

Uncertainty is something we have in abundance with IF. Although treatment is never a sure thing, I do think that, as I patient, I should be confident.

Confident in my choice to pursue treatment. Confident in my selection of a clinic. Confident in my medical professionals, that they hear me and apply their knowledge of ART to my specific case. Confident that I am an individual at my clinic - a real person instead of just a patient. Confident that I can carry out the tasks they set before me (diet changes, taking medications, doing the injections, etc).

And, as a patient, I should be confident in my knowledge of my own body and/or research to speak up and ask questions. Confident enough to ask for answers or to suggest other treatment options, whether Western or Eastern.

What would you do about the lack of contact with Dr. C if you were in my shoes?
I have not heard from Dr. P since my consult and that's okay, because I have Nurse M. She knows me, knows my chart without having to look me up in the system, knows what kind of information I find most helpful, knows what went wrong last time and has ideas on how to get better results going forward.

Without an inside person, one who I can see cares about me and will speak to the doctor on my behalf, I would not continue. Communication is important! If you are not getting the level of communication that you are comfortable with, speak up! If they still do not honor your needs, find someone who will.

Do you have any stories about times you felt like a good patient or a not-so-good patient?
I've been thinking about this one and, honestly, it goes back to confidence.

Since I first joined this clinic as an egg donor, and even now as a patient, I have been confident that they care about me. That I wasn't "just" a donor, providing them eggs: they cared about me in my own right. Whether I was handling the injections okay, how uncomfortable I was as we neared retrieval, trying to keep the numbers down so I didn't get OHSS again, how much pain I was in coming out of anesthesia, how quickly I healed after. I've never been "just" a patient with them.

I will say that, the one time I took a part of treatment into my own hands (taking diuretics after retrieval to get the bloat down) instead of calling Nurse M and asking her first, I paid for it dearly. I don't know if I've ever been in that much pain! It was awful. If I had remained confident in my medical professionals and called Nurse M before taking them, I could have avoided all of that.

I'll wrap it up by saying:
Believe that your clinic cares about you and back it up with the communication/vibes you get from the staff. If you don't have that, run! Run fast!


  1. I totally agree... If you don't get good communication from your RE, then run... Fast!! Communication means so much- that your doctor/nurse care, that the understand and that they sympathize with what you're going through!

  2. Thanks so much for joining the conversation! These are all really wise words. I appreciate the time and energy and brain power you put into this!