Raise up your hands if you have ever felt so frustrated by your doctor, that you just want to scream!!!
Doctors in the house, I’m sorry to say, but you guys can be extremely annoying….extremely! And I don’t just mean fertility doctors! I can’t tell you how many times I have taken my daughters to a very popular children’s hospital, and have felt like pulling out all my hair in frustration! I have even had cause to walk out of a Consulting Room, and ask the Receptionist to assign us another doctor, when the doctor we were ushered in to see sounded as clueless as myself…in fact, I was even the one proffering suggestions to the baby doctor. I soon realized that I would be entering one-chance, if I allowed this novice treat my kids (pikins wey I don suffer born!), so I politely excused myself, and we left his office oh!
But I digress.
If you’ve been reading my articles, you know I have a superstar Ob/Gyn! Dr. Iketubosin (of Georges Memorial Medical Centre) has been my doctor for almost 10 years, even before I got married and started this fertility journey. So, when I began trying for a baby, maybe because he’d known me for a while, knew my history and all that, he wanted to take a slow and steady approach. I, on the other hand, needed to get pregnant like yesterday. I remember those first few months…we first of all started with a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy…which was fair enough, as I guess he had to know what was going on down there. No complaints about that. But when that was done, we now started with Clomid. No show. Then Clomid and injectibles. Not only did I not pregnant, but I borderline overstimulated, and even had to be hospitalised. The next cycle, we eliminated the injectibles and it was Clomid only. Nothing. A few more cycles like that…babu! And then my doctor dropped the bombshell, that he wanted me to rest my ovaries for a few cycles, as they appeared swollen. Basically, he wanted me to take a break for a few months! I remember looking at my doctor like he had lost his mind…like he had been replaced by Basketmouth, because he had clearly turned into a joker! Rest gini? Resters Club! Somebody that had just turned 33 years old! Which kin’ rest?!
Nah, this wasn’t going to ‘werk’ for me! I didn’t have the luxury of time for this Baba Go-Slow move! So, I decided to port! I started hospital shopping. I made up my mind that I wasn’t even going to graduate to IUI, but straight to IVF. So, I registered with a popular clinic in Ikoyi, and most of you know how that cycle ended. Epic failure! Colossal mess!
Nobody told me to find my way back to my Dr. Iketubosin. Tail between my legs, I returned to the one doctor who knew (still knows) me best, and gave in to his ‘Baba Go-Slow’ approach. And it worked. My 2nd IVF cycle (the first with him) gave me my gorgeous baby girls!
What is my point? That your doctor often knows best. A lot of women in our community have complained about the extremely slow pace, and lack of aggression, of their doctors. And, considering that I already have the T-shirt, I can so relate! But trust me when I say that it’s good to give your doctor the benefit of the doubt, and follow his approach.
And this is also the case, when it is the reverse. I have had a few people complain that their doctors are rushing them into more aggressive kinds of treatment than they are ready for. While it is true that there are a good number of doctors who will have only financial motives for this, if you have a trusted doctor, it might be in your better interest to look at it from his point of view.
It could be that, from your symptoms or test results, he can see that your odds of achieving a natural pregnancy are slim to none. If your tubes are blocked, or your partner’s sperm count is severely low, I don’t know what else you want your doctor to suggest, but IVF. Of course, there have been cases where sperm count is boosted through lifestyle changes, medication, and even prayer. But this doesn’t happen all the time. So, instead of wasting your time on one herb or the other that claims to have the ability to clear your blocked tubes, or waiting in vain for your partner’s sperm number to rise, listen to your doctor before the window of opportunity for what he is suggesting closes. We were told the story of a lady who went to see a fertility doctor, was prescribed IVF, blatantly refused and stormed out of the hospital, only to return to this same doctor seven years later, at which point her own eggs could no longer be used. She had to use a donor.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to trust. You have to trust the person in whose hands you have entrusted your medical welfare. I have written about the importance of a good doctor/patient relationship…particularly your Gynaecologist. If you trust that this person has the expertise, ability, and desire to guarantee your wellbeing, trust him. I once met a very popular doctor, whom a lot of people rave about. On speaking with him, I found him proud and condescending, and decided never to have him treat me. Even though he is one of the best in his field, I knew that, because he hadn’t endeared himself to me, I would always second guess anything that came out of his mouth.
But that said, you also have to do your research oh!!! You have to read, so that you can know, and understand, exactly what you are experiencing, every step of the way. I spoke with a lady undergoing IVF once, and she didn’t even know what protocol she was on! I was like ‘say what??!!’. It is totally unacceptable for you not to understand e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g about what you are going through. Even though I trust my doctor, anytime I have an appointment, he teases me and my consistent references to whatever Dr. Google has told me. And for every question I’ve asked, he is able to give a good argument, either supporting it or ruling it out. As my doctor, I trust him to give the better argument…and he always does. So, it’s about trusting…but with sense!
So honey, before you cancel your next appointment with your doctor, and hit the road looking for a new one, take a step back to re-evaluate his current position. And carry out your own research too. You just might see that he’s not the bad guy after all!
Baby dust, my people!