Blood Doctors and Computerized Phones

I have gotten to the point where I have to visit my midwife every two weeks, but I don't write about the appointments because they're uneventful. Do you really need a recap every time they weigh me and check my blood pressure? I didn't think so. However, my last appointment was a bit different.

Midwife: Have you seen a hematologist?

Me: Off and on when I was younger, but not since I was 18. But don't worry - I haven't had any problems.

Midwife: Well, we'd avoid getting sued feel better if you saw one just to be sure. We'll even do the referral for you.

Me: Great. envisioning the $50 copay slipping out of my bank account.

OK, I guess I should back up and fill you in on some details. When I was 6 I had to go to the ER. During a routine blood test it was discovered that I have Von Willebrand's Syndrome. Basically my blood doesn't clot as well as it should. However, I have the mildest form of the mildest type so it has NEVER been a problem for me. My hematologist once told me that if they hadn't happened to find it when I was 6, I probably would have never known there was a problem. But since we do know, doctors like to take precautions (meaning, give me a clotting agent) prior to surgery.

Most people wouldn't be bothered by this. They would recognize the risk, get an IV dose during labor and not give it a second thought. I am not most people. My biggest fear was that I would need an IV at the beginning of labor, and since the IV had already been placed the nurses would just leave the port in my hand 'just in case.'

I will probably revisit this when I talk about my birth plan, but I am strongly opposed to an IV port. I don't want it to be easy or convenient for anyone to administer any medication to me. If I need anything, I want the decision to be well-thought out and deliberate. There will be no "You already have the port, so we might as well" for me. On top of that, I. HATE. NEEDLES. The last time I was given an IV I glanced at it and almost passed out.

OK, now that we have delved into yet another of my neuroses, let's get back to the topic at hand: visiting the hematologist.

My midwife was kind enough to refer me to a hematologist and they made an appointment for me. They even have that handy, futuristic appointment machine where a computer calls you and reminds you of your appointment.

NOTE TO DOCTORS EVERYWHERE: If the name of your practice is 'Blah Blah Cancer Center' but the new patient who's never heard of you doesn't have cancer, please say so when you leave a voicemail. I don't like thinking I have cancer when I don't.

Anyhow, (gee this post is rambling) I go see the hematologist and he is delightfully chill about the whole thing. Based on my medical history and the fact that I've never had any bleeding problems he didn't see any need to take any precautionary measures. I would probably need the clotting agent if I ended up needing a C-Section (fingers crossed I don't) but that it seemed like overkill for a regular, push-it-out-the-old-fashioned-way birth. I have to say, getting his blessing was totally worth the $50 if it means my midwife doesn't have to be paranoid.

So no IV for me. Huzzah.

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