Dr. Not So Feelgood
I was pregnant. At least 17 pregnancy tests had confirmed it but in the absence of any real physical proof I was starting to think I’d imagined it all. I figured that my first trip to see my GP would finally confirm the pregnancy in my own head. I needed a doctor, a medical professional, to test me and confirm that my pregnancy was real and not just some imagined fate of a hormone-addled, crazy person. “Hi, what can we do for you today?”
“Well, I’m pregnant.”
“Well, I think I’m pregnant.”
“What do you mean you think you’re pregnant?”
“Well, I did a test and it said I was pregnant but I’m not sure.”
“If the test said you’re pregnant, then you’re pregnant.”
“Well, I’ll be happier when your test says I’m pregnant.”
“Ah, we don’t test for pregnancy.”
Insert stunned silence here. This is, I have since found out, completely normal. Your GP does not test you to check you are pregnant.
“What do you mean you don’t test for pregnancy? I only have to pee in a cup. It’ll take you two seconds.”
He was laughing at me now. I already decided that I didn’t like this doctor.
“So what you’re saying is that you’re just going to take my word for it?”
“Well, yes. I mean why would you lie?”
I had to concede that it was a good point. But really? The doctor doesn’t check? Why was I here then? There was one other thing.
“I had an internal scan yesterday which was booked in before I was pregnant and struggling to conceive and she said that my womb lining was thick and she seemed worried about cancer and told me I had to tell you about it but when I Googled it, it said that your womb lining thickens when you get pregnant. So it’s ok right? I don’t need to worry about it?”
“Hmm,” the doctor said as he furrowed his brow. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done my physiology but that sounds about right. Let me have a look.”
I’m sorry, what? It’s been a long time since you’ve done your physiology? Isn’t that kind of the top of the list when it comes to things that doctors need to know? Also, it wasn’t as if I was presenting with some rare disease I’d contracted in the Congo; I was pregnant. Surely, hundreds of women a month came through his door presenting with the same issue?
He said he’d have a look so I went to the bed and started to get undressed. Sounds of my husband’s muffled laughter stopped me short.
When I looked sideways to see what was taking him so long to come and ‘have a look’, I realised that what he’d meant by ‘have a look’, was check Google. With my pants half way down my legs, I could not believe my motherfunking eyes. He was looking at exactly the same page, the same article that I had read a hundred times the night before.
My husband was literally crying with silent laughter. I was furious.
I sat politely while he told me all the other things I’d already googled – that yes, my womb lining was probably thick because I was pregnant, what I could and couldn’t eat, that I should look into hospital choices, that I should start taking a pregnancy vitamin, that I should look after myself. Thanks doc.
My husband and I left bemused, amused, furious. We were, we realised, pretty much on our own with this and it was the very first time I realised that actually, while medical professionals were super helpful (this doctor excluded) and extremely convenient, I could and would be managing this entire pregnancy on my own. I was built to do it.