Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Piss Off a Preeclamptic in One Easy Step!

Last week, I posted a link to an article on my Facebook page. I knew that it would get a reaction from my PE sisters and I was not disappointed. The comments section on the Texas OB/Gyn's page had been (up to that point) full of glowing praise for his list. He was saving women and their VBACs from doctors who would give bogus reasons to c-section them again.

Here is the offending quote - which is offered as a "Bonus Tip" on his top 10 list:
"11. 38-week visit, “Your blood pressure is a little high today. You are probably developing preeclampsia or toxemia. That can cause you to have a SEIZURE! The treatment is to deliver the baby. You need a Cesarean Section, as this is the quickest way to resolve it. Let’s get you up to L&D NOW!” Translation – Preeclampsia or Pregnancy Induced High Blood Pressure is a pain in the butt. If I induce you, it could take 24 hours or more and then I would have to manage your blood pressure, and put you on Magnesium. This is way too inconvenient. Do not worry you can try to have the baby vaginally next time. Yeah right!"

We piled on in the comments section - gave reason after reason why #11 was offensive. But I think what it boils down to is that it is dismissive. It makes light of seizures, which, by the way are WAY WORSE than a c-section. His response to our concerns about his flippancy was to tell us that we were reading it the wrong way:
"Apparently a few women who had bad experiences with preeclampsia and read my list did not understand the purpose of the list. The list was posted to empower women to ask questions. It did not say anything about not performing a C/S when medically indicated."

Again, dismissive. Because, yes, reading comprehension was DEFINITELY the problem here.

There is a way to say what he was trying to say WITHOUT offending us. And there's also a way to respond to our complaints without further dismissing us. If a doctor tries to bully you into a c-section by saying you will have SEIZURES - without a proper diagnosis or enough information to truly have INFORMED consent, then yes that is a problem. But this doctor is also detracting from informed consent - if a woman reading that post goes into her next appointment and gets a PE diagnosis - will she argue against a c-section?

We argued this point because we have been there. None of us expected to be caught up in the trainwreck of PE. Mine went undiagnosed in part because of my own tendency to dismiss. Treating it flippantly sends the wrong message. A woman reading his list right now is going to become a PE sister. She doesn't know it yet. The doctor can't know that either. I hope she gets the help she needs when she needs it. And IF a c-section is warranted, I hope she will genuinely be able to provide informed consent.

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