Tuesday, November 21, 2006


A girl's got to have a good gynaecologist.

Did I really just put that as a heading?

What about:
Why I am choosing to do a 5 hour return drive to go to a gynaecologist.

It does seem a bit crazy.. (and I know at least one other mum looked at me as if I was insane when I mentioned that I'd gone to Port for this minor surgery back in August instead of seeing someone locally.)

I never used to be particularly concerned about having to have a female doctor for all 'that stuff'. In the past I had my share of pap smears by male doctors, and with my first two pregnancies I saw a male obstetrician, and I thought he was great. And by far the best midwife I had (for Alison's birth) was a male. I could wax lyrical about him all day. Superlative. By far the easiest delivery of the three, and a lot of that was down to his support (despite the fact that I fainted twice when I was in labour because I'd been throwing up from a gastric bug till 10pm the night before!)

Then I moved up here.. fell pregnant with Zoe, and, seeing the previous pregnancy had only gone to 19 weeks, I was understandably just a bit fragile. And, like, super-paranoid.

The GP referred me to a particular obstetrician (who happened to be male) - who 'didn't have a good bedside manner' but was 'an excellent obstetrician'. Damn right about the bedside manner. His attitude throughout the pregnancy was pretty 'detached'. Wasn't interested in all in how I was handling the pregnancy emotionally. Then for the birth, I was, this time, only a medicare patient, and I was the responsibility of the doctor on call. He only turned up an hour after she was born. I tore pretty badly.. and he stitched me up as if I was a piece of meat.. at one point turning to the nurse (because I was reacting to the needle, imagine that...) and said 'Don't you believe in using gas around here?' and, to the registrar who was observing.. "Some use a small needle for this, but I choose to use a large one so it doesn't get lost in the vagina." Marc was sitting helpless in the corner because they'd shoved the baby in his arms. I sobbed the rest of the way through it, on gas, and so when it was over, and I was taken to my room and the nurse put his name down on the sign as my doctor, I was verging on hysterical: "I_don't _want_that_man_anywhere_near_ me_ again." (She changed it.)

The first hospital visit I got from the other obstetrician I'd been seeing was a 'nod' across the common room. (You're alive? Fine. Goodbye.) I then got mastitis; he did see me.. and prescribed stuff.. and I recall sitting in the hospital bed with him standing there, debating whether I was well enough (physically and emotionally) to go home. And he said "Well, I can't stand here talking to you all day".

Needless to say, I didn't go back to him ever again. I took myself and baby to a GP who did obstetrics for the 6 week check up.

I'd never needed a gyno again till recently... and believe it or not I didn't think much of the choice I had round here. Dr 'Can't Stand Here All Day' had retired. Dr "Blood" (as I later heard he was referred to as) was not an option. I'd heard good and bad about another .. but I just couldn't face one more male doctor.

When the Women's Health nurse recommended this woman gyno in Port, I said YES. 3 hours to Port? Who cares.

And, thank the stars I did. She is so wonderful. I could just hug her. I know when Marc drove me down there for the op in August he was wondering about this crazy choice I'd made.. but as soon as he met her afterwards, he simply said "Now I understand."

And yesterday's follow-up appointment; a pap-smear, and a 'look'.. and she ended up doing a biopsy.. which she warned me wasn't going to be 'nice'.. But she was so caring and apologetic throughout. "I'm so sorry about this..." And she said at one point "It's no fun being a woman sometimes is it?" Empathy has a lot going for it.

And she gives you all the facts and reasons. She's straight with you about the whys and wherefores.

And boy do I need someone like that.

And on top of that, the receptionist has been just fantastic in regard to fitting me in with appointments that will work with the drive there and back. I thanked her yesterday too. She was a bit taken aback, but I meant it. You don't actually come across that many specialist's receptionists that are that helpful and understanding. The total package at that place makes it worth the 5 hour drive.

Meantime, the biopsy was to be absolutely sure.. some slight "anomalies" but no other 'pre-cancerous' indicators. I asked her straight out how concerned she was, and she said 'I'm not, but it's best to be sure'. So I am optimistic. I might have to have some cauterisation type thing done.. (I hope not though.. that option means 6 weeks of bleeding, but no tampons, and so no swimming!) Fingers crossed though, that everything is ok. At least I feel like I am good hands. The total package. And that, these days, is just so underrated.


I so understand what you mean. After years of suffering male docs, I finally found a woman who treats me like...well...a whole person and not just a hole. Eww. Sorry.

I won't see anyone else.
I will only go to the female nurse at the women's health centre. Pap smears are a breeze since I started going there instead of to a male doctor.

Good luck with your results T!

Myself, began suffering from a case of cystitis this morning. Start on the antibiotics tonight. And it's testing week at school, so you can imagine me needing to run off to the toilet when the kids are in the middle of a test. *rolls eyes* *drinks water*
Mind you probably one of the roughest pap smears I've had was a woman doctor.

I just wish I could find a decent GP. Not everything is 'women's business'.

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