Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chapter 5, In Which I Am Either Treated Unjustly and Unreasonably or I Completely Miss the Mark

I either have a good reason to be frustrated or I am totally missing something about my situation. In any case, since I can't manage to turn my attitude around, I'll just tell you what's making me frustrated these days. I mean, besides the fact that my back hurts and I'm tired at the end of every day, and I'm looking at three children in diapers and cribs come June unless my oldest son does something really amazing before then.

We went to see the maternal-fetal specialist again at the end of last week. The news from the pessimist on the Statesman's kidney is she still thinks it's probably something much more horrible than what it most likely is, but after 2 1/2 months and four ultrasounds, we just aren't going to know anything more until the baby is born. As the weeks pass and we gain more information, I find her doomsday scenarios less alarming and more irritating. It makes me surmise all kinds of horrible things about her, some of which I have expressed here but which are probably not appropriate to express at all, given the attack it presents to both her character and her professional capacity.

In any case, she has, on at least two occasion, implied that whatever may or may not be wrong with my son is almost certainly a result of my inability to manage my blood sugars. Because she's "seen this kind of problem with Type I diabetics before" (never mind the fact that we don't actually KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS). The only thing that does is make me feel like a bad mom, since I have and continue to do my absolute best to control my blood sugars AND I've done this two times successfully already. Plus it's annoying me.

She has failed to give a comprehensive reasoning for suspecting that her diagnosis is still the correct one, in spite of the direct and specific reasoning of the pediatric urologist. Her only manner of explanation for the discrepancy was, "oh, well, he's just really laidback." Yeah, either that or you are...well never mind. Her apparent failure to either a) reason through it or b) accept that someone else might know better is puzzling, and also annoying.

She has asked me to come to see her, without any intention of doing anything about anything until the baby is at least 32 weeks, every 2-4 weeks ("We used to try to intervene, but it usually didn't work out well"). That is extremely inconvenient and expensive (not to me directly, but I know someone is paying out the nose for it), which is extremely annoying.

And, after having looked extensively at this child's kidneys on four separate occasions over the course of 2 1/2 months, she still can't tell me exactly what's wrong. Because, "well, we can only see so much on ultrasound." In my head, I'm screaming, THEN WHY DO YOU EVEN BOTHER?!

I have to be honest, and perhaps this is the source of my frustration: this whole experience feels more like a problem-solving game for her than actual care for me and my child (that may have crossed the line, but it's as mean as I'm going to get). "Pin the tail on the diagnosis without regard for the expense, anxiety, inconvenience, and complete lack of treatment options available to the parents", or something like that. I'm tired of being treated like a Type I diabetic who's having a baby. I want to be treated like a human being who is more than the composite of statistical risk factors. I'm tired of being treated like a passive disaster waiting to happen. I want to be treated like someone who is, even if to a limited extent, capable and desirous of the best possible outcome for myself and this baby. I'm tired of continually being prepared for the worst without respect for the most likely. Even a Type I diabetic with sub-optimal control is, all things considered, more statistically likely to have a healthy baby than not (if we're looking at strict percentages).

Tell me, what am I missing?

Until then, with the Silly Old Bear, I say: Bother.


  1. Jenn,
    So happy I found your blog! I've been reading through everything and have been so inspired by your honesty! I'm 35 weeks along and also a Type 1 so I could relate so much to many of the things you talk about. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers and I hope that deep down you know that you can NEVER blame yourself for anything that may be caused from your diabetes as long as you are doing what you can. I truly believe that things happen for a reason and you're right, you won't know if the statesman has a more severe condition until he is born and if he DOES you will help him and love him with all your heart :) Things happen for a reason and I just wish your specialist was more supportive to you but I am so glad you sound so resilient and understand that you just have to wait and see :) Best wishes!

  2. Thanks, Christina! I (Beth) actually wrote this post. It's so nice to hear encouragement from people like you. Hope the rest of your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum recovery go well!

  3. Oh no I'm sorry Beth! I didn't even see that! But of course my words remain the same :) Thank you for the good wishes as well :)