Tuesday, March 15, 2005

the other side of the stethescope

I had an appointment with my OB earlier today. Everything went fine, but I felt like the whole visit was a little rushed--she blew in and blew out, with the standard reassurances that everything was fine, with instructions to come back in four weeks. You know, not like there's really anything to a routine prenatal exam, but this is my first time around, you know? There was a point where I could have slowed her exit a little, when she asked me (hand on the doorknob) if I had any questions--but I didn't have any questions, so I said "I guess not," and that was that. What this really makes me think of (aside from the standard gripes about HMOs and time limits on provider-patient interaction, blah blah blah) was, "I wonder if I'm like that with my patients?" The answer is probably yes. There's so much time pressure at my clinic and so many kids in the waiting room that sometimes when I ask parents if they have any questions at the end of the visit, what I really feel like I'm saying is, "so are we done here?" And I forget that what's "routine" for me may not be so routine for the parents, especially the new ones. Maybe my patients are walking out of my room thinking, "She seems nice, but she's always in so much of a rush."

Now I feel all guilty.

Currently reading: This article about "lotus birth." This is not something I'm considering, just something I happened upon by following a link, then another link, then, well, there it was. For those who don't want to read the whole article, the long and the short of lotus birth is that it's a practice wherein the placenta is left attached to the baby for days after birth, until it detaches itself when the umbilical cord dessicates and falls off. Hey, I'm all for accepting other people's belief systems, and demedicalizing the birth process if that's your thing, but...GAAH! Here, a quote from the article: "The placenta, too, dried and shrivelled due to our salt treatment, and developed a slightly meaty smell, which interested our cat!" Again...GAAH!

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