Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the pregnancy is not a disease edition

Hi. My name is Kelly. I am a pain in the ass, in case you didn't know that already.

I'll get to that in a bit. First, some of the other things irritating me this week.

People and panic
I wrote a gigantic post about Ebola yesterday in an attempt to clear up some of the misinformation out there. It's been viewed by a ton of people so far, but I wish that one would go...for lack of a better term...viral. The unfortunate truth is that there is soooo much misleading information floating around out there right now, for which the media is in large part responsible. This is truly one of those situations where the rush to publish news first is distorting accuracy.

Just yesterday, there were reports that a man in New York was under treatment for Ebola. Then he was being tested. Then it was suspected. Then it was unlikely. If the media could wait a few hours and get accurate information, people wouldn't be freaking out like they are.

No one likes to wait though. We want information and we want it now...who cares if every station has to issue formal retractions all the time, right?

The problem with this reality is that people usually only hear the first part, the scary part...they don't always catch the retractions and the updates.

Individuals can be reasonable and rational, people panic.

The lies we are all told
I live in Colorado, which is setting up to be one of the most contentious states in the upcoming elections. On the fringe already because of our legalization of marijuana, we've been making news for not-so-good reasons for a while now.

The thing making me a little bit crazy right now is that the political commercials are already saturating the airwaves, and it's early. Really early. Like we still have months before the election and it is already this bad.

In the wonder that is the post-Citizens United world, ads have taken on a whole new dimension. No longer restricted the way they used to be, people can throw as much money at these attack ads as they want, and the Koch brothers have laser focus on this state.

Accuracy, smaccuracy. Truth, smruth.

Fracking is the issue of the year around these parts, with the city I live in at the center of the controversy. We banned fracking within city limits because the industry is content to set up wells literally everywhere. I'm not being facetious. They're all over the damn place.

The industry won't disclose the chemicals they use, they don't care too much about set backs. There are known contaminating wells and they keep digging more. It's the strip mining of this generation, and people are pissed.

What is happening now is a huge push to get voters behind the industry, by all means necessary...even if it means outright lying. The commercials claim that fracking has been a part of life in Colorado for over 60 years, they just leave out the part where the number of wells has grown exponentially and the techniques are completely different.

They are vehemently opposed to allowing cities to ban drilling for the obvious reason that they see the dollar signs and don't care about what the people who actually have to live with the consequences want....and they've made it clear they will sue any city that tries.

Our system is under siege. Our government is being bought and paid for. Our airwaves are full of half truths being spoken by people with financial motives. Don't fall for it. Please.

Parents teaching their kids to be rude
Over the weekend we went to the Renaissance Festival. The parking lot is huge and situated on a hill, so there is a shuttle. Which is great. In theory.

Both trips to and from this time around, I was a little shocked by what happened on the shuttles. Parents of small kids, still plenty young enough to sit on a lap with mom were escorted to their own seats by their parents. When elderly people and disabled riders climbed on with no room left to sit, the parents didn't even flinch...just went back to scrolling on their phones.

Yes, your five year old needs a seat. That's way more important.


Pregnancy is not a disease
I'm going to pull out my soapbox for a second. Ahem.

I've written before many times about my distaste for the way the medical field handles pregnancy. Pregnancy isn't a disease, it is a normal state of human existence, one required for the perpetuation of the species.

I'm all for reasonable pre-natal care, all for interventions when necessary, don't get me wrong. I am. I'm not advocating for anyone to avoid doctors and give birth in the woods...although, I'd most likely support anyone who wanted to do that. Yes, really.

I'm a doula and I'm crunchy as hell.

I'm also someone with a lengthy past in health care research with a background in maternal child health who fully understands how pregnancy became something controlled the way it is now.

Basically, I'm every obgyn's worst nightmare.

The fact is that pregnancy and childbirth have been medicalized, and to the extreme. Average, uncomplicated pregnancies have been taken and made into medical crises.

For someone like me....even more so.

I have high blood pressure. Which is completely under control.

I have high blood sugar. Which is completely under control.

I have a doctor who likes to freak out, over-treat, be overly cautious and wants me in her office twice a week when there is nothing to indicate it is necessary.

She wants to start running NSTs twice a week, giving me all kinds of reasons.

I said no.

She freaked out last month over my blood sugar situation...completely without justification. Wanted me to see an endocrinologist immediately.

The endocrinologist she wanted me to see never returned my phone calls, so I saw another one.

That doctor took one look at my numbers, looked at my current a1c, asked about my history and my comfort level with management, asked about how I was doing on the current dosage of meds, and told me what I already knew....that everything was as good as it could be, that I was doing exactly what I should, that she saw no reason for further intervention. 

Unlike the obgyn, she trusts me to manage my own condition, she trusts me to know my own body, she trusts me to ask for help if and when I need it.

It was refreshing.

I know my body. I know how I've struggled with complicated pregnancies. I know that I'm in much better shape right now than with literally any of my other pregnancies, even the one 13 years ago. I know that I need to keep my blood pressure and blood sugar in check and I know that if they start to go off the rails, I have to tell her.

And I have.

Still, she wants to run this test and this test and this test and this test.

I'm just refusing. There's no reason for this madness. There's no reason for this degree of concern. There's no basis for her ordering all these tests and procedures.

So. Yeah. I'm just not gonna go.

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