NHS and me (part one)

Part one of a two-part post.  Part two will post tomorrow.  I will close comments today so no one feels pressured to comment until reading the second half tomorrow.

Updated to add: This happened two weeks ago.  There is no reason to be worried about me at all.  Thank you to those of you who have sent me concerned emails.

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              Now that you know my big secret, I can tell you about the trip I made to the A & E (otherwise known as the Emergency Room), which will give me a chance to comment upon the NHS (National Health Service), which will give us all a chance to have a rousing debate about health care, which will raise the intellectual level of this blog about 73%. 

            So, I had some bleeding, and I won’t get more detailed than that because there are some men who read this blog.  I had bleeding with Zachary, too, so I know it does not always mean the dreaded M word, but I have been around the block enough times to know that bleeding during a pregnancy is usually something to get checked out.  So, I called the community midwife, who told me to go to the A & E.  Having dealt with NHS a few times in the last few years, this sounded to me a little suspicious, a little too direct, as it were.  So, I called my GP, whose receptionist confirmed.  I should hightail it over to the A & E.  Fortunately, J was working from home, so he took the boys and I took a cab.

            I waited maybe 30 minutes, then I was called in to speak with the nun who was cast as bouncer in this particular hospital.  She sent me to pee in a cup.

            Let me pause to explain that, since we did not have to do any fertility treatment for this baby, it has felt rather unearned, not real, even.  I kept thinking maybe there was another reason for the missed period and the two pink lines.  So, I was actually a bit anxious about the pregnancy test at the hospital and was relieved to see that the nun also came to the conclusion that I am pregnant.

            My relief was short-lived.  After calling the gynecologist on duty, my nun turned to me.  “You’ll need to come back tomorrow morning for a scan.  They don’t do scans at this time of day unless they want to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.”

            “And they don’t think I have an ectopic?”

            “No,” she replied, which was a relief, because given the options, I’d rather go with a non-ectopic pregnancy.  Of course, I would prefer to hear that from a medical professional than from a nun, but I guess the doctor has some way of determining the placement of the embryo by talking to a nun on the telephone.

            And, then it happened.  I do not do these things on purpose, I can assure you.  In fact, I find it as mortifying as a loud fart in a small elevator with four Calvin Klein underwear models.  I burst into tears. 

            You see, the thing is this.  I understand that there is not much that can be done if it is a miscarriage, and I understand that nothing was going to change between 4:45 in the afternoon and 8:30 the next morning.  But, my GP and my midwife had both told me I would be seen immediately at the A & E, where instead all I got for my efforts was another cab ride home.  In the U.S., we had good health insurance and lived near a lovely hospital, so when I had bleeding with Zachary, I was scanned that very night.

            Had I been more familiar with NHS, I probably would have been less emotional at the news that I would not be getting an answer immediately.  As it was, I was frustrated that a system that is supposed to be rather centralized has primary care providers and emergency providers singing a very different tune.  And, let’s be honest, I just really wanted to know.

3 responses to “NHS and me (part one)

  1. Pingback: NHS and me (part two) « Wheels on the bus

  2. Pingback: NHS and my son « Wheels on the bus

  3. Pingback: NHS and strep « Wheels on the bus