I recently received an email from a lady who requested me to share it with my readers, but who preferred to remain anonymous. She only wants the message to be passed on. Here is her email:
“I visited a certain doctor’s clinic for the first time in September 2013 and requested to see one of the famous gynaecologists in Nairobi (we’ll call him Dr. X) who came highly recommended by my colleagues. Based on their stories of how awesome, caring, knowledgeable he was and the success stories credited to him, I went to him with full confidence in his ability to take care of my gynaecological needs.
Fast forward to August this year when I was six and a half months pregnant. All through the pregnancy I had been seeing Dr. X.
On one particular Saturday, the nurse at Dr. X’s clinic –the one at the triage took me through the usual procedure of checking my weight, blood pressure and temperature. All was well until she suddenly directed me to see another doctor (let’s call him Dr. Y). The nurse did not give me any reasons for directing me to a doctor different from my regular one. Because I was already used to Dr. X, I took it upon myself to ask her why she was not sending me to him. But both the nurse and Dr. Y told me that my usual doctor had had a busy night and was therefore unable to make it to the clinic that day. I was with my hubby and well, and as long as we saw our baby happy and playing inside me, we didn’t mind getting seen by another doctor.
But as fate would have it, Dr. Y did not find a foetal heartbeat when examining me. I panicked. I froze. God, please don’t let this be. My worst nightmare began unfolding right there and then. Hard as he tried, he could not detect my baby’s heartbeat.
To seek a second opinion, Dr. Y decided to bring in his colleague –a fellow doctor still within the clinic precincts to confirm the results of the scan on my baby.
Well well well, it so happened that the doctor who came in happened to be my regular doctor, Dr. X! Wait a minute; hadn’t I been told that he would not be coming in for his clinic that day? That he had had a busy night?
However, at that particular moment, all I wanted to know was if my baby was fine or not and did not want to get distracted by the mistruths that I had been told. I just wanted to know if my baby was okay.
Dr. X performed another scan which sadly confirmed my worst fears. There was no trace of my baby’s heartbeat. None at all, not even a faint one.
Let me not digress into the details of the wailing and frustrations my hubby and I went through for the next couple of minutes with the doctors trying to console us to accept the will of God.
Since it had been confirmed that my six-and-a-half months baby was no more, the next step was to have the baby removed. So Dr. X wrote me an admission letter and we agreed to meet in hospital early the following morning.
That night was a really difficult one for my hubby and I.
The following morning, my hubby and I were in hospital by 8am which was the appointed time to meet Dr. X. For some reason, we didn’t have Dr. X’s contacts but we nevertheless knew he would meet us as agreed.
One, two, three hours later, Dr. X had not showed up. There was no communication from either him or his clinic. Imagine that. For three hours, we sat at the parking bay waiting…waiting and waiting…our thoughts centered on our precious little baby, our first child still inside me, but now long gone. Those were some painful moments.
After waiting for too long, hubby and I decided to get inside the hospital to seek a third opinion –just in case the previous two diagnoses were wrong. We had nothing to lose anyway. But the third scan, unfortunately, confirmed the previous two findings. Our baby was not alive.
By 12 noon and with no word from Dr. X, we decided to request for a gynaecologist from the hospital to basically take up from where our doctor had left. Thankfully, the hospital doctor was very good and took good care of us. He was very patient and understood what we were going through. I can gladly we can report that everything went really well and he has been with us throughout the recovery process to date. Ooh, and the hospital staff there were nothing short of amazing!
But yet, I still could not help but think of Dr. X. Where was he when we needed him most? Whatever happened to our early morning appointment at the hospital? Would you believe the day went on by without a word from him? Weeks after my ordeal, we still had never heard from Dr. X, not even a follow-up from anyone in the clinic.
It was only until about five weeks later that I eventually got a call from the lady at the reception of the clinic. The lady had been told by my colleague of my nasty experience with their doctor (remember it was my colleagues who had referred me to that clinic). The lady called to apologize and told me that the main doctor himself (the famous doctor who I was supposed to see in the first place) was going to call me to apologize. The incident happened in August. This is December and I still have never heard from him…not that I am expecting it anyway, it does not really matter anymore.
My phone conversation with this lady from the clinic also led to some very interesting discovery. Turns out that all along, I had been seeing a different doctor other than the famous doctor!!! I had been seeing a completely different doctor, let’s call him Dr. Z!!! Wow!!!! Apparently, they work as a team of three doctors in that particular clinic (a common practice in many other clinics) but NO, I never asked to see anyone else other than the famous doctor whose praises I had heard about from my colleagues and that’s exactly why I went to his clinic in the first place!
From the first day I went to his clinic, no one ever asked me if I could consult another doctor in the event that the famous doctor was not in. The clinic made that decision for me, all along enabling me to see a different doctor other than the one I had indicated that I wanted to see. Don’t crucify me for my ignorance for not knowing which doctor I had been consulting because on the first day I went there and said I wanted to see my preferred doctor, I was led to a room with a doctor and I believed that was him. I had no reason to think otherwise.
So mums, how many of you visit a doctor’s clinic and actually consult with the doctor you intend to see?
Even worse, that I could have been consulting a different doctor for so long and then be left lonely on the highway at my moment of need is totally heartbreaking. So mums, if you have a preferred doctor that you want to see, make sure that it is him that you are actually seeing. Verify if you must. And I hope he will be there for you at your greatest hour of need.
I rest my case.”
*If you have any experience that you would wish to share with other women or moms, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org