Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Clearly your record shows...

I have been to Wimbledon, and enjoyed not only the games being played, but the amusing back and forth of the heads in the crowd focused on the little yellow ball being lobbed from one side of the court to the other and back again. But until now, I have never felt so much like that little yellow ball being sent in one direction, then another, then another. It must be mind numbing for that fuzzy little thing. It is for me.

When I went in for my 20 week ultrasound in December, I was diagnosed with complete Placenta Previa, which means my placenta was covering my cervix. Wrong place for it. Though this condition typically corrects itself as a uterus stretches, my doctor wasn't hopeful that it would in my case, as there is scar tissue from three previous c-sections that was likely to enmesh with the placenta and keep it from migrating upward. I met with one RN and two different doctors over the next few weeks, all of which confirmed the previa, and gave strict orders of caution: No travel, no exercise, no lifting, and no...relations...with my husband. This was to prevent undue strain that could cause the placenta to bleed--which is bad--as it can't always be stopped and worst case scenario could lead to hospitalization, early delivery, the need for blood transfusions, risk to the mother and baby, and the occasional emergency hysterectomy. So I was cautious. And I worried every single time I lifted my nearly forty pound two year old, knowing that I was exceeding the 20 pound limit, but not knowing how to get around it.

Two months later, at 29 weeks, , I went in for a follow up ultrasound to see if the placenta had migrated. This was an interesting appointment as I was told some very unusual and unexpected news by the ultrasound technician: "According to our records here in the radiology department, you NEVER HAD placenta previa." She found it implausible that I had been told I had placenta previa, and couldn't account for the misinformation. She said: "Clearly your record shows a normal placenta, so I have no idea where that information came from."

So I spent the next two weeks wondering how the misinformation had been conveyed and whose records the doctor might have looked at to think I had placenta previa. I was happy and grateful to know it was not a concern after all, but somewhat frustrated to be at the mercy of medical misinformation (although I do realize if there is going to be medical malpractice, it's much better to have them err in your favor.)

Yesterday would have been my next doctor's appointment, but I was too sick with some nasty cold/sore throat thing to get out the door, so I called in to the nurse to discuss the things we would have covered at the appointment--one of them being the previa, or lack thereof.

She said it looked like all was well and that the placenta had migrated upward. At the word "migrated" I knew the OBGYN dept had not been in communication with the radiology department. I told her what I had been told at my follow up ultrasound, and it was all news to her. She apologized on behalf of the radiology department and told me she had no idea how they got that information. "Clearly your record shows complete placenta previa as of December 18th."

So here I am, the fuzzy yellow ball, now lobbed back to the original court and not knowing who has it straight since clearly my record CAN'T show two totally opposing things. I asked the nurse to ask the doctor to contact the radiology department and figure out whose record is right. The placenta previa is cleared in either case, but it is important to me to know what my record really shows, because it is about me and my health, and I don't like being at the mercy of incompetent racquets, if you know what I mean. So while they duke out the clarity of my record, my placenta and I are going to rest. We are dizzy and confused.