The douchecanoe

Thanks for all your supportive comments about the wardsman, but I don’t want to make a complaint. Firstly, because it was the best laugh I have had in weeks, secondly because I am pretty sure he was horrified by what he had said, and I am sure he will think twice before opening his gob again. Thirdly, I do think he had special needs, and the last thing I want to do is for him to suffer over something that was really trivial for me – really, really.

And the final reason – I have a burning need to have a big whinge to the hospital about something much more important. On Saturday morning, just after we had said goodbye to Archie, and were still in a heightened state of shock and trauma, a doctor came in and said (in a very offhand manner), “we are going to give you something to dry up your milk”. Luckily I was still lucid enough to ask for more info. I wanted to talk to a Lactation Consultant and get more detail before I made a decision. But is was a Saturday, and there is no LC available on the weekends. Because women stop having breastfeeding problems on the weekends, right?

So I rang an ABA friend who is an LC, and imposed of her professionalism, and asked her the question. She can’t give me medical advice, but she can give me general information. Like – Dostinex can cause headaches and seizures. And for a very long time, women have been managing lactation suppression naturally. Since not much of this pregnancy has been natural (except the conception!), I decided I wanted to let my body cry its milk tears, and let my body deal with it. Of course, this decision has consequences too – you can suffer from engorgement, pain, and sometimes mastitis. Being an ABA counsellor, I was able to read the ABA Lactation Suppression booklet, and I knew what to do, and what warning signs to look out for.

After about five days, I felt I was going OK on my own, but I thought it was a good idea to chat to an LC, and perhaps ask her to examine my breasts for warning signs of infection (because I need another infection, right?). The nurse that I asked happened to be an LC, she asked a few quick questions about how my boobs felt, and then she left and came back a few minutes later with a bag of ice to put into each bra cup.

Helpful, and it relieved a bit of pain, but still no-one has examined my breasts, or talked to me about how the process is going. And of course I don’t blame my lovely nurse – she has been particularly awesome, even staying behind after her shift had ended to change my sheets because she knew I had been sweating. It’s not the nurses, it’s the hospital system! Please, if you have time, go to One2Four and sign their online petition. I can tell you from experience (week 4 now!), that the nurses are massively overworked, and yet you still couldn’t hope to find a more lovely, caring and gentle group of women (I have not had one male nurse yet).

So it wasn’t until yesterday when I had a visit from my lovely independent midwife Robyn, that someone actually checked my breasts. And yes, I can do my own checks, but there are bits of them I can’t see!

And since I can’t see the hospital spontaneously changing their policy, this will happen to many more women unless I complain and get a review process started.

And I think that is more important than a man with foot in mouth disease.

P.S. Temp is on the way up again. Don’t freak out, it is what I expected. What we are looking for is a gradual downwards trend, not a miracle cure (unless you can line one up for me Sally?).

5 thoughts on “The douchecanoe”

  1. The prayers said for me by a complete stranger at Central Station don’t appear to have worked yet – I’ve still got a limp and a walking stick. But never give up hope, that’s my motto. Should I bump into him again, I’ll send him over to you. OK?

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  2. Hey been thinking of you. Its great you are lucid enough to be pro active w your care. Ahh weekends. Theres only one radiologist in our state over the weekend. He gets things scanned through to him. I was just lucky my good doc pushed through my biopsy or else I not have started treatment when I did. I am still in treatment, but am finding that I am now getting angry. With the choice re more babies, I wasnt that sure I wanted more but its a really difficult thing to have the option taken away at 34 and I have to keep telling myself I have to be alive and healthy for the child I do have. In fact, its a daily mantra until I get into see my psych!
    My milk did not dry up until the day I started chemo. 22 months post breatsfeeding! You ate a strong woman Lara. Xxxx

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    1. 1 to 5 is fab. Just found out, in postnatal tonight, there are two nurses who have 18 patients between them. And I hate that I am so needy at the moment – the poor nurses are so overworked.

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  3. It really is quite stupid how the medical part of obstetrics and the midwifery part of obstetrics are almost at odds with each other.

    Your decision not to take Dostinex at the moment the doctor snapped his fingers should not have equalled ‘do not treat’ in the milk situation.

    Such a flawed system really.

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