Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doctor code

Good prenatal care requires many medical appointments.  Before I got pregnant, it had been years since I'd visited a doctor for illness or injury.  I avoided doctors at all costs.  But now I'm beginning to become comfortable with the medical setting.  I've even picked up on some of their secret codes they use to make patients more comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

First, there is the "how are you feeling?" question.  This is asked to gauge how open you are to talking about your bodily functions.  If you answer, "Good, I'm feeling good," they will proceed to probe until you've divulged all your embarrassing stories about peeing when you sneeze and uncontrollable gas in crowded elevators.  I've tried to resist, but they are just too good.  I just answer honestly now.  They ask, "How are you feeling?"  I say, "Good.  I have some pressure on my bladder, but I'm still drinking lots of water and making frequent bathroom stops."  They like to hear that.  In fact, if you add "drinking lots of water" to about anything you say to a doctor it will satisfy some deep inner aqua-pushing urge the medical community seems to possess.

One of my favorite phrases is: "Wow, those are cute maternity pants!"  This means "it's time to pull your pants down."  I noticed my nurse/midwives say this right before they look for my pubic bone to measure fundal height.  But today I was at the hospital to receive my Rhogam shot, which is administered in your tush, and the nurse mentioned how cute my pants were.  As soon as I heard the compliment I knew it what time it was . . .  and I was not disappointed.  By the way, getting a shot in the bum isn't as bad as it seems.  The nurse even put a little band-aid over the injection sight when she finished.  So nurturing!  I think pulling that band-aid off my bum will hurt worse than the shot.

One of my least favorite phrases is: "Go ahead and just lay back while I pull out these stirrups."  This mean things are about to get really drafty.  'Nough said.

"This might be a little cold," usually means, "I just pulled this from the freezer and I'll now rub it on your bare skin!"  I'm actually kidding about this one.  Any time a nurse has told me something might be a bit chilly it has been a reasonable temperature.  I think they got a lawsuit once that involved cold tummy gel and black frost-bitten toes and they are now required by federal law to give a disclaimer.

Another subtle little phrase they use at the my doctor's office is: "The bathroom is available if you'd like."  This does not mean, "I know you have a little person pressing on your bladder so feel free to use our facilities anytime you'd like."  It means, "Go pee in a cup now before the next appointment arrives."  I've pretty much mastered this whole peeing-in-a-cup thing.  There's a ten step instruction chart beside the toilet filled with tips and recommendations to make this experience easier, but I find in this case practice makes perfect.  Before I got pregnant I never thought this would be a valuable skill to have, but it is.  For those of you who've not had this experience yet, it's all about timing and hand-eye coordination.  I'm going to stop there.

We'll see if I get to learn anymore phrases tomorrow when I go in for my 28 week appointment.  Have a happy week, all!


  1. ashlyn: kayla! bahaha this made me laugh out loud! its so true!

  2. hha ya! peeing in the cup - especially when your belly gets big and you can't see down there anymore. :) i remember 28 weeks like it was yesterday! so excited for you

  3. I've had to pee in a cup a couple of times and I did pretty well. It's a talent of mine.