So the last few days I haven’t felt nauseous or sick or anything. At first I though ‘oh cool! It’s gone!’. And I haven’t thought too much about it.
Until this morning, when I wiped and there was some pink spotting on the toilet paper.
It was only a few wipes, and when I checked again half an hour later, the pink spotting had stopped.
Then about 2 hours after that, I got a call from a nurse at my doctors clinic. She told me that my doctor had my results and wanted to see me immediately.
I told her I couldn’t come in today. I told her I was working until 9:00pm then I had to go home to put my 18 month old to sleep and let my mum go to bed.
Since my doctor doesn’t work tomorrow, I tried to make an appointment for Friday, but she isn’t working then. The nurse offered me a Saturday appointment, but I’m working then too, so I asked about next week.
‘Unfortunately the matter is quite urgent and we will need to see you much sooner then that’.
So I booked an appointment for tomorrow with a different doctor that I’ve never seen.
The blood test in question is my thyroid test.
As we know, my thyroid hormones were checked after the miscarriage and my TSH was found to be 2.7.
My doctor wanted it below 2.5, so she put me on thyroxine to bring it down.
Then she never tested it again.
I sneakily put it on all my pathology forms, and within 3 weeks it dropped to 2.6, then a week later, 2.5. It was tested again two weeks ago, and my nurse told me it was 2.01.
But this call worried me.
Why would I be put on an urgent list? My clinic won’t give out result over the phone, so they gave me no reassurances.
I thought I would try and see if a nurse could give me some reassurance, so I rang just before, as soon as I finished work.
The receptionist was lovely, she understood why I was so anxious and told me she was going to speak to the nurse to see what she could do.
A nurse picked up the phone and immediately I knew I wasn’t getting any reassurance.
Firstly, I had been on hold for over 8 minutes, so the receptionist would have told the nurse my whole story, but the nurse answered ‘what can I do for you?’.
There wasn’t any ‘Hi Chantelle, Rachael has told me what’s bothering you’ or ‘hi Chantelle, sorry to keep you there, I was just discussing your case with Rachael’.
I explained everything again. That I had a blood test done. That I got an urgent call today while I was at work. That I was really worried about the results and just wanted some reassurance.
I told her I know she couldn’t give me results over the phone, but I asked if she could just say yes or no as to if it was under 2.5. I know that’s sort of giving results, but come on! Be sympathetic!
She wasn’t. She told me that she can’t give any results and she won’t be put into that position. I asked her for reassurance, I told her that this is really stressing me out I don’t want to have another miscarriage over something preventable. I told her that regardless, I would still be coming to see the doctor, but I just needed some help now. I told her I know i won’t be able to sleep tonight, and that I just wanted her to tell me that everything is fine.
‘If you’re concerned, I have an appointment tonight at 11:15pm, you can come and discuss it with a doctor then’.
I told her that I was a single mum, that I have an 18 month old at home who is being looked after by my mum. I told her that my daughter would not appreciate being taken out at this time of night, and if I kept her home it would mean my mum, who has to be up for work at 4:30 tomorrow morning, would have to stay up with her.
‘Well if you don’t want to come down, you can’t be too concerned’.
Are you fucking kidding me?! I’m going out of my mind with worry and you’re going to tell me that I’m ‘obviously not concerned’. Why would I be on the phone if I wasn’t concerned? Why would I be asking for reassurance if I wasn’t concerned? Is it fair to drag my toddler out into the freezing cold, so I can drive 45 minutes to see a doctor, be there for 20 minutes, then drive 45 minutes back?
Not only that, sure, Scarlett can sleep in the car, but what about me? I got up at 5:00am when my toddler woke up this morning. I then worked an 11 hour shift while in my first trimester. I’m tired, I’m cranky, and I just want some reassurance so I can get a good night sleep.
Please. Please help me.
‘If you’re worried, come down’.
So I tried a different tactic. I said ‘you’re a nurse, I know that they teach you about hormone levels at university, since my thyroid was fine 2 weeks ago, is it possible to rise so much in 2 weeks?’.
(Side note, I know they teach hormone levels because I am studying to be a nurse, but have not reached that unit yet!).
‘I can’t tell you things like that as I’m not a doctor, if you’re concerned, come down’.
I CANT FUCKING COME DOWN SO PLEASE JUST GIVE ME REASSURANCE!!!
I didn’t say that, but I wanted to.
What actually happened was I started crying.
Like, uncontrollable sobs.
She wasn’t even sympathetic. She told me ‘why would you even listen to me, I could be wrong!’.
I told her that after two miscarriages and all I’ve already gone through with this pregnancy, reassurance from any health professional would help.
She didn’t say anything.
I kept crying.
Then she says ‘lots of women miscarry, you could always just try again’.
Really? Really. What the actual fuck. I didn’t want to speak to her anymore. I had enough.
I asked if there was a doctor I could speak to very quickly about thyroid levels. She told me no. I asked her if I could have the 11:15pm appointment but instead of coming down, could the doctor call me, or I’ll call him/her. She said no. I told her I didn’t want my results, that I understand they can’t be given out over the phone, but I just wanted to know how quickly TSH levels can rise.
‘Look, you’re obviously not serious about coming down, I don’t have time to waste talking to you, so you either come down or dont’.
I repeated, again, that I couldn’t come down in the middle of the night with a toddler.
So she said ‘no problem’ and hung up on me.
You know, there is one thing in this world that I hate, and that is unsympathetic nurses. If you’re a nurse, you need to be compassionate and empathetic. If someone has just told you that they have had two miscarriages in the past, after also telling you that they are a single mum with a young toddler at home, you don’t tell them they can ‘try again’.
Yeah? With who?
I get she couldn’t give me my results, but some reassurance would have been nice.
It is as simple as saying ‘I’m so sorry Chantelle, I’m actually not allowed to give out results over the phone. I understand how hard this must be for you. I’ve never miscarried before but I know it must be devastating. I can see you’ve made an appointment for tomorrow, and from what you told me the nurse offered you a Saturday appointment. If she offered you a Saturday appointment, it likely meant it could have waited until Saturday. I know you said you had a blood test done two weeks ago, and it’s great that you’ve had another one done since then. I think you should go home to your toddler, give her a big kiss and try to relax with a good book or a movie. You only have to get through the night and your appointment will be here! I’m sorry that there isn’t anything more I could do for you, I really wish there was. But I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you that all goes well with your appointment tomorrow. Try to have a great night!’.
That’s what I would have said. And even though it told me nothing, that would have calmed me down slightly and not had me in tears.
But anyway, now I’m really concerned. I looked up what high levels of TSH can do during pregnancy and it really worried me. Heart failure. Severe brain development issues. Death leading to miscarriage.
I’m hoping that my levels are under 2.5 and that the urgent call was to advise me to stay on the medication.
But it scares me that the symptoms I had have stopped, and that I had pink spotting just hours before I got the call.
Things could have ended already.