Bedside Manner: All Reproductive Endocrinologists are the Same

All Reproductive Endocrinologists Are the Same Well, in some ways that's absolutely true.

Let's be honest. When you're lying flat on the examination table tanning the bottoms of your feet under the ceiling fluorescents, and the examination begins, I defy any woman to tell one Reproductive Endocrinologist from another.... or for that matter, the fertility doc from the receptionist or the guy who turned the wrong way off the elevator en route to the podiatrist down the hall.

I mean, I think I'm pretty in tune with my body and yet even I know that there's no way mid-poke I could say:  "Oh, Dr. Bernstein. I didn't know you were back from vacation... Hey, is that a new ring?" Hand puppets aren't that clever.

The doctors within my clinic really were very different from each other. Especially in the "Bedside Manner" department. 

Two of them physically were interchangeable. They were both tall, white, graying middle-aged men. In fact, for the longest time I thought they were the same doctor. I thought it weird that one day he was so nice and the next an abrupt jerk. I just figured there was no law to stop the bi-polar from practicing medicine.  

Dr. R. was a sweetheart. I could take my time and ask him all of my questions. And all of my questions were vital:

"Can I comb my hair during treatments?" "Can I do my injections after 'Jeopardy'?"

But Dr. W. was rude and talked over me. Being the shy, retiring New Yorker I am, I once said:

"Could I get a word in edgewise here?"

I called him "Dr. Cyclone". He'd blow into the room and then blow back out. I used to hold onto the cuff of his lab coat until I was done talking so he wouldn't blow away/blow me off... Whichever you prefer.  

So I'm sure he was a total professional and wouldn't take out our mutual dislike on my children-to-be, but nonetheless, I was determined to manipulate my cycle so my egg retrieval would take place at the exact moment when Dr. Cyclone would be on stage speaking at an infertility symposium in Brazil. 

Modern medicine ha! Let him try to yank out my ova from Sao Paolo.

Then there was another Reproductive Endocrinologist. Snow White's "Combo Dwarf": Sleepy Doc.

One day he arrived for my 8am appointment. As he put on gloves to go where no one has gone before (actually, this was my fourth round of IUI, so virtually everyone had gone there before), I noticed that he was yawning...Just the reaction every naked woman hopes for. I may not have had any dignity left but I still had my pride.

"Sorry. I'm not a morning person."  He said. Okay, so now am I supposed to figure out exactly how much of a morning person he's not?

Does he just hit the snooze button a few times? Is he fine after a shower?  After coffee?  Or did he totally just sleep-drive here and he's not even awake now?

Flat on my back, legs (well you know)--I was looking like a lawn chair that blew over when Dr. Cyclone passed by: Not a great vantage point to confirm what Sleepy Doc's status is crouched at the other end of the table.

Maybe he dozed off on his little round stool mid-exam.

Oh geez... I hope he's not dreaming of his computer and using my uterus as the mouse.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

http://www.resolve.org/takecharge.