Posts Tagged ‘anger’

It’s just not funny

Recently, I came across an article about a woman who lost her job due to incontinence.  The headline reads: Opera Singer Can’t Stop Farting After Surgery, Loses Job.  The woman, who suffered a botched episiotomy at childbirth, now endures incontinence issues such as uncontrollable loss of gas and feces.  She is suing the hospital due to loss of control, and subsequently, the inability to perform as an opera singer, her occupation.  As someone who also, ultimately, had to leave her chosen profession due to incontinence and birth trauma issues, I relate to this woman on a very personal level.  I applaud her ability to pursue legal action, and I admire her for going public with this very real, and very embarrassing issue.  I was initially introduced to this story via my Facebook feed, but then dug around for other news outlets carrying the story.  Largely listed under, “weird news,” and on the news feed “gawker,”  I now find this story to be listed in the media as a joke. Well, guess what, it’s just not funny.  Nor, is it “weird news.”  The fact that the media needs to portray an article like this under “weird” eliminates it’s ability to become a mainstream health issue.  Furthermore, the comments listed as a response to these articles are largely littered with middle school level jokes and puns about poop, farting, and loss of control.  So, congratulations media, for making a mockery of a very real problem for a lot of women, and also, creating an outlet for those wishing to relive their middle school years with crude wisecracks.  I’m not laughing.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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Cringe

Sometimes, I cringe.  I cringe when I hear stories about birth trauma.  I cringe when someone contacts me with yet another story of doctor incompetence resulting in physical and emotional harm. I especially cringe when the doctor that woman tells me about was the doctor who delivered me into my own personal hell.  I wonder if this doctor knows the impact she has on some of her patients.  The impact of her decisions, especially poor ones, on the individual women who she assisted during delivery and cared for postpartum.  The physical and emotional scarring from a doctor who I view as callous and without empathy.  I wonder, how many women have left her practice due to her incompetence, and then, I wonder, how many still remain?  I cringe.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Forceps

This weekend, a story came to my attention that left me emotionally devastated.  You can read the story in its entirety here.  The story highlights the birth of baby Olivia, who, following a rather tumultuous attempt at a vaginal delivery, was delivered via forceps.  Because of forceps’ placement and doctor’s skill, or lack thereof, Baby Olivia’s skull and spine were broken, leaving her on life support for 5 days before she passed away.  Reading this story, I can only imagine the horror and anguish that this family feels.  I can only imagine that the mother, whose body must be broken and battered from a botched forceps delivery, and whose daughter is lost to her, now has to cope with both physical and undeniable emotional pain.  I can only imagine how the father, who witnessed the botched delivery, and lost his little one, will live with that emotional anguish.

I can only imagine, and reflect, on my own experience with forceps delivery.  Like the mother in this sad story, c-section was pushed to the back burner.  Olivia’s mother, in fact, asked for a c-section, prior to admittance to the hospital, and was told that “she’d be left with a scar.”  After 3 hours of pushing, I too was told that a c-section would leave me with more physical baggage then a forceps delivery.  I think, too often, that people underestimate the very real dangers of forceps delivery…in part because we are not warned of the horrors of such a delivery.  I have yet to read a story of, “my wonderful forceps delivery.”  I have yet to meet a woman, who delivered via forceps, with a glowing review to such a delivery.

Like Olivia’s parents, I maintain that forceps deliveries should be banned.  My thoughts are, if you get to the point in a vaginal delivery where your body is just not ready/responding, then go for the c-section.  In fact, my thoughts are, if you need any sort of intervention, including induction, you may as well go for the c-section.  Although my thoughts may be unpopular, they are rooted in my own experiences, and in the experiences that I hear about from others who struggle on a daily basis with birth trauma.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Tears and Tears

Tears and Tears.  Words that sound the same, but mean very different things.  Tears (torn) and Tears (crying).  For me, there is a huge correlation between these two homophones.

When you have a baby vaginally, there is a risk that you will tear.  Recently, I came across a website that shows diagrams of vaginal tears in childbirth.  This slide show is an essential viewing point for anyone who wishes to understand visually the physical trauma of a tear.  Feel free to view here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-tears/PR00143

Although vaginal tears are common during vaginal birth, the severity of the tear and the “how to” of the repair differ.  In her blog, Dr. Amy-The Skeptical OB, Dr. Amy Tuteur talks about the ability to midwives to repair tears during vaginal birth. You can read her take on tearing here http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2012/02/vaginal-tears.html.

As a recipient of a third degree tear in a hospital setting, I am curious about the ability of my doctor to repair my tear during my forceps assisted vaginal birth.  According to the mayo clinic slide show, the repair for my tear should have been a bit more extensive and done with a little more care.  Maybe it should have even been done in an operating room rather than at the foot of my delivery bed.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-tears/PR00143&slide=4

Tears often follow tearing.  For me, the physical pain of the initial tear as well as the physical and emotional consequences that follow such a trauma created lots of tears.  It is my hope that midwives and doctors understand the long-term ramifications of diagnosing and repairing a tear correctly.  My tear was not repaired correctly, nor was I given the postpartum support necessary for the tear I sustained.  Luckily, I managed, on my own, to get to a rectal surgeon, and ultimately, to Interstim, to treat the incontinence issues that began with my tear.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Empathy

Throughout my ordeal, the one thing I have longed to hear from the medical professional whose actions and inaction caused my plight  is “I’m sorry, I understand.” Because of legalities, bedside manner in this regard has essentially gone out the window.  As OBGYN’s are flooded with lawsuits and threats of legal action, true empathy is rare to find vocalized in the medical community.

I am not saying that everything was my OBGYN’s fault, however, I am saying that her empathy could have been a powerful beginning to my healing journey.  For my OBGYN to relay the understanding of the loss that a 27-year-old must feel when she no longer has rectal function and control would have gone a long way with me.  Instead, I received a firm statement of “this is normal” from my OBGYN when I conveyed my inability to control my bowels.

In advocating for others, I hope to be that voice that “victims” can hear when the medical community remains silent.  So, here it is from my mouth to your ears “I am sorry for your situation.  I totally understand.  I will do everything I can to help you on your healing journey.”

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

The Dance of Life

“And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance”

The Dance-Garth Brooks

 I believe that everything happens for a reason.  This thought pattern has been particularly hard to reconcile whilst experiencing this hardship.  Someone once asked me, “If you could go back, change how things were done, would you?”  My answer in the beginning of this trial in my life was “absolutely, of course!”  With careful reflection, intense therapy, and lots of support, my answer now is a firm “no.”  Why?  Because I believe in a higher purpose.  This was my trial to bear; this experience has made me into a strong advocate, has strengthened my ties with my family, and has allowed me to feel grateful for all of the “goodness” in my life.  I hope that my story can influence the medical community, and more importantly, anyone who has gone through, or will go through this process.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren


The Anger

One thing that I haven’t truly addressed yet in this blog is the anger that has been a part of my life for the last 3 1/2 years or so.  The anger that was generated from a sloppy birth experience and follow-up care, resulting in physical and emotional damage.  The “why?” and “how could this happen?” mentality that manifests itself in an anger at the doctor, the hospital, and sometimes myself.

In writing my book this past year, I had a title all picked out, “Asshole.” After the asshole that delivered me, and after the resulting damage to my asshole.  Clever?  I think so.  Until recently, the anger I have felt at my delivering doctor has been profound.  It is only through extensive therapy that I have found it in me to let it go in order to be a more productive and healthy human being.

The bottom line is, my story, my life, is not about naming names, or vengeance. It’s not about anger.  This is a story of advocacy, of healing, of empowerment.  I’d like every health care professional to take note of my story during his or her day-to-day dealings with patients such as myself or prevent future clientele such as myself.  I’d like every pregnant woman, women considering pregnancy to take note of my story, and make better decisions because of it.  I’d like every adoring spouse to take heed in the strength and sacrifice of my husband during the many ordeals we have weathered together.

Thanks for reading!

-Lauren