Back story: My mother has some serious issues, and had me convinced at 18 that I had a LOT of issues that I did not. (Had me diagnosed at 11 with bipolar disorder by taking me into the emergency room after I downed an entire bag of pixie sticks and told them I was having a manic episode, just one of many examples.) I was heavily medicated and seriously over-medicated, not to mention abused and neglected. So, thinking it would protect my future children from inheriting the dozen or so diagnosies that I had stamped on my forehead at puberty, I agreed, at 18 years old, to have my tubes tied. I have never attempted suicide, etc., but have a far more recent diagnosis of PTSD from some traumas.
Issue: Monday, I am going into the doctor's to discuss untying my tubes. The records of the history are two pages long, and the history my mother gave is brutal. She said if I missed one dose of medication, she would have to hospitalize me for a suicide attempt. I am on NO MEDICATION now, except the occasional klonopin for anxiety attacks (me actually taking them is far more rare than the anxiety attacks, and will be cut completely once pregnancy is a possibility), so clearly this was all a lot of crap.
Here's my question: How do I explain to a doctor I don't know that the history that was given was inaccurate, without sounding bitter and angry or defensive???
Sorry for the length, folks.
Hmm... are you seeing a shrink? I would imagine a letter from a shrink explaining your history and covering your current state of mental health would be a lot easier than trying to explain it yourself. It wouldn't be emotionally loaded and it would be from a source (another doctor) that would be, perhaps, a little more easily trusted (if this is a new doctor who doesn't know you).
Wow! I don't have a whole lot to offer, but this. It is not a doctor's place to judge you and I don't think he or she can refuse to untie your tubes if that is what you desire. Is this a new doctor? If yes, then you can go into all the background you want with your doctor, but it's likely that you don't really need to. In fact, you don't have to share any of your medical history with him/her either, although since you are not a physician, you may not know what parts of your record really are important, from a medical perspective, to know. You can tell the doctor that you had a sucky homelife growing up and you didn't want any children so that you could break the cycle. Now, XX number of years have since passed since that decision and you have moved on, changed your mind, and would now like to have children.
I think if you're seeing a psychiatrist or counsellor, being able to start at the "I've been working through a lot of past issues for a long time and currently am occasionally taking klonopin occasionally for anxiety attacks" would be a pretty valid place to start. If you do become pregnant, I seem to recall being asked about family history because it may make you more prone to certain severity thresholds of post partum depression.
Holy crap... I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. I can only reiterate what everyone already said; if you've been to psychologists and psychiatrists recently (and I assume you have because you have a new diagnosis) I would have those records handy just in case. But I do hope the doctor doesn't judge you in anyway. Good luck.
Thank you all for your advice!
I'm so nervous and so excited at the same time.
I'm in the military (boooo! Hissss!) so my past four years of medical records will be at their fingertips- for good or bad.
As far as postpartum depression goes, there's not a factor out there that someone hasn't proven to have an effect on the outcome. I can say, with no uncertainty, that there will never be any mother more determined than me to overcome those odds, nor more aware of them. I'm twenty-six years old, and have wanted a child since age fourteen. Twelve years I've been waiting for this chance, and it's going to be with a wonderful (if incredibly nerdy) husband.
I'm not positive they're allowed to really turn me down for those reasons, but, being in the medical field, I also know that EVERYTHING is much easier if your doctor is on your side. Everything.
McGlory, I'm only in group therapy right now, as the military turn over rate with shrinks makes the death toll in Iraq look comparable to that of Chicken Pox.
LadyGrey, unfortunately, they have insisted to see the surgical file, which includes that nice little blurb about suicide. (My mother is fruit loops.... That's just the nicest thing I can think of to say about her right now.) I'm hoping they don't judge, but the last guy I talked to about this wasn't so good about that.
Wookie, I think that's a good phrase for me to remember. I'd like to think the entire thing could be overlooked, but, well, seems unlikely, huh?
Ruth, they can see whatever the shrinks I've had in the last four years have written if they so choose, but, hopefully, they'll look at who I am now (having a service dog with me should be an interesting point of discussion) rather than whatever the shrinks want to say.
Regardless, thank you all so much for your help and suggestions. I'm terrified about all of this, but have to believe that all of this has not been for nothing.
Update: we talked to the doctor today, and, while he did say he would want a letter from a mental health professional if we decided to go forward with a reversal, he expounded on a lot of information I already knew and explained what I least wanted to hear: It's not worth it.
Assuming I can get pregnant after the surgery (and he's not sure I'll be able to, of course) the risks of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy are so incredibly high it's astounding- and, if I have an ectoptic pregnancy one of the more common treatments involves removing the entire fallopian tube anyway.
One of the few perks to this whole military nonsense is that we can get IVF at the "discounted" rate of $4000, which is significantly cheaper than the civilian world, though we'll have to be referred and travel to do it. I'm beyond heartbroken by all of this, to put it simply.
I think it's pretty normal to feel heartbroken and to mourn when you've been given news that breaks a dream. I am sorry for your loss, and hope that whatever path you choose next gives you some peace and happiness.
I understand that being told you can't have kids the natural way is heartbreaking, but try not to despair. I know so many people who have had IVF with good results--me included!
While IVF is no walk in the park, it's also not terrible and would have a great chance of working for you, given that you don't have infertility problems (other than the tubes, of course).
Also, $4,000 is a great bargain. It's usually about $20,000/cycle.
I'm in no way trying to dismiss or minimize your pain right now. I just know sometimes it helps to hear from people who have gone through it.
I can't even begin to imagine how you are feeling...I'm so sorry you got such bad news. Even if you were sort of expecting it, hearing it said out loud is awful. Spend some time being kind to yourself, and try not to beat yourself up about decisions made in the past. When you're feeling up to it, you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and look ahead, with whatever decision you make.
Thank you all so, so much.
Things have been a roller coaster ride lately- I'm in outpatient treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (non-combat) and am going through the process to get medically discharged from the army for the same. The IVF stuff came at such a crappy time, I think that's why it's such a damaging blow to me right now. I know IVF is a perfectly logical choice, but, as I have less than a year left in this getting-out process, I think we're going to wait until I'm out of the army. I think I'm trying to juggle too many things at once, as usual.
It's hard not to want to actively be working towards what you really want, though.
DLBK, I know better than to take it as you minimizing what I'm going through- I'm not opposed to having someone point out the positive side of things, especially when I'm too wrapped up in the negative. I really do appreciate your input.