I’ve talked about this before, but after reading a post by a fellow blogger, I felt compelled to bring it up again. This woman has been struggling to get pregnant for more than four years, while dealing with pre cancerous cells and treatments to combat them. Scary shit, y’all.
The good news is that right now she is free of the cells. The bad news is that the treatment medications caused her to regain the weight she lost and now her RE refuses to treat her due to obesity.
Ok, we all know there is solid evidence supporting weight loss and conception/success in ART. We also know that Tender Loving Care can do a lot to improve success rates. I am a firm believer that TLC needs to be in every area of our medical system. I believe our doctors are our partners and together we should work to accomplish the shared goal of better health.
In my personal opinion, and I am no doctor, I feel that this blogger’s doctor should be real with her: yes, weight loss before treatment is necessary for good success rates and mama safety. And then this doctor should WORK WITH HER. The doctor should inspire her, connect her with resources (and not just a local Weight Watchers Chapter, but evidence based information, nutritional support that FITS her lifestyle, realistic fitness recommendations, support groups, etc.) so together they can accomplish not just the weight loss goal, but the ultimate goal of successful pregnancy.
During my struggle with chronic uveitis (read about uveitis here. It sucketh mucheth.) I consulted with FOUR specialists before I chose my doctor. I explained my goals in treatment to each: save my vision using non-toxic drug options (meaning no immune suppressing drugs), then proceed with trying to get pregnant. You can’t try to conceive while on immune suppressing drugs. It was very important to me that I find a doctor who would respect these wishes and I trusted would step up when we got to the point of no return and it was truly time to break out the big medication guns.
One doctor I consulted with did not come right out and say it, but was not supportive of my desires to have a child. Another actually said, “Just forget about having kids. That is not going to happen with your condition.” and then proceeded to force a heavy medication on me before trying less invasive alternatives or even exploring the evidence supporting or rejecting these alternatives. These doctors were clearly not going to work with me. Instead, they were going to run over me. I fired them.
I found a doctor who would work with me and am so happy that as of right now, several years after getting sick, I am able to manage my condition with a low dose of steroid eye drops, diet and lifestyle changes. Will it always be this way? Sadly, probably not. But right now, I see an excellent team of doctors who all respect my wishes and are working hard to manage my disease. Oh, and I’m 39 weeks pregnant – something that several doctors said would never happen.
I tell you guys this to inspire you to never settle for sub-par medical care. I want to encourage every. single. person who finds my blog to seek additional opinions if they feel their condition or needs are not being met 100%. I encourage you to never settle for a practitioner who just plows over your feelings. You and your doctor should be a team working towards a common goal, be that disease management, achieving parenthood, etc. Your doctor should remember that this common goal can only be achieved if the whole you (physical and spiritual) is taken into consideration.
It took me four eye specialists and four reproductive endocrinologists before my eye condition was stable and someone was able to get and keep me pregnant. Once I found the right doctor for me, treatments were straight forward and success followed quickly. If a scared little lady in Kentucky who gets anxiety shits before meeting with any new doctor can do this, I know you can to. Be empowered, be confident in your body and mind and never let a practitioner run over your dreams.