Dear Dr. S,
I apologize for the length of this message, I am not good at being brief and your office visits aren’t really long enough for me to come in and talk to you in person.
I went in to see Dr. Sastry as you recommended. I will not be working with her. I can explain that by telling you her parting line to me: “You have two major ways you deviate from the norm, breastfeeding and smoking pot. I won’t be working with you until you stop them.” She expected me to wean my daughter and quit smoking in a week. Or she wouldn’t work with me. Well, that week is over. At no point in that week did I feel like a relationship with Dr. Sastry would improve my life so I cheerfully ignored her recommendations.
She wanted me on an anti-psychotic, and she encouraged me towards upping the dose quickly. She told me she was putting that I was bipolar on my medical record. Even though I very firmly believe I am not bipoloar. I have GAD and complex PTSD. They are treated differently. I don’t believe it is appropriate to medicate me as if I am bipolar.
Instead I am paying a ridiculous amount of money to a Harm Reduction specialist. I went in and talked to her for an hour and a half. At the end I left with a prescription for Ativan. Six pills for a month. To be split in half. I’ve had them almost two weeks and I’ve taken a pill and a half. I have cut my smoking to almost nothing.
Dr. Sastry had no interest in finding out what I have legitimately done to deal with my issues. She wanted to medicate me into a coma to stop my sexual acting out. I don’t appreciate her agenda. When I talked about the recent periods of going without sleep for days she refused to believe me that I wasn’t also sexually acting out. She wanted them to be manic cycles. She would not accept that I wasn’t manic. I wasn’t manic. I was hyper-vigilant and experiencing flashbacks of being raped. I wouldn’t let my children touch me let alone anyone else. Yes, I am ethically non monogamous with my husband. I don’t harm my life.
I would encourage you to not sent patients to that woman if in any way they “deviate from the norm”. No one needs to be shamed while they are in the process of receiving medical care.
Secondly, I am worried that some aspects of my health have been badly managed and it’s complicated to explain. I saw a homebirth midwife through both pregnancies. My first labor I did 40 hours at home before transferring and I delivered at Valley Med because they are the most friendly to transferring homebirths. I actually think they did a fabulous job of dealing with me as a person who “deviated from the norm.” The vast majority of the staff was really kind and effective and I appreciated that. The delivering doctor asked me out of the blue if I wanted my placenta since I was a transferred homebirth. When the delivering nurse said I couldn’t have it the doctor said, “We don’t know where it went.” I will be grateful forever.
Neither of my pregnancies went well. I was horribly sick. I lost 18 lbs by the end of the second trimester with Shanna. I had a lot of really intense long-lasting early labor scares. I lost two babies in between Shanna and Calli. I lost the first the day before Shanna turned one. That pregnancy was about 9 weeks along. I guesstimate that because I went up to Portland right after that and they have an exhibition showing the size and development of a fetus every 2-3 days through the pregnancy. I found out I miscarried because I found the baby. I thought I was just having my first postpartum period. This was rather traumatizing.
We used condoms for two months and tried again. We got pregnant immediately. I lost that baby at seven weeks. The reason I knew I was pregnant again is because I have instant full body horror symptoms. Pregnancy is awful. My whole body treats it like a toxic experience. I became pregnant again without a period. That’s Calli.
I was in labor with her for nine days. At about day four I started feeling like I was leaking fluid. I called my midwife to talk to her about it. She told me I was on a 48 hour clock. I had to deliver the baby by then or I had to go to the hospital because I risked infection. Technically she knew she was only supposed to give me 24 hours. But she knows that I really didn’t want to go to the hospital. Every home get-it-going-thing we did. I had contractions every 3-10 minutes for so many days. I couldn’t get them to stop.
I ended up at Washington Hospital. I had a rude on-call doctor and a sanctimonious on-call nurse. They lectured me horribly and treated my like a recalcitrant child. At the very end of the visit he swabbed me and said, “It’s not amniotic fluid, go home.” When my midwife filed out he gave me this long nasty lecture about how I was going to kill myself and my baby if I stayed home. He was almost right. I still wasn’t going to go back to him.
I hemorrhaged really badly. I couldn’t stand at all for days because I lost so much blood. I had to crawl to the bathroom for weeks. My midwife told me point blank about 20 minutes after my daughter was born, “If you close your eyes you won’t open them again.” My midwife didn’t really do much about the hemorrhage. I was told to eat blood thickening food. I didn’t move from bed for two weeks because I couldn’t stand.
I have lost 1-2 lbs a week since then. I often have trouble eating. My stomach hurts all the time. A lot of it is my mental health stuff, I’m aware. But I was on a medication years ago through a different PAMF doctor, Dr. -. It was for stomach acid. I don’t remember what it was. I am curious about pursuing something for my stomach acid again. I get up in the morning and I smoke pot so that I can settle my stomach enough to handle eating. If I don’t smoke I can’t eat more than about half a piece of toast before I’m in violent stomach pain.
I wake up every morning to an hour or more of painful burning diarrhea. I can’t believe this is normal. This hasn’t happened my whole life but it has been happening for months. I’m not sure how many months. I’m working on getting my mental health stuff in order. I truly am. I can’t keep waiting forever on dealing with these other aspects of my health. My thyroid appears to be no longer functioning normally.
I feel like this all should have a lot more attention paid to it, but I don’t know what that will mean. I’m tired of my body acting like I am in full crisis all the time. I need to find a way to make the stomach acid stop destroying me from the inside. I think that will help. It might actually help me to sleep as well. I wake up at 4 because I have to go to the bathroom. Then I spend an hour having burning diarrhea. Then I can’t sleep again. Maybe this isn’t just about my mental health, you know?