Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Falling

I was asked to cover a couple of hours for Kerry on a day off so she could go to a meeting, or buy chickens or something; sure!  2 hours=1/2 of a princess shift.

I took care of only one (one!  ONE!) patient for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  Young.  No job, no insurance and had applied for Medicaid when she found out she was pregnant; I don't know why she wasn't already on it since she had only one arm, a congenital condition.  She seemed like someone who had, or would soon be, falling through the cracks. 

She didn't know what to do: she was by herself and scared.  She had just had a "screening" ultrasound at a free clinic during her first pre-natal visit; her baby had stopped growing and had no heartbeat, she said.  She did not know what to do next since she wasn't bleeding or cramping.  The clinic kicked her to the curb with some phone numbers.  She was worried about the cost.

We did the usual blood tests and an ultrasound that confirmed fetal demise at about 8 weeks gestation.  Twins.  I arranged an appointment for her that very afternoon with the OB to discuss her options.  She elected not to keep it because she had to get home so her boyfriend could get to school.  I tried very hard to get her to change her mind

"I guess everything happens for a reason", she said.  "It would have been almost impossible with one baby, let alone two".

I made two phone calls to her over the weekend which went unanswered.  She didn't call either.

The next sound you hear will be someone falling through the cracks.