over-sensitivity to non-consensual membrane strip based on passed? or justified? i'm sad ;( and lost - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi. i am having a very difficult time getting over something personal - I am not sure where to begin - i NEVER talk about this with anybody - nobody in my family and only a few dr's, and my husband, but since i joined this group all the responses seem to be very helpful and kind - and i just want people to tell me honestly if i am being too - sensitive and maybe b/c you guys are all strangers I won't be so hurt if you just say that I am or that the Dr. didn't do anything wrong - just please tell me if i need to get over this - i need closure either way - thank you so much for taking the time for this I know everyone is busy.  
To sum up a very emotional and long story: I was raped when I was still a virgin, over a decade ago - I have recovered but knew that birthing my first child would be an emotional experience for me and researched to get the most sensitive OB - one came highly recommended to me by different people - same OB as my sister (this was not a good thing - my sister has a .. well kinda harsh personality and I'm more guarded - especially around her. I told my OB about my rape - I wanted her to know I was sensitive - I also specifically told her my sister and I were not close, she didn't know about my rape and I didn't want her to know anything about my care. I really, really wanted a natural birth and had told my OB that I did not want her to strip my membranes and she agreed that she was fine waiting to do any intervention until 2 weeks - awesome! i know that is not the norm usually anymore.  My due date had arrived, but I was only dilated to a 1 and not effaced - my husband was able to go to the appointment with me where she said she was going to do a pelvic exam.  I know that for some people stripping the membranes does not hurt at all - this hurt me so bad - both physically (more then pitocin with no epidural when i still thought I could go natural - or the C-section I ultimately needed to have) the stripping of the membranes hurt more than all of that to me.  Her exams were always rough but this hurt SO bad - I asked her "oh my gosh what are you doing?" she said "stripping the membranes" I shot up so fast and very loudly protested "I didn't want you to do that, we talked about this, I didn't want you to do that" she CONTINUED and just said "almost done - almost done" it felt like forever, but my husband told me it was really only a few moments. She left the room and my husband and I just looked at each other for a moment without saying anything.  He told me to go ahead to the car and he'd make the next appointment for me because I was visibly drained and shaking - I did not go to the next appointment, i wanted to look for another OB - my husband called this ob - reminded her of my rape and how she needed to be sensitive. She called me personally, apologized and did again when i reluctantly agreed to see her - she said she did not need to do a pelvic exam for that appointment - and I tried to put it behind me - delivery was difficult & I felt defeated.  I called my mom afterwards and extremely uncharacteristically for my mom she did not comfort me - her words sounded a lot my sisters and she said that if I had listened to my doctor more I would not have caused myself to have a c-section and that everything was my fault and that b/c i ended up being over-due I had messed up her schedule.  I told her not to come up afterall - I cried for weeks after this - my mom and I had always been very close and my husband hadn't been there I would have convinced myself it was hormonal or I had imagined her reaction.My baby is now 5 mo. old and is healthy.  I know that there are so many mothers out there that are hurting for children lost or sick & i seem petty for not being able to get over this -i am so blessed!! but i just can't- at night I still think about her stripping my membranes - not the entire hospital or c-section recovery but her violating my trust with my own body -i think it must have something to do with my past - but would you be upset either way? or is just my past and i need to give her the benefit of treating me the best she thought possible? 
this week i spoke with my sister  and briefly mentioned to her that I was having a hard time getting over this she said i was "over-reacting to the gazillionth (sp?) degree" that this ob (she had had an appt for herself) had "talked to her for a long time about my reaction" and that the dr. had done what was in the best interest of the baby (my sister is a physician assistant and I am sure she was all too eager to talk down about me as a lowly patient - i cannot believe my dr. talked to my sister about me at all!! what procedure she did and how ridiculous SHE thought my reaction to it was none of my sisters business!! she knew my sister and i's relationship - she knew my sister didn't know about the rape - she knew my sister would side with her - long story short - my sister blabbed all about my being too sensitive to my mom who in turn didn't give me any support when i cried to her - it was my first baby - i needed my mom! 
i don't know what to do - i would have agreed to have this done if she had told me she really felt it was necessary - but this sneak attack and then not stopping when i was crying out - it just takes me back to a really bad place for me and then her "fake" apology and then disclosing my "over-reaction" to my sister another thing against my wishes - and hippa - i just want this whole thing to go away - i want her to not be so highly recommended, I want her to know what she did was wrong and i also just want to go to sleep at night not thinking about her stripping my membranes while i'm crying out to her to stop
thank you so much for reading this and any advice you may have for me - i'm sorry this ended up being so long - i just feel so alone - my husband wants to do whatever i want to do for closure (sweetheart of a man) i am not really a person who makes a big fuss about things - but i specifically told her about my rape and she was the opposite of sensitive and i specifically told her about my privacy from my sister and she gossiped about me - after a fake apology (you know ob's only get paid for the initial visit and then for delivery - of course she wanted me to get back in there) i can't believe i'm such a cynic - this isn't me!! how do i get me back - and start enjoying this precious blessing that's my daughter? and how do i teach her how to trust doctors? am i just being ridiculous?!
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#2 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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As far as I'm concerned, stripping your membranes (or doing any non-emergency procedure) without your consent is totally wrong. The only time I think it's okay for a doctor to do something without your consent is when it's a dead emergency and they don't have time to get consent because they have to save your life. Any other circumstance, they need to ask. That you're a rape survivor, and that she talked to your sister about it, is just icing on the cake. Even if those factors weren't in play, it's still wrong of her. And there is nothing wrong with being sensitive. You are entitled to your feelings and nobody should tell you that your feelings are not valid.

 

I suspect that once you let yourself feel that yes, the way she treated you was NOT appropriate and you ARE entitled to be upset, that'll help start you on the path to healing.

 

Best of luck.

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#3 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 09:27 PM
 
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Does yoour sister work for this doctor? In a capacity that this conversation would have taken place as part of her job duties? If not the doctor violated federal privacy laws (Hippa) and needs to be reported for that. The nurses in my ob office won't even talk to my husband without asking me if it is okay first. (Just looked and this file needs to be done within 180 days so you probably need to do it asap.)

 

I would also consider filing a complaint about the membrane stripping. I probably would have considered kicking her right then and their, it does hurt. She would have had my husband to deal with too.


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#4 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 10:42 PM
 
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Well, I think the doctor was totally wrong, in a couple of ways here--notably the stripping and talking to your sister after the fact.

 

But... I also don't think it's helping you to dwell on it.

 

And I don't think you can blame the doctor for your mother being callous and rude. I can't imagine that anything said by the dr to your sister really made any difference with your mother's attitude. It sounds like her attitude toward you is in her personality and your relationship, and anyone saying that you were "too sensitive" would lead to your mother agreeing with them and being rude to you. 

 

First, decide if it's worth sending a formal complaint against the doctor, and maybe even your sister, since she's a medical professional as well. Find out if and what they've violated in HIPPA. Find out what the complaint process is. 

 

Then, I might write a letter to every person you feel wronged you here--ob, mother, sister--that you don't intend to mail. Then perhaps write a short, concise letter (a quarter or less of what you've written here), outlining that the doctor should not have talked to your sister without your consent, and should not have stripped membranes without permission. Tell them that you will not be recommending nor using their services in the future. That letter I would mail. 

 

The issues with your mother and sister are a whole different situation, but I think I'd start with the OB and your private feelings and see how you feel in a few months. 


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#5 of 16 Old 05-27-2012, 11:30 PM
 
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First, decide if it's worth sending a formal complaint against the doctor, and maybe even your sister, since she's a medical professional as well. Find out if and what they've violated in HIPPA. Find out what the complaint process is.

 

This is definitely not an "if" situation with regard to HIPAA. The law is very clear about this. It doesn't matter if her sister is her sister or just some random other person. You absolutely may not discuss patients with people who are not involved in their care, whether they are their relatives or not and whether they are other medical professionals or not. Whether or not HIPAA has been violated in this case is NOT, under ANY circumstances, in question. It absolutely was. The doctor broke the law, not just some minor code of ethics. It's a BIG, BIG deal.

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#6 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 02:03 PM
 
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This is definitely not an "if" situation with regard to HIPAA. The law is very clear about this. It doesn't matter if her sister is her sister or just some random other person. You absolutely may not discuss patients wi

th people who are not involved in their care, whether they are their relatives or not and whether they are other medical professionals or not. Whether or not HIPAA has been violated in this case is NOT, under ANY circumstances, in question. It absolutely was. The doctor broke the law, not just some minor code of ethics. It's a BIG, BIG deal.

I guess I'm not clear on exactly what the doctor did or said and what the sister did or said. The first question to me would be if HIPPA was violated by the doctor. 


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#7 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 03:23 PM
 
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your story has really stuck with me.

I don't feel you are oversensitive to this AT ALL! It isn't like the Dr. wasn't aware of your background, you told her FLAT out in the beginning.  

The Dr. preformed a medical procedure Without your Okay, and when you said NO, she kept doing it.  This is NOT okay in any way shape or form.

And then to violate HIPPA!?!  not cool in the least.

 

Letters need to be written ASAP, CC to the dr, her supervisor, the Head of the Dept. on up.  I would also report her for the HIPPA violation.  

 

You are well within your rights as a HUMAN to own your feelings.  It is not something small like a splinter, this was a violation of trust and from a care provider, even worse.

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#8 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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That doctors behavior was appalling and I would be kicking up all kinds of fuss and noise!
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#9 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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I guess I'm not clear on exactly what the doctor did or said and what the sister did or said. The first question to me would be if HIPPA was violated by the doctor. 

From the OP:

 

 

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this week i spoke with my sister  ... she said...that this ob...had "talked to her for a long time about my reaction" and that the dr. had done what was in the best interest of the baby

 

It doesn't matter "exactly" what the doctor did or said! She talked about a patient to someone who was not involved in the patient's care, and gave enough information that this someone, who just happened to be the patient's sister, knew who she was talking about.You can't just go around talking about patients' private information to people. That's a violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - two As, not two Ps...common mistake :) ).It doesn't matter who it was she talked to or exactly what she said. The only thing that matters is that she discussed a patient with someone who isn't providing care to that patient, giving enough identifying information that this other person was able to connect the information with the patient. It's illegal, and YES, HIPAA was violated by the doctor. I'm not sure what you believe it takes to violate health care privacy laws, but discussing someone's reaction to a treatment is definitely a violation. If the OP's sister had brought it up, the doctor should have refused to talk about it at all. That's how HIPAA works. You don't talk about patients to people. The only way this could possibly NOT have been illegal is if the doctor didn't say anything at all and the sister is lying.

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#10 of 16 Old 05-28-2012, 09:29 PM
 
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I just want to say how sorry I am about what happened to you. Violation of informed consent and of patient confidentiality are very big issues, and you are in no way over-reacting - and that is without your own personal past trauma and completely natural reaction linked to this. Let alone the family issues! You poor thing, so much going on on top of having a new baby...

 

This is definitely an issue where the OB should be reported, and I would strongly encourage you to do so, especially given the deadline with HIPAA. On the other hand, I know that sometimes reporting these things can end up adding to the trauma, and sometimes people feel unable to do so, and that also is completely within your rights. You need to decide if you feel capable, and if the benefits (justice, possible closure for you, hopefully preventing the OB repeating this kind of thing) outweigh any negative feelings it might (or might not, I don't know) bring up in you. It's good that your husband is supportive and sounds like he would help you with this.

 

I also think it might be worth seeking some kind of counseling. If you are really having trouble getting past this, then that is what help is for! I don't know if you had any kind of therapy to help you process your rape, but especially if that was useful for you I would really recommend getting some professional help to sort out your emotions. This might help you find ways to deal with your family too.

 

I really hope you find a way through this, and I urge you to at the very least not feel that you are responding inappropriately or disproportionately. As you can see from the responses here, I think most people in your position would feel very similarly - I know I would be furious!

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#11 of 16 Old 06-07-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for your reply - i am leaning towards trying to file a formal complaint - so intimidating - guess if it goes through i'll have to testify or something in front of the doctor - yikes - i never want to see this woman again! my sister is not my friend - she was complaining to me that this doctor was taking up HER appointment time to go out of her way and talk about how over-reactive i was being and she was thinking it was wasting her time - my sister wouldn't bring it up with her bring me up - she simply does not care - thanks yes so it is HIPAA :) thank you for your reply - i feel like i just put such a sobbing rambling out there and everybody put justification into my feelings - thank you so much! xo

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#12 of 16 Old 06-12-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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You are definitely not overreacting. If an OB tried to strip my membranes without consent, I would have been so pissed. For her to do it after you specifically told her not to do it and disclosed that you were raped and are extra sensitive to this issue because of it, wow, that OB is just beyond words. Definitely don't ever go back to her for any care.

Then discussing you with your sister? Not only is it rude and terrible, it is illegal.

So again, you are not overreacting at all. I would sit down and decide what you want to do, what will be best for you. If that means filing legal action, filing a complaint, etc. but find the best thing to do or decide to let it go.

And your mom, I'm so sorry she wasn't supportive of you. Do you have other family or friends who you could get the support you need and deserve? I'm so sorry and a big congratulations on your beautiful baby!

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#13 of 16 Old 07-21-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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I am so sorry you went through this. The OB that delivered my son did and said some insensitive and un-aprroved things during his birth and I just couldn't bring myself to work on the complaint letter until he was about 7 months old. When I finally did it, getting the response back was a healpful thing. Even if nothing distinct ever came of it, I felt like I had done my part to help this dr's boss know (and to let the dr know) so that perhaps other women could have a better experience. I contemplated filing a compaint with the medical board and decided that for me that wasn't a fit, but it might be for you and is certainly within your rights.


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#14 of 16 Old 07-26-2012, 03:03 PM
 
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I feel for you.  I had a similar situation that happened to me.  I too am a rape survivor.  When I was pregnant with my daughter, I got an abnormal Pap Smear early on that led them to do a colposcopy for me.  I reluctantly agreed for a man to do it (I cringe at the thought of a man doing a medical - vaginal anything to me, but that's all they could offer me) and I agreed.  However, he was very rough with me and even when I said things were hurting pretty badly, he just made some sarcastic-seeming comment about how it's not supposed to feel good.  I had made very clear that I did not want a biopsy done because of the risk of miscarriage.  I stressed before the procedure and then even at the start of the procedure that I did not want a biopsy.  Guess what he did?  A biopsy.  He told me about it AFTER he did it.  I said I had not consented to that, and what did he say?  "That's why I didn't tell you as I was doing it."  F him, just, really.

 

Luckily, there was no need for a follow up, and I never saw him again.  But even years on this incident, well, it doesn't exactly haunt me, but it really BOTHERS me.  Just in the sense that a care provider would put himself in god mode over his patient.  It makes me sad to know that in your situation, there was a similar thing happening.  And the HIPPA violations and ensuing family dynamics (and your somewhat unrelated mother's reaction) just are pretty bad as well.  What can I say... the doctor was wrong, your sister was out of line, your mother was insensitive, and I'm sorry you went through it.  I too would try to "get over it" for your own mental health, because, well, what else can you do?  (Unless you wanted to make a formal complaint... which I think I should have done, in retrospect, in my case, and definitely you could do in yours).  But other than that... well, I'm just sorry you had that experience.

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#15 of 16 Old 08-05-2012, 06:49 PM
 
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I think you should ABSOLUTELY file formal complaints. Several of them. To as many places as possible. 

 

But I'm the kind of person who gets a lot of closure and satisfaction out of getting back at people who do BAD THINGS. 

 

In any case, that doctor was WRONG and BAD on so many levels, I don't even know where to start. I am so, so sorry. What she did should be illegal -- oh, wait, it IS illegal. 

 

I can't believe she did that. Any of that. I'm so sorry you went through all of that. 

 

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#16 of 16 Old 08-05-2012, 07:18 PM
 
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I'd file a formal complaint. She violated your body and the HIPPA laws. She was way out of line.

 

I'm sorry you are still upset about this, but try to think of all the things you are happy about- your daughter is here and healthy and fine. It seems like you didnt get the birth experience you want, but ultimately, you got the result you wanted, right?  There is a special forum for csection moms that might be helpful for you too.

 

You mom was out of line too- you didnt "cause" your c-section- dont let anyone tell you that. grouphug.gif


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