Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State of Confusion
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So, my first visit to a docotr in Cambodia (where I've come to attend a natural home birth) - mama is 37 weeks pregnant and had headaches and fever lately...
its a funny story ; after 3 days of fever and headache, that didn't get better, and he baby's heartrate seemed a bit low (not out of the normal range, just lower than usual for this baby) I started to get nervous (after the last birth I attended was stillborn, I guess I suffer a bit from lack of confidence).
so we went to the doctor.
This guy was so funny - a little Chinese man, about 50 or 60 years old, French was his first language and he speaks a bit of English too.
So the mother told him the symptoms and he took her history. I asked him if he can listen to the heartbeat, and he looks at me like I'm crazy and says "no, of course not! It is not accurate; the best is to do Ultrasound, why not do Ultrasound? it is the most accurate!" I said, speaking fast so he wouldnt fully catch it and with a big smile "well, the main reason not to do ultrasound is that it is less accurate than other methods and the radiation has been shown to harm the baby" He goes "no Ultrasound is the most accurate way to measure" I said that the problem with U/S is that he doesnt have one (you should know that this is in a tiny little clinic in a back street in a small town in CAMBODIA) and he gets all puffed up and offended and goes "yes, I have one OF COURSE I have one!"
So we shrug and smile and go in to get the BP read by the nurse. its within the range of normal, a bit low, then off to the u/s room. of course, I was invited to join, but the father was left in the waiting room.
So the guy did the u/s, announced that the baby is healthy, gave an EDD (Which we already knew), told us the position (confirming what I'd accurately felt with my hands) and the position of the placenta, told us the sex (which we DIDNT want to know!!!!) and that was it. I asked if he could tell me the heartrate. He looked at me funny, and said, no, the machine doesnt measure heartrate, but here, you can see the heart, its beating fine.
I pushed him a bit, so he zoomed in on the heart and counted beats. he gave a rough number, actually, didnt tell me what the baby's heart rate was, he said "its within the normal range, which is ..."
so I came back to the topic of the fever, and he says, "well, its just a throat infection from the heat. This time of year is hot season in Cambodia, there's a lot of it". I asked if he would actually LOOK at her throat, again he gave me that funny look, and obliged. it was a tiny bit red. "SEE!" he exclaimed "infection of the throat!". I asked if he was sure we didnt need to do any blood work to check for other possible infections/ listeriosis/ toxoplasmosis (we just got a cat)/ malaria. he actually laughed at me !
he told the mother to take Tylenol and sent us home.
What to do! at least my confidence is restored and mama is healthy now!
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