Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Today I chipped a tooth while eating some crackers at work. These were just your average, run-of-the-mill, Wheat Thin-type crackers...not even something extra crunchy like Melba toast. I was just happily chomping away, trying to rid myself of the mid-morning munchies, and CRUNCH--a rather large chunk of my tooth was gone. Luckily, I didn't realize what had happened till a few seconds later so I didn't notice it when I swallowed the newly chipped part of my tooth along with cracker bits. Also, luckily enough, the affected tooth is not one of my front teeth. Actually, it's a lower tooth towards the back of my mouth, so the only person it's noticeable to is me, and the only time I really notice it is when my tongue rubs up against the sharp point left at the top of my tooth where the chippage occurred.

I showed my tooth to Aaron tonight and his exact words were, "Oh my GOD! When are you going to the dentist?!?" Sadly, the receptionist at our family dentist's office couldn't be bothered to find me an appointment any sooner than next Monday. I guess missing a chunk-o-tooth doesn't rank you high enough on their triage list to warrant a same-day appointment.

I guess today is the day for apathetic health care providers. I have been having some moderate cramping over the past 24 hours or so, and although I know some cramping is normal in early pregnancy, I decided to call my doctor just to see if this is something to be concerned about. I mean, these aren't debilitating cramps and I haven't experienced any spotting or anything. It just seriously still feels like I'm going to be getting my period any second, even though I am 14 days late and have had two positive pregnancy tests. I'm a little concerned.

I called my new doctor's office and asked to speak with her nurse. I have never been in to see this doctor since this is my first need for an OB in Milwaukee and I haven't hadn't had my first prenatal visit yet, so this was also my first experience with this office's triage nurses. I explained my concerns the nurse and she pulled up my file. Here's a relatively accurate replay of our conversation:

Nurse: So this is your second pregnancy?

Me: Yep, sure is.

Nurse: Did you have cramping with your first pregnancy?

Me: Not that I recall, but it was four years ago and I'm a little hazy on the details.

Nurse: Are you spotting?

Me: Nope.

Nurse: How severe is the pain on a scale of one to ten?

Me: Probably a three or a four.

Nurse: Well, cramping is relatively common in early pregnancy. Call us back if you have any spotting. Is that all?

Me: Um, yes?

Nurse: Have a good day. (click)

Ok, yes, I know from my zillion Google searches of "cramping" and "early pregnancy" that some cramping is normal during pregnancy. I know that these nurses probably get this same call several times a day. But, a little more reassurance or possibly the offer of a blood test or something might have gone a long way to calm my fears. Seriously, whose idea was it to wait until a woman is in her eighth or ninth week of pregnancy for an initial prenatal visit? I know I could have been a little more assertive and asked for an appointment and just a quick check, but I was so stunned by this woman's lack of concern that I was rendered speechless. I'm sure that I am just being overly sensitive and that things are fine, but if things aren't, am I supposed to just sit here and wait until something happens? Ugh, ugh, UGH!

I don't know. I'm a little concerned about what will happen for the rest of my pregnancy if this is how the phone nurses react to my concerns. I am the type that will call in when something is bothering me and if I am met with this type of treatment each time, the time it will take from me to go from quiet, happy patient to screaming, nightmare patient will be able to be measured with an egg timer. I'm gonna give them one more shot. If the cramping continues or get worse, I'm calling back and asking for an appointment. If I get the same treatment, I'm out.