Had a bad experience at gynecologist during routine pregnancy check-ups

75 posts in this topic

Someone made a mistake: either the lab in HK, or the lab here in Gießen. Second test is totally recommended, although I think in case of blood transfusion they do this test once more.

 

Unless your group „at birth“ was AB+.

 

Quote

One advantage of being a blood donor, even though I have not been able to give in the past couple of years, is having some subgroups identified as well. I like knowing the details; not that it changes anything :D

 

I wanted to write the same, even though pregnancy does not allow blood donation, of course.

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Hi, New in de,

 

it is quite understandable that you feel to be in a special situation, your first pregnancy. However, to the medical staff, you're not special, you're just another lady being pregnant. Reduce your expectation of being treated special.

 

There are 6 billion people on this planet, each of them is the result of a pregnancy. You're not performing the first female moon landing with a demand of 40000 Nasa employees as background support...

 

Additionally, you're communicating with the medical staff in English, right? Sorry, none of them had "How to communicate charmingly and endearing in English"-lessons. Reduce your expectation of Germans being capable of conveying warmth or heartiness in a language that isn't their mother tongue. .   

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45 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

I wanted to write the same, even though pregnancy does not allow blood donation, of course.

 

Right, and there are so many other reasons why it might not be possible. My haemoglobin has been stubbornly stuck just below the level required for a donation. So I am hijacking the thread to say if you can donate, please do; there are so many therapies where blood products are used, it is not only needed after blood loss due to surgeries and giving birth. 

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3 hours ago, New in DE said:

I was surprised to be rejected by a few Hebammes because their schedules are already full

 

I don't want to be an alarmist, but it's good to know the facts. Recently I saw a report on German TV about the shortage of midwives/Hebammen in Germany, mainly due to financial reasons (cutbacks). Here's the ZDF article and video: http://www.heute.de/hebammen-mangel-eine-frau-fuer-drei-geburten-46805394.html. In this situation it's probably not easy to give a mother-to-be all the special attention she might need and might explain why you were rejected.

 

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5 hours ago, LenkaG said:

Is the blood group identification test expensive? I guess if I were you I would pay myself and if the German lab got it wrong

I´d discuss that with the doctor, not his assistant. It seems there might have been a mix-up of blood samples (either in HK or at the lab in Germany or at the doctor´s office). He´ll take that seriously. And I´m sure you won´t have to pay extra for that (it´s not expensive anyway even if I don´t remember the cost).

And as far as your fear of needles is concerned, there are plasters which contain anesthetic substances and which are applied shortly before the punction to avoid the pain. For those you´d probably have to pay yourself though. Even better are dermojets (to apply an anesthetic) but those usually only hospitals, anesthesiologists and pediatricians will have.

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Well I've been through three pregnancies and three obgyns here in Germany, and I conclude that your experiences are mainly because of miscommunication. 

My first pregnancy, I've just arrived and didn't speak a speck of German, so I found an American doctor in Munich and went through everything in English. While the doctor was helpful in explaining everything, the Arzthelferin basically couldn't say more than yes or no. I think a lot of the coldness came from the insecurity of not speaking good English. By the second pregnancy, we already moved to Bonn and found yet another American doctor, however the assistants this time are much more competent in English and their confidence resulted in them being much more communicative and friendly with me. Not wanting to brag, but I'm quite good at making small talk with strangers and breaking ice through self-depreciating jokes and such, so people warm up to me quickly. Anyway...

Third pregnancy, my favourite obgyn retired but her replacement  is just as competent and much sweeter. She answered every stupid question I asked. By this time the assistants in the practice are quite familiar with me and i speak good German already so communication is no issue. I'm staying with them until I'm a grandma.

 

So, I think it's communication problem that you experienced. Try to break the ice and get into the familiar zone, not barraging them with questions and requests before you even get to know them. They're human too, you know, not a robot. 

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On 07/05/2017, 01:07:09, franklan said:

is quite understandable that you feel to be in a special situation, your first pregnancy. However, to the medical staff, you're not special, you're just another lady being pregnant. Reduce your expectation of being treated special.

 

Additionally, you're communicating with the medical staff in English, right? Sorry, none of them had "How to communicate charmingly and endearing in English"-lessons. Reduce your expectation of Germans being capable of conveying warmth or heartiness in a language that isn't their mother tongue. .   

 

Hi @franklan

 

If after having explained so much and shared how badly I was treated at the clinic, and you still think I'm thinking of being 'specially treated', then I've got nothing to say.

 

I'm not sure if you were me, whether you will subject yourself (or your closed ones) to doctor's assistants flying into rage (yes, in front of you), throwing their equipments on the table, walking out and leaving you and your partner in the room. Such behaviors, if they are a norm in Germany and if are accepted, then I'm very sad for any patients here.

 

Notwithstanding, would you allow yourself (or your closed ones) to be treated by a doctor who does not explain your test results to you, and let you guess what the result meant? 

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20 hours ago, desdemona said:

Well I've been through three pregnancies and three obgyns here in Germany, and I conclude that your experiences are mainly because of miscommunication. 

My first pregnancy, I've just arrived and didn't speak a speck of German, so I found an American doctor in Munich and went through everything in English. While the doctor was helpful in explaining everything, the Arzthelferin basically couldn't say more than yes or no. I think a lot of the coldness came from the insecurity of not speaking good English. By the second pregnancy, we already moved to Bonn and found yet another American doctor, however the assistants this time are much more competent in English and their confidence resulted in them being much more communicative..

 

Hi @desdemona

 

it's great to hear that you have had good experiences with your doctors. You are quite lucky to be staying in big cities like Munich and Bonn, & I believe that helps in finding doctors who speak your tongue. Unfortunately Giessen is a smaller city that doesn't quite have an expat community, unlike the cities you have lived in. I believe if I could find English-speaking doctors/ or even doctors who have been trained abroad in Frankfurt, that may just solve the problem, because these doctors are likely to be more culturally aware of differences. 

Additionally I feel that the problem is not just miscommunication, but rather an issue with the behavior of the doctor's assistants, as well as follow up from the doctor. This is something that I'm not comfortable with.. 

if you happen to have friends in Frankfurt who knows good OB/GYN and clinics, please give me a heads up :) 

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On 07/05/2017, 04:52:06, jeba said:

I´d discuss that with the doctor, not his assistant. It seems there might have been a mix-up of blood samples (either in HK or at the lab in Germany or at the doctor´s office). He´ll take that seriously. And I´m sure you won´t have to pay extra for that (it´s not expensive anyway even if I don´t remember the cost).

And as far as your fear of needles is concerned, there are plasters which contain anesthetic substances and which are applied shortly before the punction to avoid the pain. For those you´d probably have to pay yourself though. Even better are dermojets (to apply an anesthetic) but those usually only hospitals, anesthesiologists and pediatricians will have.

 

Hi @jeba

 

I totally agree with you. Thanks for the recommendation; it's wonderful to know such things exist! 

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4 minutes ago, New in DE said:

if I could find English-speaking doctors/ or even doctors who have been trained abroad [..] because these doctors are likely to be more culturally aware of differences.  

You're putting the cart before the horse.

 

You believe that the environment has to adapt to your needs. That's what "entitlement" and "need for special treatment" is all about.

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On 06/05/2017, 00:48:34, slavko said:

Together with my wife we're currently at the very end of our pregnancy

 

 

I'm confused now, which one of you is the pregnant one?? or you both are??

 

if both, bloody hell, a pregnant bloke!!!

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13 minutes ago, franklan said:

You're putting the cart before the horse.

 

You believe that the environment has to adapt to your needs. That's what "entitlement" and "need for special treatment" is all about.

I think you are missing the point. 

 

Put it yourself in my shoes, if you (or your closed ones) need medical help, say in Thailand, or in countries where they don't speak your tongue, how will you manage? Would you try to look for one who does? 

 

For medical issues, it is not just a situation of comfortability with the language, it is more than that. 

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It seems to me quite charming and highly commendable when fathers-to-be speak of "our pregnancy" - it makes them sound as if they're really involved and sharing in the experience and not just leaving the woman to cope with it all by herself. Of course it could just be a figure of speech...

 

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I had experiences which were similar, but not related to pregnancy.  My first gyn visit was a nightmare, but really just because I expected things to be the same as in the US and was just clueless.  The Dr. said to take off my trousers and get on the table, but there was no paper gown to put on. It was totally uncomfortable and no one explained what was happening.  Afterwards I spoke with some Austrian women who said that's totally normal here (they are much more comfortable with nudity than I am).  In another visit, they told me I needed a biopsy, but I didn't realize that mean stabbing a huge needle in my chest - quite another shock.  The nurses are not being mean, but they just assume you know what is going on.

 

For sure it would have been a lot better if I had known ahead of time.  I  recommend to find someone who has been through pregnancy visits in your area already and could really tell you what to expect. If you aren't suprised, it will be a lot easier to relax and cope.

 

Another thing I did was to make a "vocab" list with a friend in German of the common topics that might come up.  My Dr. speaks a little English, but sometimes forgets words.  I suggest a word in German, then it makes it easier to say yes or no to my questions.  Getting medical care in a foreign country is not easy, but you can do things to prepare yourself, and help the Dr. and nurses help you. 

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On 5/7/2017, 12:03:56, New in DE said:

I guess, in the event of emergency, and if a blood transfusion is ever needed, it could mean the blood of the incorrect blood group be transferred.

 

 

In the event of an emergency your blood type will be verified before you are transfused. It will be anyway verified when you reach the hospital.

 

You may want to prepare yourself for needles, and unknown hands where they should not be. Being pregnant under close medical care means that you blood will be drawn every 2 weeks to a months, v. ultrasound everytime (there is some data suggesting 3D ultrasounds should not be repeated too often), etc etc 

It gets exponentially worse as pregnancy carries on and birth is basically a medical free for all. And yes, as much as the result is amazing, the process is often humiliating, scary and dehumanizing. 

I suggest if you need more explanations and more care that you use the services of a Doula.

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My partner's doctor was on Stephanstrasse or around there, I think. In Giessen. They were fine, as far as I can remember, but she is German, and might just be used to how German doctors/assistants behave. Or, they behave a certain way (not necessarily good/bad, or even consciously) with Germans?

 

When we moved to Frankfurt, she switched to Dr. Marita Arnolds at Gartenstrasse 8. She really likes this doctor.

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1 hour ago, Kalifornierin said:

I had experiences which were similar, but not related to pregnancy.  My first gyn visit was a nightmare, but really just because I expected things to be the same as in the US and was just clueless.  The Dr. said to take off my trousers and get on the table, but there was no paper gown to put on. It was totally uncomfortable and no one explained what was happening.  Afterwards I spoke with some Austrian women who said that's totally normal here (they are much more comfortable with nudity than I am). 

LOL. I had the opposite experience. The first time I went to an OB/GYM in the US (I'm German) and they asked me to put on a gown, I found that creepy. Because usually there isn't anyone in the room who isn't meant to see my nether regions, plus if you intend to poke around my vagina with a metal stick, I'd better hope you can see what you are doing and hiding under a gown can't be helpful in that situation. I've left Germany 17 years ago and now live in the UK (where there are also gowns), but I still can't really get used to the fact that I'm supposed to be embarrassed by something in front of the doctor/nurse. It always makes me wonder if they have anything to hide. 

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1 hour ago, New in DE said:

I think you are missing the point. 

 

Put it yourself in my shoes, if you (or your closed ones) need medical help, say in Thailand, or in countries where they don't speak your tongue, how will you manage? Would you try to look for one who does? 

 

For medical issues, it is not just a situation of comfortability with the language, it is more than that. 

I once got a head injury in Bangkok. I was almost impossible to really talk with someone at the Hospital, and if it wasn't for my wife towering over the doctors and nurses there and saying "I'm a medical doctor in Germany and you are not doing that to him" and keeping watch the outcome might not have been as good as it was.

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1 hour ago, New in DE said:

I think you are missing the point. 

 

Put it yourself in my shoes, if you (or your closed ones) need medical help, say in Thailand, or in countries where they don't speak your tongue, how will you manage? Would you try to look for one who does? 

 

For medical issues, it is not just a situation of comfortability with the language, it is more than that. 

I don't think we are missing the point. A lot of us came to Germany for whatever reason, met someone, got pregnant and had to go through what you're going through now.

 

With my first child, I had very little german and had to put myself in the hands of medics and do what they told me to do.  I  had to trust the doctor and staff to be professional and to know what they were doing, because I hadn't a clue.

 

One thing is for sure, all dignity goes out the window when having a baby, but you'll get over that when the little bundle is there. 

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2 hours ago, cvm said:

It seems to me quite charming and highly commendable when fathers-to-be speak of "our pregnancy" - it makes them sound as if they're really involved and sharing in the experience and not just leaving the woman to cope with it all by herself.

 

Well, they're suffering from "shrinking hands syndrome" during that time, don't they... :-)

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