April 7th, 2010
Posted By:
Categories: Ethics

Stethescope?I just got a new primary care physician. Or, rather, I just got my first non-specialist doctor since 1998. Other than birthing babies and having kidney disease, I haven’t had a regular-Joe doctor in over a decade. As I have some new issues popping up, I needed to establish a primary care physician in order to properly obtain a referral so that my insurance company would actually pay for the expensive procedures that await me. A lot of phone calls, tears and two and a half months later and I finally had myself an appointment and a doctor.

But I lied to him.

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I know I’m all for honesty. And, really, I don’t like the idea of lying to a doctor because they need to know all the information in order to properly treat my health issues. I chastised a woman once for lying to a doctor about how many children she had given birth to as she left out her birth child. However, in dealing with my lactation consultant after my youngest was born, I understood the desire to lie. I didn’t want to discuss adoption that day but, as you might guess, my lactation consultant had access to my chart. I talked about my older son in detail. Then she asked, “What about your older child?”

Caught.

We discussed it. And now she’s one of my best friends. But I didn’t feel like walking that path yesterday. The truth is that my pregnancy history is no longer pertinent. As my doctor asked in later conversation, “Do you plan on having any more children?” No. We don’t. My kidney health makes that a risky decision and so we’re done procreating. I wasn’t there to talk about my reproductive health. I was there for other reasons.

Yes, I’m justifying and rationalizing the snot out of my lie. Thanks for noticing.

The truth is he’s going to pull my records from my OBGYN and my nephrologist. I’m certain he will be able to read the other doctors’ handwriting and/or chicken scratch and make whatever assumptions he so desires. If he ever calls me on my lie of omission, I will be 100% honest. Until then, I was nervous enough about the reasons that I found myself in his office yesterday and quite honestly didn’t feel up to the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But don’t misread me: honesty is always better. I just wasn’t up to it.

Have you ever lied to a healthcare professional about your placed child and the pregnancy?

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Photo Credit.

2 Responses to “I Lied to My Doctor”

  1. Mandy W says:

    What a rude lacation consultant…I would have slapped her :) Your stated history was probably more correct than most peoples. People tend to be poor historians. Don’t worry about it.

  2. angelmsaavedra says:

    Yes. Medical history always asks if you have ever been pregnant. I mark yes. The doctor asks me in person, just to confirm. I smile, looking to the floor, and say yes…trying to suck my tears back into my eye sockets.
    Then she asks me (in a matter-of-fact tone) if I had a miscarriage, abortion, or I kept my child.
    Then I feel my heart sinking, sinking, sinking, almost crashing to the very depths within our Earth’s ocean…an open wound forever in my heart, was just gashed again. “Kept,” I whisper.
    Perhaps because I look quite young, she asks me how long ago.
    “Seven months…”
    “Oh my goodness, how is your baby? I bet she is keeping you busy!!!!”
    Those well-intended, everyday chit-chat doesn’t go so well with me. I feel numbness. Bitter. Blinded by tears. I ask to use the restroom…the lump in my throat feels like a tumor invading my body.
    Oh…goodness…how I wish I knew the everyday life of my baby. To twirl my fingers in her curly hair, give her butterfly kisses on her face, admire her pretty eyelashes, comfort her when she is upset, and watch her discover this magnificent, beautiful world.
    Instead I watched myself unravel as I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I gathered up the courage…walked back to the room and continued my lie to the doctor. I am pretty sure I would have had a complete meltdown if I told her the truth.

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