My First Experience With The Canadian Health Care System *Updated*

First of all, here is the good word, on the off chance you haven't already heard it. I am almost twelve weeks pregnant! When I last mentioned fertility treatment, I indicated that it wasn't going well, and it really wasn't. After my round of Clomid, and FSH injections, and consequent fertility drug-induced psychotic behavior, I went back for an ultrasound to find out how many happy, ripe little eggs were hanging out waiting to be fertilized. The doctor looked at the screen glumly. "Wow," he said, " it's like you didn't take any Clomid at all."

What?? My husband and coworkers, no doubt fearing for their lives at this point, could attest that I took my Clomid, every last one. The doctor wasn't insinuating anything, of course. He was just telling me the truth: my ovaries, they are sluggish, much like the rest of me. He ordered more FSH injections, gave me an address of a pharmacy in L.A. that was open on Saturday mornings and sent me on my way.
The next few weeks I spent a lot of time telling myself it's okay to have only one kid. It was during this time I took the train to see my mom, and the whole way back, I thought to myself, "Wow. I could not feel less pregnant." I got home on Sunday and took a pregnancy test that night, which was positive. What the bleep do I know about feeling pregnant? Nothin'.
I'll post an ultrasound picture when I find the scanner.
So you know what happened next, of course. We moved to Canada, where it is now snowing. And I need to find a doctor.
Being a nurse has made me more and less fussy about doctors. I'm not especially fussy about baby doctors (but I have a lot of opinions about geriatric doctors and cardiologists-ask me sometime!). When Kurt was born, my philosophy was thus: I don't need this to be a whole spiritual, coming into the full flower of my womanhood thing. Let's just make sure everyone in the room is basically competent at their jobs, let's minimize pain and suffering, and let's make sure as many lights are on as possible so that everyone can see what they're doing. It can be beautiful later, but for now, let's just get it done.
So, this morning I sat down with the Victoria yellow pages, armed with whatever information I might be asked about my fertility doctor, last menstrual period, etc., found the closest "general practice and maternity" doctor I could find, and called her up. I explained I was new to the country and pregnant. "When are you due?" the receptionist asked me. "June," I answered. "We're full for June," she said pertly. "Try Dr. So-and-so."
Dr. So-and-so was also full for June. Then there was a run of three doctors I called who no longer take maternity patients, despite being listed in the most recent phone book as doing so. One of those suggested a sixth doctor in my area, and suggested I also check the central website listing of doctors in British Columbia for the most up to date information.
Dr. Six was a maybe. His receptionist said she would double check with him and let me know if he could take me with a June due date. "If you haven't heard back from me by the end of the week, feel free to check in, though."
Then, since it was the first bite I'd gotten all morning, I asked, "Does Dr. Six see children?" (There are pediatrician and obstetrics specialists in Canada, but I'm not sure who they see, because I've been told that general practitioners see pretty much everyone.) "Um, he does, but not now. He's got too many. He might take you as a maternity patient, though. I 'll let you know."
So after six doctors called, I had a maybe for me only. We decided to consult the website to see if we could find someone for Kurt, who's coming up on his two year old wellness checkup. But the website turned out to be no more accurate than the yellow pages. One doctor on the website was listed as a general practitioner, but when I called, turned out to be an allergist. Another was a geriatric specialist.
After five of those, I went back to the yellow pages, picked a name at random, found it wasn't too far, and give him a call. His receptionist said he doesn't do maternity, but would happy to see Kurt, and could see him this week.
So, a total of thirteen doctors later, Kurt has a doctor who went to medical school in South Africa, and I may or may not have a doctor. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, we finally found the nearby playground, and it is good. Cold, but good. Kurt seemed happy about it. Check out his awesome new hat!

Update 12/15/2009
Dr. Six called me himself today, asked for all the requisite info, and scheduled me in for this very Thursday afternoon. Huzzah! My worry is eased.

9 thoughts on “My First Experience With The Canadian Health Care System *Updated*”

  1. Yikes, dang and oh-my-gosh – it appears it is VERY important to be healthy in Canada. Sorry youve had such a huge run-around. Thank you for being persistent. Looking forward to hearing about Kurts check-up 🙂 Love you.


  2. That is scary about it being so hard to find a prenatal doctor, tell St. Anthony to find you one! Me and Janet have alot of faith in St. Anthony, that boy is so cute in the hat pictures.! love ya…anne


  3. Hopefully both you and Kurt now have competent and caring doctors. This is yet to be determined 🙂 Now Jeffrey has to work on finding someone who will see him, for check-ups.


  4. Congratulations! For the hat, the playground discovery and the pregnancy (though, of course, not in that order). Sorry it took you so long to get an appointment. Having to find new doctors anywhere can be such a pain! It took us weeks to find an ob out here, and they turned out to not be overburdened with competence, either. Congrats again, and hope the 2nd trimesters going well!


  5. What are those things hanging from Kurts coat? Oh, gloves! Does the California boy have any idea what those things are for? How long is the extension cord to your electric coat? Im sure frezzin Momma has an electric blanket coat, or maybe you should invent it!


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