(ring, ring)

RN: “Hello, Your OB’s Office, this is Chris, how can I help you?”

Becky: “Hi, I’m Becky Harks and I’m a patient of The Doctor. I’m calling because I’m 5 weeks postpartum and I think I need to adjust my dosage of my meds.”

RN (not unkindly): “What’s going on?”

Becky (begins to cry): “I’m on the lowest dosage of my Wellbutrin, well the generic one and I think I need some more. My baby just had to have brain surgery and I’m not handling it well.”

RN: “I see. Are you thinking of hurting yourself or anyone else?”

Becky (with conviction): “NO.”

(they go back and forth for awhile, as pleasantly as possible when one of the members of the conversation is weeping)

RN: “I’ll talk to the doctor about increasing your dosage. Can I call you back?”

Becky (relieved): “Sure.”

(both parties hang up)


(ring, ring)

RN: “Hi Becky, I spoke with your doctor.”

Becky: “Uh-huh?”

RN: “He’s not comfortable with increasing your dosage because he’s not a psychiatrist. But here are the names of some people you can call.”

Becky (stunned): “Uh…”

RN: “They might not be able to get you in right away.”

Becky: “…”

RN: “If you feel like killing someone or yourself, go to the ER.”

Becky: “…”

Becky: “…”

Becky: “…”

Becky: “…”

Becky: “…”

Becky (small voice): “okay.”

(both parties hang up.)



Have no fear, Internet. I called my GP who was able to bump up my dosage for me until such time as I can get in to see him.

But I’m left wondering, why the hell does getting proper help have to be so hard?

72 thoughts on “The Reason Women Drive Their Babies Off Bridges

  1. Ohhh sweetie, WTF is wrong with your OB!? Seriously, are they TRYING to cause you to have a melt down? Holy geez, I’m sorry hun. Glad you were able to get it sorted out in the mean time.

  2. And when people say that we don’t need socialized medicine over here because “we have the best medical system in the world” I just laugh and laugh and laugh.
    Yes. Maybe. If you’re the president or a general or a Congressman or a person with so much money that it drips out of your pores, we probably have a GREAT medical system.
    But the rest of us? Yeah. Go to the emergency room because WE CAN’T HELP YOU.

  3. I learned a long time ago not to call my OB for ANYTHING, and now I don’t even know who it is. The GPs are the ones who will actually help with things, outside of one set of circumstances. Boo on your OB for being a butthead!

  4. I’m sitting here with my mouth wide open. Seriously…I can’t close it because I’m still in disbelief. As a nurse that just makes me want to vomit she is so insane!!!! I’m glad you got ahold of your doctor, but holy crap….what a craptastic system! Our health care system needs some serious reforming. I hope today is a good one and thanks for your kind words. You always make me smile ๐Ÿ™‚ ((hugs))

  5. If it makes you feel any better my ‘friend’ was having some minor PPD issues and called her OB and then went in to see him who then referred her without any meds to a psych group who then, b/c of insurance made her go to a regular GP who then had to refer her to a counseling group who then had to refer her to a psychologist who then had to refer her to a psychiatrist where after almost 6 fucking weeks of this torture diagnosed her with bipolar and psychosis(sp) form of PPD.
    I think she was fine before and that it was all the fucking doctor hopping they made her do that caused her to go nuts.

    P.S. Coincedentally, she switched from K.ai.ser H.m.o to a p.p.o and got a new doc with different meds and NOW she is finallly better….hmmmmmm and again

    I hope the new dosage of the meds do the trick for you:)

  6. I don’t think doctors understand just how hard a request like that can be! (I know for me to request an increase it means I have hit a pretty LOW low.) They seem to think that if you aren’t about to murder someone (or yourself) then you can’t possibly be feeling THAT bad. Idiots.
    At least your GP came through for you. xoxo

  7. I think ob/gyns are just overly cautious….. did you know in the US they carry the SECOND highest malpractice insurance premiums? (second to brain surgeons of course)…………. in this case you would THINK that would mean they would be rushing you either in to see them, or in faxing your new script (THAT YOU WONT HAVE SENT TO THE BITCH AT TARGET RIGHT?)…….. I find for meds like that you almost always have to talk to your GP, everyone else is looking for someone else to hand you off too….. its TRUE! When I was on Zoloft for anxiety, I was on 1/2 the “normal dose” it worked very well for me, but my GP made sure to tell me that if I found it wasnt working well, I could just double up my pills until I got in to discuss….. it was a comfort to me.

  8. Yarg. What a rock and a hard place. You either get nothing or a trip to the hospital. I’m glad your GP was able to help.

  9. damned pharnaceutical co’s, insurance co’s and doctors….
    everyone is so afraid of getting sued.

    glad you were able to get your meds without ‘hurting’ anyone.

    what a fucking joke.

  10. So…I have to wonder…What exactly IS the appropriate reaction to your wee infant daughter having brain surgery? Aren’t we supposed to applaud people who recognize that they need a little help…Pick up the phone, and ask for it? It’s not like you called and said “My lawn mower doesn’t work!!!”
    Doctors suck. I’ve always thought this. Glad the GP was there to help out.

  11. Seriously! Has your OB ever heard of post partum depression? WTF!! With everything else you had to deal with since her birth and he couldn’t bump up a freaking AD. Do I need to come kick some OB arse?

    Seriously, one of these days the girl and I will be showing up on your doorstep and I have been searching for those adult diapers. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love ya.

  12. My OB won’t deal with PPD or any other ‘mental issues’. They send you back to your GP. Fortunately I was not with these people when I was pregnant (I learned this from other patients) and it was my GP who did all my prenatal stuff so I never had any issues with having to see some other doctor.

    The nurse’s last sentance reminded me of the need to finish your sentances. “Go to the ER”….because it is the best place to kill people? or because they can help you?

  13. I’m glad your GP was useful. The response from your OB, while unfortunate, is not surprising. But, the responsible thing for him to do was to refer you to a psychiatrist whenever he found out that you might be susceptible to PPD…which he should have known, given that you already have a prescription and need to increase it. Send him a nasty letter! Or give me his address and I’ll send him one for you!

  14. That is so messed up, your OB needs to grow a set. My OB has never had a problem refilling my Paxil scrip, but then I’ve never asked for a change in dosage, so maybe it’s an issue with all of them.

    I blame the problem partly on the “war on drugs” — it’s made people act like we’re all smack addicts looking for a score, no matter the circumstances.

  15. Crap, you could probably buy pot or heroin on the street easier than getting an anti-depressant rx filled from an OB, not that I’d recommend either.
    But, I do see a business plan – selling anti-ds on the street to desperate post partum moms. (That’s a joke.)
    I hope the increased dose kicks in soon and you feel better. You have been through so much in the past 6 weeks – you deserve to live better through the science of rx drugs.
    Do you have any help, besides the Davver, taking care of your brood? Mother, mother-in-law, cousin, etc. – anyone to take one or both of the boys for an afternoon, so you can sleep when Amelia sleeps.

  16. my ob was the same way. after i had my third baby i was having really bad anxiety, so one of the docs in the practice gave me a ten day supply of xanax. when i called after that ran out for *anything* to make me feel better (didn’t have to be a narcotic) i was turned away. and i never followed up with anyone else about it because i was too ashamed. luckily the anxiety (somewhat) subsided.

  17. A few years ago, I was desperate. Not in a “I want to hurt you and/or myself” kind of way, but I was at the end of a very frayed rope. Several days in a row, I’d start the day in a mess, calling our insurance to beg them to let me know who on our plan I could see, and I’d have to explain what was going on, and I’d bawl every damn time. Then I’d go through the list of so-called approved providers – even though not one of them was actually keyed into the area of help I needed at the time – and begin going through the entire process. Just bawling every day, all day, on the phone trying to get help. I will never understand why it’s so hard, at all, but I’m glad your GP is helpful in this case right now,

  18. That sounds an awful lot like the conversation I had with my OB/Gyn shortly after my daughter was born, only I was looking for pain meds because I had 4th degree tears and I was DYING. The result: no pain meds and I spent a lot of time huddled in bed crying. Yeah, good times.

    Glad you got your fix.

  19. Considering that a huge percentage of women treat their OB as their primary doctor, that was a ridiculous way for them to handle the situation.

    I’m glad you got what you needed.

  20. I have had the same experience for my teenager. I myself, went to the ER as you know..but they did nothing for depression. Just put me on some klonipan for a month till I could see someone else. It was 1000 visit for that crud. I am telling you, there is no compassion or sympathy for PPD or women in general. Of all people, your OB should be helping you watch out for PPD. What on earth is wrong with that doctor?

  21. wow. life just seems to suck worse when you aren’t even given the tools to succeed. i’m happy you were able to find someone to help you! the state of mental health treatment in america is terrible.

  22. un. fucking. believable.

    you are a smart woman to make that second call.

    i love that instead of upping your medication to ensure that might be able to avoide wanting to kill yourself or someone else, they go with the “if you’re thinking of killing yourself or someone else go to the ER”.

    totally makes sense.

  23. How are these idiots allowed to practice? There are an awful lot of people out near Chi-town who skipped “bedside manner” class. I’m sorry you had to go through yet another shitty experience with the medical system. I’m glad your GP had the good sense to give you what you need.

  24. What the hell? There are many times when I hate this medical system. Back home I had only one doctor. I didn’t get shipped out all over the place. And like the others said… what the hell is wrong with doing something BEFORE it’s past the point of concern??

  25. Well, your first mistake was calling an OB!!!! They’re pretty fucking useless unless a baby’s head is crowning, and then I’m not even sure they’re of much help.

    I like mine, but she’s pretty damn useless unless you’re knocked up. My primary, though, AWESOME!! She’ll give me anything I want now that she knows I’m not some drug seeking loon.

    Glad it worked out in the end. Oh, and OB office workers are the biggest witches on the planet! Imagine telling someone to go to the ER if you feel like killing yourself or your baby. How do those words even come out of your mouth?

  26. yeah, i’ll just call someone when i’m about to drown all my kids in the bathtub. what’s wrong with helping people before they’re beyond help?

    hope you feel better soon.

  27. Unbelievable. I’m extremely glad that you got some help in the end, but the way that people (medical insurance and offices) treat mental health just shocks and appals me. I went through probably a week of trying to find a new psychiatrist and it was an utter nightmare; never mind the fact that as someone seeking treatment for depression, I was already battling tremendous inertia in seeking help in the first place. In the end, I found a great dr who has been terrific before, during, and after my last pregnancy; I highly recommend seeing a psychiatrist if you can (I know for some it’s hard because of insurance). She really knows what to expect (like she talked to me before my daughter was born about what to look for postpartum and what kind of resources are available, then made sure I had an appt for a couple of weeks postpartum, just to check in). I also treat my OB as my primary care dr, whether or not that’s really for the best. So I would be horrified to receive so little help.

    I hope the meds kick in soon and that you’re feeling a little better.

  28. Hmmm that really doesn’t make much sense. I’m sure they have some asinine reason and they’d love to shove it down your throat until you understand, though.

  29. And yet, you still eloquently write and share and keep your amazing sense of humor. Keeping you and your family in my heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Passing the buck much? They don’t want to take it on. I’m glad that you got help from someone tho. Smiles I’m thiking of you.

  31. Did we call the same nurse? I’ve been trying to get my xanax reupped so I can take the girls to the neurologist for follow up without having a heart attack. No such luck.

    I’m glad you have luck with your GP.

  32. Man, with all of the educational ads and stuff about ppd nowadays, why do they make it such a big deal to help people out who can RECOGNIZE that they need help? Talk about stupid red tape bullshit.

  33. oh to hell with that shit!
    I go to a family physician…wonderful. I know her and she knows I’m not a (total) whack job..we all see her.

    sounds like a huge CYA move in their part..

    I always play pharmacist w/ my meds..I know if I need my doseage upped (which has been a LONG time since it needed upped, god bless Cymbalta) and I do it and tell my Dr at my next appt ๐Ÿ™‚

    my advice is to just use your GP for meds..screw the OB

  34. That is just crazy. Some ppl are just weird – clearly that person you spoke to at the OB was one of them.

    Hope you feel better soon!


  35. God damn, on a list of 100 things not to say to a post partum mother who’s baby has just undergone major head surgery….WTF??? That’s worth a letter to the editor along with the naming and shaming of the bitch pharmacist at Target!

  36. I have had the exact same experience (minus baby having brain surgery) and wondered the exact same thing. Getting in to see a freaking psychiatrist can take a while…. thankfully you are cleared for a higher dosage until then.


  37. Aunt Becky, I’m so proud of you for taking care of yourself. I wish I could come visit, clean your house, cook your meals and let you take a nap on my lap while I pat your back. Plus, I could hold Amelia…it’s always about me, you know! I’m hoping you feel better soon and if you need help PLEASE sing out.

  38. Your OB sounds like a fuckwad. I hate to say it but it’s often in those cases that women self-medicate or do something…

    I’m glad your GP seems happy to help.

    By the way, I think it takes courage to even make that phone call.

  39. Awful! I am so sorry you are dealing with the hormones, the incredible stress of Amelia’s surgery and results, and to get that treatment from a medical professional must have made you feel so alone. I have to say I don’t think my OB would have “understood” either. I’m glad you have a good GP and even better..hope you can get in to talk to someone if the increased dose does not help.

  40. Unless you have a baby’s head sticking out your hoo-ha, an OB is not much assistance. Period. End-of-story.
    I found a family doc tha tI adore, trust and will call me in any scip I need from a phone call (I have been seeing him since I was 14 fo rGod’s sake!) and he is THE MAN for me.
    Good equation. Follow it.

  41. Fuck this. Seriously. My immense pet peeve is that here in the UK they preach preach preach about PPD, monitor you closely after the birth, but then if you do need help – you’re on your own. I learned this the very hard way and think I will spend the rest of my life lamenting how dreadful the experience was. This makes me really sad.

    Last year sometime I blogged about a story that affected me for days. A local woman just had twins and was exhibiting every possible sign of PPD times ten. She asked for help, her GP dragged his/her feet, and guess what? She walked into traffic on the highway. I cried whenever I thought about it, and hope her doctor forever suffers the guilt of doing fuck all.

    I’m glad someone was able to help you. You’re right, it shouldn’t be that hard.

  42. I’m not sure where one has to be a psychiatrist to deduce that if a medication isn’t working at its current dosage, upping it is probably an appropriate course of action.

    Your OB sounds like a half wit. I’m glad your GP cowboyed up.

  43. I’m surprised…but not. This sounds EXACLTY like other things I’ve dealt with, only to a lesser degree, at Kaiser. I’ll go kick your OB’s ass if you want. Lemme know!

  44. รขโ‚ฌล“If you feel like killing someone or yourself, go to the ER.รขโ‚ฌย

    yeah! I feel like choking YOU!

    oy. I’m glad they upped your meds. I know what that is like. hang in there!


  45. Aw honey, for freak sake! So sorry, of course you are not handling things well, no one could! Baby + brain surgery + hormones = crazy train! Glad that your gp helped you out and I hope you get to see him soon. And I am really glad that you kept asking for help until you got it.

  46. I have spent the last two weeks why it’s so hard for a mom (or anyone else) to get help when they need it, not two weeks (or months in my current case) later.
    Good on you for getting help and staying after it.
    Even though the surgery is over, the stress and worry isn’t, so I am sending hugs and prayers. Oh, when all of that other stuff doesn’t work, find a sitter and a case of cheap canning jars or glasses, drive to the back of some closed up grocery store, and let ’em fly. The sound of glass breaking and DOING something (however insignificantly destructive this might seem) can do wonders. I mangled a metal coffee can last week, just throwing it at the driveway over and over until it was half crushed. Neighbors think I’m nuts, but fuck ’em. I didn’t hurt anyone, and the little guy got his mommy back a little more sane.
    Go see that shrink. They can do wonders. Take them up on the counselor to if you can. I’m a different person now than I was 18 months ago (a better one that is).
    Rock on Momma!

  47. First, I agree with everyone – your Dr. office peeps are fuckwads. But may i also say that I haven’t been up to date on blogworld lately, and you are handling this situation quite well. I’m so sorry you have to. If it’s any consolation, I fucking feel that way and I have nothing even close to what you have to deal with. I just have fucking PMDD and I feel like driving off the bridge. Hang in there is so cliche but it’s all I got. Xs&Os.

  48. It’s ridiculously hard to get what we need when we need it isn’t it ๐Ÿ™ I’m super glad to have my psychiatrist now. She’s super smart and isn’t stingy.

    Good luck!!!

    Sorry to hear of your glial cell outcome (belatedly, sorry, I’m in the weeds perpetually). Personally, I think she looks not only strong, symmetric, and well-formed, but very very lovely. Lot’s of babies don’t come out 100% proper standard issue right- but it’s what makes us unique and that looks like a solid and healthy baby to me. I know this is crazy impossible with mommy hormones, so I really feel for you trying not to fixate and freak out, and I hope you have a good psych to have your back.

    Amelia is a true blessing. Angelic. Any problems that do or don’t arise will be handled accordingly. Try to accept the uncertainty that life offers in exchange for the ecstasy of being with and loving her without fear in your heart. She is absolutely gorgeous! Truly truly a special and beautiful creature that I hope you get to enjoy every second of. Congratulations.


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