Monday, August 10, 2009

Shock Class

At Doctor Foulk's clinic in Boise, when they're about to give you bad news, they take you into a "shock class." There's no machinery in there, just a table and chairs, lots of pamphlets, and tissue. It's where they brought me to see my positive OPK when I really didn't want one. When I called the clinic today to get some scheduling out of the way, they told me the woman I was trying to contact was in a shock class with a patient. I realized then that if they ever take me into that room again, I'll probably start bawling before I even cross the threshold. It's not a happy place.

I prefer the little ORs and ultrasound rooms where bad news at least comes with the distraction of a visual aid or a good amount of pain/drugs. In fact, in my care plan I think I want to ask them to make sure all bad news is delivered when I'm in a semi-conscious or extremely distracted state.

But at least in shock class, they do things like my old boss Derrin. He was an excellent leader and motivator, especially in how he dealt with criticism. He'd drop the bad news, make sure it's understood and gets fixed, then keep you moving to the next thing. It's like how Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, deals with fearful dogs: he helps them deal with the things they're afraid of while he keeps them moving to stop their brains from dwelling on the fear.

I think Derrin, Cesar, and the ICRM can teach us all a lesson about delivering bad news, discipline, or criticism. Make sure your patient, dog, employee, child, or whatever gets the message, and then move their mind on to the next thing. When you don't, they just get to spend the next hours or days stressing about the criticism. When you let them do that, you're essentially keeping them from moving forward.

In the same vein, we can all move ourselves forward. We have to. But there's no time when it's wrong to help someone else do the same. It's easy to remember to take the bad with the good, but sometimes harder to take the good with the bad.

I could dwell on what I heard in that shock class and from other doctors for the following weeks: that my delicate hormonal balance (or, more accurately, imbalance) makes me a bad candidate for anything but IVF. Or I could just move forward and do what I've got to do. Sign up. Take the tests. Complete the prep. Take the stupid pills.

Sure, I have nightmares about injecting myself with scary hormones. Yes, I'm terrified of what the future will bring. Of course I hate the fact that this is costing me huge amounts of money when other people do it for free (even by accident) all the flipping time. That's the bad. I understand that and I'm acting accordingly. Next step? The good. I might get pregnant. I have an awesome husband who's supporting every step I take. I'm learning to stand up to the crappy stuff. I have projects to do.

Okay, so I'll face needles on a daily basis for almost two weeks, but that won't stop me from following them with a big hug, some website work, and a classic pat on the back.


Lisa said...

If there's a room specifically for bad news, I hope it has chocolate and Dr. Pepper in it. That's what I need.

Brooke said...

You are a better woman than me. I hate, hate hate! needles