How to get (coerce) medical info?

April 15, 2010

I feel awfully greedy asking everyone to hold my (virtual) hand while I pray and hope that this pregnancy is for real (and healthy!) … especially while so many of you are going through rough times and those dreaded reoccurring  CD1s. My heart grieves for you, and my prayers go out for you.

If we were friends in real life (and I wish we all were!), I would not be calling you all the time with these questions and concerns. But since this is just a little ol’ blog that you are free to ignore for a while or never look at again, I am going to keep posting. I hope I am not annoying anyone.

But this is where I am, in those tenuous first weeks of a miraculous pregnancy. I think everyone should get a miraculous pregnancy, and I have put a request in to Jesus in that regard.

Until that request is honored, I continue to pray for you and continue to be inspired by your blogs and comments. Thanks especially to those loyal commenters. You have been so unfailingly generous. Thank you, thank you.

So now I come back with another question. I am hopefully going to finally suck it up and go to my “viability” sonogram Friday afternoon (of course there is now a major work-related event scheduled just before it, but I am hoping I can phone into that from the waiting room? ack).

The midwife  told me not to expect to get any real answers at the sonogram itself. She said the sonogram technician probably won’t tell me anything. Rather, the technician would call her office with the results in 3 or so days…unless things don’t look good, in which case she said they would be on the phone with her right away and I would hear that day.

So, I guess no news is good news.

I am not fond of that set-up, though, and I know I will be anxious waiting for a call. There has to be some way I can get some information out of the technician, right? Part of my job is to ask people questions and get answers they might not want to give. But I feel much more comfortable doing that with U.S. Senators than with medical professionals. I guess because I know the rules of the game in ye olde Capitol.

Have you been successful in getting information from technicians (with diagnostic sonograms looking at your follicles, for instance. or for other people with pregnancies, for a similar sonogram)? Any tips on how I should do it? Can I just pepper him/her with questions while s/he is doing the scan? “What’s that? Where is the baby? Is that the right size? Is there anything in there?”

If I tell them about my nightmare where they look and nothing is there, do you think they would pity me and point out if something *is* there?



  1. That’s so annoying that they won’t tell you the result right away. I don’t have any advice, but I’d definitely ask as many questions as possible of the tech and make sure that they have the screen so you can see. Thanks for your prayer.

  2. I have not had a pregnancy sonogram, but I’ve had a TA/TV ultrasound looking for abnormal stuff going on (PCOS, in particular), and was unsuccessful in getting the tech to tell me anything. She had a pretty good poker face throughout the whole thing, and I only got the results of the scan a few days later from my doctor’s office. Your best bet would probably be to pester the nurses there by calling and asking for the results ASAP (and repeatedly!).

    I tend to think that the techs are not “allowed” to tell patients what they observe on the scans. I mean, they can measure things and mark them (in my case, cysts; in your case, baby), but it is not within their realm of expertise to draw conclusions from there and to really say what is going on or why. Plus, they aren’t trained in the same ‘bedside manner’ as most doctors, so even if they did somehow say “everything’s fine” or “something’s wrong,” I’m not sure how much helpful information you could get from them from there.

    Good luck. I’ll say some prayers for you and the baby that both of you make it through the scan happy and healthy 🙂

    – Rachel

  3. I have been to a couple of viability sonograms – with both good and bad news.

    The techs aren’t supposed to say anything, but in my experience, when things are “normal” they are more likely to eventually tell you.

    Typically they are pretty quiet at first. I found that they kind of hide the computer screen from you. Usually, when things check out okay, they will point out the sac and the heartbeat, etc.

    At one my husband saw fluttering on the screen and asked if it was a heartbeat. This was at 7 weeks along. All the tech said was, “those are hearttones” She kept her cards to herself, but eventually opened up and showed us what she saw.

    When we went in to confirm a miscarriage, the tech was very quiet and looked at everything. She then said, “I won’t make you wait, there’s no heartbeat.” She then showed us the baby (pointing out head, arms, legs, etc.) That was at about 10 weeks along.

    I will be praying for you tomorrow.

  4. When I was growing my pelvic abscess the u/s tech was pretty forthcoming since I could see it clearly on the monitor. I was panicking when I had my last u/s to see if the abscess was still brewing because she said that she saw a follicular cyst, but I was just ovulating!

    I know that they’re not supposed to share what they seem but they’re human too, so if you’re worried the tech will probably share some info.

  5. My tech has been forthcoming with both good & bad news, but if there is a strict policy at your dr.’s office (and it sounds like there is), I don’t think you will get him/her to budge. It will be fine, but I agree that it is ridiculous to make someone wait for this kind of news – good or bad- it needs to be communicated.

  6. I’m extremely lucky to work at a place where we are allowed to speak with the patients and tell them what we’re seeing. But as a sonographer, we ARE “trained” to not say a word. While our jobs are diagnostic in nature (it’s our pictures and reports that the radiologist “signs off” on), we are not supposed to be the ones to deliver the diagnostic information.

    THAT being said, I think certain FACTS you can most certainly ask about, and they should absolutely give you the answers. For example, ask them WHAT IS THE CROWN-RUMP LENGTH? (And then follow that up with, “And how far along does that say the baby is?” – but if they won’t answer that, you can always come home and google the CRL yourself.) Also, WHAT IS THE HEARTRATE? These are basic facts, not questions like, “Is the baby healthy?” “Is everything ok?” Questions like that most techs can’t answer. (But if you drive up to NJ I can!!)

  7. I am a bad commenter…have I congratulated you on your pregnancy? I don’t know?! Ugh, I hate myself!

    But I love your blog, and keep posting! I don’t like it when IFers turn pregnant fall of the face of the internet.

    That being said, I would totally joke around with your tech about your dream…not right away, but a little while into the appt. And then see what he/she says. 🙂

    You probably won’t even read this before your appt. 🙂 But I’ll be praying for a your little one and that your tech is an easy read. 🙂

  8. So how did it go??? Thinking of you!

  9. I’ve been told techs can’t tell me anything, and then had them more or less tell me everything. Just act innocent. Also, of course, now you’ve already been. So, what’s the verdict???

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