neumeindil (neumeindil) wrote in vaginapagina,

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Ethical question: Family Planning office messed up.

I'll attempt to keep this short:

In December I went to our county family planning office for a yearly exam and PAP. When I started using their services, a friend of mine warned me that "the old lady nurse there is really rough; don't go to her" but didn't remember her name. The nurse I saw is over fifty (at least) but I'd never seen her before my exam in December... which left me in such pain I considered calling off work the next day. It honestly felt like I had a pulled muscle in my vaginal wall, or had gotten pinched by the speculum. Additionally, since then, I've had quite severe burning pain at any kind of insertion (tampon, finger, anything). So I called the office.

After I explained the situation, I was put on hold for 10 minutes, then got disconnected. When I called back, I was transferred to another office, where I was put on hold... and disconnected. And then I had to go to work, so I gave up for that day.

This "call, get hung up on, call back" scenario repeated a total of five times in the past month. Fed up after the second day of trying to call the office, I emailed a friend whose mother is an OB/GYN LPN and gave a list of my symptoms. Her first thought was "damage from the exam; you need to be seen ASAP," so I kept calling Family Planning, and never once was my concern actually answered.

Two days ago I finally got an hour free to go into the office and sign in like I had an appointment. (This office doesn't take walk ins.) So, I got to speak to a receptionist directly (under the pretense of renewing my Nuvaring Rx) and "just in passing" said that by the way I had a question about some pretty severe pain I've been having since my last exam. The first thing she did was check my chart, and told me that "my nurse" was booked up today so I should call the office the next day. When I told her about the previous hang ups, she put me face to face with another nurse, who listened to the problem and suggested we "pop next door and see what's going on".

She did a thorough exam and concluded that I have a completely normal, healthy vagina and vulva, but that my bladder is "slightly boggy", which could be part of my long history of UTI. But, she saw no signs of internal damage, tearing, etc. and instead took a couple of slides. She found a small number of yeast in those slides, gave me Fluticasone 150 mg. just in case and I was out the door 30 minutes after I signed in. Since the medication appears to be working (I got my ring out today with minimal discomfort, 2 days after I took the pill), I'm faced with an ethical question.

I'm pretty sure I need to report the "5 attempts at help" situation to some kind of clinic supervisor. But, I'm one of over 8,000 women in this area depending on this clinic for basic obstetrical care and birth control because we're so economically depressed (rural Western NY). And, considering the wide-spread campaign against Planned Parenthood, etc. because of the election year, part of me wants to just let it go because they don't need more trouble.

I'm also not sure what exactly to report; clearly, I should have been called back when I was disconnected, so the onus of that problem is the (overworked) office staff. But then again, the infection appeared within a couple of days of that horrible exam by a nurse with a reputation for hurting patients, which I think someone should know about as well.

I also have no earthly idea *who* to contact or what office.

VPers: In my shoes, who would you contact, and what would you say?
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