Wholistic Care—Above and BeyondFamily Doctor: Dr. Julia Carter
Through their wholistic care, my GP Dr. Julia Carter and her nurse Leslie played a big role in helping my husband and I welcome our first child on February 5, 2013.
In the summer of 2010, I got pregnant for the first time – we were so excited! Unfortunately our excitement was short-lived, as I had a miscarriage at about six weeks. Dr. Carter and Leslie quickly helped us navigate and access resources to support us both physically (I ultimately needed a D&C but was having trouble accessing through the Early Pregnancy Loss Clinic in Calgary) and emotionally.
About six months later, in early March 2011, I visited Dr. Carter because I was feeling very anxious. Turns out I was pregnant again, Dr. Carter was excellent at immediately getting me in for an ultrasound and also ordering blood tests, including for thyroid. We found out I had a molar pregnancy, with Dr. Carter’s assistance I was able to quickly access great gynaecological care and a D&C. Dr. Carter also again helped address my mental and emotional health during this time, promptly providing referrals and documents for my company’s HR department so I could take a bit of additional time off to recover. She again provided similar support when I had an ectopic pregnancy about five months later, in August 2011.
Fast forward to May 2012, we had almost given up our hopes of conceiving a child on our own and were thinking of starting fertility treatments. But then after missing my period I took a home pregnancy test and got a positive result. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours later I had bleeding. I was sure we were losing another pregnancy – we were devastated. I called Dr. Carter’s office and spoke to her nurse, Leslie. Despite having a busy clinic, they made the effort to get my an appointment that day. At the appointment, Dr. Carter determined that we needed an ultrasound before doing anything. They called around to radiology offices around the city and were able to get me in for one that day. This was such a relief to know that, at the very least, I would have more information about what was going on and not have to play a waiting game.
Miraculously, the ultrasound showed that there was a fetus and it was in the uterus where it should be! But regular blood tests to monitor my HCG levels would be needed over the coming weeks to make sure that it was indeed developing. Despite having a medical conference and vacation scheduled in Greece, Dr. Carter went out of her way to provide me with the blood test results every few days, as soon as she received them. She would text or phone every few days with the results and an explanation of what they meant, even though she was half a world away. This was such a comfort and really helped me to stay relaxed during these uncertain weeks.
Once the pregnancy was established, Dr. Carter and Leslie provided excellent, prompt, and wholistic care through most of the pregnancy, until I began seeing an ob-gyn in the last months. And now that our beautiful baby girl is here, Dr. Carter and Leslie are providing their wonderful care to her as well! We feel so fortunate to have a GP like Dr. Carter, and a nurse like Leslie, in our lives. They both truly rock!
Thanks for providing a forum for us to share our story and recognize these phenomenal health care providers.
Jennifer Lomas, Calgary