Transcript of Telephone Conversation between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Rene Wolff-Bernstein, Friday, September 6th, 1996 at 1 PM.

Ms. Wolff: Hello. Is this Charles?
Dr. Balis: Speaking.
Ms. Wolff: This is Rene.
Dr. Balis: Hello. It is a pleasure to speak with you again, Ms. Wolff. What can I do for you?
Ms. Wolff: I'm calling from the hospital. Sylvia was admitted here earlier this morning.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Ms. Wolff: Sylvia had an appointment with her obstetrician Dr. Malleson this morning. I went with her for moral support and a celebratory lunch afterwards. Sylvia was very calm and explained the whole situation, including Zoloft, to her doctor. Just as you predicted, Dr. Malleson didn't foresee any complications resulting from the drug and was going call you to discuss choices for a new antidepressant for Sylvia.
Dr. Balis: I would be happy to speak with Dr. Malleson. But I still don't understand why Sylvia is in the hospital.
Ms. Wolff: Charles, I'm trying very hard to stay calm myself. We had a very rough morning so if I'm not making sense or not telling the story fast enough, you just have to bear with me, okay?
Dr. Balis: Please forgive me. I'm just worried.
Ms. Wolff: No problem. Since Sylvia didn't know the day of conception and her menstrual cycles are so irregular, Dr. Malleson suggested doing a quick ultrasound right there in his office.
Dr. Balis: So Dr. Malleson saw something wrong in the ultrasound?
Ms. Wolff: Yes. Up until that point the conversation in the office was very light. We were all happy. The doctor was happy for us. But as he started to scan Sylvia's belly, his expression started to change. We both knew that something was wrong right away. Dr. Malleson kept checking and rechecking the images that we were getting on that small screen. Then he told us that he seen something strange but there was nothing wrong he just wanted to get the opinion of his colleague. He left the office to get someone. Sylvia was beginning to panic. She was breathing really hard and her hand got really clammy. She said that she is not feeling very well. I started to call for the doctor. He ran back in. Sylvia was shaking and her pulse was going through the roof. The nurse got her a blanket and a glass of water. The other doctor came into the office. They both quickly scanned Sylvia again. At that point, Sylvia was totally freaked out. She was screaming and demanding to know what was wrong with her baby. The doctors were trying to get her to calm down. Finally, I just made them tell me what was wrong.
Dr. Balis: What was it?
Ms. Wolff: Apparently there were two things that looked like embryos inside the uterus.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia is having twins?
Ms. Wolff: We don't really know. If this were twins, the embryos would be roughly the same size. But they were not. One was substantially bigger than the other. Dr. Malleson said that he never seen anything like that before. He was trying to reassure Sylvia that shouldn't panic before they know for sure what we are dealing with. He was saying that it could be just a cyst or a mole or something. But I knew from the way he speaking that he was really worried. Sylvia picked up on that too. The last couple of days since she stopped taking Zoloft, Sylvia has really been a mess. And this just tipped her over the edge. She said that she wanted to throw up. The whole office was full of people by then. And then she just lost consciousness and almost fell off the examination table. Dr. Malleson said that he would prefer to get her checked into the hospital right away. We got here about an hour ago. They gave Sylvia some sort of tranquilizer and she is sleeping now. Somebody is suppose to come soon and check on her. Charles, it's just been horrible. I can't imagine what losing this baby or maybe babies would do to Sylvia.
Dr. Balis: Who is saying that this is a possibility?
Ms. Wolff: Nobody is saying anything yet. But everyone is acting so weird.
Dr. Balis: What is Dr. Malleson planning to do next?
Ms. Wolff: I think they are going to use a more powerful ultrasound machine that they have here at the hospital. But I don't know what they are going to do about Sylvia. She is not taking any of this well. I called you because I though you might be able to help.
Dr. Balis: I really appreciate you calling me, Rene. What hospital are you in?
Ms. Wolff: UCSF Medical Center. They put us in the pregnancy ward. Can you imagine? The last thing Sylvia needs right now is to be surrounded by dozens of very pregnant looking women.
Dr. Balis: I think they had to put you in the pregnancy ward. There's a world famous high risk pregnancy practice there at UCSF. Everyone there is trained to deal with prenatal emergencies. Do you know what tranquilizer they gave Sylvia?
Ms. Wolff: I'm not sure. They had some psychiatric resident come in and take a look at her. Dr. Rutenberg, or something. I didn't quite catch his name.
Dr. Balis: That's okay, I don't think I know him. I would like to come over and check on Sylvia, if you don't mind.
Ms. Wolff: I think she would like that. And I would like that too, Charles. I keep feeling like I'm going to break down into tears but I know it just wouldn't be a good thing right now.
Dr. Balis: Try to keep it together. Sylvia really needs you right now. I'll be there shortly, okay?
Ms. Wolff: Thank you Charles. Goodbye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye Rene.
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