Jul 15, 2010

a short rant

I think it's time to switch pediatricians.  I took Cara for her 12-month well baby visit this morning, and I don't think I can go back to that office again.  No one has been mean, but they are not overly considerate, organized, or friendly.  And, I don't trust Cara's doctor.  Oh yeah, and that.

These feelings of distrust began a few months ago when Cara woke up looking like this:
It seemed like just a minor rash, almost like bug bites, just on Cara's arms and legs.  I like to think that PJ and I are not crazy, freak-out parents; we are okay with a little dirt, and we acknowledge that Cara eats Cheerios off the floor without any germaphobic panic.  We called our pediatrician this time since Cara had never had a rash like this before.  He said "no big deal" and "don't worry."  So we tried not to.  But by that evening, Cara looked like this:


And the next morning, she looked like this:


I felt completely justified in freaking out a lot just a little bit.  We called the doc again, and he said "don't worry, don't bring her in" again.  This rash appeared at the end of a round of penicillin-based antibiotics, but this was not Cara's first experience with antibiotics.  It seemed possible for the rash to be an allergy, but not definite.  Here was the pediatrician's suggestion:  Wait until the rash goes away and give her another dose of the antibiotic to see if the rash comes back.  Then we'll know if it's a penicillin allergy.

Really?  You want me (an English teacher) to conduct medical experiments on a child who has slept and fussed and cried in my lap all day long??  You want me to give her the antibiotics again to see if we can close her throat up next time??? 

I broke the "don't bring her in" rule, and I took her to see another pediatrician in the same practice who was appropriately concerned and empathetic.  She showed me pictures of rashes in her books to find how how the rash progressed, and she determined that Cara is probably allergic to penicillin.  I felt better.  Except that this caring human being left the practice the following week.  Hm...

So, this morning, I took Cara back for her well visit.  She's doing great, no ear infections, no snot, no rashes or bumps.  The receptionist yelled out that I had a balance across the waiting room.  Of $12.  No big deal, I guess.  That might have embarrassed some people who are concerned about paying their bills on time, but I let that one go.  While we were waiting on Dr. Brilliant in the exam room, Cara pooped.  So I changed her diaper.  Then she pooped again.  Great.  I decided to wait for a minute or two to make sure she got it all out, but in came the doctor.  I warned him about the poop and changed the diaper.  He didn't flinch when I put it in the trashcan in the exam room, just kept on talking.  He fussed at me for letting Cara have peanut butter, even though she loves it and has had no reaction to it.  No discussion on the peanut butter.  Not until age 3, he said.  Is it really THAT bad?  And I need to keep a better track of how much milk Cara drinks because she needs 24 oz a day.  Where is mom instinct?  If she's drinking throughout the day, gaining weight as she should, and happy, why do I need to try to get her to drink more?

When the nurse came in to give Cara her shots, she said "do I smell a stool?" (Seriously, exact words) I explained the poop situation, and she proceeded to tell me that diapers do not go in the trashcan because the doctors would not want to work in an exam room that smelled like poop.  Where are the diapers supposed to go then?  How can a pediatric practice not have a plan for poopy diapers?  Was I supposed to put it in my bag?  Let Cara hang out in her poop?  Did I miss that lesson in mom school?

I hate that I feel like an idiot every time I call the doctor or go to the office.  That's not normal, right?  I can't possibly be doing everything wrong.  I feel a little overdramatic here, but a pediatrician is a long-term relationship, so I want one that loves me for me and loves Cara for Cara, even when she poops in the office.

4 comments:

  1. Jessica,
    you have every right to be mad! i have switched Peds doc with my first child, but somehow have ended up back at that office. Only on one condition...i will not let either of my children see the doc that dont have time for my children. It is in there charts and I remind them everytime I go in for a work in visit. You should find someone who is poliet to you and your child! Good luck finding that..if you live in Florence i have a great doctor's name for you. I have never been more happy. I only wish she could be mine also.

    -Courtni poston Blue

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  2. From Uncle Larry. That is what doctors do to put you in your place. They will kill your child in order to keep things in the proper perspective.

    What do you call the guy who had to stay up all night, snorting cocaine and crystal meth so that he could pass his final exam by one point and graduate medical school?

    Why, DOCTOR, of course!

    You guys are doing a great job and good for you for not letting your Doctor's lack of caring override your concern for your ONLY child.

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  3. Oh man! Yeah, you are completely justified in being unhappy. In fact, you are justified in being way more than that! You are an awesome momma and he sounds like a terrible doctor that shouldn't be taking care of children. Shop around...you are paying for a very important service
    And you should be completely happy.

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  4. He and his staff sound awful. I get that a doctor wouldn't want to work in a stinky exam room, but hello! You are a pediatrician; get a diaper genie or something. Also, pretty sure billing info is confidential as well, it shouldn't be discussed in front of the entire waiting room. Lastly, I am pretty sure a giant part of being a pediatrician is hand-holding new parents. Even if you think the kid doesn't need to come in, when the parents call multiple times you should address the issue with an appointment, even when you are confident that it is something minor. I would imagine it would make the parents more likely to believe you the next time you tell them it isn't a big deal. But heck, just my opinion, and I don't have kids so what do I know?

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