Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Making the Switch

So today I'm waxing poetic on exercising my parental rights.  I mean, seriously, aren't we conditioned to think that the words of a doctor are just to the right of God?  Right?  In my world growing up, doctors were pretty fancy, not people who moved in our social circles or went to church with us.  Heck, there wasn't even a doctor in the nearest 4 towns until sometime around the year 2000.

But I'm on a roll, y'all.  Granted, the roll is moving at a snail's pace, but I've moved on from 3 different doctors in less than 3 years since I've been a parent and I feel like a rebel.  (You can laugh, I know I'm not really a rebel.)  I made the call and cut the ties with the third doc today. . . I write that like I marched into his office and gave him what-for and fired him.  Yeah.  That didn't happen.  I just followed my instincts and called another ENT for my Monkey.  Old ENT none-the-wiser, but mama feels a whole lot better.

I guess the point of this post is to say, do it. If something doesn't feel right, don't swallow it and think that maybe you are blowing things out of proportion or are being too sensitive or expecting too much.  What I've forced myself to think?  The doctors once so infallible?  I realize now that they work for us.

The "You Should Switch Doctors IF _____" list 
(in the vein of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck if. . .")

  1. You tell the pediatrician that your child might have reflux because there is spit up on every.single.item. in your home.  About 50x per day and the doctor responds, "Oh, that's NOTHING!  My sons were way worse than that!"  Not. Helpful.
  2. You get into the car after an appointment and burst into tears because the doctor made you feel worse instead of better about something.
  3. The doctor is in the examination room for less than 8 minutes while discussing a surgical procedure (albeit small) on your CHILD.
  4. Questions feel like an imposition.  You know, like if you ask questions you are somehow implying they don't know anything when really you just want to make sure every possibility has been explored because, I don't know, it's your CHILD?
  5. Diagnoses don't come with a discussion.  Like when the specialist looks at the notes and says, matter of factly, "Oh, so we have a purple-horned unicorn disease here" with no respect or concern that purple-horned unicorn implies that there is something seriously going on with your child that perhaps you've missed until now.  
  6. Even though you explain that you actually have experience in child development, the answer is "hmm" and then they move on to the next topic.
  7. If you call because the plan suggested by the doctor is leading to a side effect, say stopping up of 'pipes,' suggesting a small explosive to clear the clog might be failing to individualize care.  
  8. Not to say appearances are everything, they aren't, BUT there comes the realization that every doctor is getting the same reimbursement from insurances.  So when you are a factory for small surgical procedures,say, removing purple horns from unicorns, and your office hasn't been updated since 1986, I wonder where the money is going.  I'm guessing it isn't being invested in state-of-the-art equipment. . . or even state-of-the-decade equipment.
  9. The office staff is rude.  If you forget your insurance card, yet everything on file is current and they still threaten to cancel your appointment, then chances are they hate their job.  
  10. You feel rushed.  Last time I checked, doctors are still part of the helping professions.  Helping takes at least two people to be involved.  Every family is different.  Every body is different.  Of all people, a doctor should know that.  Minimizing my child's difficulties because there are kids much worse off doesn't make me feel anything but neurotic and pushed aside.  I am there because I'm worried about my kid and health and well-being, how this will affect them later-- and on and on.  And the thing is?  I want the doctor to be worried about my kid, above all else, in that moment, too.  
I'm confident and brave enough to say that if my needs aren't met, I'm out.  Sionara.  Check ya.  

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