People who equate truth with fact are missing the point.

Another Day, Another Go-Round With a Judgmental Asshat

After you’ve faced the same bullshit judgment dozens of times, it’s hard to get too worked up about it, but sometimes I manage it anyhow. I mean really, I expect people to be uninformed because you can’t know what you don’t know. But health care providers are, you know, supposed to know about health issues. I’m pretty sure that’s included in the job description somewhere.

I wrote a post just a few weeks ago about an ER doctor who gave us the stink eye and asked his oh so pointed questions when we told him about Carter’s many prescriptions.

Unfortunately, Carter hasn’t really recovered from that illness. Or he did, but only sort of. Something keeps hanging on to the point that he’s only stayed at school all day three times in the past 3 weeks, so it seemed time to get him in to see a doctor.

That’s what I wanted to talk to the doctor about – the illness, the one that’s causing him to have almost daily migraines and to be fatigued and nauseous to the point that he’s lost five pounds.

Alas, like almost every doctor we see, this one wanted to know about his meds, and who prescribes them, and why he takes them, blah blah blah.

I was half tempted to say, “Oh, those meds? We picked them up at the doc-in-the-box down the street because, you know, the kid talks a lot and we thought we’d try a high-powered med cocktail that has the potential to damage his liver, kidneys, and heart, or cause diabetes or a permanent movement disorder (among other things) to make him shut up and leave us alone. It’s all for us, of course. Our convenience and whatnot. Plus, it’s totally the trend right now to medicate kids and we don’t want to miss out!”

Know what I miss? The old days when your family doctor held some time open every day to see sick patients. Carter sees his regular pediatrician once a year for his annual checkup. If he’s sick, he sees whoever has time or we go to urgent care. Carter’s regular doctor knows his history – knows us – and we don’t have to go through this bullshit when we see him. He knows how we agonized when we started medicating Carter, knows why we did it and how seriously we take every single pill we give our little boy.

So, last night’s doctor visit inspired me to create the note card I’ve been thinking about writing, something I can leave on the desk when we leave the office to educate any health care provider who decides to judge us, and without upsetting my kid.

Dear Health Care Provider

Feel free to use the PDF as a model for your own card if you wish. It fits on a 4×6 index card.

As to the visit itself (what little of it was genuinely productive), the doctor believes it’s a simple virus. Maybe. Fortunately, Carter is not skinny like he used to be so the weight loss is not a big deal, and he’s great about drinking lots of water so in spite of it all, he’s well-hydrated. Hopefully, he’ll snap out of it soon. In the meantime, seeing Carter so droopy is very weird. He keeps falling asleep in the evenings before we medicate him, something absolutely unheard of for him.

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19 comments to Another Day, Another Go-Round With a Judgmental Asshat

  • Chrisa Hickey

    Sorry the little guy still isn’t feeling well. I’ve had whatever this creeping crud is for going on 6 weeks, so I can only imagine how hard it is for him! Love the card – I downloaded it!

  • My husband’s practice does everything it can to let you see YOUR doctor even for sick visits. Another reason you need to move to my city.
    Hope Carter feels better soon.

  • Jo

    (Note to self: Don’t try to comment from phone as keyboard is small and touch screen makes it too easy to accidentally hit publish too early. GAH. Here’s what I was TRYING to say. Feel free to delete my first two comments.)

    Awww babe. Can’t pretend to even know how this is for you or Carter. I’m sure he hates hearing that crap too. Good for you standing up and advocating for him.

    I get pointed questions from nurses questioning our alternative/delayed vaccinations and it makes me so mad.

    Medical people? We are parents who make decisions based on what is best for our child. We know you went to medical school or nursing school and we did not and that that you think you know everything. We know you see all sorts of things in your practice. However, WE ARE PARENTS WHO MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR CHILD. We are informed and intelligent and not idiots. Read our damned charts before you walk into the room. Doing that will save the time you waste being condescending and superior and will save us both time and aggravation. Don’t assume that we need to be aggressively educated. Listen to our responses when you do ask questions.

    I have a perfectly good doctor who helped me with these decisions. If you have issue with them, how about you give him a call and argue with him and let me get my sick child home.

    Oh, and questioning my judgment about how I care for my child in front of that child? Makes them feel different and wrong somehow and that is NOT OK so knock that shit off too.


    • Yeah, that’s the thing. I took Carter to the doctor to discuss the current illness, not his chronic mental health problems! We always get dragged back around to those meds. Every doctor seems to want to save us from an over-prescribing doctor. Well, until they hear her name. I should probably get in the habit of invoking it sooner!

  • That card rocks. And manages to be both educational and politely point out the other person’s rudeness. And it’s funny.

    So pretty great all around.

  • Great card! It’s not easy to state those things verbally each time this happens, nor do you want to. I’m sorry this doc was a dick and I’m sorry carter is still ill. Hugs!

  • Adrienne

    wow this was great! Doc-in-a-box down the street!! You had me at that one!

    Love the card..L O V E it

    Love what Joe said too “I have a perfectly good doctor who helped me with these decisions. If you have issue with them, how about you give him a call and argue with him and let me get my sick child home.”

    Great Job

    Also? I have had illness recently and it has lingered long and I am wiped out on the couch asleep way too early too–if that is any consolation.

    But that would concern me and warrant a trip to the dr for my kid as well

    just loved this post.

    that is all

  • LOVE that card! I am so sorry you are having to deal with more and more asshats. They SUCK and I feel your pain.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sofrito Gringo and Adrienne Jones, Adrienne Jones. Adrienne Jones said: I try not to call names, but some people so richly deserve it that I can't resist. […]

  • Your blog post has been up on my computer, in an open Firefox tab for hours today, and I have yet to formulate a reasonable comment. It’s because once again I am spitting beans on your and Carter’s behalf, and I think something a little more high-minded than just growling loudly is in order. But I can’t for the life of me come up with what.

    So I think maybe I will just have to take my cue from my son Jake, who, at this moment in time, is very fond of the well placed growl as an effective (if much discouraged and usually inappropriate) communication tool.

    But tonight, for this a-hole? Highly appropriate: “Hey, Doctor ClosedMindWithOpenMouth, Doctor JudgyMcJudgerson Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” (better think twice before provoking a mama bear again.)

    OK, I feel better now. And I’ma stealing your letter, for sure.

    • Oh, the growling phase. Carter had a looong growling phase, followed closely by a spitting phase. I hope Jake skips that one!

      Yup, I hate it. I took Carter to see his psychiatrist today and we had a good chuckle about it all, though. If actual medical professionals can’t be bothered to look beyond the “Oh my God they’re drugging the babies for no good reason” headlines, then how can we even hope that not-medical people will do that?

      Yes, I’m loving this letter idea. I mean, we can’t confront people when our kids are with us, but that leaves us in the ridiculous position of letting them talk to us like that. Psh. No good either way. I have 3 cards tucked into the back pocket of my purse so I’m ready for next time!

  • I think the card is a perfect way to make a difference.

    Well done.

  • I love the card. really.

    and our doc has “same day” appointments that they leave open if you call before 8am. it is lovely. I have never not seen our doc when one of us is sick. We go to a family practice though, not sure if that makes a difference.

    and? like the others? it takes me a while to comment on these because it makes me so mad how ridiculous the docs can be.

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