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.
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.