Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You've got to FIGHT!

(Disclaimer: I've had yet another ridiculous experience with our pediatrician's office. These are my thoughts and opinions only, as I know many parents are very satisfied with the practice. They are not meant, in any way, to sway someone's opinion of the practice or the staff employed there.)

First of all, thanks for all of the comments y'all left on my Facebook post last night! For those who may not have Facebook, I simply asked whether I was being wise or just paranoid for wanting to take Ethan to the doctor for a quick check-up before leaving for vacation this weekend. Jeramie and I had talked about it a bit, and he was torn on whether we should take him in or not, but ultimately agreed that a once-over would be a good idea. You all were very encouraging and made me feel like I wasn't crazy for wanting to request an appointment, unlike the receptionist at our pediatrician's office.

Our conversation went a little something like this:
Me: Hi, I'd like to set-up an appointment for my son [name, date of birth, yadda yadda yadda].
Receptionist: OK, sure. What's going on with Ethan today?
Me: Well, nothing specifically... [explain we're going away for a week and I'd like to have someone lay a medical eye on him before we leave].
Receptionist: So, he doesn't have any symptoms right now?
Me: Well, no.
Receptionist: So, he's not sick?
Me: Well, not acutely. But he's a chronically sick child... [repeat that I just want someone to look him over and give us a clean bill of health].
Receptionist: Hmm. So, you basically just want to make sure he's not getting sick? He doesn't have any symptoms what-so-ever?
Me: No, but would you like me to make one up? Is this a crazy request to you, that I want my son to be examined before we're 150 miles away from the hospital?

*there is a hospital near where we'll be, it's just not Duke if anything serious were to come up*

Receptionist: [sarcastically] Well, what exactly do you want us to look for if he doesn't have any symptoms?
Me: [almost in tears, I'm so mad...about to come through the phone] I'd like for someone to look in his ears and listen to his lungs. He's been on a nebulizer recently, just came off of an antibiotic for a double ear infection, AND we just had to make a Saturday call into the office for dehydration. I'd also like to check his oxygen sats, and if someone just wants to give me the machine, I'll tape it to his toe myself.
Receptionist: [suddenly realizing that I'm serious, and I'm not going to back down] Oh, well OK then honey. When would you like to come in?
I could have spit fire I was so mad (and still am). Will someone please tell me why it took going through all that, with some high and mighty receptionist, to make a simple appointment? Is it an issue with our insurance system? Is it a flaw in the way appointments are scheduled (he's not sick, but it's not a well-visit either)? What is it?!

It's hard enough to have to repeat his entire medical history each and every time we go into that office. It's maddening to have to correct the medications they have listed that HAVEN'T CHANGED from visit to visit. It's emotionally painful to have to repeat OVER and OVER that my child has a feeding tube and I don't really know "how he's eating today". Then, to spend 15 minutes on a phone with a receptionist, trying to justify why I want my child to be seen by a doctor, and being made to feel like an idiot for doing so, is just down-right appalling.

Needless to say, we have an appointment for 10:15 tomorrow morning. And you better believe that they'll hear all I've said in this post and probably a little more. I'll also be requesting information on how to change pediatricians. After much research and many conversations, we have a good lead on a doctor with Raleigh Pediatrics, and we plan to make the transition once we get back from vacation.

For reasons we may never know, Jeramie and I have not yet been afforded the chance to be parents of a healthy child. However, because of this, we've been given a fighting spirit that does not take "no", or any other version of that word, for an answer.

I will fight for Ethan until I physically can't any longer and, by that point, I pray that I would have spent lots of time teaching him to fight for himself.


Jennifer said...

Good for you!!! You should NOT have to justify your right to have Ethan looked over. I can call Brayden's ped's office and just say "he hasn't been acting himself and I just want to make sure it isn't anything" and I have an appointment that day. No questions asked. I have heard great things about Raleigh peds, but my godsister who is a pediatric PT, doesn't like them from her side of things. She recommended Carolina Kids to us & we have had nothing but great experiences with them every time we have been. Hope all goes well with the "once-over" appt tomorrow AM!

Jen said...

Way to go, Joye! You are so right that we have to fight for our kids and be their advocate. SO MANY people are just clueless and don't understand (exhibit A- the receptionist!) lol. I can't believe she was making such a big deal out of it. She is just one of those people who doesn't "get it." I was going to suggest switching pediatricians but then I saw you mentioned that towards the end of your post. I hope you can find somewhere you're happier with!

Have a wonderful vacation!


Stefenie said...

I am so sorry that you were treated that way. We are blessed to have an amazing pediatrician who even gave us his personal cell number that we can call after office hours any time of day/night and who has even allowed us to bring Logan to his home late at night so he could examine him without a trip to the ER. The office also allows me to bring him in for anything I am concerned about and they don't even ask anymore.

Good for you for standing up for yourself and Ethan. He is so lucky to have a great mommy like you!

Hope everything turns out well and you guys can enjoy your trip!

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