Friday, October 15, 2010

Pedi appointment from hell

Unfortunately I am not referring to a pedi-cure...even the worst pedi would be welcome these days. It's been longer than I care to admit.


Our pediatrician, who I actually like (which says a lot for him)...or liked...made a challenging day worse by turning into an insensitive a-hole. Everything started out fine until he did a hip check. Since Dom was breech, a couple doctors checked his hips manually (no scan) at the hospital when he was born. They were checked again at subsequent appointments, and no one ever raised an eyebrow. But now here we were at his two month appointment and all of the sudden the Dr. thinks he hears a hip click and refers us to a pediatric orthopedic specialist. Bummer, but I took it pretty well. It's fairly common among breech babies, the click doesn't automatically mean he has hip dysplasia, and even if he does, it's likely only to need a brace for a couple/few months and should be fixed forever after that. In the grand scheme of things (which I have been remarkably good at seeing since the CPC) - no big deal. Dom screamed when the pedi did the hip manipulations - I had never heard anything like it coming from Dom's little self and it made me so sad. But still, I understand these tests can't all be fun and games and wasn't blaming the Dr. too much at this point.



Then a fire alarm went off. Perfect. The entire human contents of the three-story medical complex had to be emptied out and not just to the parking lot, but actually was forced cross a busy intersection. It was around 90 degrees and a horrible inconvenience. Poor Dom was all undressed and stressed out from his hip test and I had to stuff him into his stroller as-is and maneuver him through the crowds hoping no one near us in the cattle call was sick or infectious. Plus, I had a coffee date with some girls from work which I desperately needed and started to wonder if it was going to happen at all. I would have just taken the opportunity to leave but Dom hadn't gotten his shots yet. He managed to fall asleep while we were outside and when the drill was over we made our way back to the exam room. This is where the Dr. turned into a total moron. He was now in a huge rush because the alarm had set him behind (which I had no sympathy for. Please, as if they're not always running 15-20 minutes behind anyway - my pet peeve in doctors offices, or with anyone I'm paying for is when they treat me like I'm in their way or wasting their time) so he shoves the needles into Dom's legs without explaining or disclosing anything about the vaccines he's administering and without obtaining my signature on the consent form which he completely forgot about. And then the worst - one of the vaccines, I can't remember which - is in drop form that goes down the baby's throat. The Dr. held Dom at a 45 degree angle and squirted the entire contents down his gullet. With the first drop Dom started choking, and not just coughing, he couldn't breathe or even cough for a count of a good 6 seconds. And for those long seconds he emitted no sound because he couldn't. He just struggled mightily, his face and lips turned purple and he had the most pained, desperate expression as he instinctively struggled for air. Instead of taking a break or lifting Dom more upright to help him swallow the stuff properly, the doctor just continued the administration of the liquid, stopping for nothing. I could barely keep my hands from whisking my son away to comfort him and get him breathing again. I was practically on top of the doctor, on my toes, braced with stress, it was awful for me out to see Dom in such immense discomfort and to see his agony being completely ignored by this jerk. It's not that I was afraid he'd pass out or die or anything, I knew he'd be fine eventually and again, I know it's not all supposed to be pleasant at these appointments, but this was an extraordinary and unnecessary disregard for Dom's comfort and it disgusted me. No Dr. would ever treat an adult this way. Even veterinarians treat their patients better than this. It was really ridiculous.



After Dom regained his color the Dr. remembered the consent form and, still flustered and darting around the office, realized he didn't have a pen and asked if I had one. "I think I have one in my purse," I said, and he looked annoyed and let out a huff as if he didn't want to wait for me to travel the four feet to my purse to retrieve it. Like he expected me to just happen to have a pen in my hand at the ready. I wasn't impressed.



I really do give people the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them. Whoever they are. I'm not one of those people that others have to prove themselves to. I truly expect people to be good natured, smart, reliable, professional, trustworthy, etc. and I treat them this way until they prove to me otherwise. At least this is how I've been for most of my life. But lately I feel myself changing. Becoming more cynical. Treating people as guilty until proven innocent. And it's experiences like this that have started to turn me in that direction.



We have an appointment to get Dom's hips checked by a specialist on the 25th. He'll be 2.5 months which is much older than I'm comfortable with for starting treatment if he does have dysplasia, but I've been assured that this is plenty early. I guess I have to trust the doctor despite what I've read on google. It would be nice if we could complete the treatment while I'm still home and can make sure the brace is worn correctly, but it looks like that's not in the cards for us. Which reminds me, I need to go schedule some meetings with daycares.



The dog thing last month really bothered me - it was thee thorn in my side. The one imperfection in my life that I lobbied to get rid of so that my life might be cleansed of inconvenience and discomfort and stress. But with this layered on top I'm getting more comfortable with the idea that life is just messy and stressful. Rarely do we really have it all together. There is always that 1-3% unfortunate category that we're going to fall into at any given time. That's why the fun moments in between, amongst the mess, are so important to seize, enjoy, and commit to our memories. Because we can't live dwelling on the imperfections and the worst-case scenarios. Well, we can, but it's no way to spend a life.

2 comments:

  1. i'm really hoping dom comes back dysplasia-free, i have a friend my age who has it and it has been really awful, she's had three surgeries now to try and correct it, eventually she will need a hip replacement but they are putting it off for as long as possible. don't worry though, even if he does end up having it i'm sure his prognosis will be MUCH better since it will have been caught so early, my friend didn't find out she had it until she was in her twenties.
    and i'm sorry to hear your pediatrician is such a douche, i hoe you can find a new one who you and dom like better.

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