Friday, September 6, 2013

"Oh Doctor, stop! You're killing me! Incredulity is coming out my nose!"

Child number two down with fever and big time cough. He's had a nagging cough for two weeks but was handling it and getting better until yesterday when he tanked after lots of school, late nights, and early mornings. Schlepped him to the doc earlier today only to find out that our beloved doctor quit and is now a work-at-home mom (sad for us but happy for you, Dr. C!). Sooooo, naturally, my patiently-putting-up-with-me friends, we had to get a NEW doctor within the practice. And BOYYYYY was she new. Like just-bought-a-stethoscope-on-her-way-to-work new. Young, no wedding ring, so probably no children but she knew ALL the theories and all the answers, even to the questions I was apparently too mentally challenged to ask.

I was informed that I had neglected my 18-year-old son. He would not have been so sick if I had been treating his Reactive Airway Disease (seriously? When did he get that? EVERYTHING is a disease these days including getting a secondary infection when you've had a cough.) Had I only had him on his inhalers that had been prescribed for him in March (mind you, that was for the PNEUMONIA he had which cleared completely and he never coughed ONCE after it did), he would not be sick today. And when asked if he was running a fever and I said, "Yes, but only around 100," I was informed this is NOT a fever. It is not a fever until it is 100.4. I think his was only 100.3. And no, I could NOT get cough medicine with codeine to help him sleep even though it works like a miracle. Older doctors write for that but those of the brand-new-stethoscopes don't anymore. It's bad for them (though they take it only 3 or 4 nights a couple of times a year). But they should live on daily meds and inhalers for diseases they may (or more likely do NOT) have. Boy, the THINGS I'm LEARNING! And she wrote a prescription for antibiotics but it would not cure his airway disease, she informed us, because I was apparently wearing an expression on my face that looked as if I thought antibiotics cured everything, including incredulity. I expected CPS to be called in any minute. Except, being 18 and all, it's hard to find the right foster home so, maybe we'll be a low priority.

But I think we can ALL agree that I AM neglectful and just don't amply treat my children or seek appropriate medical care, as is evidenced by my adult daughter who has been to four doctors now and had 2,874,389 tests run in the two months she has been sick with her mystery illness. Not to mention holistic approaches like healthy organic food, massage, stress management, and even travel to a healthier climate.

Time to get my son established with this adult daughter's doctor. We've been in the same pediatric practice for 23 years and we've had wonderful ones and you-can't-be-serious-and-you-did-NOT-just-say-that-to-me ones; watched 'em come and watched 'em go. THIS one may go but if not, she's in for a rude awakening. I may have been sitting before her and nodding like a demented bobble head (seriously, NOT worth the battle), but there WILL be others after me (I'm almost done with pediatrics) who will school this dear girl so full of knowledge and devoid of wisdom. You cannot accuse and dismiss experienced moms VERY often without your life becoming terribly unpleasant. Thank you, Dr. Who (must-not-be-named). I AM writing a book about these migraine-making-medical-mishaps and you just gave me yet another chapter. But hey, UNIVERSE, now hear this: I'm REALLY okay now. I have enough material in so many areas of my life and it's time for you to share with someone else. Seriously. Next in line, please! I have to go now. I have children to neglect, for Pete's sake.

©  Robynn's Ravings 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Your Advice Needed - If You're a Skilled and Professional Masochist

Okay. It's true confession time and a rant so look away while you have the chance.  I am about to blow a gasket and I KNOW I'm not alone.

Here's news that will (not) shock you:  Very few people actually do their job these days, or follow through, or keep their word.  Anywhere.  Anytime.  ALL the time.

This is not my way.  If I say I'll do it, I do (barring serious illness, laundry pile avalanches, and/or death), and I have some friends I can count on for the same commitment. We don't expect trophies or awards, we just do it.  You don't have to suck up, kiss up, or indulge our diva-ness to get good treatment from us.  Of COURSE we make mistakes but when we do we own them and then try and fix them.  We don't cop an attitude and we don't blame it on others.  We don't ask anyone to PAY for our mistakes - with time or money.  Why is this such a rarity? Why am I surrounded with people lately who have made rather large mistakes and yet take the offensive and get in MY face with no acknowledgment of their responsibilities to answer calls or read emails (or even to read copious notes I have created, by hand, for hours on end, sitting at your table, so things will be understandable and run smoothly? Hello, mother).

And can YOU get a doctor's office staff member to call you back?  I can't.  I mean, hands down, I cannot.  I call and call and call.  I write emails.  Unless you are in the office and looking them in the eyeball, nothing happens except attitude as if you're bothering them by making them respond to you and do their job.  And may I just add, as an not EVER presume, from a doctor's office, that no news is good news on test results.  My mother-in-law died this way.  When I examined her chart during the last days of her life I found an entry from three years earlier stating they saw a spot on her lungs and that it should be followed up. No one informed her.  No one followed up.  It took her life. No news is NOT necessarily good news.

My daughter, during what has turned out to be a very mysterious two-month-long illness, was supposed to see a cardiologist a week ago but it took nearly a week just to get one of the girls from her regular doctor's office to call me back.  Not call me the first time, mind you, because that never happened.  I mean, call me back after my calling THEM several times when days had gone by and I had heard nothing.  Her doctor had said he wanted her SEEN within a week - not referred within a week.  And when I pushed for the referral after not being able to get them to contact me, it was  accompanied with attitude and heavy sighing.  Fast forward to the cardiologist's office when the referral finally got there and the same thing.  It clearly stated she was to be seen STAT and the names of two doctors she could see (either one was fine).  The appointment we got, I found out at the last minute, was with a different doctor.  That's a no-go.  Her very competent doctor had picked the other two specialists for a reason.  It's now been two-and-a-half weeks.  I just called the scheduling woman at the cardiologist's office AGAIN. She said she will text the doctor.  She forgot. Dear lord.

And then there is the mini spa package my husband bought me for Mother's Day this year.  Made my appointment and, after an especially harrowing series of events three weeks ago, couldn't WAIT to get in for my facial and massage. But the day before, I got notified that the aesthetician quit and would, on Saturday morning, instead of giving me a facial, be cleaning out her things.  If she was going to be there anyway, couldn't she have just honored her final commitments that were ALREADY PAID FOR and honor the appointment she had actually made herSELF?  Apparently not.

And there are other situations I could describe that would raise your eyebrows or maybe your blood pressure but I'll spare you - to protect the guilty.  And I'm not a victim.  I'm not alone in this.  You go through it, too, but how do you handle it?  Do you throw it all at the feet of Jesus and just give up?  Do you soldier on and arm yourself for battle? Do you unplug/turn off the phone and go into retreat mode? Do you turn the other cheek and just let the kickers give it to you in the teeth until they are satisfied? If you confront them, do you win the battle but lose the war?  Is it so much beating of an ant hill and then the ants just swarm and bite?  I honestly don't know.  While I had my head in my glacial freezer yesterday thawing out the Titanic worthy icebergs, I alternately cried, blew my nose, and dried dripping water and tears with the blow dryer.  I came away with no answers.  So, what's your advice?  I would love to hear how YOU handle these daily vagaries.  Most of it isn't life threatening and in the big picture, each thing alone is manageable - except for my daughter's issues which still confound me.  But it is a steady barrage and assault that takes its daily toll and makes me want to live in a hermitage with vicious, protective dogs as my only companions and greeters of would-be visitors. 

If you've read this far you are obviously a masochist which, apparently, makes you my kind of people and qualifies you to advise me.  Go for it.  I'm not Dr. Frasier Crane but, I AM listening.

© Robynn's Ravings 2013