Monday, February 6, 2012

A Long, Long, Long Weekend

And not in a good way.

Maggie's concussion (which I am trying to re-brand in my memory as: maybe she just passed out from something not-related to her brain being injured) was sort of like the icing on the cake. A really gross cake that I hate and want to throw at somebody. After things settled down from the ER trip, I realized that there was no possible way her amoxicillin was doing anything to help her ear infection. And I was just as mad at myself as I was at the prescribing physician (on second thought, I was/am pretty mad at that doctor). I questioned the drug choice and told her that Maggie had a history of ear infections, some of them back-to-back. She prescribed it anyway. I try to be respectful of physicians and their training. But bottom line, graduating from medical school (or even, writing a book about pediatrics) does not make you an expert whose judgment I shouldn't question a heck of a lot harder (or whose appointment slots I shouldn't avoid in the future, when the girls' regular doctor is out of the office). Not only did the medicine NOT help, she ended up with another ear infection in her allegedly "great" ear (alternatively, it was there the whole time and the doctor just didn't bother to clean her ear out; either way, that was a serious doctor's appointment fail). For those of you keeping track, that is four ear infections, three antibiotic prescriptions, two out-of-town guests, and one possible concussion in a single (long) weekend. I learned some important lessons about being a strong advocate in my children's healthcare. And all it cost me was 72 hours of a miserable baby who wouldn't eat or sleep, two wasted co-pays, an extra day of paid leave from work, and a whole lot of frustration. So kind of a lot.

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7 comments:

  1. You know, I've actually heard nothing but negatives about her as an actual practicing physician...

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  2. I'm glad it's not just me. Come to think of it, most of my visits with her have been pretty negative.

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    1. Useful book though.

      We actually changed pediatricians two years ago. Loved ours, but he got a partner and she was ADD and as you might guess, so am I, and Paul maintained that between the two of us he feared for our children when we saw her on sick visits. Our old pediatrician even agreed to guarantee to see us himself even if it meant lunches and after hours, but Paul stuck his foot down.

      We moved to the place we had been referring people for about a year based on seeing her on sick visits and that is Anna Bell at Children's Medical Group. We have really liked her. And she was out on maternity leave and so we saw her partner and I'm good with her as well, so I think we are good in the pediatrician department.

      Oh, as long as I'm rambling, I'm not sure if you have a pediatric dentist, but Stephen White (http://www.stephentwhite.com/) is absolutely awesome.

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    2. We need a pediatric dentist! Thank you! and it was funny, just as I was typing my previous comment, I was thinking that I might just need to look into other pediatricians in the area...

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    3. If you do decide to look for pediatricians, I would recommend making an appointment to INTERVIEW your candidate or candidates before making a move. Lots of people do it with their first kid as a newborn, but we did this when we made the move and it really helped my confidence.

      We were able to discuss the specific areas that had plagued us with the other office, the policies of the new practice, and philosophy of the doctor towards some scenarios (you could play our the ear one as an example). Getting recommendations from actual patients I think is important and a huge first step, but taking the time to interview is really valuable. ANd the interviews are free!

      I really like smaller practices. Both of the two we have used are two doctor and this means not only do you know the doctors, but each nurse and even the professional staff knows my kids and so I don't have to start at square one explaining their background when I call with a question.

      Both of these practices are actually in the same on-call group that has 6 or 7 doctors that share weekends (and evenings I think) and they ALWAYS have hours on Saturdays for sick visits and we have even had them come in on Sunday special to keep us from having to run to Dell.

      What's a bit funny is that they are in the same on-call group, so we get the old practice at times. But we left very amiably with clear reasons given for why we were leaving and no hurt feelings, so it actually ends up as a positive, I think.

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  3. I was totally wondering about weekend availability. THat is one of the things I like about our practice is the evening and weekend availability. My kids are always getting sick on the weekends.

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    1. It's going to vary by practice, but with the two we have used they have Saturday appointments always. I think they are there like 8:30 to 3 or something like that and sometimes ends up more when well, just a lot of kids are sick. Then on four occasions one of the docs has come in on Sunday, but that's their call rather than a guarantee. These appointments run through insurance the same as normal, so in our case a $15 copay.

      The other option on nights and weekends that I've only done once is to run to the ARC urgent care clinics. They are always just the same as a normal appointment. The one time we did it was because we were worried Chiron might have pink eye and wanted to get him started on the meds on Sunday so it didn't affect daycare atttendance ability.

      I'd say figure out your candidate offices and definitely include that as one of your questions. For questions and the like at night to get what the game plan should be until office hours the next day, I find they are great on the phone at all hours.

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