Sunday, February 20, 2011

My doctor

I'd like to tell you about my doctor. No, not the one that has been the source of all my recent RE visits. My primary care doctor. The way my insurance works, it is financially beneficial if I see a doctor in a particular set of clinics. When I obtained my current job I set up a new patient appointment the first doctor that was available in this clinic. It took about 6 weeks to get that appointment. They promised once I was established as a patient, then I could make day-of appointments. My appointment was at 2:30. I show up at 2:25 and check in. At 3:15, I am called to the back (finally!) and the nurse takes my vitals and puts me in the exam room. I am reading a magazine and lose track of time. About 30 minutes pass and I leave the room to ask the nurse when the doctor would see me. She says the doctor is running a little late and will be right there. Another 20 minutes pass. I go out again and ask about the doctor. Finally, at around 4:15, in comes Dr. LateResident. Fresh out of medical school, Dr. LR tries to apply the knowledge that she is supposed to have a good bedside manner and chit chat with us to make us feel comfortable. At one point I said, "you know my appointment was at 2:30 so if we could hurry this along, that would be great." She appears a little flustered and does apologize and say it is not usually like this. Just when I think the exam is coming to a close, she says she has to call in her residency supervisor (Dr. Supervisor) to check that the appointment went well. After several more minutes waiting, Dr LR and Dr Supervisor come in together. DR LR fills in Dr Supervisor on me and my health. As part of the details, she mentions that I recently moved to the area. After asking a few questions about some questions in my medical history, Dr Supervisor asks how long I've been here. My reply? "2.5 hours!" She was like, oh no, I meant how long have you lived in this area.

Eventually I was able to escape. Dr LR has come in handy since that fateful appointment. She was the one to give me a reference to an RE that smoothed things over with my insurance. I should also add that the practice that includes Dr LR and Dr Supervisor sees both adults and children. I thought that was kind of odd since doctors usually specialize in one or the other, but whatever.

But let's fast forward to 2 summers ago. I had been very sick for a few days. Massive headache, some vomiting, etc. I did visit the ER at one point and they did a CT scan since at that point a headache was my major symptom. The ER doctor mentioned a "really terrible (temporary) disease," but since I have been sick for 3 days I probably have a non-deadly form and the only thing to do is wait it out. They discharged me with directions that if I got worse I should come back to the ER and if I stayed the same in a few days I should see my primary care doctor. Well a few days passed and I was the same. So in I went. Dr LR was not available that day, so I had an appointment with Dr Supervisor. At this point my husband is taking me b/c I couldn't drive. Or even really sit up. I think this time my appointment was at 3pm. We show up and are taken to the back at 3:15ish. Still a little late, but not as bad as last time. Dr Supervisor finally comes in a little after 3:30. She asks some questions and says I am dehydrated and gives me some juice to drink and leaves. She comes back about 30 minutes later to see if I am better. Um, not really, but thanks for the juice. She says I do have the "really terrible disease." The problem is that this really terrible disease comes in two forms. One form is not really treatable, but they can give me medicine to manage the symptoms and it runs its course in about 10 days. So I would just need to wait it out. The other form will kill you in 2-3 days if not treated. I need a "very painful procedure" to determine which form I have. But since it is now almost 5pm and the office is closing, I will need to go down to the ER to have that done. I am thinking, well if you got started when I first came in maybe it wouldn't be so late and I wouldn't have the insane cost of another ER visit. But I didn't want to die obviously, so down to the ER we went.

The ER doctor (different from the previous ER) examined me and agreed with Dr Supervisor that I have this really terrible disease. And he agreed that the only way to tell what form I had was through a very painful procedure. But then he said, "You've been sick for over 5 days?" I confirmed and he replied that if I have the deadly kind, I would have already been dead. So he thought we could rule that out without the very painful procedure. He gave me prescriptions to manage the symptoms and about a week later I was healthy again.

You are probably wondering why I am going into detail on my less than pleasant experiences with my doctor (to put it mildly). Well, I have been dreading the physical exams that are required as part of the homestudy. We are generally healthy, so I am not worried about the outcome of the exam, but just the length of time that the appointment will take. Also, as I've been looking into adoption, I realize that we will need to find a pediatrician. It crossed my mind that I could use my primary care doctor since they see both adults and children. And my reaction was, NO WAY! Besides, I was advised that we should find someone who knows how things may be different with adoption.

And then yesterday comes along. My husband and I signed up for an all day conference on being successful as an adoptive parent. I'll go into more detail on everything that was covered later. But let me just mention what happened towards the end of the afternoon. They had a panel with various professionals (agencies, legal and medical professionals) to talk about some logistics or things we need to think about and prepare for. One guess who the medical professional was? Yep, Dr Supervisor is apparently the best in the area for domestic adoptions. She is an adoptive mother herself and knows the developmental signs that a doctor should pay a little extra attention to if the child was adopted and has an unknown prenatal and family medical history. She is also willing to talk with us about specific situations of drug/alcohol exposure. I couldn't believe it. The one doctor that I would want to avoid the most is the best in the area!


For those interested in her overall perspective on drugs/alcohol exposure, she said that for children adopted as newborns, aggressive parenting can help overcome many of the disadvantages brought on by pre-natal conditions. So you want a doctor who is going to take concerns that your child is not developing on the normal schedule seriously, rather than dismiss them as saying that babies develop at different rates. While that is true, you want to have early intervention b/c that is the best way to overcome developmental delays. If something seems awry at 4 months, you want to take action then and not wait to see if the baby catches up by her/himself at 6 months.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a coincidence! But how great for you that you've found the best Dr already without even searching. Let's just hope the waiting time for children's appointments is quicker...


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