R is for Respect

We’re going to take a break from our not-so-regularly scheduled picture updates so I can share an experience from tonight that made me so angry I am planning to write a STRONGLY worded letter.  Unfortunately that’s as in your face as this nice midwestern gal gets.

I have to start at the beginning.  Yesterday about two hours into the day I got a call from daycare that Lou didn’t seem right.  He’d walk a few steps, fall down, then get back up only to fall down again.  He’d had a rough few nights with what we figured was pain from the FIVE teeth he currently has erupting in his mouth so I thought maybe something worse was actually going on.  Fortunately  I was able to make an appointment with our pediatrician.  It turned out to be an ear infection that was causing his loss of balance.  What a relief!  We’ve been on this train before – five times.  A few days of meds and he’d be as good as new.

I mention the number of ear infections because late last fall it seemed as though we were visiting the doctor every other week.  Bjorn and I both had chronic ear infections as kids and our primary doctor told us early on that they can be genetic.  It’s important to note right now that I have nothing against medication or medical procedures if they are necessary.  At the recommendation of several people we opted to take Lou to a friend that’s a chiropractor at the tail end of his last ear infection.  I’ll admit that I was skeptical, but my sister had chronic migraines in high school and after months and months of doctors trying to help her she finally found reliable relief at the hands of a chiropractor.  To our happiness Lukas’ adjustment helped immensely.  Our doctor had given us the okay to try it saying it might help and it definitely wouldn’t hurt.  Yesterday was our first unexpected trip to the doctor in THREE MONTHS.  A major record for us.

Tonight after work we stopped at my mom and dad’s to say hello.  As we were getting ready to leave we noticed a rash covering Lou’s belly and back.  Knowing that the only change to his routine was the antibiotics he’d been taking I chalked it up to an allergic reaction.  I knew he needed to be on meds so I called the after hours nurse line and spent a frustratingly long time on the phone with a very nice nurse.  After answering what felt like a ridiculous number of ridiculous questions she finally told me that if a kid Lukas’ age presents with a rash after receiving the medicine he was given they need to be seen by a doctor within four hours.  WHY didn’t you tell me that at the beginning of this 20 minute call?

I fed Lukas dinner and we headed to our neighborhood Urgent Care.  After an hour and a half of keeping him from escaping through the automatic doors we were finally called back.  After another thirty minutes in walks the McDreamy wannabe.  All hair, scruffly beard, leather bracelet and arrogance.  I will be perfectly honest, I was tired, stressed and out of sorts.  It’s been a long week.  Lukas was well past bedtime and wanted to go home – he kept handing me his jacket and giving me a look like, “Mom, you don’t even have to open the doors.  Let’s blow this popsicle stand.”  McD Wannabe starts listing off a bunch of symptoms that Lukas has, but are not our primary reason for being there such as eye discharge and ear pain.  I’d told the intake nurse about his ear infection but apparently the doctor wanted to discover it for himself.  Finally I had to take Lou’s shirt off for the doctor to even LOOK at the rash.  He hemmed and hawed for awhile, looked in Lukas’ ears and deemed them “red, but not that bad”, looked at the medication bottle I’d brought in and made a point of saying that HE would never prescribe that for an ear infection which I think was an effort to make him seem superior to our pediatrician whom we trust and respect, rattled off a bunch of medical terms to try and sound smart and then finally wrote a new prescription. 

In the midst of this he left to take a call.  He had to tell me that it was regarding his ‘cardiac’ patient.  I realize that’s important and I was fine with him leaving but the tone was incredibly disrespectful.  I realize an ear infection isn’t on the same level as a heart issue, but my kid is sick and tired.  Would it be so tough to treat him with a little kindness?  The lovely doctor also ripped Lou’s pacifier out of his mouth after he dropped it on the floor and put it back in his mouth so it could be rinsed off in the sink.   He tsked me and said something about it being really dirty in there.  Look, I know.  It’s gross.  This kid also likes to lick our shoes if we leave them by the door.  The pacifier didn’t land with the nub on the ground.  Chances are whatever he would catch from your dirty exam room will get killed off by the amoxicillin you’ve prescribed.

At some point during our conversation I mentioned that this was Lou’s fifth ear infection.  When he came back with the prescription he also handed me a card for an ENT.  He said “with five ear infections he really needs to see a specialist and get tubes.”  Okay.  You’ve seen my kid once.  I’ve asked our pediatrician with every ear infection visit if she thought tubes were necessary.  She doesn’t think so…yet.  We’ll keep evaluating.  If she tells us she thinks they would help we will do it.  She knows him.  She knows kids in general.  I trust her opinion, not the opinion of a random Urgent Care doctor with floppy hair.  At this point I made a HUGE mistake.  I mentioned our visit to the chiropractor. 

This gave McD Wannabe all the ammo he needed to completely irritate the hell out of me.  He started by asking me what my husband and I do for a living.  I’m guessing to make sure he didn’t step on any toes with his next comment (Bjorn thinks he wanted to see how educated we were just so he could determine which level of condescension to use.)  According to the ‘good’ doctor chiropractics were started by a guy from Iowa who bagged groceries.  He also assured me that he was 100% certain that Lukas’ trip to the chiropractor did absolutely nothing to ease his ear issues.  He’s not sure what it was, but it DEFINITELY wasn’t the chiropractor.  The implication was that chiropractors are quacks and I was endangering my child by exposing him to one. 

Fortunately we were walking out at this point.  My hands were full of Lukas and all of our stuff.  Had they not been I just might have clocked him or at the very least made some wild hand gestures.  I instead passed along a very terse, “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion”. 

I know that I am not a doctor.  I know that doctors are well-educated and they have to retain a lot of information.  That doesn’t mean they should be allowed to treat the rest of us like a bunch of shmucks.  We’ve been really fortunate to have understanding, patient and kind practitioners up to this point.   That’s why I can’t accept his behavior.  His rude assessment of our doctor’s choice of medication.  His dismissal of chiropractors.  His judgement of the choices I’ve made for my child.  There is a level of common courtesy and respect that was completely lost on this guy.

Under most circumstances I would just chalk this up to a rough night for all involved but we’ve had more than one bad experience with this particular Urgent Care.  We’ll be taking our copays elsewhere.

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1 Comment

Filed under Bjorn, Family, I'm the Mama, Lukas

One response to “R is for Respect

  1. -R-

    Can you e-mail me with the name of the urgent care so that I never, ever go there?

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