Monday, December 12, 2011

An apple a day my fricken ass

The grand finale of Junior’s fever and stomach complaint wasn’t a was a double ear infection.

For that I am eternally grateful.

Vomiting was such a routine part of my own childhood that I kept a sleeping bag in the bathroom. No parent wants to add “sleeping bag” to her child’s Christmas list because she sees him following in her footsteps. There are things to be sentimental about.

Vomit isn’t one of them.

Junior’s health has been a bit of a bumpy road this past year. The craptastic relationship we had with his pediatrician didn’t help matters. The list I made for “Top 10 signs you should switch pediatricians” was accurate, sadly. To say the doctor sucked would be an understatement.

Why didn’t I end the relationship sooner? I didn’t listen my gut, and I was blinded by the pediatrician’s reputation at Mulletville Hospital. To many folks, he walks on water. I kept believing that the next visit would be the one where I witnessed his magic.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

This summer I finally listened to my gut. A mother I met at the library raved about a doctor in Mulletville Lite. Her children were grown, but she said Dr. Blahblahblah had treated her children like family. If your kid was really, really sick, she saw you on the weekend (everyone knows that kids get sick at 5 pm on Friday—everyone). She was also good at diagnosing illnesses other than colds.

Since Junior suffers from an as-of-yet diagnosed stomach problem, I was sold.

We joined Dr. Blahblahblah’s practice. During our first visit, I noticed a lovely picture of Dr. Blahblahblah in the waiting room. She had an ethereal look to her—healing incarnate. I couldn’t wait to meet her.

Over the next few months I took the kids in for check-ups. For colds. For shots. I met with the staff to talk about a procedure for Junior at the Hartford Children’s Center.

Still no Dr. Blahblahblah.

I peeked in the windows. I peeked in the Record’s Room. I peeked in the bathroom.

Still no Dr. Blahblahblah.

I kept believing that the next visit would be the one where I met this damn doctor. Soon! Soon it would be our turn!

Then, this past weekend Chuck and I had to take Junior to the Mulletville Hospital ER. His stomach was acting up. We wanted to get to the bottom of it.

As I was filling out the paperwork, the doctor asked who Junior’s pediatrician was.

“Dr. Blahblahblah!” I said.

I waited for him to say, “Wow! That doctor is amazing!” Instead he laughed and said, “Really? Dr. Blahblahblah’s been dead for at least a year.”

“Dead?” I said. “She’s dead?”

“Cancer. Terrible thing.”

I suddenly understood the picture in the waiting room.

It seems I "suddenly" understand a lot these days.

Please, learn from my mistakes. If you're looking for a pediatrician, it's great to ask for recommendations, but make sure to visit the office first yourself. Google him or her and read up on ratings, if there are any.

Call the pediatrician's office and ask:

1. What hospital the doctor(s) is affiliated with
2. How common it is to be seen that day
3. If they have a weekend answering service
4. If the pediatrician(s) has any particular specialty
5. How many doctors vs. nurses the practice has and if you'll be seen by an RN or LPN more often than not
6. How many years of experience the pediatrician has

And finally,
7. If the pediatrician is alive

Did I miss anything?

P.S. Lest you think I am a total idiot, Dr. Blahblahblah's practice still answers the phone "Dr. Blahblahblah." So you see...


Pricilla said...

You think they would have told you....

I hope he is feeling better.

Frogs in my formula said...

I know, right?!

NHGirl said...

Wow, is that even legal?? To be a functioning medical practice under a deceased person's name?

Hubby and I got a big laugh about it. I hope he's feeling better!

Mrs. Tuna said...

The internet is a wonderful thing. I scored good by going to and looking them up on the medical board.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Yeah, I prefer my pediatrician has a pulse, myself.
It sucks you've had such bad luck with peds. It's such an important relationship. I left our last one who was relatively competent (also, alive! bonus!) because I just didn't like her. She has no personality. I need to click with my kids' ped. LOVE our new one. I hope you find one you love too!

SmartBear said...

Ummmm...I don't even know what to say! That's so fricking unbelievable! Have you thought about a really good family doc? We have had one since the boybuckets was born. He's amazing and while he is testing him for strep, he can test me too...because I always forget about myself! Good luck!
p.s. so what's up with Jr.'s tummy?

Sara said...

That is just crazy to me!

Other moms are usually a good source for good peds. It is where we found our ped dentist, thru another mom after I was complaining about bad dental advice we were given for J.

Hope you find one soon!

Jeanne said...

Something I've noticed over the years is that every doctor is "The Best in , , .

Often, these glowing reviews come from their staff, whose paychecks depend on the doctor's burgeoning practice.

Now when people start bragging up their doctor, I'm pretty skeptical.

Add to your list of things to search: obituaries. (Seems like the way they answer their phone is kind of fraudulent.)

The Kind Of Post — except the part where I don't "kind of" have 3 kids

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