Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Its not what you say, its how you say it

Doctors have a way of really causing unnecessary feat and panic. I'm sure they mean no harm, but I'd like to offer them some advice on how to approach something with a nervous parent.

When Ella was just a few weeks old, she started spitting up, quite a bit at times, and so we took her to the doctor. Before I knew it, we were off to the ER. Martin met us there, me in tears, doctors talking about something called Pyloric Stenosis and how they could feel the "olive" that signified this and she had all the symptoms and that it was just a minor surgery to fix it and on and on they went. One of the residents even asked if he could bring in some of his colleagues to feel the "olive" because it is so rare that you can actually feel this knot in the belly and he wanted others to get the chance. Hours later, they did an ultrasound, and turns out nothing was wrong. They diagnosed her with acid reflux. HELLO PEOPLE!! Could we not START there?! Why do we have to go straight to the worst case scenario sending new parents into a tailspin worrying and calling all family and friends preparing them for an impending surgery. Acid reflux. They wrote a prescription, sent us home, and within 2 days she was fine.

Today, Lily had her 4 mo. checkup. Drew was supposed to be there too but this new hospital stay prevented that from happening. The nightmare that will be getting them back on the same "vaccination schedule" is better served for another post. ANYWAY, Lily had her 4 mo. checkup. They measure her head and her length, weigh her, and then stick us in a room to wait for a doctor. I was going from the doctor with Lily to the hospital to be with Drew so I was anxious to get out of there. Then the doctor comes in and we start talking about how shes doing. She says her head circumference is a little strange. A little strange? What does that mean? Is her brain not growing? Is something wrong? Shes apparently gone from the 40th percentile to the 15th percentile which isn't "normal. Normal? Who defines normal? JUST TELL ME WHAT THIS MEANS!!!! So I ask what she expected it to be and she says well I was just expecting it to maybe be a half centimeter bigger. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? She says oh I'm not concerned or anything, I was just noticing that she made a jump in percentages. Well then WHY bring it up lady? You KNOW i'm already stretched pretty thin on the stress scale! Just let it go! If it shouldn't be of concern for me, then don't bring it up, I don't wanna know! I really really like our pediatrician, however she does not have kids. If she did, she would know better.

There's always that moment too when they listen to their heart and spend a few extra seconds at the same spot, or go back over a spot for a second or a third time. You just hold your breath for a few moments, hoping that thats just the routine, that they don't hear anything wrong, that your baby is just fine. And she is. Shes 13lbs 3oz, and for anyone keeping track, that makes Drew BIGGER than her!! He weighed in at 13lbs 7oz yesterday. My boy is growing and his sister is doing great, small head and all.

And any doctors out there who catch wind of this blog, you don't have to sugar coat it for us, but how about not starting with the worst case scenario? Us parents have a hard enough time just being parents. Thanks.


  1. My hubby actually teaches a doctoring course to residents so that they learn how to NOT do this. It helps that he has five kids. Some docs get it and some don't.

  2. It's probably the small head that makes the difference between Lily and Drew. :) You know, I love your babies - small heads and all.

  3. I can identify with that Erin! When Sandi was little, we took her to the Dr. because she was having trouble breathing/wheezing - they told us that her Trachea had collapsed and rushed her (by ambulance) to the E.R. It turned out to be an asthma attack. They gave her a shot, and sent her home! Ahhhh! Take care!