In which I envison a great many peanut butter sandwiches in the near future.


Yesterday afternoon, I took my 5-year-old to the doctor because her cold was going on Day 8 and wasn’t showing any signs of improvement whatsoever.  We ended up getting the doctor that drives me batty, the one who reminds me a bit of Dr. House. He doesn’t limp, and he’s not so OBVIOUSLY rude to people, but he’s brilliant enough that he just does not understand how to talk to a 5-year-old during an appointment. In fact, he barely talks to the 5-year-old at all. He talks to me, and he says things like “Oh man, THIS is really gonna be a TOUGH one!” when my 5-year-old shows signs of distress at the thought of a stick or a Q-tip swab anywhere near her throat (which is so sore that she can barely talk or swallow).

What my 5-year-old hears isn’t so much that she’s the tough one. It’s that something will be DIFFICULT during this visit. Which translates into something will be PAINFUL during this visit. Her distress increases visibly.

What I think when I hear this sort of thing is: WHY did this guy ever get into pediatrics in the first place? What I want to SAY is “Dude, do you even HAVE children?”

What I wish is that I could have magically transported our entire pediatric facility from Colorado along with us when we moved, so that the girls would have the same doctors they’d had ever since they first popped out onto this unsuspecting world. The doctors that knew how to talk to them when they felt sick. The ones that looked right at them when they came through the door and gave them a commiserating frown/rueful smile and said: “Not feeling so good, huh? Well, let’s have a look-see.” and then just went ahead and did what needed to be done without pausing to comment on how difficult it might be, just transferring them from the exam table to my lap and encircling arms for things that might prove uncomfortable, and GETTING IT DONE.

But no. None of them thought uprooting their entire practice was a reasonable idea when I told them we were moving. So I’m stuck with this guy, who is apparently BRILLIANT and the ultimate Go-To-Guy when your kid has got some serious rare disease. But apparently, if your kid is just plain old sick, and happens to have some wax in her ear so he can’t really see if there’s an infection in there, and happens to have this aversion to Strep tests, he’s really not all that good.

And in the end, he simply decided Not To Do The Tests. He would give her antibiotics anyway at this point, so he didn’t see the reason for putting her through an ear cleaning and a Strep test that might or might not have resulted in a prescription for Amoxicillin. He saw how worried my kid was, and apparently didn’t want to deal with it. So, we lucked out, I guess, and just got a prescription. At first, I was all: Gee that’s nice of him. Maybe he’s not so bad after all. But then not ten minutes after he’d explained why he wasn’t going to do the test, he gave us a mini-lecture about how we couldn’t ALWAYS EXPECT to get off this easy. That NEXT TIME, she’d probably have to have the tests.

At that point I told him, as nicely as possible, that if he felt the procedures were necessary, we certainly would do them. That he was the doctor. That I relied on his professional opinion about these things. And that if my daughter showed stress or reluctance I was RIGHT THERE ON HAND, IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE  to help her through it. That I considered it my JOB to help my child through difficult medical moments, just as I considered it HIS JOB to tell me what was required.

He gave me a prescription and we left. Without doing any tests.

I guess it would be prudent to mention at this point that I, also, was still dealing with the very same symptoms as my 5-year-old, which made it very hard for me to maintain any sort of perspective or patience regarding this whole doctor visit. And if he was any other doctor, I’d have called the office to complain when we got home. But considering that he’s the uber-brilliant guy there, I figure it would be bad karma to, like, alienate him or something. So, I took my kids, the prescription, their various Webkinz that they brought in with them, all my own personal cold symptoms and got into my car and left.

And this morning, still feeling pretty crappy, I decided to stop pretending I wasn’t really sick, and called my own doctor’s office. I told them I suspected I have a sinus infection, and they said to come on in. So, I took my kids, their Webkinz toys, some Goldfish crackers, and all my symptoms down to my doctor’s office a couple of hours ago, where I was informed by my kindly young doctor that it’s not a sinus infection.

It’s the flu.

“The flu?” I said to him. “Are you sure? I thought the flu would be one of those I-can’t-even-get-out-of-bed-because-of-the-utter-agony type things. I’m up and around. How can it be the flu?”

“Well,” he said. “Not everyone gets the exhaustion. In fact, it’s almost worse when they don’t, because they tend to think it’s just a cold and go about their business, and it takes longer to recover that way.”

“Oh,” I said.

“Did you get a flu shot this year?” he asked.

“Well… no.” I said.

“Definitely the flu,” he said, and started scribbling like mad on his prescription pad. “I’m gonna give you some Amoxicillin along with everything else I’m prescribing, just in case, but chances are, it won’t make a difference. Go home and rest.”

We’re home now. And resting as best we can.

Except for one event tomorrow that we simply cannot back out of, we’re cancelling everything for the next week or so.

I’ve decided that Mr. Uber-Brilliant Doctor Who Never Should Have Been A Pediatrician doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I’ve decided to treat my 5-year-old’s cold as if it were the flu. Sure, she’ll take the damn antibiotics. Just in case. But chances are, it’s the flu, and we’ve just got to get through it.

I’ll be back when I’m on the other side of all this.


6 Responses to “In which I envison a great many peanut butter sandwiches in the near future.”

  1. 1 RegularSis February 25, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Oh how awful! I hope you all feel better soon! Please rest as much as possible. Thinking of you.


  2. 2 Gail February 26, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Wow, I hope you’re all feeling better soon.

    And at least Dr. Uber-Brillian didn’t try to imply that there’s any connection between not getting the flu shot and getting the flu, unlike your doctor, since the shots are a statistical farce.

  3. 3 Sparklee February 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Hey, we eat a great many peanut butter sandwiches even when we’re NOT sick. Hope you feel better soon.


  4. 4 Hillary February 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Wait a second. I thought homeschoolers were supposed to get sick less. Have you guys been sneaking off to school on the sly? 🙂 Feel better! Lots of juice and movies! (My 5-year-old WISHES she were sick!)

  5. 5 Mom #1 February 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Yikes to that doctor. What a prick.

    Get well soon . . . you and yours.

    I just got over something awful. I know how you’re feeling. Don’t worry about anything else. Just rest.

  6. 6 Karisma March 7, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Well you are probably all better by now, but hugs anyway!

    Flu is best treated with lots of fluids, water, juice, tea, soup. As much as you can stomach. I hate doctors and its an extreme rarity that they get near my kids. If I can’t fix it I will see them but like I say, very rare!

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