We finally had Ayden's 4-Year well-baby (child?) visit this last week. To say it was traumatic (for me) would probably be quite an understatement. We had to reschedule this visit, which is why it is so late, and ended up having our appointment with the "new" doctor in our practice instead of our normal pediatrician. We used to have a nurse practitioner at our office as well as our normal pediatrician, but she left back in January and since then it has been difficult to get into the doctor. It's nice to have the option of seeing someone else if need be, but we will not be seeing this particular doctor EVER AGAIN.
Obviously, Ayden has a decent amount of developmental delays. Our visit to the FX Clinic back in May included many evaluations and our doctor's office has all those on file. I know exactly where he is behind, what month he is testing in for all areas of development and essentially more about Fragile X then most people around. I live it, it's expected. I certainly don't expect our normal pediatrician to know as much as I do about it, but expect that she will take suggestions I have into consideration and research them if need be.
So, the first thing this new doctor has me do is fill out a basic "What is your child doing?" evaluation. I've filled out a ton of these, and breeze through it. I know he's behind, I don't need a test to show me. I'm a bit annoyed I have to fill it out given the records we have on file, but whatever.
Ayden is doing pretty well at this point as our appointment was during his normal nap time. He has sat through me filling out this evaluation, made it back to the actual room with the nurse, and had his weight/height taken without too many issues. Overall, very good for him. His anxiety level at this point was very low. I went over the things I wanted to cover with the doctor including finally getting our referral to the speech and occupational therapy programs at Sparrow Pediatric Rehab. They happen to be the ONLY speech therapy in our area that takes insurance and have a 6 month waiting list which requires a doctor referral. I also wanted to discuss the possibility of Minocycline and ask our doctor to do some research for me, of course providing her with some articles explaining how it can benefit FX children. We haven't decided we for sure want to try it, but I wanted our doctor's opinion after she looked into it.
Nurse leaves, new doctor comes in. He immediately approached Ayden without saying anything to me and touched his face asking what the two marks on it were. (They were mosquito bites). My ultra low anxiety Ayden now hits the roof and begins flailing and screaming. Issac, who hates his brother like that of course tries to help by handing him anything he thinks Ayden would like making it much worse. Meanwhile, new doctor is talking over the top of screaming - STILL has not introduced himself. Uh....really? My annoyance level is now also pretty high.
I do get Ayden calmed down, fairly quickly for having had a stranger touch him without warning. Heck, I can barely touch his face with out telling him first and even then he barely tolerates it. The doctor now says to me...and I want to quote this.... "So, he's autistic or something?". Jaw. drop. I expect that from strangers. I expect that ignorant people. I DO NOT expect or tolerate that from a pediatrician who HAS MY CHILD'S CHART IN FRONT OF HIM. I very calmly explain that no, he has Fragile X Syndrome with a dual diagnosis of PDD-NOS and all his paperwork should be in his file. His reply "So, he's autistic. Ok." then immediately launches into a lecture about how I need to get SSI for Ayden and other supplemental insurance because I'm doing him a disservice by not having those things available to him. In the midst of this, he explains how Ayden's Early On teachers are also terrible and not doing anything they should - also tells me we need a caseworker. Did I mention he still hasn't introduced himself or even asked my name? I am BEYOND frustrated at this point. For anyone to tell me I am doing my child a disservice by not taking government money that we DO NOT NEED is beyond arrogant. To then tell me his wonderful teachers are terrible is just another thing entirely.
So, frustrated, annoyed, and totally flustered now. Doctor beings going over the developmental evaluation I filled out. Tells me Ayden is severely delayed. (No kidding? Did you even read the Fragile X stuff in his file, it's pretty detailed). He tells me Ayden's percentiles which the nurse already went over and then starts checking Ayden out. Of course this part is terrible, but I instruct him how to do it the best way and thankfully he does listen. It's never pleasant, but necessary. I decide while this is happening to totally skip the minocycline talk - I'll have it with our actual doctor later, it's not imperative anyhow. I do; however, need the referral, which seems like it shouldn't be a problem. Doctor gets ready to leave and I remind him of the referrals for speech and OT. In yet another "really, you are a doctor" moment - he says "Why would you need that?" I am SO DONE by this point, so I'm sure I was rude. I explained SPR needed the referral sent directly from the office and wouldn't accept it any other way. He was insistent that the FX Clinic we went to should have done this for us to which I very firmly told him he needed to write it out for us. He still only wrote up a prescription, handed it to me and left as he's telling me the nurse will be in for vaccinations in a few minutes. You know, the first time he mentions it at all. I had no clue, so didn't have time to even ask which ones he was getting. In retrospec, I should have checked...but I was so flustered already.
Vaccinations are always terrible for us, and Ayden needed a total of 4. It took 3 of us to hold him and 1 nurse to administer the shots. It's the first time I've ever cried during shots...it was just terrible. I know it's needed, but it was difficult this time. Even with all of us holding him he still moved and got a nice scratch from one of the needles. Just a very sad end to a terrible doctor visit. Now...back to the vaccine part - I rarely refuse vaccination, but I had turned down one that I decided not to have him get. I can't remember which one it is, but there is one that now covers a new strain from when Ayden has his, so he essentially would be getting an "extra" dose. I wasn't okay with that, so I turned it down after checking into it at Ayden's last visit. We put it on the chart, so I guess it didn't cross my mind to double check. The risk is small, it's not required, and it was an extra dose I just didn't feel comfortable about. Somewhere in the midst of the chaos that was his appointment, this doctor decided to give Ayden this vaccine anyhow. Without telling me. Not a happy mommy. I don't know how it slipped by the nurses, but the damage is done now. I feel like he probably told them I ok'd it, because our nurses are amazing and have never made a mistake and ALWAYS respected my wishes.
I did have a chat with the nurse after the vaccinations were done. We were lucky enough to get my favorite nurse, and I politely asked if this doctor would be a permanent addition to staff. Luckily, he is temporary and only works a few days per week. We now have it listed on our chart that we don't ever see him. I of course checked to be sure our normal pediatrician was not retiring with new baby on the way, if so we definitely would look into another office. Thankfully it's not in the works...and more doctors in our office are.
Now, I'm sure reading this very negative post you realize it's a fairly uncommon thing for me. I do, in fact, try to keep this blog very upbeat. This visit was just so off the wall, and not normal. My reason for sharing is simply to let others know these type of visits DO happen. And they are most definitely not normal or okay. No one should ever leave a well baby visit feeling like this, so if you are then please do yourself and your child a favor and find a new doctor. I think so many times with insurance we can forget that we are customers and should be treated with respect. Of course doctors often have to say thing we don't want to hear, but the manner in which they do it and the way that treat us and our children is very important. I know, personally, we are very thankful we have an amazing pediatrician. Given the fact the whole office is so wonderful, I doubt it will be long before this doctor ceases to be a part of the office.
Until next time...