Monday, November 16, 2015

Talking to the Pediatrician

Wow, it's been a long time since my last post.  I find that I've missed writing.  It helps me clarify things and clear my head.  So I'm starting again.

This summer, Middle Son seemed to be having problems with his ears.  It's always hard to tell with him.  He was covering them with his hands.  When asked if his ears hurt, he signed yes.

I took him to the doctor.  She tried to look in his ears.  He didn't want her to.  He is now big and strong enough that if he objects to a procedure we can't force it.  She gave us a referral to Children's Hospital to see if they could do it.  I made an appointment.  The ENT tried to look in his ears and also failed.   We scheduled an ear exam under anesthesia.  The doctor said that ear infections often clear themselves, and that if he seemed better next week we could cancel the appointment.

He did seem better, so I canceled it.  A few weeks later he again seemed to be having problems.  I called to schedule the exam.  The scheduling nurse suggested that I call the pediatrician in the meantime and ask for antibiotics.

I called the pediatricians office and left a message asking for a prescription.  A little later the nurse called and said the doctor wanted me to bring Middle in for an exam before prescribing antibiotics.  I told the nurse this was a waste of time given what happened that last time I took him in.  The nurse, sounding uncomfortable, repeated that the doctor wanted me to bring him in.  Realizing that the nurse was just the messenger, I asked to speak directly to the doctor.  The nurse, with a note of relief in her voice, said she would arrange it.

The pediatrician called.  I asked why she wanted me to bring him in.  She said so that she could check for an infection.  She sounded surprised that I was asking.  I asked how she would do that.  Sounding even more surprised, she said by looking in his ears.  I asked if she'd looked at the notes from his last visits.  She said no.  I told her that during his last visit the doctor had tried to look in his ears and failed.  We'd go the hospital, where the ENT tried to look in his ears and failed.  We had an anesthetized exam schedule, but it would be another two weeks before we went in.  In light of all that, I asked if she still thought it was worth me bringing Middle in to her office.

She sheepishly apologized for not looking at the notes, and asked me what pharmacy she should send the antibiotic prescription to.

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