Medical care and children

We've had two Monday mornings in a row that have involved medical care for Maybelle.  Because she has Down syndrome, it's a good idea for us to have various parts of her checked on a regular basis, so last Monday we did an audiology visit, and this morning we had her eyes checked.

Here's what I'd like to say:  MUSC is a solid, reputable medical facility.  They do a great deal of excellent work, I'm sure.  But some of their pediatric clinicians aren't exactly what you'd hope for, in terms of their interactions with patients and parents.  Let's just say that as we biked home from today's visit, we taught Maybelle to say the word "asshole."  She did a good job with it.

Some quick tips for clinicians:

  • You're dealing with a child who's almost three.  Let's expect that she's going to be wiggly and not want you messing with her ears or eyes.  If you make us wait a long time, she's going to start unfastening her shoes, or trying to slide down and play Ring Around a Rosie.  This is not a surprise, something that you get to be visibly irritated by, or something that allows you to characterize her as "difficult."  Her behavior made perfect sense to both parents, since we, too, were feeling bored and fidgety.
  • If you identify a child as "difficult" to her obviously doting mother, you should expect the mother's smiling face to suddenly stiffen.  Your resident was visibly uncomfortable.  Thank you, resident, for looking shocked and stating immediately, "Most three year olds could be characterized as 'difficult.'"
  • Talk to the parents.  Explain to us what you're doing and why.  If you can manage to do so with even a vaguely cheerful affect, that would be a plus.
We'll be finding new places to get Maybelle's hearing and sight assessed, and I'm going to let her pediatrician (who is awesome) know.


    erniebufflo said...

    Ick! Makes me sorry my hubby's not still a peds resident at MUSC, because he's AWESOME with kids and a kickass doctor to boot. Now you'd have to come all the way to Arkansas and wind up in the ER to see him. Even though I've met tons of awesome folks in the world of pediatrics (most people choose it because they really love kids, otherwise they'd choose just about any other specialty, because all of them pay better), I've also met several folks where I'm wondering why there allowed to have a career where they interact with other humans at all.

    The Mom said...

    Oh, Alison, I'm sorry you had such a difficult exerience with the medical system today! Good for you - I'm sure I'd be deciding the exact same thing in your shoes...and to some extent, did. I know you'll find excellent alternatives!

    krlr said...

    We have string of Medical Fridays coming up here soon too! Am huge advocate in finding the right people. The first person (I refuse to say 'Doctor') to check my girl's eyes SNEEZED into his HANDS and then REACHED for her. (does the capslock fully relay my horror?). This was exactly 2 mos after her heart surgery & in the height of flu season. Needless to say we haven't seen him again.

    Also, unrelated, I just realized my daughter knew Ring around the Rosie - something I never taught her. Was going to post about it this week... Funny!

    Tara said...

    Yep. I stand by my assessment that some people should be hanging wallpaper for a living.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree wholeheartedly to a ll of the above! Oh and I love the word asshole! Totally appropriate.

    claire said...

    Definitely tell the pediatrician and I would send a note to the clinic as that is just terrible doctoring behavior.

    Alison said...

    Thanks for all the affirmation, y'all! Particularly given that I taught my child an inappropriate--and yet gender neutral!--term.

    Quiche said...

    Normal three year old behavior. I'd be wanting to play ring around the rosie and playing with my shoes too...or find something hilarious in those situations and not be able to contain myself... even now.

    It is their fault for not having toys, books or Highlights magazines to keep them entertained while waiting. You or Walt could carry a "fun bag" of a few small toys, books she likes, etc., for those exceedingly boring waiting room situations.

    Anonymous said...

    Whether it's doctor visits, airport layovers, or an outing to a restuarant, it's wise to come prepared. I discovered wikistix or Bendaroos (little waxed strings that can be bent into a thousand shapes) at that age. For several years I had a stash of them in my purse. Now we pull out the iPod touch for little time killing apps or video clips. Much cleaner than nasty doctor's office toys.