Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A trip to the doctor

This is Shannon, our oldest. Shannon turned 5 in January so that meant a trip to the doctor for shots. Shannon is our wild-man (though I'm not doubting Tristan's abilities). He's our loud one, our full-steam-ahead, running-on-all-cylinders, drama-queen kid. Though he pushes me past limits I knew I ever had, every day it seems, I love his personality!! It does make trying to raise him a challenge, but it is one I look forward to (I really do .. am I telling you this or trying to convince myself??) .. especially since I know he has more of my personality than Justin's.
Before I tell you the tale of our latest doctor's visit, I need to fill you in on a couple more things. You now know how Shannon is (to some degree), and you probably have a good idea of who I am too (although I'm never quite what you expect). We see Dr. Beazley. He has consistently been chosen as one of the best (if not the best) pediatricians in the Valley, and he was Justin's and my pediatrician when we were younger .. along with our siblings' and my cousins'. We chose him because I knew I wouldn't likely care for anyone else, and deep down we do trust him .. we've seen the results. HOWEVER, we DON'T always agree with him! And .. for the record .. on this trip, I WAS VERY PMSy. (Gotta own up to it).
Now I can begin my story.
We check in at the front desk and I'm handed a clipboard with several pink sheets of paper and told "fill it out & give it to the nurse." I thought this was odd since we've been seeing Dr. Beazley for so long, but whatever. It started off with familial health history questions (history of ___ - check father, mother, siblings). Pretty standard questions .. though I must note that I LOVE the standard question asking if any of us has a history of death or death as an infant. YEA.
I'm filling out the form as the boys are hanging out, and then I flip the page and get to questions that start making me question this whole process. Questions like what type of house do we live in, what type of heating do we have .... ok ... I can still see where these could be used for health reasons. But then there was the question "What was the highest level of education" for the mother and father. HELLO!! Talk about some SERIOUS invasion of privacy!!
The nurse calls us back and I ask her about this. Here is where PMS comes into play and I had to tell her that I wasn't trying to jump down her throat about this, but I wanted to know how these questions (there were more, I just can't remember them now .. blocked them out maybe?) were anyone's business ... how did they conceivably pertain the the health of my child?? I filled out the form anyway, but I'm still grumbly about it.
Now we're in the room and we're waiting. Shannon has been weighed and had his height measured, along with his hearing and vision checked. Beazley comes in. Shannon, our "talks to anyone" kid becomes shy and won't talk. Beazley asks questions to Shannon like "what street do you live on?" Shannon answers "Sesame Street." - GREAT - ok ----- This is a running joke of sorts, one that the doctor isn't in on, and is writing down on his little pad that Shannon thinks he lives on Sesame Street. I prod Shannon to tell him where he really lives and he answers correctly. Also, even though Shannon normally finds it hysterical to call us by our names .. when asked by the doctor what our names are he says "mommy" and "daddy" ... and won't tell the doctor his full name (which not only does he know, but he can write out!) --- more scribbling on the pad from the doctor.
I then get the lecture about how I can't let Shannon out of my sight because he WILL wander off and the implication that there is a good chance Shannon won't be able to tell someone where he lives. I was told to NOT let him play alone even in our backyard!!! Times they have changed.
Next, I get the lecture about Vitamin D. How studies are finding kids lacking in this and how taking a multi-vitamin for it can help prevent not colon cancer and diabetes (apparently a good, healthy diet is less important than a multi-vitamin .. or at least not the first common sense answer when it comes to diabetes). I tell the doctor (YES, I told him this) how we only drink raw milk. I should be happy child services wasn't called then and there. I got told how "raw milk doesn't contain Vitamin D, that's why they fortify the milk with it." ---- Nice to know you're paying attention doc, when milk is pasteurized it loses up to 66% of the natural Vitamin D - THAT is why they fortify PASTUERIZED milk with it!!! --- I didn't argue with the doc here, I know better. He once tried to tell me, when Shannon was really little, how he wasn't really sold on organic food and the benefits of that too. Again, another moment I should probably be happy he didn't call Social Services then and there.
Next up: the shots. The first one was in his left deltoid. Later that evening, during bath time, we would notice a raised, red area the size of a dollar around the injection site. The next two were in his right arm, in his tricep .. an area pretty tender and sensitive on almost all of us. One of the two shots I saw go in and she put the ENTIRE needle in his arm, ALL THE WAY up to the syringe!!! She admitted that one hurt, as he screamed in pain and cried. Ya think?!?!?! GEEZ LADY!
When we had first gotten in there the nurse assumed we were there for the kindergarten check-up. I told her we were homeschooling, so he didn't need those tests/shots. Beazley told me that he still wanted to do them because of testing for anemia and some other stuff. He also told me how homeschooling was a good thing, but it is really a lot of work on the mother, so I needed to beware and be ready. Because, yea, raising kids in general isn't hard work at all, it's a breeze! GRUMBLE!!!!
So we're sent to the bathroom so Shannon can pee in the cup. Shannon doesn't know yet how to "shut it off" when the cup is full, much less hold the cup, so I lucked out with a over-filled cup and a pee soaked hand. They also didn't give us the type of cup that you just screw the lid onto, but a vial I had to pour the pee into. Tristan had the fortunate luck of standing between the toilet and sink, and getting pee dribbled (by me) onto his shirt. Sorry buddy.
Now we head off to the lab. Not only am I carrying the vial of pee, but also the 20 some big stickers we've been givin along with the two pencils they gave Shannon, and the paperwork they gave me ... because naturally, I didn't bring a purse or bag. I give the pee to the nurse and we sit down to wait. The room is NOT empty. Tristan screams about stickers. The nurse calls us into the lab - Shannon has to have his finger pricked. I try to get him to look at me, he doesn't. He screams and cries (drama queen, remember?), freaking out about the nurse squeezing blood from his finger. By now even the nurse is trying to convince him it doesn't hurt. We head back to sit down, Shannon crying and telling me between sobs and sniffles how "now I'm sick!". I tell him he isn't sick. What does he do??? He sits down in the seat and makes himself throw up!! (Yes, he can do that!) And, I'm not talking a little spittle here. The kid throws up BIG TIME: all over his shirt, his pants, into his shoes (of course we wore our faux-fur lined crocs today), on the chair, on the floor!!!!!
I rush back into the lab and ask for a towel as my child has just gotten sick. I'm handed ... three little paper towels. Back and forth I start going, trying to clean up the mess as much as possible; praying Tristan stays put; trying to get Shannon to calm down; spotting out of the corner of my eyes everyone watching and covering their noses .. it did smell! Finally the nurse asks me if they need to call house-keeping. YES!! I clean up everything and Shannon as best I can, I place the trash can in front of the seat and let the nurse know this so she can tell house-keeping. I'm handed the results of the lab-work and sent back across the hall to where we originally were.
The nurse who saw us come back apparently couldn't notice Shannon was covered in puke, and told us to have a seat. I hissed at Shannon to not sit down, and we all stood. Yes, I was sympathetic to my wounded child .... I'm not that mean and cold-hearted ... but he is a drama queen and he will get himself wound up and make it all that much worse (which he did). I'm not happy.
Beazley comes out, we walk over to him. Shannon moves to hop up into a nurse's chair, I hiss at him to not to. I get "the look" from Beazley. I have to explain to Dr. Beazley that Shannon is covered in PUKE!!!!!! Seriously man, I'm trying to keep your nurses' chairs from having PUKE on them!! C'mon!! Results were perfect, we're good to go (as much as possible anyway).
We head out to the car. It had been in the mid- to upper-40's that day, and since we weren't going to be outside long I hadn't seen a need to wear coats. We all had on long sleeve shirts, pants, and faux-fur lined crocs (well, mine were Birks). I get Tristan into his car seat and buckled in, making Shannon wait by his door on the other side of the car. I went around to Shannon and made him start stripping off his pants, as luckily, I had a spare pair in the car. Of course the parking lot wasn't empty, lots of people got to see me, the cold-hearted bitch of a mom that I am, and my poor shivering, 1/2 naked kid. Unfortunately for Shannon, the pants were a size 4, and so he looked like he was wearing capri pants -- we didn't even try to force them to button, I just got him buckled into his seat, tossed the dirty pants on the floor board, and slammed the door.
I was pissed, I had been insulted, offended, accused of stuff, talked down to, shot dirty looks, peed on, and so on. Ok, maybe I'm reading into it some here, but this is how it felt. AND I was PMSy and had a migraine.
We got home, I got the kids into clean clothes and fed lunch. Then I called Justin. He hadn't gone with me .... it was all HIS FAULT!!!!!! AHA!
And so that pretty much ends the story of our well-visit (HA!!) trip to the doctor. Shannon, wounded, shot, abused, covered in puke, drama queen; Tristan, well-behaved for the most part, but in the wrong place at the wrong time and so, sprinkled with pee; Me, PMSy, a migraine, pissed off, cold-hearted mom with apparently ZERO sympathy for my poor son; and Justin, who got to catch most of the blame for not going with me and making me deal with this hellish trip all by myself.


Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

Okay, there is nothing I can say to make all of THAT better - so maybe if I can say I empathize with you or if I had enough energy to type up the long saga of a similar day I had... no, that won't help. That is like, the worst day EVAH!! And, I think you did NOT overreact in any way. And, I'd like to whisper my suggestion that you might try to find a different doctor/lab as the one your at just doesn't seem to be in alignment with your family values. Just saying. I hope today is better!!

Carole and Chewy said...

And this was a doctor who knows you? Lucky you didn't get a complete stranger. And Shannon's only 5. (BEG) Sing with me now, to the tune of "It's a Long To Tipperary":
It's a long way to 18, it's a long to go...
My red-head is 18 now. It really doesn't get any easier. Mine bit the doctor at one point (age 4), rearranged the furniture for her another time *and* explained why it worked much better her way (age 5), and at age 5.5, decided she'd had enough of the day-care playground, opened up the gate and walked off down a 4-lane road. And took two other kids with her.
Someday you will laugh about all this. Probably not this week though. ;)

ryanne said...

Oh, Carrie! That was soooo hilarious! Oh, wow. I will never look at my "bad days" the same. Thanks for taking the time to type all that! I don't know how you didn't let Beazly "have it" for his raw milk ignorance. I'd still be tempted to print out the evidence or give him a copy of Real Food, if I were you. Hope I don't have trouble with Dr. Cummings when we switch over to raw.

Sadie from said...

Oooo - Mama! I'm crying I'm laughing so hard. That was wonderfully awful.