Friday, September 5, 2008

After-thoughts on 'Bad Doctor'

Thanks to all for your positive comments on my previous post. We called a breast-feeding advocate friend of mine and she recommended 3 family doctors. We will be visiting all three at one time or another and get a feel for them, before we make a decision for who we will stick with. They are all local doctors, too, so we would not have to drive an hour into the bigger town in Virginia.

I look in my son's face and I see a beautiful baby boy. He has the most beautiful smile and it really disappoints me, for the second time, the pediatrician wrote "failure to thrive" on paper. For a doctor that has been in the business for more than 30 years, you would think that he would be aware that not all babies are alike. My brother-in-law argued that maybe in all his years of doctoring, he is concerned about this one baby that doesn't look like the others. I don't agree.

Like some of you that have commented, I have seen a wide range of babies. Extremely chubby babies, tiny really-not-a-preemie-babies, and average size babies. Small babies that came from two large people, and giant babies from two petite people. No two are the same, even twin babies.

Before I had my Oldest, I planned on breast-feeding because it seemed the natural thing to do and I have always been the type to march to my own drummer, the odd one out. I had lots of negative reactions from people who tried to push formula on me and the baby. Even the hospitals and doctor's offices bombard you with free cans of formulas and coupons and free diaper bags filled with formula samples of all kinds.

Oldest had to stay in the NICU for a week because of a supposed infection and they had to let the antibiotics run their course before releasing her. I requested that they do not give her formula or a pacifier and was upset when I found out they did both.

With the negative reaction from people, I had started to resign myself to using formula while out in public and nursing at home, until I bumped into an acquaintance of mine who asked me if I was breast-feeding. I told her what I was doing and she set me straight, bless her heart! She told me that if her baby was hungry, she was going to feed him right then and there. Who cares who is watching. You eat a candy bar anywhere, so feed the baby anywhere. Those were just the words I needed to hear and I started to nurse any where and every where. Instead of feeling apologetic to people who were making faces, I started to chuckle at their reactions. I started to get a kick out of seeing their faces change when they realized just what I was doing. I became skilled at nursing while shopping, cooking, and typing on the computer.

I have no doubts about breast feeding and I know it is the most precious thing I can do for my children. I know that some people don't want to, or cannot, and I respect their decision. For me, I will not stop until my son weans himself off me, and I hope that won't happen until he is at least 2 years old.

I will not let one bad doctor sway our decisions for what we do with our children. I must admit, though, I get a little nervous when I think about the power that the doctor has-- will he call social services and report us as bad parents? Can he do that? Can social services take my kids away? I try not to worry about it but it sure makes me think on how different every child was/is. How each birth and the time period afterwards is never the same for each kid.

Your words of encouragement mean so much to me and my husband and I sincerely thank you for them. It's good to know there are others out there that think like us and we aren't the crazy ones.

***Did you know that the U.S. has a high mortality death rate for babies? More than 7,000 babies die a year here compared to other countries, even third-world countries. With my recent experience with both the ob-gyn and the pediatrician, I can believe it.


DJ Kirkby said...

Social services rarely take children from their parents nowadays and certainlty not from parents who regulary attend medical check ups for their children and appear to be good parents. At worst all they would do is take advice from a panel of doctors and then ensure that you and hubby proved you were adhering to that advice. Before that would ever happen your doctor would have to use research based evidence to back up his claims of 'failure to thrive'. Failure to thrive involves your child not showing a steady weight gain, growth and achievement of milestones. Your son is doing all of those. Steady even if not what is the expected norm. Your son is doing what is normal for your children. Your daughters growth charts would back this up. I won't tell you not to worry becuase you will becuase that is what good parent do and you ARE good parents. You doctor's claims sound as if they are based on old practice values, instigated during the war times and now considered to be 'bad' practice. Go and see these other doctors, see what they ahve to say and then make a decision about your son's health based on what the majority decision about your son's health!

barefoot gardener said...

Oh My Gosh.

I can't believe that doc is such a jerk! I hope you find a better one soon.

I wanna start by saying I am SO PROUD of you and hubby for sticking to your guns. And, seriously, the way hubby backed you up? Wonderful.

I agree with everything above regarding the Child Services thing, but would like to add this:

Child Services workers deal with the absolute bottom of the Parenting Barrel. There are the addict parents, the abusive parents, the truly negligent parents (I am talking about parents who don't even know where their kids are when the worker shows up, and then the kids are found playing with knives, BB guns, and crack pipes behind the garage). They deal with children who are always hungry, always afraid, always unloved. Your children do NOT fall into any of those categories. Most likely, if a social worker ever showed up at your place they would end up begging to stay so they could soak up the peace of a REAL, LOVING FAMILY for a change. As an added bonus, it would go on the County Files that Idiot Doctor is a real jerk who harrassed a perfectly normal family. He might even have a rep for that kind of thing already.

Anyway, my nickle's worth turned into more of a dime's worth already. I will just leave you with one more little thing:

You are a GOOD MOM, and your children are HAPPY. That counts for more than anything, no matter what words some Idiot Doctor puts on some Idiot Chart.

Mr Farty said...

This, from your last post, is what really caught my eye: "talking...with the doctor turning his back on me".

Either he doesn't know you're deaf, in which case he's an idiot, or he's deliberately cutting you out of the conversation, in which case he's worse than that.

Good luck finding a new doctor. Your baby sounds aok from your description.

jenny said...

Dj-- Now why can't you be here in the states and I can just visit you when I am all stressed out over bad doctors! Or even better, I'll come over there and be your neighbor! :o)

Your words are very reassuring and I can feel some of the stress melting away just by reading what you've written. It's too bad that doctors can't see beyond what the charts say and instead see the baby in front of them, observe their actions and behavior. 5 minutes with a patient does not answer all questions.

Thank you dear friend, for making me feel better. xoxo

Barefoot-- Thank you for those kind words as well! I have never personally dealt with social services except for what I see on TV and I know TV is never reliable, but still. Easy to let your imagination run wild when something like this happens and then you worry and think the worst of things. Once I get another (and hopefully better) doctor, I will feel more at ease and I'll be able to put this "bad doctor" thing behind me.

Your comment makes me wonder, is there any way to check and see if the doctor has a reputation for calling social services?

jenny said...

Mr. Farty-- He knows I am deaf, I made that clear to him several times, and I was very pissed when he turned his back on me. I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't think it was worth the effort knowing we would not be returning to his office anymore.

There is a deaf school here and I often see deaf people when I am out and about, so it still amazes me when I deal with people who behave so ignorantly around deaf people, especially a doctor! But I find doctors to be the worst offenders sometimes, because they are taught that deafness can be "fixed" and they look at it as a disease.

Thanks for the luck! :o)

Wendy said...

I'm not positive how things work in your neck of the woods, but I do know that there has to be a much more serious diagnosis than "failure to thrive" before social services gets involved, and then ... well, your house would have to be really bad before they'd take the baby. I don't think you need to worry - at all!

As for the statistic, yes, I knew, and isn't it a shame that in the "richest" country in the world we not only have a very high infant mortality rate, but we also have a rather high mother mortality rate, an astronomically high c-section rate, and an abysmally low rate of home births? Reckon there's a connection there?

jenny said...

Wendy-- I sure hope so. I have a messy house, but not so bad that it can't be cleaned up in a half hour before company gets here! The husband and I figure there are more important things to do than to be constantly cleaning and getting mad when the kids make a mess. As long as things are reasonably tidy, we're fine with it.

I knew about the high rate of c-sections, too. A friend of mine was in labor for a while but she was comfy and in no pain and as far as she knew, the baby was fine too. Next thing she knows, the doc is saying "c-section" and she didn't know why but he was pushing for it, so she went and did it. Afterwards, she couldn't figure out why they did a c-section on her. She asked around and one of the nurses confided in her that it was late and the doc wanted to go home! Sadly, a lot of times the c-sections happen because the docs don't want to wait, which is what happened with me when the doc broke my water instead of waiting for the baby.

Have you seen the movie "Sicko" by Michael Moore? We just watched it and it's a sad thing when american doctors are all about the money instead of the patients.

Deaf Pixie said...

I agree with Jenny about the doctor want $$ after c section. It is not neccessary to c-section without explaination.

That's sleazy doctor has been spend sleazy with deaf patient and had to pay for c section. I had go through bad experince with bad doctor and did not want to admitted she neglected my second pregnancy were serious. I complained to her that it is hurt so bad than first pregancy.

I never able to sue to doctor because of too late 190 days..
I am no longer forgiven doctor and Deaf service failed to help me

Deaf Pixie

DJ Kirkby said...

Hi Jenny
I too, wish so much that we lived closer. Like next door to each other. You know where I am if you need me to pull out any academic articles on 'failure to thrive' in realtion to breast fed babies. xo

sufferingsummer said...

This just makes me so angry... especially him turning his back on you...that would be wrong for any dr. to do but knowing you are deaf and still doing it is beyond rude. Glad you are switching.
I'm a naughty parent who simply hasn't taken my kid in for the next apt...oops. I know she's thriving and we are opting out of vaccinations so I've just put it off.
My girl is almost 2 months older than your little boy and is still not doing all you mention your son doing and I'm not worried at all... kids all develop at different rates...sizes as well as skills so why doctors have to get all hyped up over little differences is beyond me. I mean if he wasn't gaining weight AT ALL...or wasn't showing any was limp or not focusing or showing any muscle control then sure but COME ON...
sorry, don't mean to get so angry but it just pisses me off that someone in a role like a pediatrician is should really know better than to be so rude and demeaning.
Side father used to be a social worker for Child protective services. I directly saw and heard from him the kinds of parents and kids he dealt with and I can confidently assure you, You have Absolutely NOthing to worry about at all. I'll be praying the next visit is a totally different experience.

jenny said...

Deaf Pixie-- I'm so sorry that you had a bad experience with a doctor as well. It's a shame when there are so many doctors out there that do not do their jobs or keep up to date with new procedures or fall into bad habits and take advantage of patients. Hang in there and I hope that you are feeling better now. Take care

Dj-- I'll start packing now and put my house up for sale, you go find me a house next to yours! :o) Then we can make jammin' jams together and our kids can play together and I can pet your turtles! Sound good?

Summer-- Well, now I definetly feel better knowing you have first-hand experience with social workers! It frustrates me to no end when there is a doctor like that, and uses his "power" for harm instead of good. Whether or not he was genuinely concerned, he did not take into account anything that the husband and I told him. He didn't look at my 3 girls and see how healthy they are and just had a one track mind with the baby.

I keep thinking how much nicer it was BEFORE I got medicaid and had baby #3 at home and had no worries of making appts with a pediatrician, so there was no one to breathe down our necks. Knock on wood that nothing serious health-wise happened, and I am grateful for the insurance, but not the stress that comes with it. Hopefully one of the 3 doctors recommended will be a good fit for my family. If not, I'll just do what I did before medicaid and take care of ourselves on our own.

Deaf Pixie said...


Good things my second daughter is alive. Almost killed her what I have told same doctor. she is neglected my deafness. I say It is hurt so badly. She say No, it is contractions signal.

My husband beleive her, not my comment. Until after c-sections. he was shocked after he realized I was right and told him Do not confront of doctor if I asked her a serious questions in my own body signal or warning me.
Not your decisions!
After that he dont remember more than 16 years what's happened and what they did to me.

Lantana said...

Do not forget that you can file a report against your doctor. Every medical facility has someone you can go to to formally file a grieviance. I did it once, because my doctor had absolutely no patience with me, he slammed out the door like a spoiled child!

But they will show your doctor your letter, be forewarned. If you feel that you must file, do it in good taste and be ready to prove everything you say.

From one who knows.