Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Asshole Pediatrician

Oscar is on the mend! No fever yesterday, although the rash was at it's worst. I was pretty much convinced he had actual measles and was going to die. Today, the rash is nearly gone and he back to his sweet, laughing, slightly whiny self. And I couldn't be happier. Except for the whining.


When I took Oscar to the doctor on Tuesday, we didn't see our regular pediatrician. We go to a large practice and all the doctors take turns having a day of doing "sick visits" where they don't have patients scheduled all day and just see the sick kids as they come in. This is actually pretty awesome because it means you can always get an appointment the day you need it, and you don't really have to wait.

We saw Dr. K, who is actually the first doctor we ever saw at the practice when we brought Oscar in at just under two days old. She really annoyed me because she was so condescending and basically said that my home birth was not clean. "I'm going to really check his belly button because I don't know how clean your home birth was, " is what she said.

This was just so disrespectful and stupid. It's a commonly know fact that there is actually less risk of infection to the mother and the infant in home births as opposed to hospital births. AND it's not like I gave birth in dirt floor shack assisted by a witch doctor. My baby was delivered at home, in my bed, by a Certified Nurse Midwife. I was so pissed.

Obviously, she is not the doctor we see in the practice. We see Dr. Jones, who we love for many reasons. 1) He's a straight shooter - he says what he means and never beats around the bush; 2) He's often crude and borderline inappropriate and as someone who herself is often crude and borderline inappropriate, I appreciate these qualities in others; 3) After his first meeting with Oscar, I snagged a look at his notes and he wrote that Oscar was "cute" like that was his diagnosis or something and I liked that; 4) His name is Dr. Jones, like Indiana Jones, so we say his name with a funny accent whenever we talk about him.

Okay, so sick visit Tuesday, Dr. K is the sick doctor. She comes in, I tell her what's been going on. She is pleased that I've been treating his fever with Motrin and Tylenol, pleased that I've been keeping good track of his symptoms (his fever at different times of the day, when it began, when the rash began, when the runny nose began, etc.)

Then she asked if I'd been taking his temperature rectally. I had actually been using an ear thermometer because our rectal thermometer is broken. It registered his temperature at 124 degrees and I was CERTAIN that was incorrect. So, she said, "Ear thermometers are inaccurate. If you're going to take his temperature that way, you might as well not bother taking it at all."

First, ear thermometers are accurate within half a degree, just like oral thermometers are accurate withing one degree. And second, ASSHOLE! She was so snotty about it.

I told her I was certain he'd had a high fever because I could feel it on his trunk - kid was on fire. She accepted this, because unless the fever is above 103, you really can't "feel" it to the touch.

So, then she asked if he'd had any behavioral changes. I told her yes, he's been cranky, waking at night, crying inconsolably, showed little interest in playing, and was eating less. Her response? "Well, if you were running a fever that high and had a runny nose you'd probably be cranky and not interested in playing either."

No shit, Sherlock, but if you were going to be such a condescending asshole about my response then why did you ask me in the first place? Maybe this was her way of assuring me his behavioral changes were nothing to be concerned about, but why even ask me about it if she was going to be a jerk? Why not just say, "Crankiness, crying, fatigue, and loss of appetite are normal symptoms. Have there been any other changes?" I'll tell you why. Because she likes being a jerk.

Diagnosis #1 - reaction to his vaccination. I'd figured this, but with the runny nose it could have been an ear infection which is why they wanted us to come in. She said not to bother taking his temperature because the ear thermometer was in accurate (again), but if he felt warm, to keep up with the Motrin/Tylenol treatment.

Diagnosis #2 - Dr. K is an ASSHOLE. I hate her.


Anonymous said...

They REALLY need a class in med school called "BEDSIDE MANNER" because far too many doctors lack this very important skill. UGH.

moo said...

Our pediatrican's practice is similar ... there are three or four people who rotate through. We always see Gail, a NP, who we adore. But sometimes we see Dr. Smith who is an alarmist who doesn't seem to know how to handle 1. us or 2. our son. We hate her.

I'm sorry. You could lodge a complaint with the office, but other than that, just try to avoid her, I guess.

Glad Oscar is on the mend ... so scary that he had that reaction to the vaccine!!

Anonymous said...

Oh I hate smug doctors. We've switched doctors because of it. There's one doctor at our new practice that sounds the same as the one you described but she's Dr. G and is in FL so I doubt they're the same. We call her Dr Bitchface for short.
Which ear thermometer do you have? I would LOVE to get one that works but we have 3 different ones and they are never accurate so we have to go with the butt thermometer.
Glad to hear Oscar is feeling better but sorry about your crappy dr situation!

Mike said...

Our obstetrician was condescending and rude too. It made things really hard. Why can't doctors be polite? Whatever happened to bedside manner?

Veronica Foale said...

I agree. Definitely an asshole.

Anonymous said...

"And second, ASSHOLE! "


I hate doctors like this. Reminds me of the ob/gyn who, after I complained of bad, uh, problems with my digestive system due to anti-nausea meds I was on, told me to "try not to get constipated." Really? I should try that? FANTASTIC ADVICE.

steenky bee said...

I like your second diagnosis. Okay, I get it you went to medical school. Did you skip the day they talked about bedside manners? WTF?

Kate said...

Ugh. There's nothing worse than a condescending doctor. My mother once went to her doctor because she thought she was pregnant. He said she didn't "feel pregnant" and told her to come back in six months if she hadn't gotten her period yet.

I was born seven months later.

Needless to say, she switched to another doctor mid-pregnancy. That doctor was out of town the day I was born. Guess who her backup doctor was?

Yep. Doctor #1. This would be why my sister was born at home...

Susanica said...

She sounds like a real peach. Maybe she should run for Vice President?

Glad Oscarelli is feeling better. Have a great weekend Jenni! -Monica

Anonymous said...

Bloody Nora - what an asshole - correct diagnosis from you I'd say. Did you report her? She wants a talking to by the sound of it.

Glad to hear Oscar's better.

Anonymous said...

That kind of stuff makes me SO angry. And to say it so poorly to a pregnant lady. Geez! Glad to know Oscar is doing better.

Anonymous said...

You mean you didn't cut the cord with the knife you used to prepare raw chicken with the night before? Because that is how I thought you do it with a home birth.

Brandy@YDK said...

oh no - i'm so sorry. I actually just changed peds because my dr's nurse was an asshole. she took all sick calls first and I just couldn't deal with her.