Visiting the Specialist is Always Special

Time again for an Endocrinology visit.

Ugh. Makes me depressed.

I don't really need to post about my visit. To get an idea of my experience, all you need to do is go to Yelp.com to see the comments about Specialty for Children. Many comments begin something like this: "I read the other reviews and see I'm not alone..."

Anyway, the clinic did a good job of getting us to a room quickly, but asked us to fill out a book of paperwork. They preempted my question as to why so much with, "Because we've moved to a new computer system and we have to input the information again."

That doesn't instill confidence in my medical records.

I resisted asking, "So, you know it's 2015, you don't have to start all over, you can just migrate the information. A twelve-year-old with a laptop could probably do the job for you and it would only cost a Mountain Dew and some comic books."

This is just the way patients are treated by the medical industry. They don't care enough to not inconvenience us. I guess they figure our lives suck anyway, meh.

In the examination room, the assistant asked the same questions that were in the book of papers on my lap.

They were standard. Finally, she got to the awful ones:

"Was she full term?"

"Yes."

"Was she C-section or natural birth?"

"Natural."

"Were there any complications at birth?"

I burst into laughter.  "That's a funny question." I said without emotion.

She waited for my response.

I gave none.

We sat in the quiet for a long, uncomfortable time.

She stopped asking questions.

The other assistant apologized and they left the room.

I have told her story so many times that I wish to tell it no more. That story belongs to me and Savannah, and we shouldn't have to continue telling it to people whose only regard for us is completing a form or to satisfy their own morbid curiosity. I do have some dignity left. One way we are abused by the medical system is we are made to tell our story and relive the trauma over and over, not because we need to tell it, but because the system is lazy. We are supposed to strip naked before these bureaucrats in scrubs, these voyeurs, these dementors who've come to steal our experiences. We, the family, should get to decide who hears our story and on what terms. We must guard our stories and only tell them to people who are worthy of their power. Endocrinology had their opportunity to collect that story, which they did years ago. Now, because they are too lazy or incompetent to migrate that story to their new system, I shouldn't have to slog through it. I refuse to be beat with my own tale, made to look at its ugly guts yet again.

drawing of Savannah listening to a story (c) 2015 by David Borden
"Savannah listening to a story" (c) 2015 David Borden
I brought a book because wait-times at Endo are long (which is another way doctors exert their power over us). I read aloud to Savannah, who smiled while I read. She loves my voice, and I love reading to her. She is the most beautiful and appreciative audience. I like to tell her stories... she is worthy of them.

The doctor finally came and apologized for her tardiness. She said we needed blood work. I told her what a fiasco that was last time (see "Please be Patient." ). She apologized again.

When we wrapped up, I said to the doctor, "You seem to be trying to do better. I appreciate that, at least now, you apologize. I used to tell people that the purpose of endocrinology was to give parents like me a doctor's office to hate more than neurology... and that is quite a feat because they truly suck."

She said, "We know. We've been trying to get better. We've seen the reviews on Yelp."

"Good. I wish you success with that. But we're still not going to do our blood work here. I'm not an idiot."

#specialneeds #disability #parenting #doctors #specialists #medicalsystem #patientrecords #endocrinology #story




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