Over the years, I have effectively advocated for my own medical needs and advised others about how to do so. However, about a week ago, I became a newbie all over again — in the arena of advocating for my daughter’s medical needs.
My daughter, Ari, and I had a less-than-stellar appointment with a pediatrician who, ironically, has a reputation as a leading pediatrician of internationally adopted children. That’s why I used him, but in the end, I wound up feeling used.
During the 10-minute “appointment,” which cost me $260, he told me that my CHINESE daughter looked Korean, and I had to insist that I went to CHINA and that she was, indeed, CHINESE. He then insisted that I was a really anxious mother — and I told him I wasn’t, which he countered with a general dumb-ass statement, “All first-time mothers are anxious.”
Yeah, when they are dealing with arrogant Dr. Know-It-Alls, that is.
The worst part is that he didn’t even really examine Ari. He didn’t check her heart or lungs. Duh? Wha? Does the man ever use a stethoscope? Inquiring minds want to know. And then he said, everything looked good and was ready to let us leave his cramped office. But I brought up something that concerned me: Would he please look at my daughter’s foot; there was something that concerned me.
He said flippantly, “Oh, that’s Scabies,” and he promptly wrote out a prescription for a creme to eradicate it.
Now let me repeat this again because it’s so astounding to me that I must: The man did not catch her Scabies; I did. Why didn’t he even glance at her toes?
Then he ordered a panel of tests, some of which were unnecessary because she had already been immunized for them in China. It’s called an Adoption Panel. And it costs over $600. I paid lots of dollars to see a doctor for 10 minutes, even though I was the one who found the Scabies. I paid all this money for labs that any doctor could order. I paid for an appointment that Ari and I waited an hour and a half in a sweaty office to see the pediatrician with such a great reputation that people come from all over to see him.
Gimme a break!
It was a painful lesson for me to jump aboard his gravy train, but that’s how one becomes a better advocate. I’m in the process of calling a doctor in my powerful arsenal of outstanding doctors and asking for a recommendation for a real pediatrician, someone who will do a real exam and not some crook who only talks the talk. I will have the real pediatrician explain the lab results faxed by the fake pediatrician’s office.
Oh, and Dr. Know-Nothing spoke broken Mandarin to Ari. I know enough Mandarin to get by, and he was using words out of context — in Mandarin and English.
Beth L. Gainer is a professional writer and has published numerous academic and magazine articles, as well as an essay on her breast cancer experience in the anthology Voices of Breast Cancer by LaChance Publishing. She writes about a potpourri of topics, including motherhood and her Chinese adoption experience at http://currents-living-discovery.blogspot.com/, and her cat Hemi blogs at http://www.catterchatter.blogspot.com/. Beth teaches writing and literature at Robert Morris University in the Chicago area. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.