Musings, Post-Doctor’s Appointment

Kale, Ross, and I went to my family doctor on Monday, for Kale’s six month growth and shots appointment. He was weighed (15lbs 9.5 oz – still not double his birth weight) and measured (26.97″). Dr. K was unconcerned with his slow-down of weight gain – she said it’s perfectly normal as they get more active and Kale is certainly more active than he was. He’s still 50th percentile for length and head circumference and she called him the little textbook baby after I answered all her questions (“yes, he responds to his name, no he isn’t sitting†, yes he gets lots of tummy time, yes we have started solids, yes he is still breastfeeding”, et cetera). For his six month immunizations, he was given two shots in his little thighs, one in each. There were brief tears but nothing more and he had no reaction at all Monday evening. They appear to be getting easier and easier.  He is now officially vaccinated against Hepatitis B and has had his third set of the Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, and Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib) combo shot. 

He’s started doing this awesome forceful nose breathing thing when he is laughing:

 

From Kale 6 to 9 months

Anyway, back to the appointment. Annoyingly, we were an entire hour late getting in to see Dr. K because for whatever reason, she was running “a bit behind schedule”. I love receptionist colloquialisms. Trust me, lady, I have been a receptionist before and I know exactly what “a bit late” means. If it was just me waiting for an appointment by myself I would have been mildly annoyed but because Ross had taken off a few hours (read: WAGES) because I insist he come with us to hold the squirming child because I am just such a chicken, and because I had meddled with Kale’s sleeping and eating schedule for the day to ensure the waiting room would be a boob-free area*, my blood pressure was starting to reach critical mass when the nurse assistant asked us to come to the back to weigh Kale. Seriously. How freakin’ rude. I have a life and a schedule and my time is JUST as valuable as Dr. K’s and I think it’s unacceptable to make patients wait more than about 15 minutes without at least offering to reschedule at NO COST TO THE PATIENT. Dr. K: you are obviously allowing your front office staff to overbook you. I don’t care if you are an almighty doctor, you are just a person and your time is being paid for so you have no excuses. 

This tardiness also brought up something I’ve been considering in the back of my mind for a while. You see, I’ve been considering changing doctor’s lately and am, as they say, in a bit of a pickle about this. I’ve been seeing this doctor for about eight years now and while I felt a sense of familiarity with her, our first appointment back from my pregnancy started with her saying “Hi, I’m Dr. K and you must be new.” So not only had she not bothered to have a look at my chart and all its accompanying attachments (and there are many as I have a specialist for my ulcerative colitis and have seen a reconstructive surgeon for a lipoma and other assorted referrals over the years), but she didn’t recognize me AT ALL. I do understand that a busy doctor sees a gabillion patients and that a year hiatus could cause her to become somewhat blank-ish about me, but seriously? Eight freakin’ years and not even a glimmer of recognition when face to face with me? Damn. How to make me feel insignificant. 

Another annoyance is from my last visit (Kale’s four month appointment). When I booked it, I inquired whether Dr. K could also renew a prescription for me while we were there at Kale’s appointment and I was informed that I had to make my own appointment and so we had to shuffle Kale’s appointment around in order to find two available back to back spots. I’m talking a prescription renewal for a drug I have been taking for about seven years. I do not need a consult, so why waste the appointment on me? But then I realized it was so MSP could be billed for two patients.  I don’t get why my pharmacy can call in and get her to renew it over the phone but I need my own appointment for it even if I am already there for my infant son. 

Aside from that, Dr. K’s office is in North Burnaby and while that was convenient for my pre-Kale life, given the close proximity to my workplace, it’s pretty much a gigantic pain in the arse to get there from home and constitutes unnecessary driving and consumption of gas. 

There are good reasons why I chose Dr. K in the first place. She’s pleasant. Efficient. She is no-nonsense. She used to consistently be on time. It is relatively simple to get in to see her. She likes technology and is accepting of alternate therapies and encourages her patients to become proactive with their health. She’s a woman – and that’s important to me going back to the days of my first pap test with a male family doctor and how incredibly uncomfortable I was as a result of his gender. Although, interestingly, the male obstetrician who ended up delivering Kale via cesearean (and had to physically examine me before hand) didn’t wig me out at all. Go figure. 

Another reason why I have hesitated to change doctors is because Ross and I have tentative plans to move to the Island within a few years. I have to ask myself: do I really want to put the effort into hunting down a new family physician and establishing a relationship (which I think takes time and can’t happen overnight) only to have to have my charts moved again? I can’t say that’s on the top of my list of things to do. And I don’t want to do it for a less-than-ideal doctor, either. My perfect doctor would be female, take appointments instead of first come first served a la walk-in clinic style, be prompt, be in New West, be a doctor willing to take on both Kale and I (and Ross, too, except he NEVER goes to the doctor because he has immunity of steel) and treat us both medically and interpersonally as a family unit and not individual patients. It’s a tall order, I know. 

What about you guys? What do you have as your family doctor set up? Why do you like it, and how does it work? 

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† Kale is not sitting yet, unless supported by assorted things like his high chair or cushions or us or his exersaucer. Its a fact I am totally unconcerned about but lately I’ve been getting asked a lot and when I say no, people give me a knowing look like Kale simply must be well, you know, developmentally delayed. I seriously think these people need to get a life. Kale is advanced in other areas and is developing in a totally predictable and exciting way and I think if he’s not sitting by say, 9 months, okay, then maybe I’ll say to myself “huh, I should get that checked out.” Not all babies sit before they crawl and crawl before they stand. Kale’s been standing since he was about 8 weeks old. Will I celebrate when he does start sitting on his own? Of course. Do I care till then? Not really. 

* Because some of you out there call yourself a lactivist, or are a lactation consultant, I want to clarify that the reason I wanted the waiting area to be a boob-free area is because I think the waiting rooms of doctor’s offices are a cesspool of germs and bacteria. Of all the places I think you will go and likely carry home a bacteria, its got to be the worst at the doctor’s office for me. Gah. I’m not super germophobic and really believe that the germophobia our society seems to be displaying these days is over the top, but I am conscious of simple acts like WASH YOUR HANDS as a preventative for passing around things like colds and flus and there are a lot of people who visit a doctor’s office ILL and UNWASHED. When Kale was born I was totally against the idea of nursing in public and would do anything to not have to, and we did not leave the house without a bottle of expressed breast milk no matter how long we were going to be. I’ve come around somewhat, and I see it more like “well, he’s hungry, so I need to feed him.” It has become less about me and my concerns (OMG, my muffin top is showing, OMG, I’m cold, etc) and way more about “well, he’s hungry, duh”. I’m still not ever going to just whip out a breast and offer it to Kale for all the world to see (not everyone wants to see my breasts) and so I will find a quiet corner and probably use a light blanket to cover him up. That however, is more about having a distracted baby who doesn’t want to stop the party to nurse, and needs to be fed in a quiet corner with possibly a blanket over his head or he just plays and then frustrates himself.

9 years ago

2 Comments

  1. My doctor set up.

    Well I had one in New west for many years (by the old london drugs) and one “walk in” near work in North Burnaby. Both equally great and listened to any concerns I may have had.

    I started seeing Dr H in N.BBy cos he was my family’s doctor and for as long as I can remember, we’ve all gone to the same guy. And well, he was close to work.

    I stopped seeing the Dr W in New west when a fill in doctor blew off my stomach pain as cramps and sent me home. The following day I went to Dr H’s office in
    N.Bby near work and saw one of his associates as Dr H was not available.

    WOW… that stomach pain, turned out to be my appendex and I was having surgery less than 8 hours later.
    Your g/f from “The Old Apt” had to drive me to the hopital as she was our first aid attenant at the time.

    Needless to say, I switched doctors.
    Have been happy ever since,even though that associate Dr S works out of a walk in clinic, he does however have a private practice in White Rock, even with a car, its too far to go.

    Like you, I’ve mentioned to him that moving to the island is something enitment in years to come and will be sad that he is no longer my doctor and asked him to recommend someone. He couldnt be happier.

    I figure, he’ll suggest someone who has similar beliefs and views on how to practice medicine, bedside manners and all.

    okay this will make you laugh. I have a new Gyno doctor. For most concerns I’ve always had a women do my annual exams, but due to on going complications, I have my very own gyno now. The catcher…. ready…..
    HES MY AGE AND HOT!!!! O-M-G!

    I think I’d almost go with the old fart and be in and out, but instead I’ve opted for the great bedside manners, and now have too distract myself like counting the dots/holes so I dont catch myself oogling him in all his hottness.

  2. Hi Jen,
    I love your blog and how your write. I think Kale is doing just great, by the way. And I think you are a very sensible, caring mom.
    You will likely have some difficulty finding another doctor, and you know the saying “the devil you know is sometimes better than the devil you don’t know” (not that your doctor is a devil!). So, unless you know from someone else that a certain doctor has what you want AND is competent, I would stick with what you have. Keep in mind that good doctors often tend to develop very full waiting rooms over time. I just don’t plan on anything after my appointments, and prepare to wait. I realize that is more difficult with a child, but you also want good medical care for your child, so……..? I did not help much, did I?

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