Monday, August 18, 2008


First, I am touched by the number of you who took the time to comment and/or send private email responses about my "go public or not" qualms. I think that's the most email I've ever gotten about a post, and it was a delight to hear all of your opinions. I'm still not sure about what to do. Part of the problem, and what many of you may not know, is that I really do make my living as a professional writer, and lately I've written some stuff on parenting that I'm really proud of, and that I'd really like to share with you. And yet, I'm also kind of a snarky bitch, and I perhaps say things here that I wouldn't say to actual people. In person. Maybe. So. Decisions. To be made. Eventually.

Nextly, I got a call from the public school the other day. "Yes, were you aware that D. has not had all his shots?"

Morons. I called the pediatrician's office and requested shot records for all four kids. As requested on the recording, I spelled our last name and the first names of all four kids. I also requested a letter stating that D. is, in fact, up to date with his shots.

Nine hours later, the nurse called back. She made a big thing about only having one chart, because I only mentioned one child's name. NOT TRUE, but fine. She then allowed as it might take her AN ENTIRE EXTRA DAY to pull those charts, so maybe I should come pick up the forms on Wednesday, not tomorrow. Fine. We hung up. Five minutes later she called back.

"Did you know that D. never had a 4-year checkup?"

"Excuse me?"

"I'm looking at his chart, and he never had a 4-year checkup, so the doctor can't sign the form."

"Wow. How did that happen?"

"The last time we saw him here was in March when he was sick. So there's no way the doctor will sign the form."

Can I tell you that the form was the LEAST of my worries at that point?

I mean, yes, we are D's parents and we have a responsibility to schedule his appointments, but I feel like the doctor's office should SHARE some responsibility, and if a kid never makes it in for a well child checkup, they should, oh, maybe CALL THE PARENTS. And in particular, when we came in in MARCH, because the kid was SICK, why not say then, "Hey, this kid never had a 4-year checkup! Let's schedule that!" OR, how about, when I got the first copy of his shot records in JUNE, why didn't someone in the office look at the record, look at the kid, and say, "Wait a second...."

In my defense, let's remember that I do have a lot of kids, and that D. in particular sees a lot of doctors. And, OK, the office has to MANAGE a lot of kids, but they're getting paid, and the last time I checked, I'm not.

I like my pediatrician, but I HATE her office. Every time I go there I wait AT LEAST 40 minutes. It's not uncommon to wait even longer. Callbacks from the nurse take nine hours. I'm not a fan of that. I'd really like it if the nurse KNEW WHO I WAS, since I do have four kids, and I am there a freaking lot. (Although not, apparently, often enough.)

I don't know. Is this TOTALLY my fault for dropping the ball? Or do they share some of the responsibility?


Shosh said...

I happen to love my doctor and her office, but I switched to her because I HATED the old office. The receptionist would interrogate me for 10 minutes before deciding whether or not my child's ailment was worthy of a phone call back from a nurse. Now my doctor's office has a nurse that sits at the front desk, taking phone calls from parents all day. It makes a world of difference. Since i dont waste any energy hating my doctor's office, i get to use all the pent up aggression and channel it towards hating my insurance company, who seem to think that my enormous monthly payment does not give me the right to take my child to the doctor and expect it to be covered....
A reminder phone call for you would be nice, but so would free healthcare, and free tution, and kids who didn't whine....

Brandy said...

I absolutely HATE waiting at the doctor's office, especially our family doctor (that's who we use instead of a traditional prediatrician) because Aiden is not exactly patient at the age of 15-18 months. Anyway, I do think they share a bit of the responsibility for not realizing any of this had happened at some point. Sorry you have to mess with it though!

Still just me said...

Wait? You are supposed to have a well child check at age 4? How have I raised 5 kids and not known that?

Lisa b said...

I cannot count the number of balls that have been dropped this year by my doctors. When I point this out to the nurses they tell me it is my job but when I tell them I don't want the job they shut up.
So if you went public would you be able to vent here at all?
I think your blog is a great resource. I have printed out your Sotos Q& A because it is one of the first, and only, things about Sotos I have ever laughed about.