Saturday, 12 February 2011
finger stapler and dodgy bedside manners
Poor FD has got her cough back again so I have spent a lot of time over the last week cleaning up trails of vomit when she has a coughing fit! The straw that broke the camel's back was when she threw up into her bowl of cereal! Not the sort of thing you want to see at 6am believe me! The poor child (and me) has reached total exhaustion because of it all. So, the work diary was tossed to one side, meetings cancelled and work delegated to other people so I could hot foot it down to the local GP to have her checked out.
Unfortunately we could only get an appointment with another doctor in the practice, not our usual. But, being desperate and all we took the only available GP. Now, walking into the doctors room my first thought was, 'phwoarrrrr eye candy galore'! Once I got over my initial perv I got down to the serious business of trying to get FD sorted. I explained to the doctor exactly what FD's problems had been of recent and told him I was concerned that she was becoming breathless at times. Next came the 'I'll need to listen to her chest and back'. Well poor FD shot me a look of sheer terror. Apart from now being an embarrassed teen who doesn't want anyone to know she wears a bra, she is extremely touch sensitive, and this can make medical examinations very difficult. (You should see me trying to cut her toenails without actually touching her feet!) So, being the good mother I am, I informed Dr Hotty GP about FD's sensitivity. 'No probs' he chirps without making any sort of eye contact or giving FD those vital 10/20 seconds to get used to the idea, as he whips up her shirt and starts fumbling about with a stethoscope! Then he puts his other hand on her arm!!! I sat, poised on the end of my chair and ready to spring into action as I waited for FD to start screaming her head off!!! Through gritted teeth she did her big deep breaths in and out while clenching her fists which I was sure at this point were gonna go right through his nose the minute she turned round! But, to her credit she didn't knock him out! I, however, had to sit on my hands as I was going to knock him out on her behalf!
Next Dr Hotty but stupid GP tried to take a reading of her blood oxygen with a gadget that slips onto the end of her finger. Of course, it might have been a good idea to explain to FD what this was because in her head it looked a bit like a stapler! So, Dr Hotty, getting dumber by the minute, GP shoved it on the end of her finger and she almost had a heart attack because she thought he was going to staple her finger to his desk! So, she froze!! Dr Hotty, a pain in the arse now, complained because she wasn't relaxing her finger!!! When I asked him to explain to me what the stupid contraption was, I explained it to FD who then relaxed when she realised her finger was not going to be mutilated!
Anyway, the end result being that Dr Hotty, no brains, stated the obvious, 'its a winter cough' and gave us a cough bottle and nothing more than the words, 'it might turn into a chest infection so come back and see me then!' I mumbled a few choice words at him regarding that I was very tuned into her health needs and she was unwell! FD still coughing so methinks another trip to a different GP is called for! Though to be fair, she isn't as bad. And yes I am a neurotic mother! And yes Dr Dufus was right!
The whole thing got me thinking about how sometimes the professionals we put our trust in, particularly were our children are concerned, are a bit naff! I suppose there's an assumption that with all their years of training, we expect professionals such as doctors to have at least a limited understanding of conditions like Autism. Or, is it simply because like so many professionals, GP's are running to tight schedules and either don't have the time or the patience! (no pun intended) However, had my child had an obvious disability would he have been more thoughtful and accommodating rather than being inconsiderate and uncaring? I dunno but what I do know is that perhaps its about time that those professionals who come into contact with our special needs children had some form of specialist training so that our children are getting the best care possible.Because, lets face it..........if they have one bad experience it can almost be enough to stop them going back again and therefore their health needs suffer.
Please don't think I am GP bashing here. I'm not! (I have seen so many wonderfully caring professionals too) Us social workers are just as guilty. Actually, while I am on my soap box here.........the world in general is guilty! Do any of us ever sit down and think about the difficulties that others face in their daily lives? Is the strange neighbour who lives down the street actually strange or could it be that he has his own difficulties such as autism or mental health issues? Perhaps he just wants to be left alone. Do we always assume that the woman struggling in the supermarket with a child who is screaming on the floor in a tantrum, is a bad mother because she cannot control her child? Is that child merely like every other child who chances their luck to get what they want or is that child special needs and going into sensory overload? How many of us have stared and tutted? Bet you have! I did! Until FD opened my eyes to the world.
I actually had to be reminded myself by my husband last night only that I wasn't being patient with FD and that I was being too quick to respond negatively to her mood! See even I do it! I of course reasoned with him that I was tired and stressed - whatever keeps the guilt at bay! However, so many people are judgemental of our children. Please don't assume because my daughter is taller than me and can have a conversation that she is a mature teen who understands half of what you are saying. Please don't assume that when she is stamping her feet at me and growling in my face that she is a spoilt brat. She's not! And please don't assume that your actions are not going to hurt, embarrass, upset, confuse or demean her. She may have her superwoman knickers on underneath her jeans instead of on top but she relies on me........and you world.......to take over for her once in a while........AND THINK! Take note Dr Never going near you again Hotty!