Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Off on the Wrong Foot


My mother-in-law is so extremely happy to have us here in her hometown, and she is trying as much as she can to make this new-old town appealing to us.  She sends me links to all kinds of things around town that we just have to check out, highlights all the greatest things about the area, and is pretty much our one woman Welcome Wagon.  I know that it is really all in the hopes that we don’t move her two adorable grand-daughters away again, but it is honestly one of the sweetest things no matter what the reason. 

These are the kinds of things she has working against her efforts:

Our first Pediatrician visit was pretty much awful.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to say that I was over the moon with our pediatrician’s office in Cleveland.  The entire practice is AMAZING and I MISS THEM soo much.  Even our German Pediatrician, who was very good and very nice didn't really measure up in my eyes.  I digress. 

In order for Annika to start at her new school, we had to have a doctor’s note saying she’s healthy.  Andy made the appointment and sent me with what he thought was the proper paperwork (an informal shot record).  I don’t have the German records yet, so the first thing I explained to the receptionist after stating my kids’ names was the whole situation with moving back from Germany, paperwork, jet-lag, blah blah blah, “Yes yes, you can play with the toys here in the waiting room, but please don’t whack your sister.” <deep sigh.> 

Receptionist (haughty & unhelpful):  Maam, I told your husband that the doctor can’t see you if we don’t have a complete shot record. 

Me: Well, I can call our pediatrician in Cleveland and have them fax the records that they have, but I won’t be able to get the German ones today. 

Receptionist (rolls eyes, exasperated sigh, looks at watch): Well, your appointment isn’t for another 10 minutes, so if you can get them to fax it here before then, you MIGHT be able to see the doctor.  Here’s the number.  (She hands me a piece of paper, closes the glass divider between us and goes back to working on her computer.)

Standing there with my mouth open, I whipped out my phone and called the pediatrician’s office in Ohio. 

Me: Hi, this is Mama Melch, I’m…

Ohio Receptionist: Yes, Annika and Mayzie’s Mom!  How are you guys doing? 

Me (completely flabbergasted!): Um, just fine.  We just got back from Germany, and I’m standing in a doctor’s office.  I was wondering if you might be able to fax their shot records over for us.  They won’t see them without them and Annika needs a pre-school form. 

Ohio Receptionist: Awww, you guys aren’t coming back here?  Soo sad.  I’m printing them out for you right now and I’ll fax them over right away.  What’s the number?

And. She. Did!  I peeked through the glass partition and saw the fax coming through as I was hanging up my phone.  I knocked on the glass. 

Me (pointing at the fax machine): There are their shot records from our Ohio pediatrician.  Do you think those will work? 

Receptionist: Well, I’ll have to check with my boss. 

They were sufficient enough for us to gain entry to the exam rooms. 

This was not like any pediatrician’s office I had ever seen.  Everything was white and gray.  EVERYTHING.  They showed us to an exam room that was the size of my bathroom, and was completely white and gray.  The very nice nurse kept telling my kids not to touch things and then left us to some gowns for them to put on for the doctor to examine them.  Not since my children were infants had we ever been required to disrobe for the doctor.  (I’ve since learned that this is fairly common practice here.  Is it everywhere else too?) 

I was pretty livid by the time the actual doctor came in the room.  She was very nice, especially when the first thing I said to her was, “Hi, I just want you to know that I am extremely frustrated and upset right now because of the horrible experience I have had so far in your office, and I really hope that you and I can have a better beginning.”  She actually listened to me when I told her what happened, though I’m pretty sure she thought I was a little insane at that point.  I might have been.  Anyway, she was nice enough.  She was a knowledgeable young doctor, though I might have scared her.  I was extra high on my mama bear defenses by that point.  I may have corrected her about Annika’s hemangioma and the treatment options.  I may have said something like, “No, we don’t need a referral.  She saw several different specialists at the Cleveland Clinic and we’re perfectly comfortable with the normal course it is taking.”  Ouch!  Yeah, just typing that makes me sound snobby.  Oops!  Obviously, my sass was a bit out of control at that point.  The doctor was nice, but then she acted all concerned about Mayzie’s runny nose.  She asked how long it had been runny and whether or not we were concerned and/or giving her anything for it. 

I was thinking, “Seriously? A runny nose?  Lady, we just flew internationally.  If all we got was one runny nose, we’re doing all right.” 

Instead I asked: Do you have any children?

Doctor: Yes I do.  I have a seven month old. 

In my mind: LIGHT BULB!!!  OMG OF COURSE you do!!!  (Side Note: Guess which movie I got to watch 4 times in a row on the airplane?!?!)  So not only are you fresh off the residency boat, but you are a new parent of one.  Yeah, of course you think you know everything about children! (Note: I'm really not always this mean, I promise.)  

As we were checking out, I asked the lady how long they had been in their office because it looked really new.  She assured me that oh no, they'd been there since March and were really getting settled in now.  I guess they had no plans of making the office actually look like or function like children might actually visit occasionally?  

By the time we got to the car, I was happy that we had gotten the required paperwork signed so that Annika could go to school, and was in a full-blown rage.  That’s what I call getting off on the wrong foot.    

2 comments:

  1. Oh I feel your pain. Our downtown pediatrician experience was HORRIBLE. Everyone had a different set of papers on a clipboard that needed to be filled out, including the security guard and parking valet. Here's hoping you find a better fit! Or at least that nasty bureaucrat lady finds a different job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm giving them another shot next week, mostly because the girls need a flu booster but also in the hopes that they'll be better when my defenses aren't so high. Here's hoping.

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