Tomorrow morning Monkey has an appointment to be evaluated by the sort of doctor who specializes in medicating children for things like ADD/ADHD. We don’t actually KNOW if he’s ADHD, at this point, you understand. We think he might be, and the sensible thing would be to have him tested for it, so naturally, we plan to do that.
Of course, the doctor who does the testing can’t see him until November. And really, what’s the rush? It’s only my son’s mental health, and perhaps his first grade experience. Clearly I am one of THOSE MOTHERS for being concerned in the first place. (I find it interesting that if I allowed his explosive behavior to continue unchecked, I’d be a horrible parent, but if I want answers and treatment, I am a horrible and possibly LAZY parent. This parenting thing? Is A LOT MORE CRAPPY than is generally advertised.)
Anyway, it’s not that I don’t trust this doctor we’re going to see, but I just thought I’d check in with the kids’ ped, first. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Possibly that it would be best to be cautious and/or thorough. Silly me!
Well, I called the pediatrician’s office last week and asked for a call back from the doctor. I might have had better luck calling and asking them for a thousand dollars. The woman on the phone was clearly affronted. She wanted details so that she could decide if I was worthy of actually getting a call back. When I explained why I was phoning, she cut me off.
“Oh, you want to schedule a physical,” she said. “Well, I can schedule that for you in November.”
“Um, no. I want to TALK TO MY CHILD’S DOCTOR to determine IF he needs to be seen before this other appointment.”
This clearly wasn’t on her list of situations to handle. How dare I want to consult with the pediatrician. Either I was calling to demand an appointment or she had no idea what to do with me. The asking fifteen times to just get a call from the doctor wasn’t enough information for her to go on that I just wanted to talk to the doctor, I guess.
Anyway, I was told not to expect a call until Monday. I explained (again) that the appointment in question was ON Monday; could one of the other doctors call me, instead? Or a nurse? Well, she just didn’t know. She’d try to find someone for me.
[It was at this point that I seriously contemplated hanging up and calling back and hoping for a different secretary. At which time I would insist that Monkey was quite ill---but not TOO ill, because then they'd send us to the ER---and get an appointment for THAT AFTERNOON.]
The good news is that I actually got a call back from the pediatrician on Saturday. Saturday! That was impressive. The bad news is that I alternated between wanting to strangle her and feeling like a dismissed moron, myself, while speaking to her.
I explained what we were doing—who we’re seeing, what the general gameplan is, and a quick rundown on what’s been happening with Monkey. Then I launched into my concerns.
Could there be something wonky with his thyroid? No, she assured me. There’s no point in testing that, because if he had a thyroid problem, it would be affecting his growth. We’d see it. (Funny, all I see is a kid who is the SMALLEST IN HIS CLASS, but clearly he’s growing JUST FINE. Silly me.)
Could he be hypoglycemic? No, all kids get cranky when they’re hungry (with “you are an overreacting, annoying mother” implied). Right. All kids get cranky when they’re hungry. Heck, I myself get cranky when I’m hungry. However, I don’t ever throw chairs because of it. Isn’t it worth investigating? No, no need.
Could he be having more food allergy issues? No, if he isn’t sporting a million allergy symptoms, that’s not it. If he was head-to-toe with hives, maybe we could consider that a contributing factor. (Right, no one has EVER had subtler symptoms with allergies, particularly food allergies.)
Could he be sensitive to salicylates or food dyes? Well, you know, any kid at a birthday party who eats a lot of cake and ice cream is going to get a little nutty. (This was where I thought maybe I should just give up. Cake? Ice cream? Birthday party?? Who’s talking about any of these things? Not me. I can’t ask about food dyes without her thinking my kid just got a little spazzy at Chuck E. Cheese one day?)
So, basically, Monkey’s pediatrician is totally fine with this other doctor prescribing my son stimulants or other mood-altering substances without doing any sort of check-up, first. Though I am free to call her after the other appointment if I have any other questions.
Really, the only other question I have is “Could you please send his file over to his new doctor?” But the sad reality of how ALL of these practices work now is that switching probably won’t help. They’ve all been taught how to provide the “basic standard of care” that translates to “as little care as possible.” Hmph.
On the other hand, it’s good that we can’t get in to see the testing doctor for a few months… because it’s going to take that long to get his referral processed.
In the meantime, I guess I can just tell Monkey to stop eating sugar and getting nutty. You, kid—shaddup and eat some green beans. Probably that’d fix everything. Hooray!