Just a friendly suggestion

By Mir
December 8, 2009

Dear Dr. Jerk,

Mamas know. Mamas know when their babies are sick, and mamas know how their children react to pain. Do not roll your eyes when my child who has sensory integration issues complains that you are pressing too hard, nor may you prove some sort of point by pressing twice as hard on the other side (and then act surprised when he screams).

Do not smirk or make condescending remarks like, “Oh, REALLY?” when I try to explain to you that his assessment of pain being a “2” on a scale from 1 to 10 means absolutely nothing on account of the aforementioned sensory disorder, as well as a general propensity to either downplay or not recognize physical discomfort. I know he is sick because I am his MOTHER and I can TELL. Do you really think I enjoy spending hours waiting around at your office so much that I would do it just for kicks?

Mamas know that while a fever is a good indicator of illness, the lack of a fever in a kid who has been something of a medical mystery nearly from birth does not indicate NO illness. Mamas consider “paleness,” “listlessness,” and “complaints of fatigue” pretty damn valid indicators of something wrong in a child who has more than once begged to go to school with a double ear infection. (That, by the way, happened at your office not too long ago, so you should remember it.)

Mamas do not appreciate being patronized, overlooked, and generally treated like morons.

Mamas turn into the stereotypical mother bears because of supposed “caretakers” who brush them aside as if their impressions are incidental, rather than central, to the matter at hand. When you live with my kid for nearly ten years and want to tell me you know him better than I do, FEEL FREE. Until then, may I cordially suggest you shut up and listen to me?

And when said child turns out to have both a sinus infection and an ear infection, take heed on how to improve your reaction:

This time (wrong):
“Well, how about that!”

Next time (right):
“You were absolutely right. I was wrong. My ego overcame my common sense, and I apologize. Also, I have a small penis.”

I think you’ll find this modified approach will inspire less rage in the mothers who’ve just spent two hours in your waiting room trying to keep a miserable child entertained.

I hope this clarifies matters.

Thanks for the antibiotics. Sorry about your dick.



  1. Scottsdale Girl

    oooooooh man my computer screen is HOT right now.

    Poor Monkey! Poor Mir, next time kick him in his small penis. Ask him if that is a 2 on a pain scale of 1-10.

  2. Jennifer Joyner

    WOW! Let ’em have it, Mama Mir!!!

  3. Darcie

    After 12 years of dealing with many different pediatricians in a couple of different states, I have found that female drs. are less likely to dismiss the “Mama gut”, especially if they are a mother also. Just my observation.

    So sorry about Monkey. Hope the antibiotics kick in super fast and give him some relief.

  4. Chris

    I just want to destroy your doctor, but it seems you’ve already done that. Well played.

  5. jodifur

    Maybe time for a new ped?

  6. Kelly

    Sorry about Monkey – I agree with Scottsdale Girl about kicking.

  7. Momsy

    In a perfect world, said doctor would read this post and adjust attitude accordingly.

  8. Anna Marie

    I’m so sorry Monkey is sick, but Bwahahaha!! on the tiny penis.

  9. Kendra

    This should be posted in every doctors office. I hope Monkey feels better soon!

  10. Celeste

    All peds should be required to complete a course in dealing correctly with moms. Doesn’t matter how good you are, or how good you think you are, if you don’t work well with the mommy. Loser.

  11. Lylah

    I hope Monkey feels better soon! I’m afraid recovery doesn’t seem to be in the cards for that doctor. Good job, Mir!

  12. Michelle

    Sorry Monkey is sick, hope the antibiotics kick in fast.
    I’m sure it will take longer for the doctor to recover from
    his small penis!

  13. gaylin

    Thankfully earaches and sinus infections can be treated.

    Small penises are forever.

  14. Megan

    Target acquired aaaaaand killed! Absolutely, positively LOATH patronizing docs – hope you can find a better one (preferably one who understand sensory issues because – DUDE!)

  15. Paula

    I agree with Darci. It bothers me that this seems to be the case, but in my 14 years of experience this seems to be true more often than not. I one had a child hospitalized with pneumonia with no fever and the same child also has had strep many times with NO fever. My other child is the KING of fever. Sigh…

    I have found that calling and speaking to either the office manager or the owner of the practice can sometimes work wonders!

  16. Jean

    I swear doctors sometimes need a punch in well, you know. Hope Monkey feels a lot better quickly!

  17. Jodie

    ‘Thanks for the antibiotics. Sorry about your dick.’

    That might just be the best part of the rest of my day! :)

  18. Tammy

    I agree with Jodie…best part of my day!!

    I’m so glad that you decided AGAINST having laser eyes bionically attached to your body. Because we would be looking at major destruction in the Atlanta area right now.

  19. TC

    Dear god, I hope this turns out to be another one of those cases, like with the school official, where the person in question happens to be reading your blog! Because that doctor needs to HEAR this.

  20. Tracy

    You tell em’, Mir.

  21. Dayna

    You should totally send the doc an e-mail with this column attached. He might actually learn something. But he’s probably too obsessed about his tiny dick. LOL!

  22. pharmgirl

    I’m with Dayna.

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to make certain he sees this.

    Mama Props, Mir!

  23. Ani

    Unfortunately I have had both male and female doctors ignore the Mama Sense. And one doctor forever banned from my “anyone on call” list for diagnosing my obviously chicken-poxed child with SCABIES. Because we had just been visiting family in the tropics. And hey, tropics = scabies, didn’t you know????

    Glad to hear that the proper dx has been made and the meds are forthcoming. FWIW…next time, tell Monkey he is free to kick said Dr. Jerk in the nuts when he presses too hard on the sinuses. Oops…reflex reaction. Ha!

  24. Heather G

    I REALLY wish I hadn’t taken a drink of Sprite right before I read that last sentence! Snorting Sprite burns. I hope Monkey feels better soon.

  25. Mom

    That’s my girl! Right to the heart of the matter, armed with her wit and words. Makes a mother proud. lol

    Give that sweet boy a giant hug for me.

  26. Jane

    Ditto Jodie! And so sorry about your little Monkey – hope he is on the mend very soon!

  27. mlb

    ditto Jodifur. My kids’ male ped and his backup would never do this. Keep looking until you find the right doc. And I hope Monkey feels better soon.

  28. Jean

    I am Mir, hear me ROAR!!

    You put it all so well. So glad that you were proven right. I agree with the others, it would be so nice if that doc just happened to stumble across what you wrote. Your children need not worry with you in their corner.

  29. Headless Mom

    I’m so sorry that he’s sick.

    That said? This is the funniest thing I’ve read in MONTHS!

  30. Karen

    Oh God, I’m so sorry. Really well said though. I’ve had similar things happen, it’s so maddening, I swore my son was really sick, they strep tested him and sent him home with a negative for strep. Know what happens when you don’t treat strep? Scarlet Fever. Very scary.

    You did good!

    Your kids (and Otto if he ever needs it) are lucky to have you to advocate for them.

  31. Michelle

    Oh my, well said! Horrible that you’ve ended up with one of “those” doctors. They really ought to be put on an island where they can just condescend to each other and let nature run its course.

  32. annette

    And, do you have the doctor’s e-mail? I would be happy to forward it to him:)

  33. annette

    Why does this always link me as if I have a website? And is it coincidence or God who named the supposed website, http://ofselfcontrol????? Anyone, anyone? Ferris?

  34. silly me

    I think I love you.

  35. Angela

    Dr. Jack ass seems better suited.

  36. Karate Mom

    I so wish you would have actually said all of that to him!

  37. Kim

    I’m recovering from bronchitis and still cough when I laugh. You just about killed me with the last sentence of this post.

    When things like this happen, I try to remember that “what goes around, comes around” and place my faith in karma. Dr. jerk will get his, eventually. :)

  38. Mary

    As a mom and a nurse I say trust your gut. Mom radar rules! As your child’s advocate you have every right to find a different doctor–one that listens.

  39. meghann

    Feel better Monkey!

    I am so glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read the last sentence. I would have needed a new keyboard.

  40. Damsel

    Wooo-hoooo!!!! GO GET ‘EM, Mama Bear!

  41. Stephanie

    I’m sorry about Monkey. You are hilarious. :-)

  42. Beth

    I agree with…well, everyone else. Time to find a new pediatrician. I once had a nurse tell me that the reason my son’s hands had swollen to twice their size overnight was because “according to the doctor your son is just fluffy.” The next day we changed doctors.


  43. Alicia

    Delurking just to tell you this:

    Standing ovation for YOU, Mama Mir. Please tell me you ACTUALLY said this to him, because that would be grounds for your readers worshiping you more than we already do.

  44. Jamie


  45. Allison

    i just stumbled on this and amen!! my daughter had pneumonia and the doctor wouldn’t even run the test!! finally our 3rd trip in he tested and wouldn’t you know it, she wasn’t faking it after all! i read your post and was nodding the whole time, bravo.

  46. Nicole

    Awful. I think its part of the Hippocratic Oath that a doctor is never allowed to roll his eyes at his patient. Pretty sure.

  47. Miriam

    Mmmmkay, so totally hate your doctor, but you did make me laugh OUT LOUD, so there’s that. Good for me, still sucky for you…sorry about that! ;-) Hope karma gets him (and his “little” friend) GOOD! Mwhahaha!

  48. Karly

    Oh, Lord, I have always enjoyed your blog, but I think this might be my favorite post ever. That last line had me cracking me.

    You’re funny when you’re angry! :)

  49. Julie

    I LOVED THIS!!! Thank god my pediatrician is not one of these doctors but many in his office are. Thanks for letting us all know we are not alone in this fight!

  50. Heather

    Get well soon sweet monkey boy! Boo to rotten doctors!

  51. liv

    go, mama mir! hope monkey is feeling better soon.

  52. Noelle

    My daughter has sensory disorder too. A lot of pediatricians are still ignorant about it, but the number who know about it seems to be growing. Hope your little guy feels better soon.

  53. Anna

    I am a little afraid of you, I think. ;) I agree with Nicole, I don’t think doctors should be allowed to roll their eyes at patients or their responsible parties.

    I’m sorry he ignored you, and I’m surprised he didn’t take into consideration the double ear infection visit.

  54. Debra

    I work in a teaching hospital’s pediatric outpatient clinic. We get a rotation of nurses, medical students, and are home to the pediatric residents. I actually heard one of my attending/supervisory pediatricians tell the residents one day “Listen to Momma. If she says her child’s not right, then something is not right.” I certainly hope some of them pay attention and listen as they off of their own. I hope Monkey gets better soon.

  55. carrie

    Just laughed so hard at your unexpected ending that I literally did a spit take. I thought that only happened on old TV shows. Sorry about Monkey, and your frustration, but from where I’m sitting (still chuckling) it was totally worth just because of the entertainment value here.

  56. Sara

    And THAT, that post right there, is just one of the many reasons that I adore you. You’ve spent far too much time in a germ-infested waiting room with a sick Monkey and yet you turn the misery into a boon for your readers. Hope your Monkey boy is on the mend soon.
    And I gather the M.D. after Dr. Jerk’s name stands for Micro Dick?

  57. stacy

    Sorry about your dick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11


    The best line ever….and the reason I come back here day after day..you are one funny chick! And a superfantabulous momma! Hope Lil Monkey is feeling better soon

  58. Annie

    Best. Post. Ever.

  59. Chuck

    I think he should be sorry for BEING a dick.

  60. Reagan

    Priceless! You’re such an awesome mama bear!

  61. Chocolate

    Oh hell yeah. You go girl. Bite the bullshit outta him.

  62. Hecticmom

    hahahahahha!!!!! “Sorry about your dick.” HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!

    I so remember a time when MY mom stood up for ME (she was an intensive care nurse) and we were at the doctor (a highly respected pulmonologist she worked with) and I was having a really tough time breathing and REALLY felt bad. He listened said I sounded fine and that I’d be better (basically to suck it up). Her mama bear came out and she demanded xrays. (OMG – I still to this day feel such love and protection because she did this – I was probably 14 or 15.) It ends up I had pneumonia and the middle lobe of my lung was collapsed. I was hospitalized immediately (and he was ready to tell me to suck it up and go home.)

    After that – he listened to whatever either of us said. :)

  63. just beaux

    I’m sure that there are some very good doctors out there who do pay attention to the parents when it comes to their children. And to the adults when they take in their own parents for appointments. And to the patient in general when he or she goes in for a visit. But I really do get tired of all the doctors who think they know all the answers and that somehow they are always right. It is almost as though that because they have gone to school for 10 or 12 years, they think they are incapable of making mistakes. There is nothing more loathsome than a doctor who can’t admit he’s wrong when even his 10/12 years in school can’t back him up. There is nothing altruistic about that kind of behavior. I love this post Mir.

  64. mamaspeak

    Mir, I love it when you get riled up. Sorry, Monkey’s suffering, but our benefit for sure. This was actually one of the rare posts I insist my husband reads (he hates it when I do that). But his dad was a doctor (and I suspect his bedside manner, was not always the best, so I know he appreciated it.)

    Find a new doctor, one w/cojones (could be a woman or man). I’ve more than one doctor tell me, “you’re the mom, if you say it’s not right for your child I’m going to go w/you”. Drop him as your doctor, enough people do, and he may just realize the affect his small dick is having on his practice.

  65. Cele

    I do not get the 1 to 10 scale. I’m going to say 9 and a half everytime. It is stupid – I have part timers who (literally, I couldn’t make up this crap) come into me and say, “Cele I’m going home, on a scale of 1 to 10 I’m at five today.”

    Monkey, get better please.

  66. Mare

    You write so eloquently, I’m certain you sent the message forthwith to the doctor who is hung like a hamster. There is nothing worse in the medical world when you keep telling them something is wrong and they don’t believe you, or they discount the multitude of symptoms you offer. At least they didn’t send you off to a specialist who then insists nothing is wrong only to discover after one of their tests, or a different appointment time…OH! Boy, you weren’t kidding, were you?

    May your Monkey get this guck from his body quickly, non-contagiously, and may the doctor discover he’d better not mess with you or you’ll prove what a 10 feels like to his unfortunate malady.

  67. Barbara

    Seriously, this should be an open letter in all the medical journals!
    Sending healing thoughts to Monkey for his infection, to you for having your supremely smart toes stepped on, and to Dr. Jerk for his stupidity.

  68. Nicki

    This is why I adore you! So perfect.

  69. Stacy

    I knew that rude male doctors were just trying to overcompensate for something! Hope Monkey feels better soon (and no one else in the house gets it).

  70. Lynette

    Well said!
    I dealt with a doctor like this when I took my daughter in for a very high temperature, etc… He did his best to make me feel stupid until it was determined she had pneumonia and needed to be hospitalized. His attitude still makes me angry.

    I hope Monkey feels better soon.

  71. JennyM

    Sorry about your dick!!!!

    Oh, man. [wipes away tears]

    I hope the antibiotics do the trick!

  72. RuthWells

    YOWZA. What a tool. (I have fired pediatric dentists for less.)

    Go, Mir!

  73. Andrea

    I never comment, but this is awesome. I just may have to start calling my boy’s former pediatriction Dr TinyDick. Thanks for the inspiration! Hope Dr Jerk wants to talk to you about why you’re switching practices when you request Monkey’s records be transferred…. :)

  74. Anne

    Personally, if that had been me, I would have shoved his stethescope in a very painful place, kicked him in another painful place and then stomped off to my insurance to demand another doc NOW. But that’s just me…. ;-) You think your Mama Bear impression is good…you ought to see mine.

  75. lee-ann

    Dr’s don’t know everything and as moms we need to remember that we are our children’s advocate no matter how many crazy looks and nasty comments we get. GOOD FOR YOU STICKING UP FOR YOUR KIDDO!!!

  76. Jenn

    THanks for the laugh. I needed it. And thanks for the ray of light you shed on my sensory kid who also is a bit mysterious about pain. I’d never associated one with the other.

    I hope Monkey feels better soon!

  77. Lucinda

    That is exactly why we found a new pediatrician when our old one ARGUED with me when I told him I was certain my daughter, who had been screaming in pain the night before, probably had an ear infection. A week later, at the ENT, we found she not only had a double ear infection that had been there for a while but also a throat infection. Lovely. I’m still pissed about it and that was over a year ago.

    Next time, I’ll just send them your letter! Glad you didn’t back down.

  78. Mara

    All well and good to vent here, but I think you should print it out and mail it to him. And maybe switch to a ped that listens to you?

  79. Katie in MA

    You should have thrown over your shoulder as you walked out: “I know you do this for a living, but SO DO I!” Hope the venting (and the antibiotics) are making everyone feel better.

  80. Colleen

    Everytime I question why I still drive 40 minutes to my kids’ doctor, I will think of this. Our ped actually said these words to me when my son was 3 years old, “I don’t see anything, but there’s something to be said for a mother’s intuition, so I’m going to send you to [name of pediatric orthopedist].” Turns out he had Perthes disease. I LOVE my pediatrician.

  81. Debbi

    LMAO!!! GO MIR!!! Mama’s ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS know best and don’t ever treat our children like that!! hugs to both of you!

  82. Aimee

    He should know better than to cross a Mir-bear.

  83. MomCat

    When you attend medical school, I’m pretty sure there’s a condescension class. (Sorry to all the doctors I just offended. It’s just frustrating to us mere mortals.)

  84. Brigid Day

    Our guts always know. Especially with kids who have sensory issues. (Our FORMER ped missed an ear infection on a Friday because he was too lazy to clean the wax out, and on a Saturday the ear drum burst.)

    Hope Monkey gets better quickly.

  85. Wilma Ham

    Mir, good on you, that was one class act.
    You knew, you listened to yourself and stuck to your guns.
    That is courage and great stuff.
    I know it has made you angry and I know you should not have been treated like that.
    You are great but do not let them get you down to their level.
    Stay centered and very proud of yourself.

  86. Chris

    Too good – gets my first real smile of the day.

  87. Mom2Trplts

    Can I just ditto Chuck?

  88. Shelley

    I would NOT take my child back to that doctor EVER again!

  89. pam

    Well it’s obviously time to get yet another Dr. Perhaps one who does not have dick crisis?

  90. Dawn

    But… but… he graduated from MEDICAL SCHOOL. This means he is very, very, VERY smart and knows EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING.

    As if.

    Never, ever f**k with The Mama unless you want your teeny, tiny penis snipped right off. It could happen. We mamas are known to carry nail clippers in our purses.

    You’d think an all-knowing person would know this.

    Poor Monkey. Time to fire Dr. Know-It-All and find Dr. Knows-What-Monkeys-Need.

  91. Kim

    Ohhh, this brings back memories. I left the only pediatrician in the town in the dust because of this sort of attitude. He was an asshole in high school, and my gut feeling was correct: despite over fifteen years of maturation opportunities and a great deal of medical training, he is still an asshole. We found our way to a family doctor who knows how to ask questions and listen to the answers.

    I hope you someday have a doctor who doesn’t treat you like he knows more about your child than you do! The grass is DEFINITELY greener on the other side of this experience, if you’re willing (and able) to hop fences.

  92. Liz@thisfullhouse

    Yeah, so did you send the letter, now that you have a new Pediatrician!?!?

  93. LLinda

    For what it’s worth – when many 4th year medical students fill out their choices for “The Match” (the process of acceptance to a hospital’s residency program) they consider Pediatrics to be a 3rd choice fail-safe. Their “insurance” against being left out in the cold with no match.
    Keep that in mind the next time you sit for 30 minutes in an exam room. The person examing your sick child probably did not really WANT to be doing this.

  94. Ruth

    I can’t even venture a guess as to how many of us would like to take that letter, cut and paste it, and send it out to a variety of so-called doctors. I’m with you, the mama always knows. I could tell my kids were sick because they smelled differently and their breath was different.

    Good for you for sticking to your guns.

    I just went through an e-mail back and forth attack with a “doctor” (the know-it-all and it’s my way or the highway type) who said that because I believed in thinking and doing research about whether to give my child a vaccine that I must also be one of those who “believes the world is flat.”

    Needless to say, I unfriended him on Facebook and no longer see him socially. Don’t need that kind of negativity and condescension in my life. Hang in there!

  95. Elza

    At our house, this is known as “Bad Doctor!! No biscuit for you!!”

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest