Saturday, July 2, 2011

Doctors and Their Attitudes

My buddy, Nanny, reminded me of something that happened to me with my daughter, Amanda. It was one of the last times she spent in a hospital. I’ll give you a short background.

Amanda had been a long time patient, since 1992, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis TN. She had been through radiation and surgery there and no reoccurrences had happened. Between 1992 and 2003, she had gone through viral encephalitis and two strokes because of that, but she had not had another tumor. One was discovered during a routine MRI in 2003 and it was a result of the radiation. We knew there was nothing that could be done except make her comfortable.

During that summer, we had to make frequent trips back to Memphis and she had to have a couple of procedures to help make sure her quality of life was maintained as much as possible. They were done by the same surgeon who did her original surgery there. He is one of the top pediatric neurosurgeons in the country. Needless to say his bedside manner just sucks.

Amanda always had problems with pneumonia after surgeries. For some reason, her lungs just couldn’t handle anesthesia well and we had to be very vigilant when she got out of surgery. After one of the procedures I found out that there had been a spot on her lungs and the surgeon had operated anyway without telling me that the radiologist had been concerned about it. Well, you all know me, I called him on it. What happened next is a great example of what doctors think of themselves.

He started in on me. He told me that he would walk away if I questioned him again. He said that if it had been up to St. Jude, she would not have had anything done giving us less time with her and more difficult times for her. He also threw in that he gave up a Saturday with his daughter during a horse show for my child. He completely berated me with Amanda in the same room.

I reminded him that I had never once told him no in how he treated my daughter and I probably would not have then if he had told me about it and that he did not feel it was an issue. I also reminded him that he chose that day for her surgery and that she would never ride a horse, graduate from high school, or anything else like that. He never did back down from that. And I was left in tears.

The next day when he came in to check on her, he was much more contrite, but he never did apologize. To this day, I have not forgotten that particular period of time. It was rather traumatizing to say the least.

The only reason I write this is for you all to stand up for yourselves if caught in a situation like that. It doesn’t matter what they think, let them know YOU are the parent. YOU make the decisions. They need to get that through their heads and deal with it.

1 comment:

  1. omg. Some doctors really do have high impressions of themselves. At least you told him off, before the tears came. What an ass.