Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bad Mom Award

As I casually mentioned before, here is the story of my first Bad Mom Award...yeah, the one where I got Children's Protective Services (CPS) called on me during my son's first couple weeks of life.

I am not much of a believer in "well baby" doctor visits. I think it is just a ploy for the doctors to get more money. Nonetheless, I did take my little guy into the the doctor when he was about a week old. (Actually, he was 6 days old when I took him into the office.) I hadn't picked out a pediatrician yet, and I thought it would be better to just pick a family doctor, so the whole family could go to the same doc, if we needed it. So, I just picked a family practice that was relatively close.

I sat in the office and nursed Bug while I was waiting for the doctor to come. She finally arrived, and started checking out my little man. After doing some checking, she asked me, "Do you think your son looks yellow?" I was thinking to myself, through all my postpartum hormonal thoughts, why would she ask ME, if SHE is the doctor!!?! I responded as honestly as I could, "Well, just a little. But I'm around him all the time, so not really. Other people have said he does look a little bit jaundiced." "WELL [said with an I'm-smart-you're-dumb attitude], he is!" She then proceeded to tell me I needed to get his bilirubin levels checked -immediately-! I wasn't too concerned, and I was already going in to take a school final that day (which was a big mistake in in itself), but I told the doctor I would do it, before she totally lost her head. Seriously, she was already formulating a treatment plan!

So, I endured the heel prick and crying of my poor baby boy. I was told that the lab would contact me and the doctor's office within the next 24 hours. The day went by, with a missed call from the doctor, I never got around to calling her back. The next day I get a call from the doctor, again, asking what was going on with the tests. I told her I had no idea. She then lectured to me about how important this was, and how jaundice can cause brain damage. (I later found out that she also called my "emergency number" at my parent's house, because she couldn't get a hold of me on the first try). So I called the lab, and they gave me Bug's bili levels. There were at 12.9-which isn't high enough yet for treatment. I called the doctor to let her know, but she was still wigging out and demanded that I make another appointment with her to get an order for another heel prick for Bug. I was NOT enthused about that idea, and I told her I didn't think it was necessary. She continued to tell me how serious this was, and how important it was, and how dangerous it was. She kept throwing out the brain damage card. I told her I would call later to reschedule an appointment. I didn't.

In the meantime, I did call a pediatrician's office. I asked the nurse about jaundice and bili levels. She said the ped would probably order another test to make sure the levels were going down, but as long as the baby is eating well, pooping regularly, and not lethargic, everything was most likely fine. Well, check, definitely check, and absolutely check all three of those tests. I was confident that Bug would recover from his jaundice in no time, and with no complications.

The next day, the doctor calls me. "Mama, you were supposed to bring Bug in so I could order another test for his jaundice." I was really nervous, because I HATE talking on the, I knew I was about to fire this doctor for being an incompetent spaz that loved to harass new mothers. I sucked it up, and tried to keep my voice steady as I told her that I thought she was wrong and unprofessional, that I had contacted another doctor, I would no longer be seeing her, and that she should expect contact soon to transfer Bug's records. She asked me what doctor I was going to take him to (which I later found out is against HIPAA laws for her to ask that. Luckily, I told her that I would not disclose that information!) After a long pause, she said, "Well, I'm just afraid that your son has brain damage." [emphasis added]. EXCUSE ME!?!?! HAS?!?!? Absolutely nothing warrants that! No doctor is going to tell me, without any evidence, that my son HAS brain damage. I sternly told her that I did NOT agree, and then I hung up.

A day or so later, CPS knocks on my door and handed me my Bad Mom Award. Thank you, thank you! I'd like to thank my jaundiced son, and most importantly, my idiot doctor! I couldn't have done it without you!

And the update: Apparently CPS realized that the "concern" was bogus, because I haven't had any trouble with them since. Although, I will remain on record with them for 3 years. Such is life. I did go to the new pediatrician. He is great. Bug hasn't been back since he was just over a month old though, because he is healthy as can be. His jaundice cleared up quickly. And guess what, they haven't called me to tell me that they think my son has brain damage!

[If any readers in my area are interested to know who the idiot doctor is, so they can avoid her, her name is Dr. Cynthia Villacis, with Goshen Family Practice.]


Banshe said...

Oh my goodness! I really can't beleive that. I mean, I know you are telling the truth but I am amazed at how pushy and dumb some doctors are. It's like "Holy cow, lady, did you forget to take your chill pills today?". Why is it that she can call CPS on you, but there is no organization for you to report her to? That was totally unprofessional, and in my opinion, really quite uncalled for. I'm sorry you had to go through that. *hugs*

Mommy Bee said...

That is crazy.
On the other hand, well, I've had doctors treat me like that too. i tend to hang up/walk away too...I'm not dumb, I'm not endangering my child. In fact, I've researched this stuff a LOT (my situation was in regard to vaccination and the fact that I'm doing it on my own schedule--the dr pretty much told me my son was going to die of measles if I didn't get him an MMR stat!!)