Here is a piece of mommy wisdom that I will carry with me forever…
You can tell a lot about a person by the care they take when changing a baby’s diaper!
In the beginning, babies are tiny and fragile-looking things, their arms and legs feeling like jello, that it is nearly impossible to change their nappy without fearing for their safety. But, by the time they are 3 or 4 months old, they morph into squishy, squiggly little creatures who can’t stay still long enough to be changed. Diaper changes turn into acrobatic balancing acts that require focus and care. Diapers themselves have a come a long way… There is technology built into each diaper to indicate how wet, full or long they can last. They have an inner and outer layer, designed to keep your baby dry and velcro like tabs that keep the nasty nasty in its place. Putting a diaper on a baby is truly a skill that needs to be mastered and believe me, your baby is paying attention and keeping score. And, when you rush through the job, you not only lose out on the precious opportunity to connect with your little one, but they make you pay for it almost immediately!
That should have been my first clue about my pediatrician. The first time she examined my son and put his diaper back on, I didn’t think much of it. Maybe she was in a hurry, I thought to myself. Doctors are notorious for being overbooked and I have empathy for them. Her bedside manners seemed pleasant enough that I didn’t mind a crooked diaper with a whole butt cheek hanging out. But, during subsequent visits I started noticing that her skills were rather lacking… When I say my 6 yr old niece could’ve done a better job, I’m not exaggerating!
If you’re silently thinking that maybe I’m overreacting, let me assure you that there were other signs that led me down the difficult path of firing my pediatrician. Parting ways with a doctor is never easy, no matter how long you’ve known them. There is a feeling of awkwardness when you make such a decision. Then there is the hassle of finding a new doctor, transferring records and starting all over again with someone new, who may or may not live up to your expectations. It’s all a gamble, still there are times when it’s better to go than to stay!
Here are a five reasons why I fired my pediatrician!
- Thou shall multitask! Every time I asked my pediatrician a question when she was in checking out my son, she shushed me. It’s as if she couldn’t look into his ears and listen to me at the same time. When she was finally ready for me, she rushed me so much so that I always walked out feeling like I had missed something.
- Thou shall give sound advice! There were many things our pediatrician said that made me raise an eyebrow, like giving water to a 2 month old and telling me to increase my son’s food intake during one visit and chiding me for the same during the next. But, it was when she instructed me to start my son on solids at 4 months old that I really put my foot down.
- Thou shall not make us wait! Time is money. While I was able to get appointments regularly, the wait during these appointments, in spite of an empty waiting room, was bothersome.
- Thou shall not overcharge! After my initial visit I received a bill for charges for the services rendered. When I questioned about insurance payments, I was reassured that there was a billing error. Three months later, I received another bill for 3 times the amount of the original bill. Again, I’ve been reassured that this is a billing error. While the office manager is never around to take my calls, he still hasn’t returned my voicemail a week later!
- Thou shall embrace technology! Doctors are not techies, I get it. But, at the very least you must be able to log into your EMR system without having to call a “younger person’ to assist. During my last visit, the pediatrician was unable to pull up my son’s immunization schedule to validate a shot he was about to get. This made me very nervous, since I was previously told that he wasn’t getting a shot during this visit. After several minutes of fumbling around, she summoned her receptionist who rolled her eyes so hard that I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable just being there.
There are times when you just have to go with your mama gut. I walked out of her office a week ago and vowed never to go back. Once you’ve lost confidence in your doctor, there’s no use pretending otherwise. Luckily my mother in law came to the rescue with a recommendation from one of her friends and this guy seems like a good one, at least on paper. We meet him next week and you better believe I will be taking notes on his diapering skills. Fingers crossed!