A New Doctor

July 1, 2010

In my last post I mentioned that Lauren has a new primary doctor. This became necessary when the former doctor, after repeated requests, could not seem to grasp the concept of the importance of familiarity with Lauren in her care. Much of one’s ability to provide Lauren with any type of care is based on observation. She has a limited ability to communicate her wants and needs and if you are not familiar with her, how would you know if she is behaving typically, appears ill, or is presenting some type of distress? In the former doctor’s practice there were so many doctors that she was seeing a different doctor each time she was in the office. Her primary doctor’s response to my concerns about this was that the doctors were all qualified and that he couldn’t tell his partners how to practice medicine.

So, this week we visited with a new physician I had found by asking for recommendations from several doctors while Lauren was recently in the hospital. Dr. B remained seated throughout our visit in order to be at Lauren’s level as she sat in the wheelchair. He listened to my concerns and issues with Lauren’s care and agreed with me about the necessity of being familiar with Lauren in order to provide appropriate medical care to her. There are only two doctors in this practice and Dr. B assured me that the other physician would appropriately participate in her care.

As we were closing our visit, Dr. B sat close to Lauren and spoke to her like she was a typical twenty-four year old, saying it was nice to meet her, that he would be available for her when she needed him, and made similar caring, conversational comments. He talked to her – not me. He showed her respect. He was kind. I had tears in my eyes.

Why should I be moved when someone is kind to my child? Have I become so used to the opposite that when Lauren is treated in a manner in which we all expect to be treated ourselves, I am surprised? That is so sad. What is also sad is that as we pulled out of the parking lot and I reflected on our visit, I had already begun to prepare myself to be disappointed. This visit was great, but will we be let down by this doctor the next time? I don’t think so, but I’ve learned not to get my hopes up.

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