A couple of months ago, I wrote Eenie, meenie, miney, moe, to which doctor do we go? (Part 1). That post was about how we had been going to a “butt load” of medical appointments. I said at that time that I would eventually write part two of that post, on choosing a new pediatrician.
So, why did we need a new pediatrician? Because our old one sucked a**. Only we didn’t realize he sucked a** until we had taken our kids there for four-and-a-half-years. We had to push awfully hard to get referrals to First Steps and a developmental specialist for Colin, but we eventually got them, so we didn’t think too much of it. But when the pediatrician said, “Oh, I think we can just wait a while and see what happens,” when people at the Kawasaki Disease Foundation and a specialist at Northwestern were all saying Noah should be hospitalized, we realized he sucked a** and decided we were never taking our children to him again. We only got treatment for Noah’s Kawasaki because we took him to the ER. We are very lucky that Noah’s heart echos have been normal, because he got the IV treatments ten days late due to the stupid suck a** pediatrician.
Anyway, it seems that poor little Noah may have gotten screwed once again by the suck a** pediatrician. We have been asking that pediatrician since Noah was born if his testicles were normal because they never fully descended. Well, guess who should have given Noah a referral to a urologist before he was TWO?!
Noah’s testicles have somewhat descended now, but they are “rectractile,” meaning that they sometimes (usually) creep back up. (I’m sure he will be thrilled to find out that I shared that little fact about him on the internet when he’s 16.) It’s possible that it will resolve itself by puberty, but it’s also possible that it will require surgery. Well, guess who has a surgery consult on Monday? We finally chose a new pediatrician and took all of the kids to see her last week, and she IMMEDIATELY said she would like for Noah to be checked out by a surgeon.
Christian and I are very nervous about this consult. Noah is incredibly needle- and hospital-phobic since it took them 25 minutes to get an IV in him at the ER when he had Kawasaki in July. Christian and I are both going to the appointment. I called the doctor’s office today, explained the situation, and came up with a plan. We will all be in the room for the exam. Then, if they do think he needs surgery, Christian and Noah will go out of the room for suckers and stickers while the doctor explains the procedure to me. Christian and I will try to delicately explain it to Noah later. I am REALLY not looking forward to that.
In better news, we do really like the new pediatrician. She seems very thorough and she really listened to everything we had to say about each child. Several people we know recommended her. We interviewed her on our own before we took the kids in, and we explained our concerns. We don’t want our kids sent for all kinds of unnecessary tests or procedures, but we do want them sent when it is appropriate, and she agreed that was perfectly reasonable. She is fairly new as a private practice pediatrician. Before this she was on-staff at the hospital, so she has good working relationships with all of the specialists.
This new pediatrician is African-American, originally from Nigeria. Her last name is hard to pronounce, so most kids just call her Dr. O. When I wrote on this blog before that we were looking for a pediatrician of color, there were some people who did not understand. Sometimes I forget that not everyone reading this blog is a transracial adoptive parent who has had the same kind of training and counseling that Christian and I have had. Choosing doctors, dentists, etc of color is something that has been very strongly emphasized in that training. In fact, we considered switching pediatricians before Zoe came home for this reason, but didn’t because we liked our pediatrician so much (we didn’t realize back then that he sucked a**). Just as some parents want to take their daughters to women physicians so they will be exposed to positive female role-models, two of our children are of color (Asian and Hispanic) and we want to take our them to physicians of color so they will be exposed to positive minority role-models.
We would never choose to take our children to “bad” pediatrician of color over a “good” white pediatrician. I thought that would have been obvious, but apparently it was not to everyone.
We did have to make a couple of sacrifices though. I originally had a pretty big list of criteria, and we were not able to meet all of them. Dr. O’s office is about half an hour away from us, which is kind of a pain. It’s only seven minutes more than the old pediatrician’s office, but it just seems a lot farther. Also, there are two children’s hospitals in our city – one downtown and one to the north. We really would have preferred to find a pediatrician affiliated with the downtown one because we have had good experiences at that ER and during Noah’s hospitalization. We have seen specialists at both hospitals with good results. Colin’s geneticist and GI doctor and Noah’s infectious disease doctor are all affiliated with the downtown hospital. However, Colin’s developmental pediatrician is affiliated with the north side hospital, and since he is the specialist we will probably be with the longest, it did kind of make sense to go with someone at the north side hospital. My heart is still kind of with the downtown hospital though. It’s not that we can’t go to specialists there or that we can’t go to that ER or anything, but it will be easier for the new pediatrician and the specialists to communicate with each other if we stick to the same hospital system.