I'm pleased to bring you another installment of the "This is why I have gray hair!" show! Starring me.
Adam is sick right now. I'm hoping that he's finally turning the corner towards improving, after over a week....fingers crossed! He's had the gnarliest, goopy sounding cough and a fever that started last Saturday morning and didn't go totally away until yesterday. He's been lethargic, less appetite, increased work of breathing, snotty nose.....not cool. As an aside...I'm convinced that the word "preschool" is just a carefully crafted euphemism for "drop your kid in a petri dish full of horrifying pestilence and hope for the best." Now, back to the conversation at hand. After three visits to the primary care doctor, and one phone call to pulmonology, we've got antibiotics, 5 days of steroids for the airway inflammation, and a plan for extra chest pt to get the gunk up and moving. Proactive. I like that. The specific source of my increased gray hair during this last very long week, however, was primary care visit number 2.
At the point of visit number 2, I had...obviously...already had Adam at the doctor once. I was told that it was most likely viral, and to ride it out for another 48 hours. Now, there is a very limited amount of time that I'm willing to let Adam "ride out" a cough and increased work of breathing.....something about the two years on a ventilator and the airway made out of rib cartilage...but what do I know, right? So, 48 hours after visit one, when the fever was still present and the cough was getting worse, back we went. On this visit, we saw an attending physicain who I had never met. It's always someone different covering the acute clinic, so you kinda have to take what you can get. He seemed pleasant enough upon entering the room, but it all went down hill fast. He did an extremely brief exam....didn't look in Adam's nose, didn't listen to all the lobes of his lungs, and looked at his belly but didn't actually touch it. Then he asked me what I felt Adam's problems were. After I finished explaining the progression of all his symptoms, and how I was especially concerned about the lingering fever, the doctor gifted me with what may, in fact, be the most douchecanoeish comment I've ever heard. "In Doctor Land, this fever is not a concern."
I'm sorry, what was that? Doctor Land? Oh, I've heard of that place...it's just south of Asshatville, on the banks of Did You Seriously Just Say That creek.....right?! Doctor Land? Oh dude. Welcome to I'd Like to Smack the Crap Out of You Town. After staring blankly at said doctor for a moment, trying to wrap my brain around the utter ridiculousness of what had just ensued, I was able to respond. "Thanks for that," I said, "But I live in Adam Land, where we have a history of prematurity, ventilator dependence, chronic lung disease, subglottic stenosis, and airway reconstruction which makes every symptom of infection a concern. So I'm going to come back another day when I can see someone who doesn't live in Doctor Land." And then I snatched the check out form from the poor resident who looked like he wanted to melt into the floor, and I left. After paying my co-pay. Again.
Let's not even begin to explore the fact that this guy completely invalidated my concerns, made sweeping generalizations regarding the fact that all symptoms are the same in all children regardless of medical history, and missed the chance to actually find and diagnose the issues that were dealt with in visit number 3. Let's just stop the bus right at Doctor Land. Doctor. freaking. Land. Someday, I'm going to go to Doctor Land.....and I'm going to find that guy. In the meantime, I've given the office's medical director an account of my unfortunate visit. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that Doctor Land isn't an ideal vacation destination.