A few months ago, I made the tough decision to switch Janey to a new pediatrician. Our old pediatrician had been with us since the day my oldest William was born. He helped us with William as a little preemie, he guided us through both boys' asthma, and he was at the end of a number of desperate phone calls at various times in my years of raising the kids. I liked him a lot. But for a number of reasons, he wasn't the right doctor for Janey.
The most important one was just in terms of ease of transportation. He was at a clinic in the city, one I couldn't drive to. It was very easy to get to by public transportation, but with Janey, that's not always practical. I needed a doctor I could drive Janey to easily, so Tony wouldn't have to miss work.
The other reason, though, is that I never quite felt he felt comfortable with Janey. I am not faulting him for that, at all. Janey is tough. He was professional with her, but I don't feel like he truly got her. And that's okay. Not everyone is able to deal well with a child like Janey. I have realized that over the years. Some friends fall away when faced with the reality of her. Others step up to the plate. To be brutally honest with myself, if I had not been thrust into the world of parenting a child like Janey, I might be one of those who didn't deal well with it. And so I try to understand that not everyone can. But after Janey's appendix rupture, I realized it was vitally important for me to have a pediatrician who felt comfortable with her. Her old doctor had nothing to do with diagnosing (or not) her burst appendix--that was all done at the hospital--but I realized I needed a doctor who felt comfortable enough with Janey to tend very closely to her physical health.
So how did I pick this new doctor? I'd like to say I did all kinds of research, and interviewed doctors, and all that. No, instead I picked the clinic I'd like to drive to, looked at the pictures of the pediatricians with openings and chose the one I liked the looks of. That's how I roll.
We took Janey after school last night for her physical with the new doctor. Things in the waiting room did not go well, to say the least. Janey thought she was going for a ride, a nice long ride with lots of music, although we of course told her she was going to the doctor. But when the reality of that hit, she screamed. She screamed for the whole half hour it took us to be put in a room. Then she screamed in the room. She stopped a little while they took her height and weight and blood pressure---she likes that. But she resumed screaming after that. This wasn't the fault of the office. Monday night is a busy time in a doctor's office. I hadn't realized that. And they were very sweet to Janey as we waited for the doctor, but Janey was not happy to be there. We kept reassuring her this was NOT the hospital, she WASN'T going to stay overnight---but I am sure there was some flashbacks for her that weren't pleasant.
And then the doctor came in, and I somehow knew immediately we'd gotten lucky. I liked her right away. I loved how she addressed Janey directly, asked what she liked to be called, said she was sorry sincerely for the wait, noticed within a minute the main thing I'd been worried about (that Janey's spine seems curved), examined Janey quickly but thoroughly, was there for any questions, and emphasized over and over that we could call her about anything, any time. She was warm and caring and just exactly what I had been looking for.
Janey calmed down while she was there and took to her right away, which is not the case with everyone, that's for sure. Everything went well, until of course shot time. Somehow Janey had gotten a little behind on shots, and in fact had never somehow had the 2nd chicken pox vaccine she was supposed to get a while ago, so she needed 3 shots. Two nurses came in to give them to her. We held her down, probably more so than at first the nurses thought we needed to, but the minute she got sight of the needles, she screamed and tried to bolt, with amazing force and suddenness. They were startled! We managed to get her held again, and she didn't seem to mind the actual shots at all. We left feeling good about the appointment, although drained.
So now, we have to get an xray to see if Janey has scoliosis. I hope she doesn't, of course. We also discussed various options for dealing with PMS, if that becomes a problem---we've just started down that whole road.
I'm glad we made the doctor change. It's hard sometimes, not just with doctors but with people in general, to accept that not everyone is going to embrace Janey, but it's a fact of life, and I understand it. It's up to us to keep working to have as many people in her life as we can that do embrace her.