Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Growing Up Easily

Ashley had her first visit to the gynecologist yesterday. Everything went so much better than I thought possible and even could have hoped for. Since Ashley is only 12 years old, and because she gets very anxious whenever she has to go to any doctor’s office, I honestly was not expecting things to go well.
We had been referred to this particular gynecologist by Ashley’s pediatrician. I trust the pediatrician, and really hoped that we would like and trust the gynecologist as much.

The first positive impression was made when I called to make Ashley’s appointment. The lady who answered the phone did not rush me through my account of Ashley’s disabilities. She listened patiently while I expressed concern about this first visit, and shared with her every detail from how nervous Ashley can be just walking into the waiting room to how difficult it is to have blood drawn. She made sure we got the soonest appointment possible, and made many notes about what the rest of the office staff should expect when Ashley arrived. Things were looking good…

I got to the doctor’s office a few minutes before Ashley and Amy so I could fill out the new patient paperwork. The office staff was very welcoming and told me to let them know when Ashley was arriving. As soon as I saw Amy and Ashley enter the office, I let the staff know and within 5 minutes, we were being taken back to the exam room. Unlike staff in some doctor’s offices who stare rudely at Ashley, the many people working in this office treated us just like every other patient. Once in the exam room, the nurse was very calm, and told us we could have Ashley sit on the exam table or remain in her wheelchair. She let me put Ash in one of her favorite new dresses rather than a paper gown, and then she said the doctor would be right in – and she was!!

Waiting is one of the hardest things for Ashley to do. Waiting in a doctor’s exam room is the worst. But, that didn’t happen here. The doctor came in within 5 minutes, and like her nurse, was very quiet and calm and welcoming. She did a quick exam, and patiently stayed to answer any and all questions we had. Ashley was very happy and fairly relaxed the whole time.

I was so impressed with this particular doctor’s practice especially the way they treated Ashley, Amy and me. Often doctors who primarily treat adults with no special needs are uncomfortable around patients with needs as complex as Ashley’s. I saw absolutely no evidence of that with this doctor or the rest of the staff. I would wholeheartedly recommend this practice to anyone, but especially to people with special needs.

Thank you, Dr. Rindos and Commonwealth Physicians for Women!


JustMe said...

Why on earth would a non-sexually active 12 year old who hasn't experienced menarche need to be seen by a gynecologist?

Ashley's Mom said...

Ashley has every sign of menarche but she has not actually started. All the other things (hormone cycling, breast development, etc) have been present for a long time. Her pediatrician, and now her gynegologist are concerned that she has a blockage which may be preventing our actually seeing the bleeding. She SHOULD have started by now. She is now scheduled for an ultrasound to help us determine if there is actually a problem. The decision to visit a gynecologist was a result of increased seizure activity (seizures which had been previously controlled by meds), also matching up with the cyclical nature of her other signs of puberty.

Amy (yes Ash's Miss Amy) said...

I would like to take a moment to thank Ashley's mom for all that she does, not only for Ash but for all of her wonderful children.
Adding yet another doctor and more time off from work is not easy to do or schedule, however "mom" handles this with her calm and compassionate nature to help ease the stressful situation. "Mom" I hope you know how amazing you are and how much you are loved by all 4 of your children (and me!) I can only hope to one day be as great of a mother as you are!