Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Paging Doctor Wonderful

Ashley had her 6 month visit with her neurologist last week. His bedside manner could be described as anything but good, but we have been seeing him since the day after I brought her home at age 2. There are other pediatric neurologists in town some of whom I have heard are very good. And, they probably wouldn't scare Ashley like her doctor did when he decided to dye his gray hair jet black. They probably also wouldn't question everything I suggested or viewed my comments with the slightest disdane, and their offices might be a tad more accessible for wheelchairs.

But we have ever switched doctors - never even considered it. Why?

Because I trust Ashley's neurologist. He was at her beside the Christmas Eve I almost lost her to a status seizure. He always calls me back if a seizure crisis happens, and now 15 years after we first visited his office, Ashley has almost no seizures, and the medications she takes are one without too many negative side effects.

He has done a fine job of keeping my daughter alive even if he hasn't been all warm and fuzzy. I'll take alive over that any day. But all these thoughts and that visit last week made me start wondering. How do we parents of children with complicated medical issues decide which doctor's hands we choose to place our children's lives?

Yes, there are often insurance issues that dictate a smaller number of available doctors, but outside of that, what is important to you when choosing a pediatrician or a specialist?

When it came to choosing a pediatrician, I looked for a group, rather than a doctor in a single practice, and I looked for the maximum hours the group was available for sick visits. The pediatrician group I chose has 'sick' hours seven days a week.

For specialists, I originally chose doctors based on their hospital affiliations and on recommendations from other parents of children with special needs. I have been very, very blessed to find a great group of specialists, doctors I will be sad to leave when Ashley matures and must move away from pediatric specialists.

I am very satisfied with all the professionals that provide care to my children, and very satisfied with the hospitals in my area. I dread having to start over again when my children get older, but am hopeful that those same parents who offered advice when my children were young, will also offer advice as my children turn to adulthood.

How about you? Are you satisfied with your children's doctors? How did you decide which doctors to use? And, do you have any plans yet for when your child is older?


Just the Tip said...

We are still working on finding doctors who I feel like I can trust 100%

I used to be fearful of 2nd opinions, but we learned the hard way they are not a bad thing. So, that's what i'm utilizing now. If not only to make myself aware that we are already doing everything we can for her.

All of the doctors we have now though, I genuinely like. The ones who I was if-y about or had a bad experience with, I replaced.

We switched pedi's last May and oddly enough from a large group to a solo practice. (he is from a group that has other locations, though).

The group practice had too many doctors, no one ever knew anything about either of the girls, a real person never answered and if you called in the AM for a sick appt MAYBE they got you in that evening, maybe not.

When I got our records I put "this office is not conducive to life with a special needs child, we don't have colds, we have bladders that haven't emptied in 24 hours & MRSA infections that turn into cellulitis in HOURS and need to be lanced. We ended up getting our records for free..lol

Ashley's Mom said...

Just The Tip, that is brilliant about the pediatrician! I've been very blessed with my group of peds. There are several doctors in the practice who specialize in children with special needs, even the most significant needs. And that is exactly why I am worried about what happens when my children age out of pediatricians.