Try This Tuesday

05 Aug

Try This Tuesday

My Tuesday tip? Don’t be afraid to request a specialist for any medical work you need done with your child, whether it’s in the ER, or for routine blood work, etc. Blood work and labs were always super-traumatic for Jenna, requiring multiple pokes, which led to screaming, and ultimately puke. We finally got enough guts to ask if there was someone who specialized in pediatric blood work, and they said, “Sure.” Arrgh! Why in the world did we wait so long to ASK?? Now we routinely ask, no matter where we are. Even at children’s hospitals, the lab techs will often tell us they have one person who is especially good when we tell them we’ve had past troubles with Jenna’s draws.

You would think that I would have learned from that experience, but…

In the stress of the moment in the ER after Jenna broke her arm, I failed to request a consult with an orthopedic specialist. The MD on duty said it was a “clean” break that didn’t need set. I was so relieved in that moment, I didn’t even think much about it. We were instructed to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon in one week. One week later, the orthopedic surgeon was disgusted that the arm hadn’t been set. He said the bone in her arm showed a 20º displacement, which apparently is fairly large. To correct it at that point would have meant general anesthesia and re-breaking the arm. We opted (at his recommendation) to leave it alone. At her age, the bone will fully correct itself eventually, but until then, she has a slight “hump” in her arm and it’s not visibly straight if you’re paying attention. The ER we visited was at a children’s hospital, where I’m sure I could have requested an ortho consult and avoided a lot of stress and problems.

Moral of the story: It never hurts to ask!


Posted by on August 5, 2008 in Jenna, Parenting tips, Special Needs


10 responses to “Try This Tuesday

  1. Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle

    August 5, 2008 at 11:32 am

    This is such a great tip! It’s something I wouldn’t think of – you expect the doctors to tell you what you need to know, but obviously they don’t always do that. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jenny

    August 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    What a great reminder!

    We (my husband and I) recently had some blood drawn for a genetic test they were doing for Jackson. Then when we saw the doctor, he said they had ruled out that particular condition. Fortunately, I thought to ask, “So, why did we just have our blood drawn?” The puzzled doctor apologized and said it hadn’t really been necessary, and that he would stop the lab from doing the test. I responded to make sure that occurred BEFORE we got charged for it. He said that since it was their mistake, we wouldn’t have to pay for it.

    Wouldn’t you know I have a $1200 bill sitting here for that labwork? Of course, I’d made a note of what he said and gotten his card with his direct line. So when we got this bill, I called his office, faxed it over, and they said they would take care of it. (And yes, I will stay on top of them until it’s corrected.)

    If I hadn’t asked about that bloodwork, we would have been out $1200 for an unneccessary test!

  3. Heather

    August 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Such good advice! Makes me want to go back in time to the blood draw disaster I posted about a few days ago. ugh.
    Always such good information here. Thank you

  4. Flutter Bug

    August 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    This is excellent advice – not all doctors are created equal. 😉

  5. susanlindgren

    August 5, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Great tip- we went to an evil DR. who was well, evil. So much easier to get the job done if we had a DR. who was more understanding. Once a child has a bad experience it is hard to convince them otherwise.

  6. iMommy

    August 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    And see, that’s where I would usually call my lawyer…

    It really bothers me that an “expert” or “professional” can make conclusions like that without repercussion if it’s wrong. I’m not crazy about suing people – it’s expensive and a pain in the arse – but I guess I’ve had too many problems (with my mom and her doctors) to be willing to accept a crappy diagnosis like that.

    Hope that her arm is feeling OK and that everyone is doing better!

  7. Nicole Maher

    August 5, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I hope that she heals quickly. Isn’t it funny how in extreme stress and sometimes around medical establishments we become different people? Great reminder!

  8. frogsmom

    August 5, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Great tip. This is one of the great lessons that Frog’s special need has taught us – even experts are not experts in everything – second opinions are good – trust your gut!

  9. tlk

    August 5, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Another option if you’re in the e.r. is to ask to go to the pediatric unit for the work to be done. That’s what we’ve done a couple of times, when our less-than-one-year-old needed a urine catheter placed. If you’ve ever listened to a traumatized infant scream for five minutes while you held her down, you’ll understand the desire to avoid that experience ever again.

  10. Danette

    August 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Great reminder, thanks!


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