Friday, September 9, 2011

Being Heard By a System That Doesn't Want To Listen

Given everything that has been going on lately I have been given health care a lot of thought. Not insurance or the politics behind the thought of moving to a socialized system but more about doctors and the institutions in which they work within.

When my oldest was born I had interviewed many doctors. I wanted the best for my kids. I really don't think at that point I had any clue what I was really looking for. I was concerned about the cleanliness of the office, the attitude of the staff, and what my first impression of what the doctors was. I asked questions about hours of operation, about how to get a hold of a doctor after hours, about immunizations, and many other now seemingly non important questions. When I chose my children's doctor I had no clue how important this one person/office was going to be in my life and that of my children.

For many years I took my healthy kids to the doctor for well baby check ups, shots, colds, ear infections, strep throat, and many other childhood illnesses. I have called them frantic in the middle of the night over fevers and croupy coughs. I brought my kids in for the ever famous justavirus many many times, and we have always agreed to disagree on subjects such as co sleeping and the like. From the very beginning my children's pediatrician has listened to me, respected the knowledge I have when it comes to my kids and I have respected his knowledge of medicine. I have trusted these doctors whole heatedly with my children's lives in the past and continue to trust them in the present.

On March 25th 2007 Makenzie's medical needs changed from very simple to very complex in the blink of an eye. She needed more specialists then I had fingers on both hands. She needed much more then a pediatrician could offer. I learned very quickly about the huge institution referred to as the hospital.

Over the past four years I have had a love-hate relationship with Makenzie's doctors at the hospital. Some listen, I mean really listen, and others just pretend. Some respect my knowledge and others just feel like their ego has been crushed. The patient Representative has become my best friend many times over the last 4 years. I have had over 4 years to gain knowledge about western medicine, 4 years to perfect advocating for my kids, 4 years to get frustrated with the cracks in the system and the core administration which runs the hospital where my children have come to frequent.

Today after some rest I couldn't stop thinking about the last 3 weeks. I thought about the ER visit which should have caught an appendicitis but didn't. I thought about the constant waiting on the next step. I thought about the conversations I have had with the nurses and surgeons. I thought about the numerous times every day when my son was put on the back burner and his cares were over looked. I thought about all of the times I felt helpless and unheard. I thought about how much I felt like no one cared what I had to say and the feeling of speaking to people who just refused to listen.

Then I thought about the infection that rages inside of my son. I thought about what would have happened if it weren't for all of the doctors who aided his healing. I thought about the feeling of safety that comes when you know help is right around the corner. I thought about where I would go should Mr 10 get sick again. They saved my child's life, actually now they have saved two of my children's lives. For that I am eternally greatful.

How does one take two very different feelings about one place and bring them to a happy medium. How do I get these doctors to respect me and the knowledge I have surrounding my kids so that I can trust and respect them. How do I keep my kid from falling through the cracks without having to be a sobbing, screaming mess before anyone listens and does what they are supposed to be doing in the first place. How do I let them know how very thankful I truely am for what they do when every single thing from changing the sheets and ordering my kid food while I am away to proper medication administration and overall medical treatment is such a battle?

I am very very thankful for each and every one of the doctors and nurses who poured out their knowledge to help my son. However, tonight I am searching for a happy medium. A compromise that involves parents who feel heard and respected by the doctors who have the means to help their kids.

Believe.... Prayer Works!


The Henrys said...

I have not had the extensive experience with hospitals that you have, but I feel your pain. This is a tough spot that you are in and I hope you can work through your feelings soon!! HUGS, you are not alone!

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