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Old 08-14-2010, 10:37 AM   #56
bean3
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

DH and I were discussing this this morning and it dawned on me why I am so against regular medical appointments. We actually used to do them. I believe the last one my daughter had was at age 5 or 6 or so. My sons I'm not entirely sure, but I'd have to say around 12ish (because it would have been to re-establish care up here).

Here is what they missed.
DD-Two different doctors missed that she pronates significantly (needs significant arch supports in her footwear--the ice skate shop noticed this!) and that she needs glasses. She has a +7.25 prescription! She also has ambylopia, so they should have noticed the asymmetry in her pupil location on examination. We (her parents) noticed the need for glasses at age 4 and the ice skate shop noticed the pronation at age 8.
DS-He was showing many signs of high-functioning Asperger's and sensory disorders, and the doctor's never caught on to this either.

Now it really dawns on me. Most of the "exam" is an intake of the PARENTS' OBSERVATIONS and the doctor's interpreting them. So why are we miraculously expecting the doctors to find something on examination that we did not already observe because the majority of the well-child "exam" is a taking of subjective history and parental education, not an actual examination of the patient. They do an exam, but the majority is spent in history and counseling.

They certainly didn't identify major things going on with my children. We did, or the people we interact in daily life did, at which point we then sought out specialists. As a matter of fact, when we did address things with the pediatricians, they did not follow through on them or dismissed them as insignificant. Food for thought...

Probably part of why I don't see doctors as all-knowing. I spent 20 years battling basilar migraines and ten years trying to get them diagnosed only to be told things like they are stress and they are all in my head. Finally found a fabulous doctor whom I see regularly give me explicit instructions on how to treat them and what I can and cannot take (like no vasoconstrictors because they can give me a stroke or cause death), only to have non-specialists tell me that my specialist is wrong and try to prescribe me vasoconstrictors. It is a very odd thing to sit in a medical appointment and have to educator an MD about the mechanism of your migraines. I told my specialist yesterday (a neurologist at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's in Chicago who is the only specialist in this type of migraine) that I get tired of having to "fight these doctors to the death" about [refusing to take vasoconstrictors because of the contraindications], and he said "that's an interesting way to put it, because it would be your death, not theirs". Yeah, I guess he is right. Sometimes doctors just do not know. They aren't right 100% of the time and, based on many past experiences, I do have to trust my gut and not default to what any and every doctor says.

So, yeah, I take a lot of what they say with a grain of salt.
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