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anyone raising their children "unassisted"? - Page 4

post #61 of 93
I'm just saying that that wouldn't happen in canada. I seriously doubt that I would be 'called in' because I didn't have a doctor for my kids. It's a lot more crazy in the states.

I didn't mean to 'flame' you. sorry.

You know, I don't have my head in the sand. I know a lot about all this stuff. I have never even had a doctor that I've been to (for pap smear once, and IUD questions a bunch of times that I didn't go through with) ask me if my kids have a doctor. I have never had anyone ask me if my kids have a doctor, there should be no reason. THEY ARE VERY HEALTHY.
. I didn't have any well baby visits. I would go to the clinic and weigh my babies myself. A nurse would come in and ask me if I needed help, and I would say nope! They never asked me if I have a doctor for my baby. I guess that might be partially luck, and partially my own avoidance tactics. It's not like I spend all my time thinking of how to outsmart the doctors. for me/us, doctors are not part of our lifestyle, and we don't get any flak. Maybe they sense my competance.
post #62 of 93

i'm not terribly concerned about it. i already know the experts in the field--because they worked on me--and i already know the requirements of care for the disorder.

though surprisingly, i do not think it will affect us.
post #63 of 93
Thread Starter 
Wow, this thread took a turn...

Well, I just had to add my 2 cents (appreciated or not).
GalateaDunkel, your statement that having an established relationship with a dr. in case of an emergency is my concern. It's an uncomfortable thought for me. Ds has never seen a dr...and I only saw one for a confirmation of pregnancy to get a bc. I have confidence in my ability to treat most illnesses, however, I do feel that meningitis would be out of my hands as would be accidents. I really do wish I had someone on my side because my fear is that if I needed a dr. on my side in an emergency situation, there would be none. Unfortunately, I live in a very conservative town...rumors flew that we were having a UC and we received nothing but negative feedback from EVERYONE (except a former CPS employee!). And I know of no dr. who would support and acknowledge my choices in raising my children. I don't know how to fully explain it, but believe me, there is so little support here for alternative therapies/thinking...it's ridiculous. People believe we should do what "they" feel most comfortable with...which feels to me just as unrational.

So while I am fully supportive of unassisted childcare (obviously, since that's what we've chosen), I do acknowledge that in the event of something being out of my hands, I will need medical assistance, and I hope that if that time comes, I have found a supportive ally in the medical community...sadly, at this time, it's not looking promising.

You've made good points, GalateaDunkel, that I'm sure most of us have or will have to think about at some point. It's out of my comfort zone, for sure, but it's a reality for us all...and I hope the best for everyone if the need arises for medical intervention!

post #64 of 93
i'm an adult, so i suppose it is a different situation--but my DH and i do not have a 'primary care physician. but, when i broke my foot a few years ago, i went to the ER and everything was fine. People asked about my PCP and i told them that i didn't have one, that i only see doctors in case of emergency. the doctors seemed very respectful of that.

a friend of mine is similar in her approach, and when her daughter broke her leg, she simply went to the ER with the girl. when they asked who the PCP was for the family, she asserted that they didn't have an PCP and that they only see doctors in cases of emergency, and handle all other health problems on their own. the doctors seem to respect that too.

now, it's a pretty conservative (read, f-ed up) area in regards to womens/childrens health care here, and doctors are overburdened. some love the job security of that, but others are saying that it's too much to have parents running so scared over every little cough. so, about half the docs are figuring out that parents taking care of their own children's primary health care needs is a valuable asset and allows them to focus on those children who have really important health conditions that require medical attention.

now, if only workplaces and schools would catch up. around here, both require notes from doctors if children miss school, if adults miss work, or if parents miss work because their child is sick.
post #65 of 93
Whenever a child presents with an accidental injury, medpros are trained to question (even if only in their own minds) whether it was really accidental or not. And since they can't read minds, they have to go by circumstantial evidence. If they are feeling uncertain about you, learning that you never take your child to the doctor could be the thing that tips the scales toward being suspicious of you. And according to the law, mere suspicion is all it takes for their mandated reporting requirement to kick in. They could be risking their license if they don't.

And the need for a family doctor for adults isn't to answer some question on a form! It's for if you actually need ongoing care. If they send you home saying "follow up with your doctor" and you don't have a doctor you can either wait three months for a new-patient appointment, or take a number at the community clinic (if your community even has one, and not everyone's does). But again, I don't expect people who have been blessed with good health to understand this concern.
post #66 of 93
follow up has never been at issue for us. typically, we've been given the name of a doctor to contact--recommended by the emergency care physician--and we make the appointment to visit that individual. i had to have the cast removed and the break reevaluated. i went to a private doctor for that. it was really no big deal.

also, there's no reason to suspect that parents are being negligent simply because they do not have a primary care physician for their child. there's no legal requirement to seek regular medical treatment for non-medical reasons (ie, check ups).
post #67 of 93
To the OP: I wish.

And I thank each and every one of you who doesn't take your child to the ER because they have an ear infection or a cold. (Since the ER is how people are admitted to the hospital here...even during the daytime.)

It's not the CPS issue that is the biggest concern IMvhO... (though yes it is a concern. (If you bring a child into the ER with a broken anything...it's much different than if you as an adult go in.)) It's the issue that GalateaD brings up: having someone inside the system. You will receive very different and Much Less Competent treatment if you do not have your own doctor should you need to be admitted...or even treated in the ER.

Keep in mind, ERs are where people who JUST got their MD work. These residents have never worked on actual people. And when they call in specialists...these specialists are STUDENTS too.

Having your own doctor for your children and for yourself can make the difference b/w life and death or even b/w living whole and living with some sort of morbidity. (Yeah, I'm the grim reaper, I know. )

You protect yourself and your child by finding a doctor who is friendly to you. Or at least has a don't ask, don't tell policy with you.

And you know, I don't need the doctor to tell me whether my child is well or sick. I know that very instinctually, very intuitively. In fact, some of my more intuitive friends have nothing on me when it comes to whether or not my baby is getting sick again.

I wouldn't have believed any of this until myself had I not lived it. If I were not living it now. In fact, I didn't believe it until I did live it.

There are other situations besides emergencies that require medical doctors. Better to have one who knows and (hopefully) likes you and vice versa...than be stuck with whatever resident is on call that night (which sometimes happens to you anyway...)....
post #68 of 93
here's the thing. my insurance company has a list of people whom we can call for appointments. if we're sick (beyond our own care capacity), we call one of these doctors until we get an appointment.

really, it's not hard to get a doctor if you need one. But, i've met very few that are "in my court" or working to my advantage. I do have clients who are MDs and DOs, but they work outside of our network. Most of our doctors are TCMDs or DAv (ayurvedic medicine). we do have these as are 'primary care'--but they're not 'in the system' and we pay out of pocket. I also have a chiropractor.

but as yet, i've not met a doctor on our list whom i would consider a 'primary care' physician. i haven't had a physical in years, and my husband saw our doctor two years ago to be told "you have a viral infection; get rest. now give us $35, since your copay went up."

so, there it is.
post #69 of 93
[QUOTE=mamaverdi;6520799]Keep in mind, ERs are where people who JUST got their MD work. These residents have never worked on actual people. And when they call in specialists...these specialists are STUDENTS too.{/quote]

We learned this the hard way. However, when the specialists were called in (a surgeon and anesthesiologist) they were very experienced and skilled, thankfully.

You will receive very different and Much Less Competent treatment if you do not have your own doctor should you need to be admitted...or even treated in the ER.
What do you mean by the last part of that? Do you mean that just knowing that you have a PCP they will treat you better?

I agree with the first part. It's important to me to have my chidlren treated by someone I know and already have a relationship with. My children didn't do well-child visits with our FP, but she had met them, understood our parenting choices, and had a professional relationship with me. This thread is getting me motivated to set up a "get to know you appointment" with my current doctor so that I can get the kids in her records. I feel so fortunate to live in a fairly progressive area -- my doctor is a naturopathic physician employed by the local hospital! She's fairly mainstream in some ways (thinks homebirth is "brave") but isn't going to hassle us about vaccinations etc.
post #70 of 93
For us, we believe, like anything, that there is a time and place for everything. We have a ped for our son; we stopped going awhile ago and don't plan to resume regular visits anytime soon, though. But, he's there, he has at least seen our son a couple of times and if something big came up, we wouldn't just be walking in off the street.

With that said, DS has never been on any kind of antibiotic and after a terrible misstep in judgement on my part, has not had any vax's except for one DTaP shot. I *WISH* I was an herbalist or homeopath; oh how I wish I had spent those years in college studying something useful for my everyday life instead of being buried in hundred year old history books.
post #71 of 93
Whether you get a student or not depends upon the hospital and what kind of programs they have for training new doctors. But in the ER, the docs there are the new docs. Yes there are other more experience docs, but they are still students.

And yes, I mean that knowing you have a PCP they will treat you better. Why? Because they know you called and your PCP said this cannot wait until the morning; you need to go in. They also know that you understand that they are not PCPs there. They are there for acute or emergency or admit purposes only. When you don't have a PCP, the doctors and nurses become hostile in a way they don't becomes when you have a PCP. The last thing you want in an ER or hospital situation is hostile workers.

My approach to all doctors is that they are people who happen to have more knowledge about certain situations than I do. I treat them as though they are my colleagues. I follow my urologists advice that scared some people when it was in my sig. But it is the absolute best approach I have found to take when needing medical help.

I was whining to him that I could not convince or stop the doc from running in and stabbing my kid with these antibiotics. He said sharply, "You don't have to convince anyone of anything. You just tell them what they can and cannot do."

Now, in order to do that, you have to be informed enough to know what to say. But I find that most doctors will respect me in this manner, even when I was a novice hospital goer.

I can't tell you how many times though that I have experience or witnessed people being treated very differently in the ER because they didn't have a primary care doc. It's very sad, but very true.

It's also why I think that if you have a transfer situation, it is best to have someone go with you who knows the system and can think clearly.

I guess I see our docs like plumbers. I don't need a plumber to come over and tell me something is wrong with my sink or toilet. I know something is wrong, I try to fix it, and if it doesn't work, I call. They come over.

I've been in situations where I moved somewhere where I didn't know a plumber or a car mechanic. It's easier to look for one when you don't have something not working than when everything is working fine. And you can't always get ahold of your best friends to find a recommend where there is sewage all over our basement.
post #72 of 93
Originally Posted by mamaverdi View Post
I follow my urologists advice that scared some people when it was in my sig.
FWIW, it scared me, again, because I totally misunderstood it.
LOVE the new sig...:
post #73 of 93
i have not noticed, in my own care, that ER care has ever been a problem, that workers have been hostile, or that anyone has ever done anything to me or anyone over whom i have durable power of attorney without my consent.

every experience has been positive, every aspect of it has been respectful, timely, and appropriate.
post #74 of 93
If you are there for an emergency, say a broken foot or after a car accident, or you arrive by ambulance, I think there is much less of a problem.

If you are coming through to be admitted or for something that seems less emergent, even if it is, say a dehydrated baby...things can be different.

I also think that it varies b/w adult hospitals and children's hospitals.

The children's hospitals, while more competent with children's issues, seem to be more hostile toward people both w/o insurance and w/o PCPs.

The biggest issue for me though is not even the ER. It's that if you were, G-d forbid, admitted, you would have to depend on hospitalists to manage your child's care. Hospitalists work for the hospital, not for you. In some cases, PCPs actually use hospitalists instead of going themselves.

The stories I could tell you of disasters because of hospitalists would curl your toe nails.

Again, you're in PA though. If you go to CHOP, maybe it's different there.

Also, in a situation, like an ICU situation, even if the care is respectful, timely, or appropriate, it may not actually treat the problem. Get you out of immediate danger yes, treat the problem no.

In fact, we've been in a situation which because we did not really know our PCP (hired him 5 min before going to the hospital) my son was not admitted to the ICU even though he needed to be. And when he went into a brief coma, he was not admitted, except when my PCP (different guy) actually came up to the hospital, which by then, he was out of the coma.

I really could go on endlessly. But to shorten: in my experience and observation, having someone who is truly friendly with you "on the inside" so to speak, will change your care. It might not even be apparent until later. At least it wasn't for me in several situations.
post #75 of 93
Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
FWIW, it scared me, again, because I totally misunderstood it.
LOVE the new sig...:
Our urologist is one of the few doctors who has enough wits about him to know that something is truly not right with my ds. He has encouraged me every step of the way to take a stand against the willfully ignorant and to get appropriate care for my son(s).

And . I love the new sig too.
post #76 of 93
i'll be moving to LA, CA soon enough.

while i haven't been involved in a child's care in regards to medical care, i am not overly concerned about this situation overall. i know that i can get all the help that i need, when i need it.
post #77 of 93
I mean this with the utmost respect: why do you think it will be different for you than it is for the truly hundreds of families that I know and have witnessed?

Do you have good friends who are doctors? People you work with?

In this case, then you would have people on the inside. And the point is the same?
post #78 of 93
First, for emergency care, the PCP isn't an issue--as already established.

For chronic illness or other form of illness that might require hospitalization, my perspective of western medicine and it's place in the healing modalities comes to bear. western medicine has it's uses and i value those uses. this is why i originally mentioned the construct of going to eye doctors for genetic conditions that my children may inherent. these conditions may require surgery--and this is, IMO, the best process for these eye conditions that exist in the healing traditions. So, i'm not adverse to western medicine per se.

but for me, western medicine is severely flawed. It focuses largely on symptoms and not on causes--and few things are actually treated directly. thus, there are other forms of traditional medicine that i feel are more effective for treating various sorts of ailments (chronic or otherwise), and i'm more apt to take my children to that care, including going out of country to a traditional medicine hospital in india, taiwan, or thailand, before resorting to western medicine for the care of certain illnesses.

if, during this time, i determine that traditional medicine isn't functional for the health-needs of my child, i would at that time begin to visit with a physician on recommendation from the traditional medicine doctors with whom i work. at this time, the individual will become the PCP.

if that physician decides that the child needs hospitalization, then i will do that. and, the PCP can do whatever it is that s/he needs to do and I can 'stay on top of' whatever the medical needs of my child are. Depending upon the age of that child, we will discuss treatment options so that s/he has a say in the healing process as well.

In this way, i am able to enlish whomever i need at any point that i need it.
post #79 of 93
mamaverdi~ I skimmed over your posts, but didn't see why you feel the need for a PCP for your kid, maybe if I was in the same situation, I wouldn't think it's neccessary to have a PCP, and take care of things at home.

The point of this thread, is to keep our kids healthy enough, and deal with things at home, so that we don't have to go to the hospital, unless theres an emergency, when the PCP isn't an issue, as zoebird stated.

ETA: I see, it has something to do with urology? was your son premature?
post #80 of 93
Three years ago, I would've written your post.

But my beliefs changed after my experience within the system during a catastrophic series of events followed by repeated minor catastrophes. This series of unfortunate events caused to me face the reality that some of the underlying assumptions I was making were wrong.

First, emergency does not = simply broken bones or auto accidents. A PCP isn't an issue depending on the emergency and depending upon how the body of the person experiencing the trauma works.

When my son first started running a fever at 5 days old, my intuition went into overdrive. I remember very distinctly shouting at my husband, "We do not need a f***ing naturopath. We need to go to the hospital. Get that pediatrician our midwife recommended on the phone now. We need to see him first."

Because we had no contacted this pediatrician prior to this event, when we were not able to get ahold of him, we were forced to see someone else. Someone while competent, much less competent, and much less in line with our philosophies.

Not having a doctor before this crisis caused real and permanent damage to my child. Had I had the doctor the midwife recommended who we eventually switched to several months later, we would've gotten much farther much faster with our diagnosis of my son.

Competence, continuity of care, and (even some) shared philosophy would have made a distinct difference.

Second, I hear you saying that you do not classify different chronic illnesses or other illnesses as necessarily needing hospitalization or what I will term "modern medicine." You believe there are other approaches, and you would go to the ends of the earth to get them. And you would exhaust them before turning to "modern medicine."

Again, I held this view, and I still do for many cases. I have used traditional medicine ever since I could choose my own care consultants. But after my experience, what I believe now is that it is not possible to predict every kind of situation that may arrise where your instincts tell you that you need modern medicine, and you need it now.

I also assumed that the traditional medicine doctors would know who was best and brightest in the modern medicine world. This has not panned out for me. In fact, the wonderful acupuncturist, chiropractor, with an emphasis in herbs and cranial work friend gave me the name for the pediatrician that I used in our first crisis. And the pediatrician was about average, but horrid.

The same thing happened when I got a recommendation when I moved from our osteopath (the one who referred me to our homeopath and a nutritionist/chiropractor): the pediatrician she referred me to is the one who assaulted my kid with the syringes of antibiotics. And a friend later told me that that ped was actually blatantly incompetent in many ways.

Third, it is very rarely my phsyicians who decide my child needs to be hospitalized. There have been numerous times when I have told my child's PCP that we will need to go into the hospital when they were hesitant to send me. And in fact, the ER docs now ask: what do you think? Do you want him hospitalized or would you like to manage this at home?

In fact, I find many doctors, especially when they do not know your child well lean more toward not putting them in the hospital, even when they clearly need to be there. I can't even count on one hand the number of times my child needed to be in the hospital and was either sent home or triaged down (rated as less critical) when he was in severe crisis.

And I will tell you that nearly every time, the child for whom they are making space for first is a child either without a PCP facing a situation that could have been avoided with good advice or a child for whom an office visit the next morning would have been sufficient.

For example, last time I was in the ER we waited 6 hours to see a doctor. During these six hours children with ear infections and colds were seen before my child who was decompensating, suspected of having an abcess on his bladder, and quite ill. Why is it that we waited that long? Because the triage nurse declared that since my son had never been in the ICU, he probably didn't have a metabolic disorder and "he doesn't look sick enough to have an abcess." And all of this because I couldn't get ahold of my PCP urologist...I got instead the student for another doctor.

Another time my child had a blood pressure of 186/136. We waited 12 hours in the waiting room even though we arrived by ambulance, and even though we believed he had had a seizure lasting 25 minutes. Why? Because the nurse triaging him said "people don't cry out when they are having seizures," and his blood pressure is probably just elevated from the crying" (it was fussing). AND because my PCP pediatrician at the time used hospitalists who do not work in the ER, so there was no one to call and hastle them to move us up.

I am not advocating that everyone get themselves a neurologist, nephrologist, urologist, cardiologist, etc before their child is born.

I'm advocating finding the smartest pediatrician (or PCP...depending if it's for an adult or child) you can possibly find in your area with priviledges to the best children's hospital in your area.

*Someone who knows what a medical home is and uses that model. (The medical home model is the idea that the parents are the primary care givers and the cotors are consultants. And your PCP is the organizer etc of care for your children...they know specialists and make sure they play well with others; they collect your medical records; they see you whenever possible, not foist you off on a colleage. It's continuity of care to the extreme.)
*Someone who knows that it is parents who live wtih the choices that parents and doctors make.
*Someone who believes it is a parents right to choose or not choose any procedure.
*Someone who ideally supports normal birthing and child raising practices.
*Someone who understands how the system works, how it doesn't work, and does there best to keep you in or out of the system as best fits your situation.

I'm going to end by expanding on my plumber analogy. To me, having a PCP before you need them is like having a good plumber before you need one. You don't need them to tell you nothing or something is wrong with your plumbing. You'll know when something is wrong. Often, you'll even know what is wrong. But if you do need one, and you don't have one, you can't always count on the other people you do know to be home to recommend one. You can't always count on their recommendations to be accurate or reliable. You can't count on that you can get ahold of someone you don't have a relationship. And when you really need one, you need them as soon as possible...and they need to know at least a little bit about your house and your plumbing. In this way, they cost you the least amount of time, money, and damage to your house. And the least amount of repair work to be done later.
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