How to talk to an existing doctor about not retracting? Update: it went great! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 05-18-2011, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i have 4.5 month old son and I like my peds lady quite a lot, she has been kind and loving to my twins and is clearly supportive of my intact son though we have not talked that much about it. She has seen my babies 3 times. She is also young and not the most experienced doc.

 

I feel like i missed my window to casually bring up and clarify that she is not to retract my son in any way what so ever. She never has of course, but the more i read about docs doing it "just a little" or "to see how far it goes" and not calling what they are doing retracting, i'm getting terrified that this will happen to my boy.

 

So my babies are seeing her this after noon and i need to bring it up, and i just dont know how without sounding like i have some reason to mistrust her and i really dont.  i thought i could say "this happened to a friend, so i'm just checking that you of course know not to do this..." but it sounds contrived and i worry that it will cause a feeling of mistrust between us. Im sure there is a good way to talk about this. i just dont know how, specially after already seeing her 3 times, it would have been a lot easier if we had interviewed her (we didn't we got assigned to her) or if we had said it before his diaper came off the very first time.

 

i feel it needs more than a mention just in passing, considering the repetitive reports i read about problems and retraction happening because of a difference in semantics. i feel like i need her to really hear that if she wants me to trust her to touch my boy, she needs to be able to say to me that she understands and agrees with the medical problem that could be caused by any pulling back of the foreskin and that she will never do it for any reason. and that if she really feels like she does have a reason that she will bring that up with me, rather than just do anything on her own.

 

please help me word this and keep my healthy respectful relationship with this doctor


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#2 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 04:32 AM
 
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Well how about "I have been reading up on proper care for intact boys since I had him and reading about all the boys who have been hurt by retraction by their Dr. and I just wanted to make sure that you know I dont want you manipulating his foreskin in any way"

With my ds I was to shy and didnt know exactly what to say so I didnt mention anything and then ended up having to put my hand on the Dr's to stop him from hurting ds when he was 2mo. So at his 4m visit we where seeing another ped in the practice and I did tell him I didnt want him retracted due to the incident with the other Dr. last time and he told me "Oh I dont do that" then proceeded to do the retraction to the point I could see the tip of ds's glans greensad.gif I told him no dont retract him and he just gave me the stink eye. So after that I just say hands off the penis because it isnt worth the risk of damage to ds.

It is really hard to say things to a Dr. that dont make it come off like you are not trying to say they are incompetent or something. I hope that you are able to find a phrasing that works for you and more so I hope you have one of the few Dr.'s who never thought about touching the penis.
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#3 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post

Well how about "I have been reading up on proper care for intact boys since I had him and reading about all the boys who have been hurt by retraction by their Dr. and I just wanted to make sure that you know I dont want you manipulating his foreskin in any way"
 


I like this, and would recommend a slight modification to grab the attention of the doctor. I like to use the word "consent" because it has legal ramifications for doctors.

 

"I have been reading up on proper care for intact boys and I just want to make sure that you know that I do not consent to you touching his penis in any way."

 

or

 

"I'm sure you know about proper care for intact boys and I just want to make sure that you know that I do not consent to you touching his penis in any way."

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#4 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Part of what makes this hard, what makes me feel like I missed the easy window (but also makes me really happy with her) is that she has already touched his penis and did in a totally appropriate safe way. (she was just moving it out of the way to do some rechecking on his scrotum and testes.

So she acted like she knew how to handle things but I was truly terrified that it was just a happy accident and that a dy would come when she thought she needed to check retraction as well. But it is this good behavior that makes t hard for me to find the phrasing.

Maybe I ca phrase it in praise of the way she has handled his in the past? Though I would feel better her not touching him at all without telling me why and asking first so I can be there to do it myself or reiterate the ground rules.

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#5 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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Couldn't you just be honest but friendly? Say that "I was very pleased that you were so gentle and carful with ds's penis at the last visit, which set my mind at ease that you are indeed knowledgeable about proper foreskin care (a little compliment!)  but, because I forgot to mention it  before, I just wanted to add that there is to be no retraction or manipulation, as I'm sure you already understand. Thanks!"


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#6 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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As a parent you have the absolute right to have your wishes respected by those caring for your children.  The wonderful thing is that you have done all the research and know that forced retraction is not necessary and can be harmful.  Having been somewhat ignorant myself, and going through a forced retraction when my son was four months, I can vouch for the fact that I couldn't care a jot if my Ped's ego was very slightly dented by me speaking up and making my wishes clear.  I wish had done that.  However, I do understand that the Drs office can be intimidating and all of your research and good intentions can go out of the window when you're faced with the white coat and medical degree.  I always think it's a good idea to take the AAP guidelines on the care of uncircumcised infants along, in case of any dispute with your Dr.  You can find them here http://northplattepeds.com/pdfs/azH0023r.pdf

 

There really is no need to skate delicately around this issue.  A moments awkwardness is an extremely small price to pay in order to make sure that your child is getting the best care. No Dr worth their salt should complain about a parent who is taking an active interest in their child's welfare, asking questions, and making their wishes clear.

 

Hope everything went ok,

 

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#7 of 9 Old 05-20-2011, 11:25 AM
 
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How did it go?

 

And just for the future whether it's about this issue or something else, you need to think: a) you are concerned that your son not be hurt PHYSICALLY and b) you are concerned that you don't hurt your doctor's FEELINGS. Which is more important? A obviously. She is a professional but she is also in a customer service profession, and if she is going to be unprofessional about your clearly stated and rationally based wishes and get her feelings hurt, then she needs to grow up. You just should never have to worry about hurting your doctor's feelings because it is her job to provide medical care *as determined by your wishes.* You are in the driver's seat on this and every other issue.


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#8 of 9 Old 05-20-2011, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

Couldn't you just be honest but friendly? Say that "I was very pleased that you were so gentle and carful with ds's penis at the last visit, which set my mind at ease that you are indeed knowledgeable about proper foreskin care (a little compliment!)  but, because I forgot to mention it  before, I just wanted to add that there is to be no retraction or manipulation, as I'm sure you already understand. Thanks!"


i did just about exactly this and it went great love.gif she totally understood why i was bring it up and was at first confused that she thought i had said another doc did it to my ds and she was so concerned for him!hug.gif when i explain that do i have herd it happening to a boy recently and was just extra worried that the semantic confusions could make for my son being less safe than i thought, she also agreed that that could be an issue and paraphrased the correct care that it should never be moved. she did say that the only reason she would do anything is to very gently get a view of the urethra if they thought there was an anatomical issue and after my assurance that i have seen him pee many times in a wonderfully straight strong stream, she agreed that then there was no reason and if she ever did have one that she would explain it to me and we would together decide how to proceed.

 

im very happy that i found a good way to talk to her, i am not a victim of white coat syndrome and do not think they are the authority, but i also understand that i am a confrontative person by nature and that is not the best way to endear folks to you. i like having her look forward to my twin coming in, im sure i would gt good care either way, but the warm smiles make long appointments and the hassle a lot better.

 

thank for the input folks, hope other folks read this outcome and feel more at ease talking to their docs in the future.

 


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#9 of 9 Old 05-20-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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Glad things went so well. What a relief for you to know that you wont have to be so on guard at appt's.

 
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