So upset with pediatrician! - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-17-2005, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got back from DS Jacob's 2 month well baby visit. I was expecting things to go smoothly since the Ped didn't even check the diaper area at all at his 2-week appointment, but I brought along the AAP's article on the care of uncircumcised penises, just in case, to show her that she really *doesn't* need to retract him.

I am SO UPSET with her. I was juggling DD (2 years old) while the Ped was checking out my son, and neglected to say anything when she opened up his diaper. I saw her hand go to his penis, and I didn't start saying anything until she started pulling. She wasn't pulling fast or hard, but pulling all the same. I told her, "No, No, NO, NO...DON'T, DON'T, PLEASE DON'T (at this point grabbing her hand, which *finally* got her attention), Please don't!".

She looks at me bewildered and probably shocked that I had grabbed her...I imagine most patients mothers don't...and she says to me, "I'm not going to retract him so far that he tears..." to which I reply "You don't need to retract it at all, just please don't touch it." Still bewildered looking, she says "I need to look at the meatus and check for phimosis. I know several children who have had to get circumcised when they're older because of phimosis."

Now, I'm not good with confrontations, I kind of lose my head. And at this point I was probably visibly trembling, and my voice was definitely shaking. And I just couldn't come up with the words to say to her what I KNOW, that she really doesn't need to check for anything she mentioned. Right? Am I right?!? I gave her the AAP article and asked her if she had ever read it. I credit her honesty that she said she hadn't, but she DID throw in there that she's read about care of the uncircumcised penis. I was fuming all the way home, thinking all the things I SHOULD have said to her. Things like, "Any problem he has will be visible on the outside." or "Phimosis is a *completely* normal situation in an infant. There's no reason to EVER check for it, since it might be present into puberty." or even "How do you plan to retract it far enough to see the meatus without tearing what is probably still a completely adhered foreskin??" But all I came up with was, "You don't need to retract it at all." And she said, "I need to check these things, I won't pull it back it far enough to hurt him, and you should be checking it to." And crazy falling-apart me just says "Even still, it's our decision, and we would prefer you just don't touch it at all. We will let you know if we have any concerns."

The next scheduled appointment is at 4 months, and I didn't set it up as I was walking out the door. I think I need to find another doctor who isn't going to contradict me when I make decisions based on research I've done. : And if I don't find another doctor by then, I definitely need to bring along some stuff for her to read, I think. I wonder how many intact baby boys have been circ'd all because she's checking for phimosis and it's still predictably present?!?

I also think I need to sit down and practice what to say when a stupid person or doc says things to me like she did. That way my brain can't crap out and make me stammer a stupid resonse.

SAHM to Melinda (Oct '03), Jacob (Aug '05),  Alex (Apr '08), and baby.gif Malcolm (Sept 29, '11)

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Old 10-17-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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I'm with you there -- I am totally opinionated about a lot of things and can come up with coherent, good arguements, but when I feel confronted, I tend get shaky, cry and sound totally unlike myself! I can be hard to defend yourself (or your child) even when you know you are in the right when you are being looked at like you are wacko.

I would probably look into changing peds to one who doesn't make you feel on the defensive. I don't feel that way w/ our ped b/c she is tremendously respectful of me and treats me like an equal even though I am not a doc. It is wonderful to feel strong around your child's doctor. If it is of any help, I am finding that I am getting stronger in standing up to people who I believe are harming my children as they and I get older.

I'd call around to ped's offices in your area and tell them that you are looking for a dr who is knowledgable in caring for intact boys (you may need to say uncirced ). I'd then ask to speak with the dr and inquire about whether they have read the AAP paper that you brought with you to your current ped, whether they ever retract to look for phimosis, etc. Also, try posting on the FYT area on MDC to see if anyone has any recommendations for good peds.

Is your little guy okay? Did she hurt him?
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:20 PM
 
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Oh, it's so hard - even if you do have prepared responses when it happens you are too busy going OMG to say them right.

Can you write a letter to her, her director, the director of the clinic where she practices, with research and all that? That way you can say EXACTLY what you wanted to, even if you can't in person.

I'm so sorry that happened. :
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristaN
Is your little guy okay? Did she hurt him?
No, thank goodness, I believe he didn't get hurt at all. She was pulling very gently, but what irks me so much is that she kept pulling until after I grabbed her hand. I had to repeat myself so much!!

I would LOVE to find a doc who treated me more as an equal. When I lived in Colorado I went to a young family doc for my own care, and I loved the way she treated me. Maybe I should look into a family doc instead of a Ped. I just can't see myself respecting my current Ped's opinions about anything anymore, you know?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who turns into a human blob of jello in situations like this!

SAHM to Melinda (Oct '03), Jacob (Aug '05),  Alex (Apr '08), and baby.gif Malcolm (Sept 29, '11)

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Old 10-17-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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WOW! to you mama! I think you did great! I do the exact same thing - get all shaky and stuff and I hate it so much! I think you were awesome to be able to tell her no so strongly and even make her stop! Maybe it will have shaken her up so much that she actually does some REAL research now. You could have saved some babies from unnecessary retraction and maybe even circ!

WAHMama to Allen (2-10-05) and Alexa (6-27-08)
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Old 10-17-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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Please don't feel bad! Your reaction was perfectly NORMAL! How could you be expected to be coherent and assertive when you were busy trying to comprehend what she did? Especially not when you are juglging a toddler.

I would write a letter to her, with copies to the head of the clinic, the personnel department, and whoever else you can think of. The letter should describe what happened, and include a copy of the AAP statement (and a. Explain that you were disappointed that your doctor was not familiar with current intact care practices, and even more disappointed (disgusted?) that she did not respect your wishes when you asked her not to touch your son's penis.

Big hugs to you!!!

Ann

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Old 10-17-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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Another vote to write a letter. When this happened at my dr's office last week (same as you, I was confident that I had NO reason to be concerned), I sort of smacked/moved the doctors hands away when she started to retract my 4 month old. I said "Don't retract him please" while I moved her hands, and she looked startled and said "oh, he doesn't" and I cut her off and said, "no, he doesn't retract even a little, he's an infant".
I was seething, but I love this practice otherwise.....I wrote a letter to them.

He was swollen and crying when he peed for a day, but he is okay now--I am still pretty furious.
Hope your little man is alright.

It's so damned ridiculous that we have to stop our doctors from harming our NORMAL little boy babies.
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:16 PM
 
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GOOD FOR YOU, MAMA YOU ROCK!!!!!

You protected your son and you should be proud of youself, especially bc you were nervous and speechless and mad. I've gottten a bit tongue-tied in these situations, too, and I think the reason that happens to us is bc it's incredibly irritating that we should have to so closely police the people that are supposed to be caring for our children.....(makes you wonder what else they don't have a clue about, doesn't it?) and so when we have to confront them about not retracting or about intact care, there are so many other issues that are underlying the discussion, such as the fact that it's insane that drs. continue to do RIC, that they should all know better than to retract an infant or anyone at all, that if they're clueless about what they are doing they've probably messed up other boys and caused them to be circumcised or recommended circumcision, etc etc. So it just makes our heads spin when we have to say anything to them at all about it. At least I know mine does . Plus, add in the ticked off factor that someone is about to hurt your child, and the snit hits the fan.

I got no sleep last night, does that even makes sense?
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leiahs
She looks at me bewildered and probably shocked that I had grabbed her...I imagine most patients mothers don't...and she says to me, "I'm not going to retract him so far that he tears..."
She doesn't know that the tears will be inside the foreskin where she will never see them and those tears will cause phimosis. She's been doing this and since she hasn't seen a single drop of blood, she remains blissfully ignorant.


Quote:
Still bewildered looking, she says "I need to look at the meatus and check for phimosis. I know several children who have had to get circumcised when they're older because of phimosis."
She also doesn't know that meatal stenosis is exclusively a complication of circumcision and is not seen in intact boys. If she is looking for phimosis at this tender young age, I can almost gurantee you will be getting a recommendation for a circumcision in about 3 years.

Quote:
Now, I'm not good with confrontations, I kind of lose my head. And at this point I was probably visibly trembling, and my voice was definitely shaking. And I just couldn't come up with the words to say to her what I KNOW, that she really doesn't need to check for anything she mentioned. Right? Am I right?!?
You're like me. I can't usually come up with the words until about 15 minutes after it is too late. My Mom OTOH could do it everytime and I envied that.

You were exactly right! If there is a problem, it will manifest itself to the outside within a day.




Frank
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Old 10-18-2005, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. If I do go ahead and decide to write to her, do you all have any suggestions for studies/articles that would be particularly helpful for this Ped? I'm still pretty new to the whole intact thing, I definitely need some good strong writings to back me up.

Thanks for all the support

SAHM to Melinda (Oct '03), Jacob (Aug '05),  Alex (Apr '08), and baby.gif Malcolm (Sept 29, '11)

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Old 10-18-2005, 09:21 AM
 
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Email John Geisheker, attorney for Doctors Opposing Circumcision at [email protected] with the details of what happened, the doctor's name and address, etc. He will send a barn-burner of a letter with tons of references.

All you need to do is to write a letter with the AAP recommendations attached. Seriously, it is not incumbent on you the patient to do the research that the doctor is paid to know about!

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Old 10-18-2005, 01:16 PM
 
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I'd make sure that you have a new doc in place before you send off this letter, though. You'd hate to be down to the wire trying to find a new ped since this will likely end your relationship with this office.
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:06 PM
 
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:47 PM
 
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I'm sure you've read it on this board before, but I'll say it again--the only person who should be retracting your son's foreskin is your son--and he will know when the time is right. I will never forget the (thankfully short) period when my son was three and figured out he could retract it. Also, thankfully, he only felt compelled to share his discovery with his immediate family, but it was pretty funny when he would ask his sisters, "Want to see what I found inside my penis?"
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