Something I have noticed when speaking with some other parents is that it seems lately doctors are refusing to send out necessary referrals to specialty doctors. Wether out of fear of bruising their ego or ignorance regarding what that specialty entails, I have no clue. But unfortunately, it is happening at the risk and cost of their patience well-being.
Now, this doesn’t go for ALL doctors. But there are definitely those out there that seem to do everything in their power NOT to send out referrals. I just have to say this one thing. It is OK to send referrals or ask another colleague for help. It by no means makes you an incompetent doctor. General practitioners and pediatricians are amazing at overall health and care. But when it comes to something outside of the basic common cold or normal every day problems, that is when a doctor who has done the extra schooling and training to study one specific area is needed.
This whole post stems from “Dr. D-Bag” who time and time again refused to send in the referrals that I had been pushing for and because of that my son, and myself, suffered. Having now been able to have a few appointments with the Developmental Pediatrician and seeing all the help and diagnostic tools that we could have had available to us at the most needed times in his life is extremely aggravating. The mama bear in me wants to go nut-punch the doctor and yell at him about how wrong he was, but the Christian in me tells me to turn the other cheek and just, as my girl Elsa would say, “Let it go.”
Here is the part about where I talk about advocacy and why it is SO crucial to those of us with special needs kids, well any kid really.
If you feel strongly that you need to see a specialist and get a second opinion, but your primary care physician won’t give you a referral, no matter how many times you ask, it might be time to switch doctors. Your primary care physician should be your partner in maintaining your child’s health and if he/she isn’t responsive to your and/or their needs, it could be time to find another doctor.
Most times, kids are unable to speak for themselves when it comes to their body and emotions. They rely on us, as their parents, to do it for them until they can figure out how to do it on their own. We need to fight tooth and nail sometimes to be heard and let’s be honest, its exhausting and it sucks. Sometimes the best way to be heard is to find a care team who will listen. I was afraid of leaving and finding a new doctor for my son until I had a reality check from a speech specialist who was doing a special education evaluation for him and she said mom-to-mom that I needed to find a new doctor who would listen and not ignore the facts that were right in front of him. And obviously I am so glad that I listened to her.
A few months ago I was able to be that same voice of reason to another mom who was struggling with the exact same issue and was afraid to rock the boat when really her life was a freaking hurricane and the doctor didn’t want to ride it.
I saw this posted on Facebook the other day and it really resonated with me.
I am thankful for the mom-to-mom support I have received but I really wish that the medical support would have come along sooner.
I have learned, through having the proper support system now, that even I need an advocate for myself while I am advocating for my child. Sometimes that has come in the form of a friend who has walked this same path, sometimes it has come in the form of a teacher or therapist who has gone above and beyond in making sure that myself and my child are getting the care needed to make life more manageable.
Sometimes when we are so busy standing up for our kids, we forget that we also need to stand up for ourselves. It can be very overwhelming at times which is why having your team of doctors, teachers, therapists, and friends that you can count on to have your back and help you fight for your child instead of prevent you, is crucial. They need to jump on the boat, paddle out into the hurricane, and help you create a rescue plan. Doctors need to be the ones to help you make it safely back to land in one piece, both mentally and physically. And sadly, there are those physicians who would rather shout to you that you will be fine and shut their blinds.
If your doctor is not braving the storm and paddling out to see with you, then you need a new doctor. You deserve to get the required help to live a manageable life. Your child deserves to get the proper access to care in order to learn the necessary life skills to be as happy and as comfortable in their own skin as possible.
-The Lazy Mama