Before Raya started seeing her GI doctor, I had never EVER had a phone conversation with a doctor. No doctor had ever called me after hours to check on my child(ren) about anything. I didn't know doctors even DID that anymore.
We started seeing Dr. S in January 2010 when I took her in after her 2 month well check because I didn't think her reflux meds were working for her. A few days later, I had taken her in for a weight check and when I didn't hear anything from the doctor before 5:00 I assumed that things must not have been too serious or she would have had someone contact me. Then at about 8:30 or 9:00 my phone rang and it was Dr. S telling me to bring Raya to the hospital. That was the first time she called me.
In the weeks following Raya's first hospitalization, she called me anytime there was something she was concerned about (like after a not great weight check, etc.) and in the weeks that we didn't have a visit or weight check, she'd call me to see how Raya was doing. I was always really touched to know that a doctor cared enough to call after hours on her own time to see how things were going.
Last May she called me one evening to see how Raya was doing with some changes we had made and she asked me one of the questions that she asked every time we saw or talked to her: Are you still doing okay with the NG tube? At first I interpreted that to mean, did I think we still needed the NG tube, and I made sure to adamantly insist that we still needed it. Then she finally got what I was thinking and reassured me that she wasn't trying to take away the feeding tube, she just wanted to know if we were ready to move on to the G tube instead. When she called me that evening in May, we talked for a good 20 minutes, which is forEVER in doctor years. :) I had made a list of questions & concerns that I had about getting the G tube and the fundoplication surgery that we were considering at the time, and I was able to discuss all of that with her. She listened to my concerns and gave me her opinion and most importantly, she supported my decisions. She acknowledged that the G tube was a big decision and that if I didn't feel like we were ready for it or needed it, she supported that.
There are just so many things that I appreciate about her. Whenever Raya has been in the hospital, she has come by to see her even though she doesn't usually do rounds on the floor. She talks to me like I'm an intelligent human being and always asks me how I'm handling things. She has sought out the advice and intervention of people outside of the state who are considered to be experts in their fields on Raya's behalf. She asks my opinion on a lot of things rather than just telling me what we're going to do next and makes me feel like she values my opinion and my role as Raya's mother. The way she treats me makes it very easy for me to trust her with my daughter's care.
It was kind of ironic that she called me this evening. I had emailed her nurse earlier in the week to ask about the possibility of bumping up a couple of Raya's meds to help with the recent increase in reflux symptoms but hadn't heard back yet. I assumed that either the answer was no or else they were really busy this week & just hadn't had time to get back to me. I've been wanting to talk to her about a few things but was planning on waiting until our next appointment. I was walking through the garden section at Walmart and my phone rang with an unknown number. I almost didn't answer it but thank goodness I did because it was Dr. S.
We talked about the medications and she explained to me why we couldn't increase them and why increasing them wouldn't help anyway, and she gave me suggestions for how to help Raya be more comfortable. Then I was able to bring up something that I've been researching as a possible diagnosis for some of Raya's symptoms. I was a little nervous about asking her about it because I didn't know how she'd react to me bringing it up, but now I'm glad I did. She said it was absolutely a possibility but that we'll need to reevaluate some things and "ponder it" a little more. I told her I don't know why but I just have this need to put a name on Raya's problems. She kind of laughed and said that she's not even Raya's mother, she's just her doctor and even SHE feels like she needs to find a name for it other than just Raya Syndrome. :)
I don't know why I felt like that needed its own blog post but I guess when you get a doctor that goes above and beyond and shows that they really do care about your child, it helps you to have hope that eventually the answers you're BOTH looking for will be found. Having had the wonderful experience we've had with Dr. S, I have also realized that there is nothing wrong with looking around to find a doctor that is the right fit for you, especially if it's a doctor you will be seeing for a long time. There ARE really amazing doctors out there.
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