Pre-op meeting

I had The Boy’s pre-op meeting on Monday. I’ve been trying to process the information since then, hence the late update on it.

I hate this doctor. A lot. He’s a micro-manager, and a massive ass. I think I’ll call him Dr. D, for douche. My first appointment with him was about 3 weeks after The Boy was born…and the first thing he did was correct the way I fed The Boy, and not nicely either. He was “You’re feeding him wrong. Do it this way, it’s the only way to feed a child with a cleft palate. You’re making him choke.” Excuse me, Dr. D? This is how the NICU nurses showed me how to do it and it’s been just fine so far. Whatever, I changed it. It was a minor change, but his attitude already pissed me off and I just wanted him to go away. Beyond that, the first meeting is a bit of a blur. I left there and went to the audiologist, because The Boy had failed his hearing tests in the NICU. They couldn’t do it because The Boy wouldn’t cooperate.

I went back to BOTH docs 3 weeks later. The audiologist still wasn’t able to perform the test due to an uncooperative child who does not like things being put in his ears. They concluded that even if they were able to get things in his ears he would probably still fail because children with clefts have a tendency to have fluid in their ears until it is repaired. The second meeting with Dr. D didn’t go so well either. They kept me in the room for about 20 minutes before I even saw anyone. Thankfully The Boy is a happy and quiet baby. Someone came into the room and rather briskly started talking to me – no introduction, nothing. She then just…left, and Dr. D came in 5 minutes later. I STILL don’t have any idea who she was! Dr. D is a big fan of absolutely overwhelming the parents with information so that they go into shutdown and just agree with everything, I think. We discussed the surgery a bit at that point, as well as how much follow-up is involved. He was talking about years of follow-up, making sure teeth grow in fine and his hearing is okay and all this other stuff. Just…things I probably didn’t need to know a year in advance, and not much that I did need to know. Such as the information he sprung on me Monday.

What information, you ask? Such things as: The Boy will be in the hospital for at least a day, up to 3. From the way Dr. D talked at both first and second appointments, he made it sound like this was an in-and-out surgery. Yes, I should have realized it wasn’t – it’s oral surgery – but all oral surgeries I’ve had done have been a few hours and I go home with painkillers. He also can’t put anything into his mouth that is not liquid for 3 weeks after the surgery. How does one keep a child of this age from putting hands and toys into his mouth? With elbow splints, of course. Duh – who doesn’t know THAT? Oh yeah…me! Elbow splints, in the warm/hot weather, on a 1-year-old, for 3 weeks? Seriously? I am going to have one pissed off toddler for 3 weeks. I feel so sorry for him and it hasn’t even happened yet. My sister says she was a bad mom and didn’t keep them on either of her boys as much as she was supposed to. I’m afraid I’ll be much the same, although I’m much better at following doctor instructions than she is! Y’all might remember how paranoid I was about doing anything wrong while I was pregnant – it hasn’t gotten much better as far as The Boy is concerned.

I told Dr. D that I hadn’t managed to get The Boy off the bottle yet – he’s refusing. Dr. D says “Well, you still have 3 more weeks” while giving me a look like “you stupid woman, I can’t believe you haven’t done this yet since I told you about it at the beginning.” Yeah, and I’ve been worrying about it the entire time, and have been trying for 3 months at this point to move him over and he just WON’T. So now we’re working on getting him to take milk (mixed with Carnation breakfasts, on advice of friend Cathy and suggestion of stupid doctor) from a sippy, but it’s slow going. Milk doesn’t replace the formula – when supplemented with solids, it would, but guess who won’t eat much in the way of solids beyond Puffs and Yogurt Bites? Yeah, my kid. He won’t take the formula, even mixed with the chocolate, from a sippy. Getting him to take more solids doesn’t matter either, because in 2 1/2 weeks he’ll be going on straight liquids again anyways! Dr. D says “you can go back to formula if you need to” – but The Boy won’t take it from a sippy and we’re back to square 1!!!  Oh, and we can only use certain sippy cups. They have to have really short spouts…and also happen to not be non-spill. That means I’m going to have to monitor his eating again, instead of letting him eat as he pleases by dragging a sippy or bottle around. Then again, if he has elbow splints on, how in the hell is he supposed to eat?! *cue brain circling around and around*

Let’s not forget my favorite piece of information from Monday: Dr. D demands that I take The Boy to an actual ENT to have him evaluated for tubes. Yes, tubes. At this stage. Now, see, tubes were brought up during the first two appointments in the manner of “if he gets a lot of ear infections, we’ll have to do tubes. If it’s close the surgery, we’ll put them off and do them at the same time.” The Boy has had ONE ear infection in the past year and he was 9 months old or so before that happened. ONE. And now Dr. D insists that I talk to the ENT because “95% of cleft palate babies have to have them done and I have to have a piece of paper in this file with the ENT’s recommendations.” Why was this not mentioned near the beginning? I scheduled The Boy’s surgery when I did because finals would be out. This week is “dead week” and next week is finals and the week after is his surgery. Guess what day they managed to get me into the ENT? THE DAY OF MY ONLY FINAL! The one day I CANNOT miss class – it’s not something I can make up.  Thankfully the appt is in the morning and my final is in the afternoon, but depending on what they decide, I may be completely stressing out. I mentioned this to the doctor – why didn’t he mention this a YEAR ago when we first met, so I could schedule it at a time that didn’t conflict with my school schedule? First he blamed it on the secretary (right, because she tells me what needs to be done, yup) and then said “I’m sorry to inconvenience you…” FUCK YOU, DR. D. My child is not an inconvenience. The problem is that I can’t miss my class, and I have to have this done because you insist on it, and it’s last minute because you fucked up and didn’t say anything.  You aren’t sorry, you’re an asshat.

Ye gods, I hate the word “inconvenience”. People throw it around as a way to get what they want, or to make you feel sorry for them, or just as a way to make you feel bad.

It gets even more fun. Dad has decided to come up that day to put flowers on mom’s grave (it’s her birthday). So…ENT, then dad, then final, then cemetery. Such a fun day! I can’t wait until everything is done. I’m completely stressed beyond the unglued stage. I’m surprised I’m not having the visual hallucination issue that I have when my stress level gets too high. At least the construction on our house is done, so I no longer have THAT to deal with too! Thank you for wading through this long post – I intended it to be short, but you know what happens when you start writing…

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2 Comments

  1. Do your sippy cups have handles? I SEEM to remember the elbow splints giving enough leeway to grasp handles, and thus that is how he’d feed himself?

    You can get a lot of nutrition from straight milk really (and goat milk has a smidge more), so don’t worry TOO hard about that. I can run the numbers for you there if it would make you feel better. With the CIB if he’ll drink it, he’ll be nourished, really. Have they talked about what happens if he won’t? Will they postpone? Because part of me wonders if the “up to 3 days” is because they’re not going to release him until he’s proven he can take in enough by mouth to stay hydrated if not appropriately fed. Because my uneducated guess is that after having their mouth operated on, there are probably definitely some kids who won’t drink enough and need an ng tube while it heals. Just … saying it because the doctor may not have the guts to.

    The response to “I’m sorry to inconvenience you” is “You did not inconvenience me, you disrespected me and by extension my child, and that is a very unbecoming character flaw in a health care provider.” You know. For next time.

    I wish you had other doctor options. I kind of hate this guy. I would kind of also love to be able to go with you because he is just the kind of doctor I love to have a good verbal sparring with.

    Reply
  2. Yeesh.

    It is good that he’s willing to give you information, and to take the time to do it. I’ve known doctors who figure they’re the ones who know everything and you just need to follow orders. It’s worse these days, when insurance companies force them to be stressed out and overscheduled. But I’m sorry he’s overwhelming you with it. And it certainly doesn’t begin to make up for him not giving you the information you needed, like the critical stuff about needing to see the ENT.

    Wish I had something of use to say about the post-op stuff. Have you tried Pediasure? It seems obvious, but you didn’t mention it and I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t overlooked.

    My nephew had his entire hand in a cast for a couple of weeks after a serious injury. He was a little older than 1, and the injury meant there was a clear reason for him to be bound up. But still… he managed. He dealt with it. He played and ran. (Also: Being a supremely finicky eater, he positively lived on Pediasure for at least a year.)

    It won’t be easy, but you’ll get through it. Just sorry you’ve got so much crap to deal with, and that the doc isn’t helping.

    Reply

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