Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Referral to Our Immunologist

Ok, so our immunologist no longer takes patients with a self-referral.  You can't just call up and make an appointment anymore.  You have to be referred to them by a doctor.  But, I need an appointment!

Well, little Punkin is having some allergy issues.  I want her to be seen by our immunologist.  Our pediatrician (who is brand new to us) thinks I'm a little uptight and he could possibly think I'm completely nuts.  I don't care though.  I called and told him my concerns about Punkin and said I wanted her to see our immunologist.  He wasn't sure what that doctor could do for us.  I don't really care at this point.  I just want her to be an established patient.  So, he grudgingly agreed to issue a referral.

If there's one thing I've learned on our food allergy journey, it's that you have to advocate for your child.  If you feel that a different doctor is a good decision, go for it-find a new doctor.  If you disagree with the doctor, speak up!  If you are completely lost with what the doctor is telling you, ask those questions!  You know your child and no one else knows them (or cares for them) the way that you do.  Speak up and don't be afraid to ask questions, get other opinions, or find a new doctor.

It's also ok to say "No."  You can tell a doctor "no."  It's really really hard to do though!  But after doing it a few times, you'll have the courage to say that little word when you need it.  I've had to pull out that word a few times.  Some doctors were furious (and that was the last time we saw them) and others were shocked.  A few others I think respected my decision and were a little proud that I didn't back down (I'm sure they would never admit it).

But what I've learned in saying no, asking questions, and trying to find the best answers and treatment plan for our kids-is that I'm often right.  When I have that horrible nagging feeling that something is not ok, I'm usually right.  When I have huge doubts about what the doctor is telling me, there's usually a reason for those strong doubts.  I've let my mommy instinct do that talking a time or two.  And after lots of prayer, we've made decisions to switch doctors, ask different questions, or refuse certain options.  I don't regret any of it.  I'm so thankful I was able to speak up.

And I'm glad that we "shopped around" until we found a doctor who listened to us and worked with us.  I trust her and she trusts me-she trusts what I tell her and she backs me up when I have a suspicion about Bee's allergies.  She has told me that I can always call and I can always blame her-she wrote Bee's strict allergy plan and she encourages me to hand it to everyone and tell them that it's "doctor's orders."  It's so important to have a doctor on your team.  

Back to Punkin - I'm fairly certain that something is a little off with her.  I firmly believe that she has some food allergies and sensitivities.  I'm going to keep working to find the answers.  And I'm going to make the long drive to our immunologists office and see what she thinks.  She's one doctor that's definitely worth keeping-she listens, asks great questions, asks what I think about her plan, and always respects my decision.  She's a rare find when it comes to doctors.  I'm excited that we can take Punkin to her.  She told me at our last visit to call her first thing if I had any questions about Punkin.  So, we'll be seeing her soon!

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