Monday, January 5, 2009

Urology appt. this morning

After a night of almost zero sleep (Finn is generally a good sleeper, but it seems like once every couple of weeks or so he decides to pull an all-nighter), I wasn't in the best mood this morning.

Also, let me preface this by saying that I tend to distrust urologists to begin with - I mean, really, you have to question someone who decides to go into that as a specialty. Almost like proctology. So on top of all that, as well as the fact that I already have a sort of grudge against this office for the way they've handled Finn's case from the start, I didn't go in this morning with the best attitude.

Michael went with me. So we get there and we are shown right back to an exam room and we hang out there for a while waiting for the doctor (whom we've never met before). He comes in a little while later . . . with a med student tagging along. Okay, fine. So the doctor is looking at Finn's file (we had also brought in a CD from Finn's ultrasound which the receptionist asked for when we signed in), and he says to us, "So what are you here for today?" Seriously. The look on Michael's face . . . I was a little worried about what he might say. Here's the thing: no matter how much they piss me off, these doctors, I always tend to feel like we're at their mercy. I mean, this is the last pediatric urologist in Orange County! It's not like we have 10 other doctors to choose from, you know? Michael asked him, "Don't you know what we're here for? You're looking at his file." I also asked him if he looked at the CD from Finn's u/s (he said he did; Michael and I both decided later that he was full of shit on that). The doc said, "I want to hear from you why you're here." As if we had some silly concern about our son that he might be able to explain away and send us on our merry way. I just looked at him and said, "His testicles are undescended." "Mmm hmmm . . ." He says. Then says something about Finn having had "several" GI studies done and his duodenal atresia. I said, "He had ONE GI study done and his duodenal atresia was repaired the day after he was born almost 6 months ago." So he tells me to go ahead and get Finn undressed, which I do. He proceeds to examine Finn - i.e., palpate his lower abdomen to find his testes. All the while he's describing to the student doctor, "You can see the flat, empty scrotum here . . ." Blah blah blah. I was honestly hoping that Finn was just pee on him (no such luck). He finds both testes, and then instructs the student doc to have a feel. I feel my face turning hot now. I was so offended. I mean, just out of effing respect, couldn't he have asked if we, the parents, minded if this other guy ALSO felt up our son? But as is usually the case with me, I silently seethed and didn't say anything. I just wanted to cry. I mean, really, Finn was fine with the whole thing. He was just laying on the table kicking and waving his arms and cooing and babbling, and I'm sitting there feeling pissed off and humiliated on his behalf.

So they finish their exam(s) and allow me to get Finn dressed again and then we're told, as I expected, that Finn needs to have surgery. The longer we wait, the more risks there apparently are of strangulation of the teste(s) which could result in losing one or both altogether. Typically they like to do the surgery before a year old. Depending on exactly where the testes are positioned, it would either be a laparascopic surgery, where an incision would be made in his belly button, or as is more likely, two small incisions down in his groin. It would be outpatient, meaning it would be performed in the hospital but he would go home the same day, and recovery would be minimal - he would be expected to be back to himself within a couple of days. The risks of the surgery (aside from the usual risks associated with anesthesia, etc.) mainly involve risks to arteries which could be damaged or severed, which would result in loss of the teste(s) (extremely rare). This is all the stuff the doctor told us.

I asked him if he's performed a lot of these surgeries, and I kid you not, he actually sneered at me like he was insulted. I think it is a perfectly reasonable question. This is my baby we're talking about.

I didn't like this guy one bit. He was a complete a-hole. However, Michael and I agreed that whether we like the doctor's personality and bedside manner is really secondary. The big question is: is this guy competent? I've never really doubted or questioned that Finn would need surgery to correct this problem sooner or later, and although it makes me feel sick inside, I'm okay with it. I just want to make sure that whomever is going to be cutting into him is someone who knows what they're doing. So we're going to see what we can find out about this doctor and take it from there.


Following Him said...

Can I just tell you that I am not his mother...BUT I am steeming like really HOT now...what nerve of that doctor! I understand that he needs surgery...but that doctor needed to be a little compassionate!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Sensitivity chip missing? Why is this WAY too common in doctors...especially doctors dealing with little ones. So sad you had to have this experience. I've had way too many of my own with all three of my kids.

Karly said...

I think the more specialized you are, the less you care about the patients and more about the least that has been our experience. And yes, I hate the residents we see at our children's hospital. I think we always get the person on their first day who thinks they already know it all. Ugh.

{hugs} on the surgery. Even minor ones suck.

Laurie said...

Ugh, so sorry about your visit. It is so infuriating dealing with doctors like that.
Keep us updated about the surgery date.

Carla said...

Ugh, so sorry this visit didn't go so well. I was hoping, working in the pediatric arena, this doc might be a little more congenial. But, surgeons are notorious for lacking a bedside manner. That said, some of the best surgeons I've known, have been assholes, personality wise. I hope you are comfortable with him once you review his experience.

Beth said...

Hi Lisa,
Just wanted to say hi. I dropped by to see Rebecca's new blog creation and got sucked in and ended up reading your blog waaaay back to the beginning of Finnian's Journey! And btw, he is ADORABLE.
I really enjoyed reading!

Nicole said...

Just reading about that doctor made me mad. Hope everything goes well with the surgery...and I do believe you are entitled to ask if he has done the surgery a lot in the past!

Becky said...

I'm sorry that this is my very first time leaving a comment, but I really did want to say a few things after reading how Finnian's appt. went today.

First, that doctor needs to have a little compassion and take some real interest in his patients. I know that you know this. All doctors are not like this. My daughter has had to see specialists and hers have been wonderful which we are very thankful for. So please don't just accept that this behavior is just how specialists are. Sure you want a competent doctor and that is what is most important, but having a little heart I think helps doctors to be even better.

Second thing I wanted to say is a bit of advice, and I hope you don't mind me giving you some especially seeing as how this is my first time "commenting" on your blog. Any time someone needs surgery (even outpatient stuff), get a second opinion. Of course another doctor is going to tell you the same thing, but perhaps you will find a better doctor in seeking a second opinion. Insurance companies usually pay 100% for a second opinion and you usually aren't limited as to which doctor you get the opinion from (besides obviously it has to be another specialist in the area being questioned). Some insurance companies require that you get a second opinion in non-emergency situations. Check into your insurance and find out. But it's worth a shot.

Best of luck and I really enjoy reading your blog... you are a wonderful mom to your kids.

Nicole O'Dell said...

Oh, I am soo sooo sorry that you had to go through that. I would have seethed at the part about him wanting you to say why you were pretentious, condescending and probably a lie anyway.

I'm furious for you. Sheesh.

I am sure he's quite competent which makes him feel confident that you have no other choice. I hope you can get it over with quickly and smoothly and then be done with it.

Or, come stay with me and use a nice Chicago doc. :)

Lovin Mama said...

Grrr, what a jerk. Our pedi and the DS clinic always, I mean always, ask if a student or resident can be in the room or touch my child. I hope you find out that he is a good surgeon and everything works out. My mommy friends are always a good source for scoop on the local drs.

Lovin Mama said...

almost forgot, your blog looks great:)

Tricia said...

Total jerk. I can't tell you how many times I don't like the pompous doctors we've had to deal with. Luckily many of them are also great.

My friend's son just had a testicle removed b/c it was strangulated about a month ago. Just to reassure you, even after that surgery they were home and her son was recovered in just a couple days.

Good luck finding info on that doctor.

Oh and I have had students before, but the doctors have ALWAYS asked if it was ok that they were there.

Keri said...

I second the recommendation to get a second opinion. I know surgeons have a rep for having no bedside manner, but this guy's treatment of you, Michael and Finn was completely unacceptable. First, you should have been asked if the student could even come in. Second, you should have been asked if the student could examine Finn. Having taught med students, this Dr's behavior is completely unacceptable. I'd check with the American Medical Association to see what sort of complaints this guy has against him. I'd also check with the state licensing board.

Carla said...

What an obnoxious Dr.! How dare he?!

Lisa B said...

Lisa, Larry's best friend is one of the best urologists in LA so I would be happy to ask him if he knows your guy and has an opinion re his competency and/or for a rec for a diff ped. urologist...Let me know. Lisa

doulamom said...

go see someone else, seriouslly you will only be pissed witht this dude... isnt' there one in LA?