Monday, January 15, 2007

Dr. Mom?!

I woke up not long ago from a panic-inducing nightmare. Apparently, pediatricians were tired of the constant parade of kids who may or may not have an ear infection, and decided instead to empower all of the moms and dads by insisting that we buy our own otoscopes and DIY. (Note - I had to look this term up. I am NOT a doctor is what I'm trying to say.)

Anyway, in the dream, I couldn't tell if what I was seeing in Andy's ear was wax, pus, fluid, reflected light, maybe some crumbs, or what. It was kind of terrifying. When I went back to my pediatrician, just like in the Don McLean song, he just smiled and turned away. Then he shrugged and said, "Mrs. Raggedy. If I keep doing this, you'll never learn. What do YOU think it is? Learn to trust your instinct."


I'm pretty sure I know why I had this dream. In real life, one of the pediatricians in the practice we use has the habit of offering parents a peek in the otoscope and saying, "Look at that. Do you see that fluid? That redness?" Unlike in the dream, however, he's the utmost professional and wouldn't leave me to flounder.

But to my untrained eye, I feel like saying, Dr. G., I'm here because I trust you. I have NO IDEA what you're talking about. Having never seen Ann's ear when there's no infection, what does it mean to me that it looks kind of yellow in there right now? It means NOTHING!

I've joked around with a friend who heard the same thing from this doctor. Is it ridiculous to ask moms to do this? Is it somehow empowering? All I know is I hope not to see the day when I've got my very own otoscope and have to make the call without relying on Dr. G.


kasamba said...

That is so strange! How can they expect people who didn't go to Med school use medical equipment???

Baleboosteh said...

What a weird dream!

I had a similar experience when one of my girls had a middle ear infection:

Doctor: 'Would you like to have a look in her ear?'

Me: 'Ah, I probably wouldn't know what I was looking at anyway.'

Doctor: 'Sure you would - a blind man could see this!'

Me: 'Ah, ok then' - who am I to argue!!

RaggedyMom said...

Kasamba - My (terrified) thoughts exactly!

Baleboosteh - Amazing to think that the same bizarre phenomenon is going on all the way across the world!

mother in israel said...

Your doctor wants you to be the doctor and the mother, but most doctors want to have both those roles; i.e. make lifestyle decisions for parents re: feeding, discipline, sleeping arrangements that have nothing to do with medicine. And the fact is that parents do need to have more say about medical issues to as in whether all of the abx are necessary. The parents have to live with the results.

PsychoToddler said...

Your eyes can deceive you--don't trust them!

You must let go of your conscious self...and act. On. Instinct!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi RaggedyMom: My wife (G-d bless her) decided she was embarressed by running to our doctor everytime a kid started sniffling, so we spoke to our doctor -- and he agreed to teach her how to use an otoscope.

We went out an purchased one, and started getting lessons from our doctor how to use it.

Now, she's a pro, and can tell in a second if our children REALLY need to go to the doctor for an ear infection, or if its not ear related.

So...maybe your dream isn't that detached from reality :)

Jack's Shack said...

I have dreams like that sometimes.

RaggedyMom said...

Mother in Israel - In the dream, that's what they wanted me to do, yes. Luckily in real life, our practice is very respectful of parents and their parenting decisions. They also involve parents a good deal in the question of whether to give antibiotics. There is also a nurse practitioner in the practice who is, in my opinion, a PRO at balancing medical and parental concerns re: medicine and the like.

PT - You've never really been scary before. Until now. Are you in cahoots with Dr. G.?!

Jameel - That's pretty clever actually. If I may ask - was this a kupat cholim physician or a private doctor?

Jack - OMG - Your comment just made me wonder if it was kind of irreverent to put up an "I had a dream" post today. Let me assure my readers that this was totally unintentional!

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I would not know what I was seeing or not seeing very weird. Interesting that you dreamed about it.

RR said...

Back when I was a kid (this is over 25 years ago) I remember our pediatrician telling my mother to look in our ears- he was oddly enthusiastic about it, too!

I've seen those scopes in catalogues selling children's items, I guess a lot of parents buy them. I have to say, it would be nice to know if there's really an infection in there before running to the doctor!

RaggedyMom said...

SWFM - I know! Interesting, but a bit creepy.

RR - Was he in Queens? I think this guy started around then. You're right, it would be nice to know whether spending the day at the doctor's was an absolute necessity!

SephardiLady said...

My son hates the otoscope but talks about them incessantly.