Saturday, August 31, 2013

Follow your gut or your doctor's advice?

It is the weirdest thing, but I seem to have forgotten how to blog.  For years, I happily typed away on blogger every night.  My posts weren't mind-blowing or hilarious or even well-written.  But I enjoyed sharing and interacting with all of my blog buddies.  Somewhere over the last few years, I started thinking that I had to have some awesome story or amazing milestone to share before I could post something on my blog.  Sadly, I am a pretty boring person, so I rarely have awesome stories or amazing milestones to tell you about.  But I recently came to a realization.  The blogs I enjoy reading the most are from people who post frequently.  They aren't overly funny or creative or awe-inspiring.  They are just regular people who write a few times a week.  So, I want to start posting more frequently.  I know you're crying tears of joy right now.  You're welcome.

I thought I would kick things off by telling you about pediatricians and their total disregard for money.  I have a high deductible healthcare plan, that basically covers NOTHING until I reach my $6,000 deductible.  We aren't sickly people, so we rarely ever reach the $6,000 deductible, which means that we pay for nearly everything out-of-pocket.

Our pediatrician's office is always setting off alarms and making a big deal out of nothing, which costs me a lot of money.  Last fall, they sent Porgie and Izzy to the hospital because they thought they had whooping cough (which they've both been vaccinated against).  They did not have whooping cough.  It turned out that they just had a chest infection and needed antibiotics.  Last winter, they told me to take Guppy to the ER because he had pneumonia.  He did not have pneumonia.  The hospital staff kind of acted like I was retarded for even bringing him in, and told me that he just had a cold.   In June, they told me that Porgie failed her vision screening and needed to be seen by an ophthalmologist.  Of course, the eye doctor told me that she had near perfect vision.

As you can see, I am starting to doubt my pediatricians' advice.  It wouldn't be a huge deal if I had good insurance, but they are costing me a small fortune with all of these unnecessary hospital and specialist visits.  Guppy's little ER visit cost us about $2,000 when it was all said and done.  And the only thing they gave him at the hospital was Tylenol.  SERIOUSLY.  The most horrible part is that in every single situation I just listed, I had a gut feeling that the doctor was wrong or being overly dramatic.  But I ignored my instincts, and did whatever they asked me to do.

I just took Guppy in to the pediatrician for his 2-years check-up.  And surprise, surprise, they found a problem.  Suddenly, Guppy has a heart murmur (I swear, I don't even think he has a murmur).  The doctor referred him to a pediatric cardiologist.  If you are a long time reader, you might remember that we went through a similar situation with Porgie.  Her heart murmur turned out to be completely innocent, and the cardiologist was surprised that her doctor had referred her for evaluation (Grrrrrr).  Now I am stuck in that horrible spot where my gut says that the doctor is wrong and my baby is fine, but my brain won't stop the "what if" scenarios.  Basically, I am going to be shelling out a lot of money to have Guppy evaluated by a cardiologist, and they are going to tell me that he is completely fine. 

Have any of you ever experienced this with your pediatrician?  I understand that they want to be cautious, but at the same time, I wish they had the experience and knowledge to know when something is a BIG DEAL and when it is not. 


Christina said...

When K was a baby and we went for the MRI my gut kept saying please don't be a tumor we knew she had CP even before going into that MRI but the scan showed a cystic lesion we were told not a big deal my gut still thought something was iffy the MRI was re read in May 3 years after the MRI and the ped radiologist findings were not cystic but indeed a tumor(begnign but my gut was spot on) as for K's heart issue's I questioned our ped with her murmor and he sent off first for ecg prior to reffering to cardio and found her murmor is not causing any damage. Whn our ped said he though J (k's twin) also had CP I thought no way turns out he was right and my Mommy gut was wrong.
Why not run some base line test first before bringing in the big expensive docs? Explain to your ped that you pay out of pocket and want to make sure you exhaust the minor tests before bring in the big guns.
We did something similar on thursday to save us a 6 hour trip for a 2 mintue procedure and he did it in office instead of sending us on a long expensive trip.

Chris said...

How frustrating! I think I would start looking for a different pediatrician. However, I would be like you and wouldn't get the "what ifs" out of my head unless I took him just to be sure about the heart murmur.

allyk said...

First of all I am happy you will post more. I love your blog.

Second, as for the gut, trust it. I don't like the sound of the pediatrician. It sounds like they are trying to make money off of you because you pay out of pocket. They don't get whatever minimum the insurance pays, they get full price. I would ask friends who they use and how happy they are and go from there.

Third, my son had a heart murmur at that age and I got the referral to the pediatric cardiologist only after my pediatrician listened to it for a a good year or more and decided that since it hadn't gone away she wanted to make sure it was nothing which is what it was, nothing. I'd be wondering about the what ifs too but before going down this road, I'd get a second opinion. Did any of those ER docs hear it? It's probably likely they would have heard something.

amanda said...

oh wow this is so huge. such a tricky call...

my mommy worry/guilt wouldn't let me not go to the doctor. i need to trust my mommy gut more often.

kristi said...

Yes we did the heart murmur thing with my daughter and it turned out to be nothing. And my kids are chubby so my dr's office always wants to do all this extra testing on them even though their blood levels and blood pressure are fine. Sigh.