I took 9-year-old Watchful to the doctor’s office. Ever since he arrived at our house, we’ve been saying that he frequently skips meals when he’s upset. We shared his dad’s concerns about this weight loss. Now that more than half a year has gone by, the County calls up and demands we immediately take him to the doctor.
I’m on board with this and agree. It’s been three months since he had his last check up, so it will be good to see how he’s doing. The social worker had called Thursday night to make this request. The social worker calls me early Monday morning, demanding to know why I haven’t taken him to the doctor’s yet. I explain that all day Friday was foster care hearings, the clinic was closed over the weekend, so this is my first chance to call. I plan to take him in today. The social worker says if I’m too busy to make the appointment, she can do it. What???? Seriously? They have ignored this issue for months and months, and suddenly they can’t wait one day?? But I take a deep breath. I am glad that this new social worker really cares and doesn’t want issues to linger on the back burner.
Any way, back to the doctor’s appointment. Have you ever had to explain that you’ll need a doctor who is comfortable treating children who have been abused? It’s awkward. First, you tell the receptionist that you’ll need a longer appointment time. Then, the receptionist transfers you to a nurse. The nurse asks you tons of questions. Then she says you need a special pediatrician who only works certain days. Ok, so now you have an appointment. You arrive at the doctor’s office. The receptionist looks at you and looks at the child and realizes your skin tones don’t match. This prompts her to ask you about your relationship. You say foster mom. She asks if you have the right to seek medical care for your child. Yes, it’s in your records. She says no it’s not. You say yes it is. She says no it’s not. You say yes it is. She says, oh yeah, you’re right.
The nurse calls you back, but then makes your child sit in the waiting room so she can grill you about foster care. You explain, hoping that your foster kiddo is not freaking about being in the waiting room by himself. The nurse calls him in -he’s looking a bit anxious. The doctor arrives. He sends your foster kid out again and grills you about foster care. The doctor spends some time freaking out about the complexities of your child’s case. Then the doctor calls your child back in, who is now looking decidedly upset. The visit wraps up in two hours. Yes, two hours. Because everyone is just so worked up about the abuse history. Any way, you’re supposed to take the kiddo to get blood work done at the lab. However, this doesn’t happen because the kiddo is now in melt down city.
Luckily, the nearest pediatrician’s office that takes the State’s insurance is twenty minutes from home. This is lucky, because your kiddo needs this time to switch gears from melt down mode to moderate anxiety. Even twenty minutes later, kiddo still is too worked up to go to school, so the two of you head to the grocery store. It’s actually kind of fun to try food samples together. He gets to choose lots of the food for the family – broccoli, salmon, and even a huge danish for breakfast tomorrow. You are both now in a happy place. You drop him at school and go back home. Once at the house, you dash off a quick email to update the social worker on the medical items.
The social worker somehow miraculously immediately reads your email and calls you to discuss. You repeat what was in the email. She proposes her own medical solutions that are different from the doctor’s. You give her the doctor’s number to directly talk about her
crazy ideas unique thoughts on treatment options.
You call your hubby and strategize how to get the blood work done. You talk about different ways to reduce the anxiety levels so the kiddo can sit still enough for the blood to be drawn. You come up with a plan to take him the next day.
Whew! Doctor’s visit accomplished after just six short hours!