Sunday, March 23, 2008

The dreaded well child visits

Is it just me or do you also find the questions the ped asks your children, at their well child visits, intrusive and out of line?

It's nearly birthday time in the Silverberg household and I have to think about making an appointment for my children's annual well child visit.

I'm seriously debating not making one this year. Ben and Shira are the picture of good health and have not needed to see a doctor for ill health for years. I suppose on one hand this might be a reason to continue the well child visits. At least if something dire goes wrong, we'll have a relationship with the ped.

But on the other hand, I see no point in these annual visits. We'll get another push for the MMR vaccine. I'll again say that we're trying to catch the wild viruses and that nearer to puberty, we'll look at getting the shots separately. The ped will again ask his nurse to find the separate shots and she'll again tell me that no such thing is available. I will again tell her that it's strange that she says so because I know of at least two other pediatric practices in our area that do the individual shots. She'll then look sheepish, yet again, tell me that the pharmaceutical company insists they buy the vaccine in a multipack and she doesn't want to waste vaccines. I'm sure though, that if they offered individual vaccines to patients that they wouldn't have any waste.

I know I sound jaundiced, but we've had this particular conversation annually since my kids were 18 months old. I doubt it is going to change any time soon.

Then the ped will ask the kids what they eat on a daily basis. My children have an incredibly phytonutrient rich, animal product free diet. What other children do you know who eat half a pound of spinach with half a pound of fruit in a smoothie for breakfast? My ped will listen to what they eat and then worry about the fact that they have no dairy or meat in their diet. He'll worry about the fatty acids, protein and calcium intake.

I'll once again become seriously irritated that anyone with such a limited understanding of nutrition would dare to comment on my children's diet. If he truly understood nutrition he'd be bowing at my feet over my kids diet, not haranguing me to feed them milk, fish and meat.

Then the ped turns into school teacher and asks the kids what their full names are, what their address and telephone number is, to count to a hundred in 2's or 3's, what state they live in, what the capital of the state is and who the president of the United States is.

Huh? I'd dearly love for any pediatrician to explain to me what this little quiz has to do with my children's health.

Then to finish off the visit, I'll get quizzed on my children's social lives because after all, we're homeschoolers and everyone knows that homeschoolers struggle with socialization. Bah humbug. Just thinking of a well child visit makes me all irritable.

I think we've done our last one. We'll stick to going to the dentist twice a year. At least all he does is check their teeth and clean them. We don't have to deal with any attempts at social engineering.


Cerwydwyn said...

We haven't done a well child visit in several years. Can't stand it and I'm not so good at spouting by the *whys* of what I'm doing. It's hard when it's really none of the doctor's business. (or the nurse's).
I growl with you! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

christinemm said...

Sorry to hear your insurance is mandating the combined MMR. That is pathetic. I'd not heard that before.

I used to work at an HMO including working with medical and claims payment policy and had not ever heard of that policy before. It stinks.

Our Pedi gave us the MMR without ther mercury but she did mention the state provides her with the MMR with the thermerisol and mandates they use it on her Medicais patients. How sad is that?

Lastly, I once heard an interview about the MMR and third world countries, that the US drug companies who still make the MMR with the mercury are shipping it to other countries. Someone made a comment on the talk show that would it not be sad if someday the third world countries have an outbreak of autism? How sad would that be?

Kim said...

Oh my goodness, girlfriend, you need to find another pediatrician! Our ped is WONDERFUL and has never asked such questions of my children, other than the last visit when the PA asked what they like to eat. Granted, I know other peds who do, based on what friends have told me, but mine - he totally rocks. He has always, 100%, supported my rights as a parent. Know why I stuck with him? Because he supported my decision to breastfeed my twins without supplementation, and encouraged and supported me when other peds would have freaked about percentiles.

Please consider changing. Not all peds are the same.

Benny said...

We skipped ours this year too. Our guy is pretty good about supporting our choices, but I just didn't see the point.

Kate in NJ said...

I'm so with you!
I'm also on the look out for a new ped.