January 19, 2007

The Long and Whining Road (that Leads to E.V.)

Day before yesterday, the girlchild stayed home with me because she was wheezy and sickish. Then Sam’s school called and asked me to come get him. Because he had broken out in Chicken Pox.

Me: Oh no, he dit’n’t!
School nurse: Oh yes, he did!
Me: But he has been vaccinated.
School Nurse: Tell that to these red bumps all over him…

We had to go see the pediatrician to confirm chicken pox, so the school could send out a STAR TREK RED DOT ALERT if it was indeed the Pox. Unfortunely, at my REALLY NICE pediatrician’s super big Wal Mart of a practice, the only doc available to see us ASAP was the one I call The Evil Vet. He is about as helpful as a teaspoon of gasoline poured directly into the eye, but not quite as pleasant.

I had the FIRST appointment of the day yesterday, and got up at the crack of dawn to work and work out and still get my kids up and ready and battled rush hour traffic to arrive well before my scheduled 8:30. They were UNLOCKING the doors and turning the lights on when I arrived, so you can’t tell me EVIL VET was already behind because he was caring for patients who needed his sage input. I was the FIR|ST appointment…yet Evil Vet managed to avoid seeing us before 9:15 anyway. He was probably late because he had to vivisect some kittens, or perhaps he was right outside the door the whole time, giggling as I tried to entertain two miserable sick children in a windowless cube for close to an hour.

He spent maybe ten minutes with me all told, and if it had been eleven, oh my best beloveds, I would have committed murder, truffles or no truffles. Here are the LOW POINTS of our AWFUL conversation.

Me: Is it chicken pox.
Him: No idea.
Me: …. Do you think it might be chicken pox?
Him: It might. Or might not.
Me: Because if it LIKELY to be chicken pox the school needs to send out a note. Would you say it is likely?
Him: he was vaccinated, so he shouldn’t;have the But sometimes they get them anyway. I do not think it is chicken pox. But it might be.
Me: Okay. So what do you think it is?
Him: Something else.

At that point, I attempted to strangle him with his own stethoscope. After he had escaped me and gotten enough breath back to speak, he managed to allow that he suspected it was something I had never heard of, called IMPETIGO.

Me: Is that viral or is it a bacteria?
Him: Bacteria. A form of staph infection
Me; So, will he need antibiotics?
Him: If it is impetigo he will need antibiotics, but if it is chicken pox, he won’t.
Me: …How can we tell?
Him: We can’t.
Me: …. So …what should I do?
Him: I think I’ll TREAT it like impetigo, and if it goes away, it WAS impetigo, but if it doesn’t then it may still be chicken pox. Or something else.
Me: So how likely is it that this is impetigo? Is that a COMMON thing?
Him: It’s common, but it’s the same organism that they call “Flesh Eating” bacteria, if you have heard of that.
Him: No. But it can BECOME flesh eating bacteria.
Him: Then we hospitalize him and try intravenous antibiotics and hope they work---it can be very resistant---
Him: Oh, that almost never happens.
Me: …
Him: Well, you asked. Once you ASK I have a medical duty to answer you, you know. If you ask, I HAVE to tell you, even when it’s just silly things that will scare you. That’s the law.

So, yes, that’s right. HE said the words FLESH EATING BACTERIA to me. I did not ASK that, I did not say SO IS IT FLESH EATING BACTERIA? He said the words. Then he ENJOYED me panicking and then USED my panic to scare me to encourage me to NOT to ask him, the doctor of my children, questions. OH HE IS SO EVIL!!!!

Here’s the best part. While he was explaining what he was proscribing, my kids were PINGING OFF THE WALLS. I was SO tired I was having trouble following him, and I turned to them and said, “Guys, I am trying to listen okay? I need you to be still and quiet so I can get these instructions. Seriously, Mom has had it. Zip the lips and let me hear.”

When I turned back to him, he had drawn himself up and was doing his best to look at me in what he may have thought was a KINDLY and AVUNCULAR manner, but since he is evil it came out more like he was dyspeptic. THEN HE SAID TO ME, O REALLY HE DID, HE AID TO ME:

You know, you don’t have to impress me. Your kids are well behaved and you seem to be doing a good job as a mother. This is a PEDIATRICIAN’S office. We know how kids are. Relax, quit worrying what I think of your parenting skills and let them be kids.”

No, really. He said that to me. REALLY.

Me: Sir, I have been up since 3:45 this morning. I’m tired, I need to hear what you are telling me. (and here the ENORMOUS load of things that I did NOT say ---- including, but not limited to, “YOU THINK I CARE WHAT YOU THINK OF ME??? HAHAHAHHAHAHA! ASK ME WHAT I THINK OF YOU.” and “SUCK IT, DORKHEAD” ---- was so weighty that it caused my spleen to burst)

Him: Well that information will be on the bottle.

THEN!!!! We waited ANOTHER 45 minutes at the pharmacy because he didn’t write how many times a day Sam should be dosed which medicine!!!! HA! So we sat there while the pharmacist called to find out. Evil Vet sat in his office eating live kittens and not calling back and rubbing his evil tummy and cackling to himself and NOT CALLING BACK and then still not calling back some more.

ALSO, The pharmacist called me over and said E.V. had proscribed a CREAM form of the topical antibiotic. The CREAM has no generic and cost me 45 bucks, while the OINTMENT has a generic and would have cost me ten. The pharmacist said it was the same thing and equally effective, and did I want him to change it. Evil Vet has proscribed for me three times now --- when I could not get a different doc---- and he ALWAYS writes things with no generic and he ALWAYS refuses to change them. Well, you know, when you feed only on human tears and the tenderest cuts of baby puppies, you need those drug company kick-backs. Human tears don’t come cheap.

I LOVE my pediatrician, but I may have to change just to never be in a building with that spawn of hell again.

UPDATE: Due to RED BUMPS we have not gotten to meet the dog yet. Sam stops being contagious today, so I am trying to set something up. OH BUT WOW I LIKETHAT DOG’S FACE! ALSO, ask me how much work I am getting done with two sick kids sproinging around? GO ON, ask!

Posted by joshilyn at January 19, 2007 7:06 AM

Oh dear God. I knew that Satan had to be a doctor somewhere, but I had no idea that he was a pediatrician in Georgia. Oddly fitting...

Seriously - can you mention to one of the other ped docs there, one that you like and trust, how insanely evil he is, citing examples? And then I guess you'd have to have a back up doc in case he ever again was the only one who could see you, but that's just ridiculous. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with crap like that.

Posted by: JenA at January 19, 2007 7:43 AM

Just how much work are you getting done with two sick kids sproinging around?

Posted by: Sabra at January 19, 2007 8:12 AM

Okay... ummm... it's not that I didn't already believe E.V. to be Beelzebub, anyway, but I've dealt with both pox and impetigo, and I'm not a doctor or anything, but THEY LOOK NOTHING ALIKE. Also, impetigo doesn't make you feel ill or give you a fever, it just makes you itchy.

I cringed through the entire tale. I think you showed remarkable restraint in not ripping off his head and doing something unspeakable to his neck.

Posted by: Mir at January 19, 2007 8:42 AM

Both of my kids were vaccinated, and BOTH got the pox - maybe less than 50 bumps, but bumps nevertheless.

Posted by: Barbie at January 19, 2007 8:45 AM

Can we come over for a play date in case it IS chicken pox? We are waiting until the last possible minute on that one because we want natural immunity and despite an outbreak (yes, an outbreak) in the neighboring town where we spend ALL our time--an outbreak in IMMUNIZED children, so yes it's possible--my kids still haven't gotten it. How about I come over and amuse YOUR kids while they infect MY kids and then you can get your work done? Except it's kind of a looooong drive....

Posted by: amy at January 19, 2007 8:58 AM

The next time that you are berating yourself or feeling wretched because your mental illness number is speeding toward Jupiter, think of E.V. and how much RESTRAINT you showed in not feeding him his own spleen on toast. WHAT A JACKASS. The next time you see your regular pediatrician, I would recommend complaining about him. You shouldn't have to put up with that.

Posted by: Aimee at January 19, 2007 10:38 AM

What a horrible evil man! Some people shouldn't be allowed within 100 ft of actual human beings! Impetigo reminds me of a story my sissies and mum used to tell though. Back in the dark ages before the rampant use of antibiotics, both sisters got impetigo from scratching mosquito bites. Back then the treatment was Mom scratching off the scabs and sponging Chlorax on the spots. OUCH and double OUCH!

Posted by: katkin at January 19, 2007 10:38 AM

Merciful Zeus. The fact that EV is still living might qualify you for sainthood. Can you kill him off in a book? I realize it's probably too late to work him into TGWSS, but maybe in the NEXT book you could have an evil spawn-of-Satan pediatrician character who meets some sort of grisly end, preferably preceded by lingering torture. Just a thought...

I hope Sam feels better soon and I hope you get to meet the handsome dog soon!

Posted by: DebR at January 19, 2007 11:03 AM

I really would have turned from my children and pointedly asked him,

"Why on God's green earth would you think I am concerned in what you think of me and my parenting abilities, when you went to medical school and can't tell impetigo from an everyday case of chicken pox? You breathing moron with an M.D.."

I'm with Mir, they look and act nothing alike.

Posted by: Cele at January 19, 2007 11:30 AM

I live near you, and i swear we've also been punted off to this same evil vet in our super walmart of a pediatric practice. i know it's him. if only they had shuttled you over to the Mr. Rogers clone.

Posted by: dramamama at January 19, 2007 11:48 AM

JenA's comment makes me want to sing ... or chant ... "The devil went down to Georgia, and opened a pediatrics practice..." But after that it doesn't really scan, so I'm stopping now.

Really horrible, especially the part with telling you not to worry about what he thought of your parenting skills. Ha! AS IF!!

I get the thing about telling you scary stuff. Yesterday the much-less-evil ENT doctor was telling me that the swollen gland in my son's neck that will not go down is almost certainly absolutely nothing to worry about, and like a fool I had to push him and say, "But if it WAS something to worry about, what would it be?" and I could just see the sad little look in his eye where he was thinking, "I wish moms would stop asking questions they REALLY don't want to know the answers to."

Still, even mentioning the flesh-eating bacteria was over the line!

Posted by: TrudyJ at January 19, 2007 2:27 PM

What IS it with the whole doctor being late thing? It baffles me. My 88 year old dad won't wait more than 15 minutes...so he almost never gets to see a doc or dentist...which is probably why his teeth all fell out.

Posted by: Suebob at January 19, 2007 2:34 PM

are you sure you weren't up here in Canada? Because that sounds like a perfectly normal Canadian doctor experience... except for the part where you can actually CHANGE doctors and I CANNOT because a) not enough doctors and b) less than 20 doctors in my city of 1 million are actually accepting new patients... none of which are pediatricians.

Posted by: Heather Cook at January 19, 2007 4:14 PM

I would print out a copy of this post and deliver it in person to your regular pediatrician...only I would cross out all the "E.V"'s and call him by his name. I would also include the comment that you will NEVER agree to see this doctor again and that you are seriously considering switching practices to avoid him. You can't be the only one who hates him, and if enough complaints are lodged maybe they'll do something about it! They don't want to lose patients after all...patients are money.
Also, you should know that after reading this I had a strong desire to punch his lights out. Hope the kiddos are feeling better soon!

Posted by: Amy-Go at January 19, 2007 5:00 PM

He's not just an Evil Vet, he's an EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEvillll Vet! My God, woman, how did you stay so civilized?

I agree with whoever said to put him in a book. But instead of killing the character, perhaps have him caught in a highly embarrassing situation. Watch him squirm. Delight in it.

Posted by: Genevieve at January 19, 2007 5:43 PM

Not only do they not look alike, chicken pox are the most distinctive, identifiable bumps in the world (or were, while kids still got them,) each being topped by a clear little bubble-blister. An eighty year old granny would have diagnosed better than Dr. Kitten-tonsils. Oh, well, at least Sam's out of diapers -- that warm moist environment encourages the poxlets to look like plague.

Posted by: rams at January 19, 2007 5:51 PM

Where does this butthead live? I would like to go to his house and hit him in the butt-like head with a great big shovel.

So there.

And you rock!!!!!!!!

And I have had both chicken pox and impetigo, and they are nothing alike. Even though that was in 1967.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at January 19, 2007 5:56 PM

I just don't think I can express how horrible I think EV is nearly as eloquently/effectively as everyone else... BUT I will tell you my 2 and 5 year olds have been down with a disgusting cold for a couple of weeks, and yesterday were diagnosed with twin ear infections. I had to be really sneaky to get the doctor to even look at kid #2 when the last appointment available was for kid #1. So as far as the crazed mom thing goes, I'm with you, sister!

Posted by: carolie at January 20, 2007 2:03 PM

EV is horrible! He should be disbarred or whatever they do to evil, rude, misogynistic docs!

Last summer we went to the very ritzy enclave of Sea Island with my Dad, who paid for my kids to attend the daily Beach Club camp. The first day, I got a panicked call from one of the beautiful young camp counselors. My girl, who had a couple of scabby mosquito bites on her legs, had told the counselor that she had the chicken pox!!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at January 22, 2007 11:57 AM

I think something happens to Pediatricians-all that tiny medicine and tiny people shrink their brains. I had a somewhat similar experience and to this day I refer to it as, THE CHICKEN POX TIME."

Granted my two older children, who are now in college, wouldn't remember the experience if I drew them a map, but deep within my brain lies the memory of those days-no sleep, smelling like I lived in a barn, and wanting to strangle my husband upon his nightly arrival at our home for nearly a month.

Our journey started with my oldest breaking out in what I termed, "Ant Bites". He was a bit grabby for a few days, but nothing abnormal. The other one, my child who came with instructions that read-CAUTION:DIFFICULT AND WILL NOT DO ANYTHING EASY-broke out in the most God awful rash everywhere and then, oh joy, those got infected.

So I called the doc and they tell me to bring him in the back door. I arrived and the nurse takes one look at the elephant-type welts on Difficult Child's face and runs screaming for the doctor.

He tells me, "Yes in all likelihood it is indeed Chicken Pox, but just to be on safe side he wants to know 1) Have I heard of Small Pox, and 2.) Has Difficult Child ever been to Mexico or been exposed to persons from Mexico? and 3.)Could I please put on a mask and gloves?

Posted by: gin at January 22, 2007 5:17 PM

Flesh eating bacteria is caused by Strep not Staph. Evil Vet was absent that day in school.

Posted by: Pat at January 22, 2007 11:28 PM

Can't overcome my anal tendencies and i'm SURE you know this, but i think you meant to us "prescribe" where you "proscribe."

Posted by: Jeff at January 23, 2007 2:11 PM