January 23, 2007

The E.V. Strikes Back. Or Out. Or I Strike Him.

I’ve been trying to update what happened and becoming REALLY REALLY SEE RED angry and walking away to foam at the mouth and CLEAN things. I HATE to clean things, but I’ve taken the Comet and gone after the kitchen counter twice now after trying to write the follow up to EVIL VET. I may have even called the counter “Dirty trollop! Dirty trollop!” under my breath as I scrubbed. Oh best beloveds, that there is the sign of a girl gone angry.

On Friday and Saturday , Maisy’s odd illness ended, and she never broke out at all,. She stopped feeling puny and returned to being Maisy. Sambot’s possible pox or Impetigoes darkened and crusted over, which seemed to indicate a modicum of healing was taking place. All seemed well and right in the eyes of the Lord.

On Sunday morning, Sam came downstairs a little after 6 am. I was working in my office, and he walked up behind me and said, “My eye feels funny.”

I turned around and had to fight the urge to scream. His eye was puffed SHUT. The entire right side of his face was lumpen and malformed and angry crimson welts, enraged welts, more like sores, had burst open al over it. BY seven a.m. we were in the ER. Where, incidentally all the computers were down.

There were other people in the waiting room. 4 were drunk. 2 were scary. 2 were actively bleeding. 1 was asleep with a jacket wound around his head to cover his eyes, like a blue velour turban with one sleeve dangling down like a tail. Only one of the drunk people was also one of the scary people. There were six 6 total. It’s like one of those MATH problems where you have to work out how many people are taller than Susan, only with Crabtrees. The only reason there were six instead of thirty was the time of day…

And not to digress but WHY! WHY! WHY is the ER always full of rednecks? Is it a SOCIAL thing with us? I got the GRITS gene and the gene that makes you able to smell a YARD SALE from 50 miles away and head inexorably toward it like a bloodhound (not to BUY things so much as for the illicit pleasures of looking at the people having it and looking at the secret things they’ve unstored from boxes and the backs of closets and then extrapolating their lives from what they think is trash in the dollar bin and what they have hugely overpriced because it has a personal value to them) yeah, next time you have a yard sale, BEWARE OF REDNECKS AND NOVELISTS, we are surely trying to dissect YOU… but I somehow missed the “gather at the ER and catch up with Aunt Polly’s latest divorce news” gene. BUT OH MY BEST BELOVEDS…it was a close thing. I may actually have the ER gene lurking somewhere in my bloodline, just recessive.

ANYWAY, one of the nurses there was a friend from church and after watching 30 minutes of, no, really, TURNER AND HOOCH on TBS, we got taken back to a room. A that point, I went out to the car and mercifully found THE EVIL B.B. CHOW
under the passenger seat.

So I didn’t have to watch Hooch fling drool and Turner fling hyperbole any more, and NOT TO DIGRESS but --- Steve Almond can write him some short stories. I don’t even LIKE short stories, hardly EVER read them, the novel is my first and foremost love and I am generally faithful with maybe a wee dip into narrative non-fic when no one is looking----but wow. Wow. The Evil B.B. Chow ROCKS. I picked it up because I dug Which Brings Me to You , and then got it home and realized it was shorts and never even cracked it…MY BAD MISTAKE.

SEE I am not wanting to tell this next part I am SO SO SO MAD. And I have used up all my blogging time digressing so SHORT VERSION…

The ER doc walks in GLANCES at Sam and says: Contact Dermatitis. This kid has gotten into some poison oak or something.

My head exploded.

1) Sam is HUGLY allergic to poison oak and ivy – that’s in his chart. Which evil vet had RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. It never occurred to him, even though he flat told me he didn’t know WHAT it was.

2) 90% of the red dots were on one side of the body, which ER Vet said is common, almost USUAL for Contact Dermatitis and should have helped an early diagnosis---and EVIL VET even said “Wow its all one side. Weird.”

3) Emergency Vet said if he had been on steroid cream from the day it showed up, he would not have needed to miss ANY school and the welts would be gone by now. NOW it will take a COUPLE OF WEEKS of MISERABLY puffy red itching. The devil wants me to coat some paper in Poison Oak oils and write E.V. a THANKS FOR THE TWO WEEKS OF EXTRA DISCOMFORT note on it…

4) When he asked what EVIL VET had proscribed, and I pulled out the meds, he looked at the VERY EXPENSIVE CREAM that COULD NOT BE GENERIC and that we ABSOLUTELY NEEDED and his eyebrows went up and he looked at me and said, tellingly, “Put this in the trash. You don’t need this. You don’t need this even if it WAS impetigo.” Um. Yeah.

5) LAST but not least, PAT IN THE COMMENTS SAYS “Flesh eating bacteria is caused by Strep not Staph. Evil Vet was absent that day in school.” And the day they did poison oak. And chicken pox. He was, however, NO DOUBT at that steak dinner with 180 dollar a bottle wine the drug rep invited him to….

Posted by joshilyn at January 23, 2007 4:04 AM

Oh sweetie, get those most precious children of yours to another pediatrician.... please.

Posted by: Deb at January 23, 2007 6:09 AM

Pardon my swearing, but CHRIST ON A BICYCLE!!! What kind of doctor can't tell POISON OAK when he sees it and confuses it with either chicken pox or impetigo????????? This probably goes without saying, but do not EVER let your preciouses anywhere near E.V. ever again. I would certainly change practices all together, just to ensure you never have to deal with him. And I'd send a letter to your current practice telling them exactly WHY you're never coming back.

Posted by: JenA at January 23, 2007 7:37 AM

I have this mental image of hordes of commenters descending upon the Walmart practice, ripping Evil Vet from where he cowers next to his cages of tiny bigeyed kittens--
and then scrubbing HIM furiously with Comet all over.
I think this warrants a nasty call/letter to whatever Highest Entity is over that practice, don't you?
hopingHopingHOPING Sam feels better soon.

Posted by: Elena at January 23, 2007 7:38 AM

Dear Joss, I am sorely temped to suggest that you send this post and the previous one to your beloved pediatrician with the stern/vehement/flaming recommendation that he get the h*ll rid of that incompetent ba***** before the practice gets sued over his wanton stupidity!!!!

Can you tell I'm miffed? I don't even have kids and I wanna -- well, do something very rash. I wrote it out here and had to delete it for, um, legal reasons.

Maybe you should turn a couple of rednecks loose on that guy.

Posted by: David at January 23, 2007 8:33 AM

Oh, it is bad indeed when anyone is cleaning-not-blogging in the wee hours. I hope Sam feels better soon, and I am sending you calming thoughts simply so you can marshal your considerable verbal forces into a devastating explanation delivered to your practice as to why they need to get rid of that "doctor."

I hate when others screw up at the expense of my kids. Your kids, too. Anybody's kids, really.

And I feel for Sam. I've had a weeping chewed-up case of poison something-or-other--the doctor wasn't sure WHICH nasty plant, but he did identify it as a PLANT, in any case. Hugs all around.

Posted by: amy at January 23, 2007 8:51 AM

I hate idiot doctors. When my son was in 1st grade I rushed him to the family doctor. He was swollen, red, and itchy everywhere. The doctor diagnosed rheumatic fever and sent me to get tests on his heart. The swelling did not go down and I was calling the dr everyday to make sure this was expected. My son couldn't even walk because his feet were so swollen. After a few days I couldn't stand it anymore and decided to take him back to doctor. Well , he was on vacation. I had to find another doctor to see him. I went in, the doctor looked at my son and said it was an allergic reaction to penicillin. My son ended up missing about 10 days of school. I could have beaten the original doctor.

Posted by: Paula at January 23, 2007 8:58 AM

GAAAHHHHH. Too incoherent with rage on your behalf to form a cohesive thought.

Posted by: Mir at January 23, 2007 8:59 AM

Oh, my sweet bunny slippers, this man should not be allowed near anything with his stethoscope... So, for the love of all that is fuzzy and lawful good: document, document, document. Get all the reports generated from the ER visit. Get copies of all the reports generated from the original doctor visit. Report ALL of this - every little thing down to the parenting comment -- to the head of the practice. COPY THE STATE MEDICAL LICENSING AUTHORITIES, and file a formal complaint, if possible. If you can (though it may be hard, since they are massively overworked, and he might be reluctant to 'tattle') ask if the attending ER doc will write a letter to the practice, as well. If he does, get a copy and send it along to the state board.

Just walking away is easier, but it does nothing to solve the basic problem. It's all well and good to just change practices, but good doctors are hard to find, and quite frankly, shouldn't be. This man shouldn't be practicing on *anyone.* I'm not suggesting you lead the crusade against him, and sue for malpractice -- which would be harder on you that it's worth in the long run, anyway -- but the idea is to make it very clear to the practice that you could, and that therefore this man pretending to be a doctor is a serious liability to them. Finally, reporting everything to the state boards will make the burden of proof easier on the person who finally does sue him, because there will be a record of complaints. Who knows? The way this guy sounds, you probably won't be the first to have filed a complaint.

Posted by: Alix R at January 23, 2007 9:07 AM

Everything Alix R said?


If he hasn't already, he's going to damage someone permanently with his incompetence. And his patients are too young to report him themselves!

I'm all up in high dudgeon myself now.

Posted by: momadigan at January 23, 2007 9:32 AM

I think the rednecks are showing their own brand of intelligence. They know ER doctors are better than regular doctors.

Be very afraid. My husband regularly fails students in Org. Chem. who go on to medical school and become practicing physicians. It's so bad I've been tempted to ask to see a doctor's undergrad transcripts before committing to a practice.

Otherwise, seek out doctors who are also faculty members at good medical schools. Those are the keepers.

The best bet for exacting revenge on EV is word of mouth. Medical malpractice isn't what it should be. I knew someone who had non-disolving stitches put in after her C-section. Not only did she have several miscarriages as a result, she had to have major stomach surgery to fix it. They sued, but they didn't even get her medical expenses covered because they couldn't prove whether it was the nurse or the Ob/Gyn who picked out the sutures. The ones that were used were the toughest they make; the same ones they use to reattach tendons and ligaments. Not an easy mistake to make.

It may be too late, but that Tecnu stuff has helped my outbreaks of poison ivy from spreading accidently and you can put it in the washing machine with his clothes and sheets and stuff.

I hope he's feeling better and y'all are able to stay chilly.

Posted by: Sabra at January 23, 2007 10:01 AM

Oh, honey. How awful! I feel for you. I can't imagine how enraged you are. The only bright spot (well, it's not a bright spot at all not that I think of it) but at least you have the means to get the word out about this to your friends and anyone who you marginally like there in the area. I'll be thinking of you!

Posted by: Keetha at January 23, 2007 10:09 AM

Please, PLEASE tell me you're going to tell your regular pediatrician about all this! The EV needs to be gone from their practice sooner than soonest. Actually the EV needs to have his medical license yanked. Gaaahhhh!!!!!

Posted by: DebR at January 23, 2007 10:14 AM

GRRRRRRRRR. That bastard needs to be taken DOWN. I hope you'll take Alix R's advice and document what happened and report him to your pediatrician. He is a VERY VERY BAD MAN.

Posted by: Aimee at January 23, 2007 10:50 AM

Ditto Alix. Despite the fact these giant practices THINK they have you at their mercy, they don't. Have it put in your charts that your kids are NOT to see E.V. as you have had a number of disturbing interactions with him. Speak to the head doc and admin. of the practice. If the gate keepers don't want to let you talk to head doc, call after hours when he's on-call and HAS to call you back. Bottom line, it's your kid's health- you are the CEO and they are your employees, you tell them what it scceptable, not the other way around.

Posted by: Chris at January 23, 2007 11:41 AM

I'm with Alix - and everyone else - on this one. Don't let him victimize another helpless patient who paid him for help. The state boards are powerful, but word of mouth is even more so. Do both.

Posted by: Cele at January 23, 2007 11:46 AM

Evil Vet is a dick among dicks. You should definitely speak to your pediatrician about it, and also have them make a note in your kids' files that under no circumstances is he to treat your children for so much as a hangnail. I'd also find out what organization or board you can file a complaint with. I'm sure a lengthy paper trail of his incompetence will be necessary before anyone does anything about it, sadly.

And whoever mentioned word of mouth is right, also. You should tell your pediatrician you'll be spreading the word over hill and dale. I'm willing to bet the notion of that story spreading through mom's clubs, church and carpool drop off like, I don't know... POISON OAK will have more of an effect than anything else.

Posted by: Laura at January 23, 2007 12:04 PM

I thought/hoped there would be a central website for folks to share such stories so as to protect others. Sadly, everything that I found was too "help us doctors help you" and not enough "help your neighbors avoid those of us who should have our digits sown together and then be beaten with panty hose filled w/ mangos by everyone we've ever failed utterly as physicians." (dot.com) But I can't agree enough about Alix's feedback - hopefully you wouldn't be the first person who will have complained. Heck, you could be the proverbial nail in the paperwork coffin! (be the nail! be the nail! That could be your call to arms!)

Posted by: Femtastic at January 23, 2007 1:05 PM

How DOES one go from poison oak (a common childhood malady) to FLESH EATING BACTERIA?!?!?!?

Seriously, run to the phone and call your regular pediatrician to rat on what this cook is doing to THEIR patients. We had this problem at the school, and we were looking to fire a teacher for problems we were having with her, but we couldn't catch her in the act saying or doing anything improper in the classroom. Wouldn't you know that at the end of the year my phone started ringing with parents complaining about what their kids heard in class that year? I can't fix it six months later and would have sent said teacher out on her bum had I been given the info sooner . . .

Perhaps the group is looking for a situation just like yours to boot E.V. out on his grossly incompetent backside.

Posted by: Michelle at January 23, 2007 1:54 PM

It's the "proscribe" "prescribe" thing again. Sorry. Still like you though.

Posted by: Jeff at January 23, 2007 2:19 PM

1)Everything Mir said (plus a little !@*%#&! of my own)
2)Everything Alix said (please, please, go after this !*&%#$! and then blog about it)
3)What Aimee said, about him being a VERY BAD MAN
4)I'm so sorry, Tulip...lots of love and quick healing to Sam...:(

Posted by: Amy-Go at January 23, 2007 2:31 PM

How close do you live to the ocean? Close enough? Is it warm enough to jump into? Even for a teensy bit? Because, and I AM NOT A DOCTOR, but that said, I've "prescribed" OCEAN - Rinse, repeat - to a number of poison oak sufferers and all have thanked me and promised me their firstborn children for the relief it gave them. (although I suppose, depending on the age of the child, getting rid of the first born might have also been a relief to some of them) But I digress. If the ocean is ridiculously far away, salt water bath can give some relief, but for some reason not anywhere near the same as OCEAN.

Posted by: Laume at January 23, 2007 3:09 PM

I think this is most definitely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, certainly the time for a Strongly Worded Letter to the E.V.'s boss. And on the cc that you send to E.V. you can coat all of the Poison Oak in all of the land, and I think even Jesus himself would say, well done Joss.

Posted by: Angela at January 23, 2007 4:39 PM

I'm so sorry about all of this. Poor itchy boy.

Posted by: Sueb0b at January 23, 2007 5:09 PM

Oh, poor, poor baby. That goes for both you and Sam. I'm really obnoxiously allergic to poison ivy, oak and sumac, too (I get the rash if I LOOK at the dern stuff), and salt water is some GOOD stuff - but if he's scratched the spots open, it hurts like HECK. Oatmeal baths, baby, that's where it's at. Plus, the squishy is fun when you're a kid.

Hope everyone's doing better soon. And major ditto on what Alix said.

Posted by: Elizabeth at January 23, 2007 7:26 PM

I've come late to the party. . .so ditto, ditto, ditto. . .we could probably ALL help you to write that letter. . .

Posted by: Roxanne at January 23, 2007 8:49 PM

Poor kid, y'all have my sympathy and empathy. When I was his age, I was immune to poison ivy/oak/sumac. A couple of years ago, I learned the hard way that I was not only allergic now, but shockingly so. I end up on steriods, because just the tiniest contact (second hand from the dogs) goes wild and spreads like Kudzu in the summer.

Posted by: Rissa at January 23, 2007 10:58 PM

I am praying that E.V., very soon, will go to the doctor with a sore throat and be told that he needs a colonoscopy. And then have to have three or four more just to be sure that what they see up there are actually his brains.

Because clearly, that is where he carries them.

Posted by: Angela at January 24, 2007 8:57 AM

Wow--all my sympathies and all my agreement with everything everybody has said. I can just hear and feel your fury (partially, of course, because you express it so clearly!), but also because we just went through this with my husband's bicycle accident and the hospital in our area you supposedly "want" to go to for trauma. Trauma, maybe, anything else--nada. (It's on my blog.)

We live in hills of poison oak and I wish I could give you any cures we've found. The only thing I can come up with is WASH EVERYTHING HE HAS TOUCHED. The first batch my son got, we washed the clothes and the sheets and all that, but it kept coming back until we thought of...his watch!
(Same son is convinced your EV did all this on purpose, BTW.)

Good luck! At least now you know the only life-threatening thing around is your next phone call to EV.

Posted by: Becky Levine at January 24, 2007 7:45 PM

I'm so sorry. Did you by chance get the "litigious redneck" gene? If not, you deserve a mega Chocolate Martini. Right now.

And yes, Steve Almond is delicious. I lurve every word he write. EVERY ONE! I don't typically read non-fiction, but Candy Freak was one of my top ten books last year. It is the BEST non-fiction book ever written!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at January 24, 2007 9:31 PM