“He’s just not that into you.”

17 Dec

Yesterday, we took Maura to see a new neurologist.  I made the appointment back in the summer, when we were having all the troubles getting an EEG done.  I was feeling less than enamored with the children’s hospital and another mom told me to try a different hospital.

“It’ll be great!” she said.  “They see you right away!  There’s offices on this side of the lake! They really listen!”

So I called.

Their first available was October.

Well…okay.  We continued with the children’s hospital, got the EEG finally done, weaned Maura off meds, went back for a check up, all while waiting for the October appointment…which got cancelled last minute by the hospital and had to be rescheduled for December.

For those playing the home game, that was five months later.  So in the “They’ll see you right away!” category, they failed.

I also didn’t get to stay on this side of the lake.  Again. for home game players, the Seattle area is sort of divided up in two parts – Seattle and Eastside, with a big lake, a couple bridges and tons of traffic separating the two.  We’re Eastsiders.  I hate traffic.  I like not having to cross the bridge for things like medical appointments.  I will say, the children’s hospital has managed to keep us on this side of the area.

The new hospital…”Okay, so we’ll see you at the Seattle campus.”


So we picked up Maura early from school yesterday to finally take her to this appointment.  The original reasons for going – the EEG and medicine weaning – were no longer issues.  But I thought maybe, just maybe, we’d find someone who could look at Maura differently.  Who’d be interesting in her case.

We didn’t get that.

We did get to wait…and wait a little bit more.  Not a horrendous amount of wait time, but more than we’ve had in a while.  The doctor finally came in, and it started off well.  He tried chatting with Maura, asking her name, how old she was, about school.  Maura answered a few things.

But then it was a lot of “Well, she’s got what she’s got, there’s no changing that, you need to accept things.” and “Well, let me explain seizures to you.”

Um…wait.  Did I just turn back time about seven years?  It felt like I was getting the “new to this” speech for parents.

I tried explaining how when Maura first started seizure meds, we saw a huge leap in her skills.  He said “Oh, that was probably a coincidence.” and explained that a big leap in development like that would have only happened if she was having multiple seizures a day, not the occasional one.  When we tried to explain that no, it really was significant, he insisted that what we saw was just a coincidence.

So I mentioned how with her first EEG, it showed seizure activity even though she was acting normal.  He also poo-poo’ed that, that it wasn’t what we thought, that something like that would be very rare.

Hi, meet Maura.

At that point, I felt deflated.  Once again, we had waited all this time for an appointment only to be told that coming there was sort of pointless, just accept she’ll never have a diagnosis, it wouldn’t change anything anyway.  He came in with this speech almost rehearsed.  It honestly felt that way to me.

I wish sometimes that when I call for these sorts of appointments, they would just be honest.  “We’re not that interested in your child. We can’t help you.”  It would save me two hours of sitting around the office.  Also, I dislike the “I’ve just met you, I’ve read part of her file, but I know more than the doctor who ran the tests and saw her every few months for three years before the test was run and watched her grow and develop.”

Instead, we got yet another brush off.  Except he would like to see us in 8-10 months.  I’m not sure why.  I don’t know if I’ll follow up with him – if Maura’s not having seizures and there’s no reason to pursue a diagnosis. why bother?

It’s just a bit tiring, to go to specialists who just aren’t that into you.  I’m a bit over it.


8 Responses to ““He’s just not that into you.””

  1. franhunne4u December 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    Don’t go. A doctor is a person you have to be able to trust. If you don’t, change the doctor.

  2. Andrea Anderson December 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Oh my mama heart understands!!! My daughter has a myriad of diagnoses most of which are rare and not understood or easily classified. Even in a children’s hospital.

  3. sleepymotherof4 December 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Hate those doctors. We’ve had a doctor who told us our daughter was an FLK – “funny looking kid” and another doctor who made us wait 3 hours just to read us the bone density report, that her assistant had already read to us. You think the seizure meds had something to do with a leap in her skills – find another doctor who will listen to you.

  4. Lynn S December 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Is there any other Dr. you can see? I would want to see someone who was willing to listen. It can’t be that uncommon because my son’s story is the same. After his first big seizure event (complex partial) the EEG showed seizure activity while he was looking and acting just fine. We also saw amazing improvement when he started on seizure meds in all areas. It was funny going to speech, OT, and physio and getting the high fives and the “you guys have been working so hard” talk and then have to admit that we had been doing less, we just drugged him better.

    • phoebz4 December 17, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      We have been seeing a different neurologist. We’ll stick with him, even though we’re not thrilled with the hospital system he’s with and their $250 “facility fee” per visit (that isn’t covered by insurance.)

  5. ksus December 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    please send a copy of this blog entry to the doctor you saw. maybe he will actually read it and spend some time thinking about what happened and how he can improve so that patients will get more of his expertise and be less frustrated with him and his meeting with them. i think sometimes they get so used to seeing the same problems over and over……to the parents these problems are unique, to him they are all so much alike.

    it has to be so easy for a doctor to become complacent without even realizing it, and as your experience showed, complacency is not only frustrating for the parent but can be dangerous when he is diagnosing his patients. i think that it is beneficial to the doctor, as well as to his patients, when someone gives him a wake-up call and says, “hey, you need to be interested in your work again! you are not doing the best you can do anymore. some cases are different and they are your chance to explore and learn, they are your chance to potentially help someone and do for them what so other doctor has been able to do.”

    • Carol C December 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

      I agree. Send him a copy of the blog post – maybe include the comments – but don’t make the second appointment. If you have another neurologist, stick with him.

  6. nanis December 17, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    I say, don’t bother going. A doctor who doesn’t care will never be good for you. Keep trying, but not with him.

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