Life Starts Now.

Living each day to the fullest, because we know first-hand just how fragile life can be.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

on surgery

Harder to put on paper than it is to bring up in conversation, I know nothing about eyes.  I know what doctors have told me about Joel's, that the first doctor we went to badly needed to retire, and that Dr. Baxstrom is an optometrist and not an opthamologist...and there is apparently a difference.  A big difference.  And after moving down here to Oregon, I'm finding out very quickly that some doctor's offices treat OHP patients differently than those privately insured.

The original plan was to continue with the eye therapy that Baxstrom laid out for us.  His progress as of now is at somewhat of a plateau.  Our time spent doing eye exercises has decreased.  Our time spent wearing the glasses has decreased.  And other areas of his physical development have gone through the roof....sometimes kids only want to work in one area at a time.

After being referred to a local Opthamologist, we were told once again that Joel needed surgery.  Most of what this doctor said contradicted what Dr. Baxstrom had discussed with us.  When I had questions, I tried to keep emotion out of it, but I think it was obvious that I was frustrated.  I want Joel's eyes to be fixed.  I don't need a pissing match between doctors.  During the question/answering session, I caught a few snide remarks from the assisting nurse in the room.  At one point, she literally laughed out loud when I asked a question about info that didn't sound right to me.  I asked her to leave the room, and the doc and I had a one on one conversation about the nurse's behavior and the differences in information I had received from the other two eye doctors we've seen.  Before I left, Dr. Schultz made the remark, "She was only reacting that way because she sees these questions every day.......She doesn't understand that you're not the typical OHP mom.  You're beautiful, and you're a great mom for Joel.  Thanks for being patient with us." 

Umm, was that supposed to be a compliment?  At what point in my appointment was any of our conversation about my insurance?  What does my insurance have to do with the way I am to be treated by health professionals? 

I scheduled the surgery for Joel.  And I'm cancelling it tomorrow morning.  After talking with a friend I think it's pretty obvious I need yet another opinion on Joel's eye...and if this new doctor decides Joel needs surgery, then so be it.  I just want this over with, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let someone operate on my son who can't even conduct himself or his office in a professional manner.


  1. Sounds like the office staff is very unprofessional. It doesn't matter if they hear the same questions 100 times a day, if you ask them then you deserve to have them answered, respectfully and honestly. You are not the other parents asking the questions.

    The comment about not being a typical OHP parent was uncalled for. He is referring to the stereotype of what a family on OHP is and no one deserves to be judged based on their insurance. That was one of the things I absolutely hated about my foster kids being on medi-cal - the stereotyping and attempt to treat them differently because of it.

    I hope you can get some concrete answers from doctors who care more about the patient than the money they are making.

  2. I think you made a good call there. If they cannot conduct themselves in a professional, empathetic manner in the office, Lord knows how the rest of their care is! I will be praying for God's leading and that the next doctor (and staff) are instantly recognized by you to be the perfect choice!

  3. You are absolutely right! Any doctor worth anything will think of the patient first and money last! It should not even be a consideration where you stand socially as to how you are treated! I won't get on my soap box about the medical industry, but excellent choice and keep fighting for what is right for Joel. Maybe if more people stood up to these types of unprofessional medical establishments things would change. THank you for being courageous! Love you.

  4. Kari, my blood was boiling by the time I finished reading your blogg. I am ashamed to say that I belong to the same profession that the office nurse does. You have every right to get a 2nd 3rd or 4th opinion and go with the one you feel comfortable with. Joel did not make it this far without your undying dedication for his well being. As well I would take it one step farther and report the MD and RN to the professional board. But then that's just me Hope all goes well Miss you guys Sherri