I am not crazy, but that’s exactly how my family doctor is making me feel.
You know the look? The one where they’re sort of listening to you but at the same time it feels like they’re about to write in their notes ‘she’s a crazy one‘. That’s exactly how he made me feel this past week.
I feel ignored. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I’m getting stalled, diverted and end up believing I’m just wasting everyone’s time. It doesn’t feel like he’s been taking me serious and I’m starting to wonder if I need to look for a new doctor.
I don’t see my doctor often. Usually it’s just once per year when I need to renew my referral for T (that’s the only way I get coverage through my work my benefits). I don’t take my kids very often either. The last time my oldest son was in his office was 2015 (and that was for a vaccination). My tiny one goes a bit more, but it’s because he gets really bad colds and still that’s usually only once a year.
I don’t abuse the system. I’m not on any medication. I barely take Tylenol. I feel like when I do make appointments the least he could do is pay attention, try to help me out and make me feel a little less overwhelmed.
But it feels like I’m just a huge inconvenience for him. Over the last year there was the situation of the rash (here)…which still isn’t resolved, the dizziness with a quick diagnosis of an ‘ear thing’ without any tests whatsoever (here) and now earlier this week when I went to him about my son.
I feel absolutely stonewalled.
If T says something like that, it’s important, so I booked an appointment with my doctor for this past Tuesday. I went into his office, told him everything that has been going on and also told him that T suggested I should get my son referred to a psychiatrist. I mentioned his previous diagnosis through SickKids and the counselling we had done back in 2015 through our local child and family services. I told him I had managed okay for a really long time, but it’s getting to the point where I just can’t deal with it any more and I need his help.
This is what he talked about:
He wanted to know if he had the information from family services and SickKids. How would I know that? I don’t know what’s in the chart. I told him that I would have given his name as a family doctor and would have authorized them to send him a copy of the final report. He said he would check to find out if he had it
‘What do you do when he’s getting angry?’ he asked. I told him I can’t do anything–you can’t talk to him and you can’t be near him when he’s like that. “But what do you do?” he asked again. I could feel myself getting defensive. I don’t scream or hit my kids if that’s what he was implying. What did he want me to say? ‘Well on an easier day I just let things calm down and then talk to him about it. But on a really bad day I lock myself in the bathroom and either cut or burn myself. On a really, really bad day I think about how I’m going to kill myself‘. We weren’t there to discuss my coping skills and besides I have T for that.
He wanted me to make an appointment to bring my son in so he could make sure there was nothing physically wrong with him (I thought that was a bit ridiculous but whatever, he’s the expert).
He told me I had to try to contact our local child and family services again and see if they could work with us again (I told him I already contacted them and was waiting for a call-back, but it’s taking forever).
Finally, after doing all of those things, if nothing worked, he told me he would see if he could refer us.
I walked out of the office feeling defeated but I had an appointment booked for Thursday at 11:30 am with my son.
I saw T on Wednesday. I’m pretty sure he’s totally pissed at my family doctor. He said it’s my right to get a referral for my son. He also made an awesome sarcastic remark on the whole physical exam ‘What’s a physical exam going to do? Oh, so he bumped his big toe and he’s angry about it. That must be the problem’. Have I ever mentioned that I love T?
Then, yesterday morning (before the doctor), I got a call back from family services. The questions always make me nervous (are child services involved, does the father live with you, does the father have access, are there restrictions etc.) but the lady was nice and went over the various services that might be available:
Tuesday walk-in clinics. They run from 11-7 and you go in, talk with a counsellor about one particular issue, they’ll give you a few resources and then you go home. You can go back every Tuesday but you aren’t going to get the same counsellor, you need to have a different issue and if there are too many people you may not get any help. That didn’t really sound like a good option to me.
Single therapy sessions. Similar to above in structure. You never get the same person twice and they are very limited.
Employee Assistance Program. She suggested I check with my EAP through work to see if they could help. I didn’t think they dealt with children, but we recently switched to Health Canada so I’m definitely looking into that as an option.
Update our intake information from the last time we worked with them, they’ll screen him and place him with the appropriate programs (tele-psychiatry, counselling, group therapy etc.). I told her that’s the one that I want and asked if I could make an appointment. Unfortunately their computers were down (the stars are not aligning for me) but she promised she would call me back. It only appears to be a couple of weeks to get in to update the information. Not sure how long afterwards to access services though.
Now I’m just waiting for her to call me back. It’s only been a day but it kind of feels like this….
So, after the phone call I picked my son up at school and we headed to the doctor.
As soon as my doctor walked in I asked him if he had checked to see if he received the information from back in 2015. He opens my son’s chart and tells me he has it. I can see the letterhead SickKids Psychiatry Department across the top and it’s a report from them. He didn’t seem to care much about it and closed the chart.
He checked my son’s hearing, his eyes, took his blood pressure, height and weight and proceeded to tell me he is 100% physically fine (apparently you need a medical license to confirm what I already knew). He then asked me if I had called back family services. I told him yes and they’re going to update the intake forms and see what they can do. He replied ‘I think that’s the best thing‘ as he was walking out the door.
What a waste of my time! He’s basically refusing to give me the referral until we see what these services can do for us.
I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of being told that I need to be patient. I’m sorry dear doctor, but if there is a diagnosis from one of the top children’s hospitals in the country (and maybe the world) it means something and I am NOT CRAZY for asking you to help.
I think I need to find a new doctor….or go on medication….or possibly both.