Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not Covered in Med School: Parents Like Me





Brain Injury

But also. . .


Beer drinking

and Zen parenting.

The visit to the nuerologist was per the usual. We covered the basics, but we always ramble off into strange territory when no one is looking. She reminds me of the gals from Coffee Talk with her quick mouth and N’awlins accent. She doesn’t hold anything back, so you don't have to either. You can tell her that you hate a certain doctor, or that you’re not interested in pursuing a course of treatment. Your opinion matters.

First, we get the two residents. At this point I talk to them like residents. I ask them if they’ve read the chart—I like today’s doctor who admitted he’d spent about five minutes with it. I had one come in once and ask me “what brings you here today?” Uhhh, that would be the massive brain bleed and multiple abnormal EEGs; not to mention the instructions to return in four months.

So, I did a lap to cover the back story and then proceeded to fawn over my child’s most recent accomplishments. Go ahead and get it all out when you’re dealing with the students because the “real” doctors are busy and will have very specific questions.

In comes the big doc like a whirlwind. The thing is, she’s so fast-paced that your thoughts get all jumbled and stuff just starts falling out of your mouth. For me, it’s a weird combo of my normal, dumb blonde talk mixed with a recently acquired medical vocabulary. The end result is I say things like: He’s freakishly hyper-reflexive.

I also mentioned that he has a Pavlovian response to stretching since he laughs whenever I do it. He’s so used to the singing that goes with stretching that he giggles even if you leave out the song. The doc finds this hilarious and wants to know what song I sing. Now I’m forced admit that I actually hum the tune to Clementine because I don’t know the words. Even better--now she orders one of the residents to Google the lyrics and print them up for me.

She fiddles with Charlie a bit, taps his knees and elbows and looks at him. She asks about his eye doctor, chides me about finding a new neurosurgeon, and tells the students that I’m the kind of mother who’s in complete control of my child’s treatment. She noticed that he’s doing a pretty good job attending to midline and told me to just keep doing what I’m doing.

We’ve got an EEG scheduled for tomorrow to make sure that he’s not having seizures any more. I told her that I didn’t care about the EEG and she said she completely understood—she just wanted to make sure she wasn’t missing anything. I can understand that, so tomorrow I get to take a cranky, under-fed baby to have electrodes glued to his head. Sweet.