We’ve never really had a specific paed as such. When Ethan was a newborn, we took him to the paed a few times – for his first checkup, when he had a rash that we were worried about and to discuss his breathing that was also a concern – but soon afterwards, my cousin suggested that we find somewhere “cheaper” for his general checkups instead of being overcharged by a paed at each visit. And so, somehow (my memory fails me as to where we came across her), we found a nurse at a private clinic close by to my work and we’ve never looked back. I’ve visited Larraine at Immunotots for all my checkups with both kids and got their injections there as well. She’s like that long lost aunty that every time you see, you can chat to her like you saw her just yesterday even if you saw her months before. I trust her wholeheartedly with my children and I’d really highly recommend her to anybody looking for a nurse.
At any rate, I digress. Toward the end of last year, Ethan got really ill. I remember having to rush him to the ER on a Friday afternoon and the ER referring me the only paed who was still open and that’s how we ended up at Dr O (let’s call him Dr O jnr for the purpose of this blogpost). Co-incidentally, this paed is in partnership with the paed who initially saw Ethan at birth who we really really didn’t like. I liked Dr O jnr a lot and felt very comfortable with his diagnosis. I remember telling the hubster that I’d definitely take the kids back to him if the need ever arose to see a paed again.
When Riley was born, Dr T was there for the delivery. My gynae actually works with both Dr O (the older one – the one who we don’t like) and Dr T, and when I was given a choice, I said anybody but Dr O. As luck would have it, when it was time for myself and Riley to be discharged, Dr T had left for December holidays and so Dr O jnr was there to give the sign off for Riley to go. He asked how Ethan was doing which caught me totally off guard. We’d seen him once ever and he remembered him. Immediate kudos in my book 🙂
For Riley’s first checkup and injections, we took him to Immunotots – once again, bypassing the paed. Then Riley got sick and no amount of advice from Larraine (via Wassap nogal) seemed to be working. As he was so young (all of 7/8weeks), I decided to take him straight to a paed instead of to a regular GP. So I him to Dr T, got some meds, and we carried on.
Then about a month ago, we decided to go and get some extra tests done for Ethan and I decided that seeing as I was happy with Dr O jnr when we last saw him in November last year, I’d take him there for a checkup and to get advice on the further tests. I discussed my concerns with him and the reasons for taking the tests and he fully agreed that we should proceed. We needed to get a 24-hour EEG done and an MRI. He told me to call the medical aid just to check that it would be covered and as soon as we were happy to proceed, I should phone him and let him know.
A few weeks later, I called his office and was told by the receptionist that he’d be going on leave for the following three weeks so we were more than welcome to go ahead with the tests, but that the older Dr O would be overseeing everything. In a nutshell, I wasn’t completely happy with that, but we didn’t want to delay doing the tests so we decided to proceed irrespective of which paed would be there to oversee them.
Our first step was to call the medical aid for authorisation. When we called them, they needed specific procedural codes so naturally, we called the paed’s office to ask for these. They advised that they had no codes and that I should call the hospital. So of course, I called the hospital and the hospital said they don’t keep codes, the paed must have them. So back to the paed’s office who said they’ve never ever had to give anybody codes ever. I found it quite strange because surely the doctor himself would have to advise on the exact procedure he wants and therefore allocate the codes – that’s what my gynae did for both my deliveries?! Anyway…the receptionist gave me the number for the lady who does the EEG scans and so I called her myself. She then referred me to her office – the receptionist was really helpful and even called the medical aid herself to provide all the information for the authorisation. That’s, at a bear minimum, what I thought the paed’s office would do! In addition, she forwarded me the e-mail confirming the procedure and the authorisation as well!
In the meantime, I was trying to get the MRI details sorted. By this time, I was fuming! The paed’s office had told me to call the radiology department at the hospital myself. I called them only to be asked exactly which type and what the paed wanted to do the scan for. Of course I didn’t have the specifics – that’s what the paed was there for surely??? So I had to call the paed’s office for the hundredth time and yup, you guessed it, they didn’t know. Plus the doctor was in surgery all morning – he was unable to talk to me until the afternoon – and we were scheduled to go in to the hospital the following morning for all of this. I told her that she should get the paed to call me back urgently. A few hours later, she (the receptionist) called (four times in one minute as if I were the one holding things up…arrgghhh) only to pass on what the paed said. I couldn’t even speak to him myself! One of the questions that I had was whether my child would have to be sedated for the MRI. The reason I actually asked this was because on the EEG form, it had mentioned sedation. When I asked at the radiology department, they said that at Ethan’s age, he would most certainly need some form of sedation and that I should ask my paed about it.
Wait for it…when the paed’s office called back…the receptionist told me that the paed said he’d probably need it and that I should………………CALL.AN.ANAETHETIST.TO.ARRANGE…have you ever??!!!! I mean, firstly, I don’t know any anaesthetist personally so who was I supposed to call to arrange? Secondly, when were they going to mention this?? And thirdly, what type of sedation were we talking about here???
Thanks to the advice from my mama bear, we ended up calling the tests off for the next day completely. Needless to say, the paed wanted to be told when we went in for the tests so that he could come down to the ward. He wouldn’t need to do anything at all but pop by. And you can bet your bottom dollar – he would have charged his whopping bill of R1,200 plus just for that.
Once again I say, these specialists…hmmmm…sometimes I wonder if this is all, for the most part, just a money making thing!!