Time, Place and Delivery

I want to tell you two different stories about two different groups of medical professionals asking about Big Cutie’s Walkaide device in two different settings.

And of course, give you my thoughts.

At Big Cutie’s last doctor’s appointment she wore a skirt.  Because she got the Walkaide while we were living in Japan, and it’s covered up most of the year under pants or leggings when she’s colder, people don’t notice it or forget about it.  So this was likely the first time her pediatrician saw it.

Dr Z was greeting both of us and stopped dead in her tracks and here is what she said ~

Big Cutie – wait!  what is that really cool looking thing on your leg I’ve never seen before?

And Big Cutie told her it’s a Walkaide she wears instead of a DAFO.  And in response~

I have to know all about this.  I LOVE when my patients teach me new things!  Would it be OK if I go grab my medical students from the other room so they can learn too and you can teach all of us about this? 

And Big Cutie sat and taught them all about her Walkaide.  Took it on and off so they could see the electrodes inside.  Put it in exercise mode so they could watch it flick her foot back and forth and everyone oohed and aahed and Big Cutie was large and in charge and everyone learned something nice that day about pediatric strokes.

And I was reminded of all the many reasons why I think our pediatrician is just about the coolest bestest most wonderful doctor ever.

Fast forward to yesterday.

Big Cutie and I were at our local nursery looking at plants for the backyard for me to eventually kill.  {I mean why even kid myself.}

When she tripped on the asphalt, ripping a fairly large flap off the front of her big toe.  I tend to be the kind of Mom who grabs a half empty water bottle floating around the back of the car, pours it on the injury and finds a bandaid floating around the bottom of my purse to slap on it and consider us good to go.

Except this time my Mom Radar went off that that wouldn’t do and we drove to Urgent Care thinking she might need stitches.

And not one, not two, but three different medical professionals who met Big Cutie during intake and examination made comments like this~

What’s that thing?

Why do you wear it?  What does it do?

So wait, you had a stroke AND you have CP?  Anything else?

All of this of course before we knew what was up with her injury.

And when Big Cutie gave accurate but brief answers, there were a lot of looks to me.

I understand triage.  I do.  They needed her medical history to properly treat her and that’s fine.  It was Urgent Care and we weren’t developing relationships.  That’s fine. No one actually rude or disrespectful, but it was different.

What wasn’t fine, was the expectation that this was the time and place for Big Cutie or me to stop and educate the staff about Walkaide and/or Pediatric Strokes.

I had a daughter who was hurt and scared about the prospective of her first stitches (not needed, thankfully, but still some icky debriding and bandaging).  And I was a worried and stressed Mom trying to keep my daughter at ease.

So that day our priority was being a patient and a parent.  Not educators and advocates.

Something to think about, especially if you happen to work in the medical field.

This entry was posted in Ordinary Days I Love and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Time, Place and Delivery

  1. Joanna Robertson says:

    How sad to keep an injured child & a stressed Mom waiting just to fulfill their curiosity. Medical care should come first & answers later.

  2. Cute Grandma says:

    Wow! Just read this and learned about Big Cutie’s toe injury. Hope all is better, and professionals who need to read this, have!

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