Thursday, March 19, 2009

Unsettled or How Big Is Your Ego Anyways?

If you have been following along on this crazy train, you will remember that on Friday Feb 13 I tried to get in to see Matthew's surgeon to talk to him about seeing Dr Dobbs.

Guess who called my late yesterday afternoon? Yup, only 4 1/2 weeks after trying to speak with him, he called. Seems he just received the referral letter that I wanted to speak with him about seeing Dr Dobbs. He apologized and gave me a number for his secretary so in the future I can get a hold of him a lot sooner.

That concluded the nice part of the conversation. The next thing he said to me was "What hat did you pull this name out of?" It went downhill fast after that.

To summarize the conversation, basically he feels I am searching for a Ponseti trained doctor for a second opinion and that I have gone 'internet shopping' (his exact words). He feels I should have come to him and he could refer me to a better doctor, either the one that he works with (Ummmm, how is it a second opinion if it is your colleague?) or one in Seattle. That Dobbs is good, but not the best.

That was hard to hear. This is the man that I have trusted with my son's problems for six years. To have a professional tell me that I have not found the best doctor was hard to hear. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, maybe I have jumped into this with my eyes closed, maybe I should just make an appointment and have Matthew seen by his doctor again.

Professionals can yield a lot of power over a desperate mother.

The call did end on a somewhat positive note. He told me that if I did seek a second opinion (No, I didn't say we were going, I didn't get much time to talk and I was in a bit of shock) that I should make sure I send his file. I was able to say that I was not unhappy with his current care, but that I wanted to make sure that there wasn't something else out there that could be done. He did say he understood that I need to be Matthew's advocate and that if I need to talk to give him a call.

Sheesh. Talk about feeling unsettled.

Then I spoke with my husband. Funny, I was unsettled and unsure of what to do after the conversation. My husband on the other hand said the conversation left him feeling more sure about what we were doing then ever before. He said that most likely it was ego talking.

I had to go over in my mind the things I am not happy with here.

1. I have been asking for physio for Matthew since 2007. His surgeon keeps telling me to this day that it is unnecessary.
2. His surgeon explained Matthew's surgery to us but never once mentioned the possibility of bone surgery. He did that without us knowing.
3. He doesn't want to see Matthew until June. He seems to be waiting to do more surgery rather then prevent or prolong it.

And then I checked my email. A mom from the US with a son with neuromuscular clubfoot was asking what shoes/AFO's to go with a brace. Here in Canada, I was not given options so unfortunately I was no help. She emailed her son's doctor (Dr Dobbs) and found out he is in Hawaii on vacation. She thought she would have to wait awhile for a response. She didn't. He emailed her back from his vacation with the answer she was looking for. Amazing.

Thank you, that helped me so much. I do believe that this is a great doctor despite what I heard yesterday.

10 days and counting.


Jennifer said...

That is unsettling. I agree with your husband, it sounds like he just doesn't like that you went looking for answers elsewhere. The way I look at it, you are trying out another option for Matthew. You are going to just meet with a doctor and see how his care feels to you. I am sure that your instincts are the best judge here. You could always get the name of the Dr. in Seattle and compare your own notes. But I think your choices to this point have been bang on. Jo-Ann you are doing the right thing {hug} Call if you need to talk!

Allie said...

I agree with your husband, you are doing the right thing getting the second opinion, your Matthew's mom and it's your right! I think I've mentioned it before but Riley's ortho is friends with Dr. Dobbs and he speaks very, very highly of him. In fact he told usat the beginning if we got into treatment and he was no longer qualified to treat Riley he would send us to Dobbs and we've even said that if we got to the point where we needed a second opinion we would go see Dr Dobbs. Hang in there, I'm sure you will feel better once you see him!

Mama J. said...

What a tough conversation...follow your instincts... you know what is best for Matthew.

I agree with does sound like his ego is talking.


Always A Party..... said...

Wow I can't believe a doctor would talk to you like that. I'm with Craig, that conversation would want me to get a second opion even more.

Big hugs to you Joanne it will all work out in the end.

TMI Tara said...

I'm grateful you got that email. You are definitely doing the right thing. Go with your gut and keep doing what you're doing - keeping the best interest of your son at heart. The right things will happen.

Anonymous said...

Oh Joann, I'm so glad hearing that Dobbs email gives you reassurance that you are on the right track here! When I told my friend that Dobbs emailed me from Hawaii less than 24 hours after I emailed him she said, she was not surprised. And I was shocked to hear her say that. She simply said, you picked that doctor not only for his expertise, but because he treats you as an equal in decisions about your son's care. And she's right. Not alot of doctors do that! And when you have a child with a "rare" clubfoot you have to be the advocate. Dobbs is not perfect, he is human afterall, but the peace I felt after my first visit with him is undescribable! To find someone who was educated on this type of CF and truly cared about me and my son is amazing! Who may not agree with the everything Dobbs says, that's for you to decide as a mother...BUT YOU WILL NOT REGRET GETTING A 2ND OPINION FROM HIM! :) Jamie

Sue said...

Oooohhhh ... you're so right -- a "desperate mother" does NOT need to have a conversation like that! I am so sorry. But you know, if you take your emotions out of it, step back, and just look at how amazing these last several weeks have been -- how the path has just unfolded, how doors previous unknown to you have suddenly opened up wide ... yes, you ARE doing the right thing. Trust that!

Praying for you -- that you'll have that extra measure of strength to hold on to your resolve and keep moving forward. Hang in there -- I just can't wait to see how all this unfolds! :)

Jaye @ said...

Whoa, I agree with your hubby. It's your son, of course you want to everything you can for him. What an icky conversation with your doctor! :(