Thursday, January 15, 2015

Put My Foot Down

I had a bit of a frustrating morning advocating for Tehilla and it didn't really end positively.

If you remember, Tehilla was having high blood pressure, so as a precautionary measure, her cardiologist requested that we check her kidneys to make sure there wasn't anything going on. We were supposed to take her for a lot of blood tests to check her kidney function and to take her for two different kinds of ultrasounds.

The ultrasounds can only be done at a hospital because of the kind of test that was requested. The earliest appointment is next month, so we are waiting for that.

The blood tests we took care of right away. We took her to our local clinic and had her blood drawn. Most of her results came back completely fine and within the normal ranges. However there was a problem with two results due to the Potassium test that was done. I know an awful lot about hearts, but in this area, I'm not as fluent. What I know is that the test was not successfully done, because of something to do with Tehilla's tiny and very difficult veins.

Our doctor sent us to redo the test. The lab technician that we went to, was the same as the first blood test and he happens to be excellent. I have watched Tehilla have well over 200 IVs and blood tests done, and I will call myself an expert in knowing when someone is good at drawing Tehilla's blood. She has incredible challenging veins and often "expert" doctors are requested to come to draw her blood and are still unsuccessful. It results in her being poked somewhere between 5-8 times. It's horrible and traumatic for her.

Anways, back to my story...we went back to this lab technician that I consider to be excellent- and the reason I think he is excellent, is that he is usually successful on the first or second try.

I explained to him what happened and why we had to redo the test. He told me that he would redo it, but he also explained that if again, the test was unsuccessful, then we had no choice but to do the blood test through her jugular vein- her neck. He told me that a doctor would have to do it.

Her blood test was unsuccessful and the lab technician called me personally, as soon as he got the results (which he clearly had been monitoring) to tell me that we had to do the test through Tehilla's neck and to call our doctor.

I spoke with our doctor who agreed that the test must be done through her jugular vein and that I had to go to the main branch of our health insurance in Jerusalem to have it done.

I called the clinic to find out when a doctor would be present, and already on the phone, the person I spoke to, was adamant that Tehilla could have the blood test done through her arm and I don't know what I'm talking about. I stopped the conversation and said, "I'm not interested in arguing with you. My daughter has a severe heart problem. This is what my doctor requested. Just tell me when a doctor will be there." She gave me the information and we went this morning to have it done.

It was a disaster from beginning to end. As soon as I walked up to the person in charge and explained why I was there, she started arguing with me. I quickly responded, "My daughter was born with half a heart. She is here for an important blood test. Her doctor requested this. Do not argue with me." I was sent right in.

Then the next person argued with me. Then the doctor was called to come. Then I argued with him. He was more compassionate and calm, than everyone else- understanding that I was not there to cause a scene, but only because my daughter needed an urgent blood test done. But still, he refused to do it through her neck. He felt it would be dangerous and that the clinic was not set up like an ER in case anything happened. I feel pretty secure in saying, I think that it was a big overreaction on his part.

They called another doctor who does do blood draws through the neck and he couldn't come. The lab manager came in and started shouting at me, that I was being unreasonable, even though I explained that she had this test done twice and it wasn't successful. Another lab technician started shouting at me and demanding that I allow them do the test through her arm. I was completely out of patience at that point and said, "I'm not going to explain myself again. This is what my doctor requested."

So, she called my doctor.

Here is the reason that I absolutely adore our doctor. The minute that I was passed the phone, after she yelled at my doctor, he said, "Are you okay? I'm so sorry that you are going through all this." He then spoke it over with me and we agreed that doing the blood test through her arm and expecting a different result was crazy and wrong to put Tehilla through that. Especially when we both knew that she would be poked many times.

I suggested that since next week we have our long awaited cardiology and surgical follow-up appointments that I speak to our cardiologist and if he still feels the test is necessary then we find a way for them to do the test there. Our doctor agreed.

When I passed the phone back, I was shouted at more. I explained that we weren't doing the test with them and we would do it in the hospital. The woman told me that I was foolish and that she was an expert. I just walked away without responding to her.

An added note, throughout these screaming matches, Tehilla kept offering everyone her wafers and smiling at them like crazy. They kept pausing from screaming to gush over how cute she was. Then they would go back to screaming.

If you've read all the way to the end, I made myself a cup of coffee when I got home and taking some time to rest. In other news, Tehilla is cuter than ever and doing great. I'll post a cute picture of her later.

1 comment:

  1. Oy vey. Jews are a stubborn bunch! It is a positive attribute. We thumbed our noses at Pharaoh. We thumbed our noses at the Romans. We thumbed our noses at Hitler. It stands to reason that there are times when we thumb our noses at each other! You definitely did the right thing. One thing I've learned being a mother is that I am my son's advocate and my "mother's instinct" hasn't been wrong yet. Good for you, Shoshana!