Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Luckiest Parents

I know. I've been a complete slacker about posting this month. Never fear, I will be returning to my stay at home job next week and chained to my computer most of my waking hours, so I'm sure I will have plenty to yammer about then.

I have about a bazillion pictures from our adventures so far this summer. We've been to Columbus and Cincinnati so Jon could update his police certification while Amelia and I spend some mommy/daughter time together, went to Lake Michigan with my mom, and down to my grandparents once. For only having one month off this year, as opposed to ten weeks, we sure packed that time with lots of adventures, so be prepared for an upcoming post that is flooded with pic's of my toddler.

Today's post, however, is about something different. We recently switched our insurance coverage to be under my husband's plan. This new provider requires a primary care physician to be listed on your card, but I had one problem-- I don't have one. I've probably gone to the doctor twice in the past decade (not including prenatal care). Although I had a short list of things I needed to speak to a doctor about, I hadn't gone yet, so this was a good push to finally see a physician.

I already had someone in mind to see, so Jon called and made all three of us an appointment as first time patients. Although Amelia has a pediatrician, I had been looking to make a switch since the one doctor that I loved left the practice, and the other doctors had misdiagnosed her hand, foot, and mouth disease this past spring as scabies. As far as I'm concerned, if I can google symptoms to self-diagnose but you can't see my daughter in person and figure it out, you're pretty much fired.

In any case, I was pretty apprehensive about this appointment. Jon had gone earlier in the week and simply shrugged when I had asked how it went. Men. I was hoping that he would rave about her, but instead he said "It was OK. She's young." CRAP. I just picked a female Doogie Howser for our family physician. On top of that, I'm terribly choosy about doctors. I feel this way-- you're being paid a lot of money to do your job. So, if you talk over me, are rude, perpetually late, or rush me through my appointment, I won't be back. Period.

Of course, switching doctors can be a huge pain in the butt. I was smart enough to ask Jon to bring home the new patient paperwork for Amelia and I so I didn't have to sit in the waiting room filling out fifty pages of health history and insurance information while keeping a toddler amused. Good thing that I did because it seemed to take me forever to complete those packets. Mine was not too terrible but hers was five pages of ridiculousness that seemed to be designed to make me feel like the worst mother ever. Here were some of the questions:

  • Is your water heater set to 125 degrees or less? How do I even check that??
  • Do you have the number posted for poison control? Isn't that what the internet is for?
  • Are your electrical outlets covered with safety plugs? Yes. They were. Until my toddler figured out how to pull them out in an attempt to jam my keys in the outlet. How else is she supposed to learn how to drive???
  • Do you have Ipecac in your house? Um... can't I just feed her a vegetable she doesn't like to induce vomiting?
  • Does your child take a fluoride supplement or drink fluoride treated water? No. My hillbilly teeth are a legacy that I plan to hand down to my child.
 After those questions came the asking me how many meals and snacks she eats every day, followed by asking me to break that down into servings of bread, meat/beans, dairy, yellow vegetables, green vegetables, and fruit/fruit juice. I sat there trying to determine what category goldfish crackers went under and if I get extra mommy points for my child sucking down water like a camel.

That was followed by about thirty questions related to Amelia's health history. Has she been hospitalized? Eye problems? Ear infections? Cancer? Genetic disorders? All I could really put down was respiratory problems once a winter and a spot of eczema that we haven't seen since this past spring.

And that's when it hit me. We are very lucky parents.

I have friends who have lost their pregnancies and friends whose children didn't make it to their first birthday. I really can't imagine their pain and loss, but I assume that it would be practically unbearable. It's easy to get wrapped up in the daily annoyances of parenting. Whiny toddlers, dirty diapers, no time to yourself, and carting kids around to errands that would be ten times easier if they were at home with a babysitter. What kind of smiles and laughter would we miss out on if they weren't in our lives though? These are the things I thought of as I completed that mess of paperwork. And then, I smiled for the rest of the day.

Amelia makes me a very happy and blessed mama. Every day.

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