I’m not really the type to give people a piece of my mind. I really do like to give them the benefit of the doubt unless really provoked.

But today I served up a big giant piece of my mind on a silver platter to the nurse at our pediatrician’s office.

First of all, do not insinuate that I don’t care about my daughter’s health if I just want to drop off her urine sample instead of coming and waiting endlessly in the after-hours care when there are no day-time appointments available. Of course I care about her health, that’s why I’m calling.

I also know that waiting in a waiting room to have a doctor say “we need a urine specimen” creates the exact same results as walking in and leaving the specimen with the nurses before closing time…I’m already well aware of the fact that “we need a urine specimen.” I know from two years experience exactly what a UTI smells and looks like. There’s no question in my mind.

I also know that the doctor can’t diagnose which bacteria are involved in the infection simply by looking at her sweet face covered in cold sores again because of the stress these darn things cause. So why in Heaven’s name to we have to “see” a doctor to leave a specimen??

And of course, I also know that I have to adhere to some small-print rule in the crazy doctor/insurance-agreement-to-get-as-many-co-pays-from-you-as-possible-conspiracy that I have to have our pediatrician diagnose the darn UTI before I can take her to the urologist specialist once again who told me last time that he thought she had finally outgrown her reflux.

I should have known better.

After all, I am her Mother.

This “talking-down-to-me” nurse is the same one who acted like I have no sense in my brain whatsoever when I was dealing with Lucy’s syndrome diagnosis and what further steps need to be taken. And again on a mild diaper rash I didn’t take Lucy in for the instant it showed up since we were up in the mountains away from doctors or phone reception. It was a diaper rash for crying out loud! One of dozens that this particular girl has had and I knew waiting a day wasn’t going to kill her.

I let her know on no uncertain terms that I am a Mother. I have five children. I have dealt with everything from ear infections to insomnia to rare syndromes and mysterious rashes. I do know a thing or two from my hundreds of trips to various specialists and time and time again to my pediatrician. And I know my kids much better than she does.

After the poor nurse digested the piece of my mind I offered she came to her senses. The specimen is on it’s way to culture and Dave’s picking up yet another round of our trusty antibiotics I can’t stand to have filling our fridge.

Whoa! That sure just spilled out but I feel much better now. I know this nurse was probably just trying to do her job. And I really don’t think she was intentionally trying to be smug. I just felt like she really needed to know that Mothers DO know a thing or two. Sure, she’s gone to school and she knows much more than I do about the nuts and bolts of medical matters. I respect that. But I hope she’ll think twice before she talks down to a Mother again.

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  1. It's none of my business and you probably already have someone you can call, but as a mother of four and wife of a urologist, the next time you are sure of your diagnosis and don't want to go through THAT again – call my husband for a prescription!! You don't even know me (I'm a friend of Saren's) so you probably won't take me up on my offer, but I'm serious!

  2. You don't know me. I started following your blog after you were on Studio5. I just love looking at your pictures that you post. Most of the time when you don't have a picture I don't read what you have to say because I feel like I'm prying. :} But today I did read and I just wanted to tell you good for you!!!!!!! I grew up with a father that taught me to ask lots of questions when you go to the doctor. If you don't feel good about it then ask more questions. They are not God and there are other answers. Sometimes Nurses can act the same way. Not that I'm aganist doctors or nurses. My sister is a nurse. I love hearing these stories when people stand up for themselves. Way to go, keep it up.
    yours truly,
    A friend
    ps there was a time that I had cronic UTI's and I went to Doctors and urologist. Finally I found someone who would dig a little deeper and a parasite was found in my ureter. It was blocking urine and the bacteria could never be completely cleared resulting in UTI afer UTI. Once the parasite was taken care of no more problem. I know a lot of personal info but I hope it helps. :] Good luck!

  3. I've followed your blog for a few months and now I am going to comment.
    I wish I could give you a big high five! We too spend endless hours in and out of doctors and specialists.

    Everything you just wrote about sounds way too familiar, since my daughter has endless UTI's and is actually cathed four times a day to prevent that darn reflux.

    I feel like often times we are the ones having to educate the "medical educated" on certain matters regarding our children!

    To the commenter above…what I would give to have a Urologist friend! Holy smokes, you are one lucky lady!!

    (p.s. I grew up with April Perry who works with Saren on Power of Mom's and April is the one who shared your blog with me. I've been following it ever since. you're an inspiration to me)!

    take care and good luck!

  4. I love it that you were right–I wonder how she felt when she got the lab report back. Your doctor needs a new nurse! When is she going to learn?

  5. I've had to have a couple of those conversations myself…
    I hate it when they're happening, but sometimes, you just push a MOTHER TOO FAR! I have to say, (and it doesn't happen often) but when I stick up for myself or my family and I know I am right, I am glad I did, instead of hours later thinking up what I should have said and didn't. Good for you.

  6. You are awesome! She'll think twice before messing with another mama bear. I did that once to a Doctor at our pediatric center. She was speechless. It felt good!

  7. Way to go Shawni! I'm telling you whatever they did to Lindsey really fixed her reflux. Why won't they do it for Claire? Lindsey's wasn't even near as bad as her's sounds. Good luck and don't take any crap from those grouchy nurses!

  8. Go you! I think Dr.'s and nurses generally care a lot, but they can forget that they are treating actual people from time to time, and it really irks me. I have dealt with this same problem as your poor Claire for five years now, and finally, last Thanksgiving, after years and years of teeling the doctors I knew there was something else going on, and listening to them laugh at me, they found a benign tumor on my ovary that had grown so large that it was preventing my bladder from emptying completely. Not to say that's your daughter's problem, but just commend you for following your gut, and also hopefully paving the way for the next Mommy that needs to do something as little as dropping off a urine specimen.
    Don't feel bad about letting her have it…sometimes they really need to hear it! I hope Claire feels better soon! UTIs stink! (PS – I went into a natural health food store once when I was pregnant and got a UTI over the weekend and couldn't reach the doc. They sent me home with something called "Cranactin" which is basically cranberry extract and vitamin C. I took it according to their dosage for me and it was completely gone in three days, after which I took a probiotic. They didn't come back for three years after that, and only got bad again until that darn tumor was removed! So if you ever want to try anything different that antibiotics, that Cranactin is amazing!

  9. I'd bet good money she's not even an RN. Most likely an MA or possibly an LVN so those great 9 months of training were super important in her being able to look down on people. 🙂

    Sometimes health care workers think they are Gods. I'm glad you took her down a rung (or 4 or 5)

    Hilary (who used to work for a pediatrician and saw many MA's do insane things, they don't really "Get" the whole picture )

  10. Shawni, I had a nurse who treated me poorly. I called the doctor's office and talked with the administrator over the practice. I was told the incident went into the nurse/medical assistant's employment record. And the nurse/medical assistant had to telephone me later on to apologize.

    TALK to someone HIGHER up on the food chain. They need to know about the people they employ.

    Medical business is, afterall, BUSINESS. They're out to make money just as much as anyone else. Customer service is a BIG part of that.

    Good luck.

  11. good for you shawni. obviously i don't think all medical professionals do this kind of thing, but when they do they need to know who is REALLY in charge. i know with people like paul they want to know as much from the parent as possible because it only helps in their treatment. he would be livid if any of his assistants acted that way. good luck with sweet little claire. i love that girl…cold sores and all!!!

  12. I just want to clarify that I really am thankful for doctors AND nurses…and I'm sure this nurse probably didn't know how she has come across multiple times. I just got a little heated when I got caught up in the moment and figured she needed to know that's not an acceptable way to talk to me. It all worked out fine, but sometimes I get so sick of having to fight for everything. Sometimes I just want someone to just understand and validate my concerns. Thanks for validating me here!!

  13. good for you. The mother is ALWAYS right! I had doctors (and especially nurses) tell me for years that my son probably was autistic. I knew he wasn't. Well, after many specialists and tests, I was right. Tough personality, yes. Autism, NO.

  14. I've logged my fair share of time in hospitals, and I've worked with a wide variety of caregivers, most of whom have been wonderful. But there have been a couple…and I eventually learned to let someone higher up know that I was uncomfortable working with those specific people, please don't send them to our room, etc. Several times, when working with doctors/residents in the hospital for the first time, I would be asked, "So, are you a nurse?" and I would reply, "No, I'm a mother! Which means I'm a specialist when it comes to this child." It doesn't hurt to let them know!

  15. When I was a first time mom, this didn't bother me. But now that I have 6 kids? I think we know a few things a out our own children. All I can say is "AMEN" sista!!

  16. i think we've all had to deal with a medical professional…sometimes nurse, sometimes doctor, sometimes lab technician…who doesn't listen, are bossy, smug, or patronizing. (How about the nurse who didn't call my midwife when I told her I was going to have the baby any minute…because HOW WOULD I KNOW RIGHT? It's was only my FIFTH child!)..I wish I knew what I know now, a long time ago, because "piece of my mind" isn't something I mind giving when absolutely necessary.
    hope claire feels better!

  17. Way to go! I bet other mothers will benefit from this and she will think twice before talking down at another mom. I have definitely had my share of that. Good lucK w/ the UTI. I hate filling the fridge w? antibiotics too! Bummer.

  18. If she continues to be this way with you, I am sure she is being this way with other. I would speak to your doctor about her. Otherwise, if you are not madly in love with you doctor change doctors. I had a nurse tell me I couldn't hold my baby who was in hte NICU because he would become spoiled and make it difficult for the nurses. No other reason than that. He had a heart condition and might not make it through his surgery. I gave her a piece of mine that unless there was some medical reason why I couldn't hold my baby I would be holding my baby. I did just that! Thankfully, he lived through his surgery too!

  19. Holy Cow! Shawni- this morning I was truly doing the exact same thing that you are! Carly needs to get back on a prophylactic dose of antibiotics – she has had the current UTI since before Christmas – diagnosed by the following:
    1. Yucky smell
    2. Returned bed wetting
    3. Really yucky smell that refuses to leave the bathroom even after the diaper has.

    We hit the jackpot a few months ago when the neph gave us some urine sample slips and I have now used them all up.

    She just needs a sample checked, a prescription for antibiotics and another for the daily meds.

    Anyhow – we are set to go to the pediatrician tomorrow at 3

    I also have some pretty big news about the next BBS family conference! We have some super speakers planned! I will email you-

  20. I've had very similar feelings with many of the caseworkers we've dealt with over the years as foster parents. I have rarely been as brave as you, though, to tell them what I really think and assure them that as a mother I really do know what I'm doing. 🙂

  21. My sister is checks out your blog all the time and she just told me about your situation with a daughter with reflux. I work in the Phoenix area and spend a lot of time with pediatric urologists. I realize that you may be driven by insurance requirements, but if I were you I would call Dr Robert Bailey's office. I think they may be able to help you navigate some of the isurance hurdles. If all else fails get a hold of Patti the office manager.

    It is crazy that a pediatrician knows of prior VUR and is still putting up with recurrent UTI's.

    Check out Deflux.com and get to Dr Bailey's office

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