One mom skill that can take years to master is the children’s doctor visit. Doctors are busy, direct, busy, unphased and busy. Moms with sick kids are emotional, tired, nervous, tired, flustered and tired. This combo can lead to mom leaving the visit with more questions than answers.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your child’s doctor visit:
Take pictures, videos and document
The doctor will have questions and thinking and remembering is overrated. Help yourself by using those beautiful little cell phone machines we are never far from. Is the rash changing? Take a picture. Does the cough sound weird sometimes? Record it. Was there a runny nose and earache leading up? Write it down (I keep a ‘Sick log’ in the Notes app on my phone. That’s how committed I am to not using my brain).
This is YOUR kid! Don’t leave confused or unsure. You’re paying good money for this information so make sure it’s clear and complete. If you have questions after you leave, call the office and ask (I’ve done this from the parking lot).
Ask the doctor to repeat it
Before resigning yourself to the fact that “Idiopathic sub-therapeutic peripheral edema” will be a life-long battle for your child, ask the doctor to tell you what that means in real world talk. Your anxiety will take a seat once you realize their “sprained ankle” will be okay. If you don’t understand something, tell your doctor you don’t understand. Have them explain it again. It doesn’t matter if they think you’re dumb (they don’t) but it does matter that you have the information you need to help your child.
Speak up and be heard
If you don’t think the diagnosis is correct or if you think the doctor is missing something, tell them. Mother’s intuition is real and a lot of times you’re right. The other times the doctor is right but speaking up leads to a clearer explanation and a better understanding. In both cases, the result means better care for your child.
I’ve come home from a lot of doctor’s visit and had zero information to relate back to my husband; “He said it’s a virus…or…a bacteria…one of them. We’re going to wait and see what happens…and then take medicine maybe?” Again, do your brain a favor and write down what you learn.