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Idiots (long sorry)

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by MelStan, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. MelStan

    MelStan Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    I can't believe how stupid some so-called medical 'professionals' can be.
    In fact the term 'professional' is sometimes laughable to me.

    Eilish got her first retinal photo taken yesterday (after 9 yrs of dx, but that's another story :rolleyes:)
    The first lady we saw tested her eyesight, then started asking questions about her D. How long has she had it? On any medication? A1c was quite good (7.4) she said, but they prefer it to be between 6 and 7 (yeah, well so would we)
    Then..where do her bgs normally sit? ROFLOL! I started to get the idea that she didn't know a whole lot about D at that point ;) I tried to explain what it's like, but she just kind of stared at me. You know 'the look'

    Then she started the lecture about CONTROL and how important it is.
    After explaining to us both how important it is to have good control, she looked at Eilish and said "You do realise that Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness?" :eek::mad: Then asked me if I realised that.
    This to a 12 year old kid! I just wish I'd had my wits about me, but I was completely caught off guard.
    Then!! We went to another room where she got her retinal photos taken with a different woman. She said the photos looked good, and offered to show them to us.
    She started explaining what they look for, darker areas (blooms I think she said) and I now wish I'd shut her down then and there :( (I was still pretty shaken by the first encounter)
    She said that the blooms are capillaries that have hemorrhaged, and that the hemorrhaging causes blindness :mad: Then she pointed out what she thought was a small spot. She enlarged it to give us a REALLY good look. But told us it wasn't anything to worry about :rolleyes:
    Then..another lecture on 'good control' and she finished by saying to Eilish "that if you don't have good control, the capillaries will hemorrhage, and you WILL go blind". She really stressed the word 'will'. (We wouldn't want the kid to walk away with any bounce in her step would we?)
    Oh, and I asked her if the photos are sent away to be analysed and she said 'oh yes! I'm not a Dr!!" :eek: Oh. My. God.

    I am livid that these idiots think it's ok to frighten a 12 year old kid like this.
    Actually I'm so angry I don't really even have words for it :(
    I'm going to complain about it. I need to have a really hard think about this.

    I walked out with an almost hysterical kid. We got in the car and she said to me "Just tell me. If i have bad control how likely is it that I'll go blind? If I have good control how likely is it that I'll go blind???" :-(
    And this morning, she wanted to know how her bg was through the night (she was high) did it come down, and what did it come down to?
    She would never normally ask these questions. So thanks to these people, I'm left to pick up the pieces.
    I really just needed to vent about this..but would be interested to know how other people would handle it too..thanks :cwds:
  2. sooz

    sooz Approved members

    Dec 4, 2009
    OMG! What a terrible thing to endure! I am shaking Im so upset for you! You are absolutely right to complain and try to educate these "professionals" in what should just be common sense. Do they think we don't know what might happen. I try really really hard not to think about it but it creeps up in the night...and for them to say it right to your child! Un-freaking-believable. I dont know what I would have done at the time, because Im sure I would have been stunned too...you just need to go on doing the best you can to care for your child and help her learn to care for herself as she gets older..and then go after those idiots. :eek: terrible!
  3. rare

    rare Approved members

    Mar 18, 2008
    Wow, I don't even know what to say. They definitely need some sensitivity training for what's appropriate and not appropriate to say in front of children. I can understand explaining how blood sugars affect the retinas over time but that's a discussion for adults to have. And they can certainly leave out the part about good control. There's a million reasons why good control is necessary so bringing it up and getting judgmental over numbers is just ridiculous.
  4. sam1nat2

    sam1nat2 Approved members

    Jan 24, 2007
    I'm so sorry, what an awful experience!! Was this an eye place that caters more toward adults??? Is there another place she can be seen in the future???
  5. skimom

    skimom Approved members

    Jan 16, 2008
    I am assuming this place is associated with your opthamologist? If so, call the doctor and ask for an appointment immediately - tell him exactly what you told us and make sure he is clear on 1) how difficult D can be 2)that you understand the importance of good control vs the results if there is poor control (just so you don't get the lecture from him )3) the impact of the insensitive remarks on your daughter 4)his assurance that he will deal with his staff- as you will be asking for a written letter of apology within 7 days or you will report his clinic to the medical association for your state/country.
  6. Charlotte'sMom

    Charlotte'sMom Approved members

    Dec 6, 2008
    She was completely out of line to say all that in front of your child.

    FWIW, because you do know more about diabetes than she does, tell her exactly what she wants to hear. "Our control is wonderful and our endo is very happy with DDs A1C. Where do DD's bg usually sit? Right where they should be."
  7. meg9901

    meg9901 Approved members

    Oct 1, 2009
    Oh, I feel so badly for you and your daughter. I agree. It was completely out of line. We've had sad run-ins like that at the eye doctor, the endo's nutritionist ("am I going to get heart disease, mommy?"), and even an endo dept event where the ADA representative spoke. She went on and on about the possible complications. Hey... preaching to the choir, here, and SHHHH! There are KIDS here listening!

    In fact, you have inspired me. When I make my next eye doctor appointment for DD, I am going to ask them to write on her chart "Family is managing D in good control. You are requested not to make comments that would give the child reason to be fearful for the future. Family is WELL AWARE of the risks."

    My DD's only eye doctor appt was last year, several months after dx. One question they asked was "what was her last blood sugar reading?". Uhh... lunchtime at school could be anywhere, but I think this one was about 185. Doc sort of sighed and told me it shouldn't be that high (as if I didn't know). Now that I've had time to consider it, I think that rather than answering his direct question, I would say "her average BG is about xxx, and we test 6-8 times per day".

    Sorry you and she had to have this experience!
  8. slpmom2

    slpmom2 Approved members

    May 16, 2008
    I'm so sorry you and your daughter had to go through this. What a horribly insensitive dolt. Ugh! This would definitely warrant a letter to the ophthalmologist, if not a phone call or in-person visit. Outrageous.
  9. deafmack

    deafmack Approved members

    Sep 22, 2006
    I am so sorry that Elish and you had to endure the insensitive of a pair of idiots. You can let Elish that she is doing fine and if I could I would come down there and give those two insensitive know-it-alls a piece of my mind. Definitely report them. Their only job was to run the tests and not to offer medical advice. I don't care who they were. Please give Elish a big hug from me and tell her that those people are wrong, wrong, wrong.
  10. lynn

    lynn Approved members

    Sep 2, 2006
    My heart hurts reading your words. I can only imagine the ripping of your mommy heart!

    I haven't encountered anything like this, as Nathan hasn't been to an eye doctor yet, but I think you can salvage most of what was destroyed in your daughter's confidence. She had to have noticed that neither of those women knew what they were talking about when it comes to daily diabetes care. I think I would play up the obvious stupidity they showed about diabetes. Then point out that the woman showing the alleged bloom isn't even a doctor! She isn't qualified to read it!! Tell Eilish that you can both wait to hear from the real doctor before you worry. Then, when the report from the doctor comes you can tell her that he is VERY pleased with the health of her eyes. "Now aren't we glad we didn't waste all that time worrying about words that came out of an uneducated mouth?!"

    Take her confidence away from the two women and place it on the doctor. You can then monitor what she "hears" from the doctor.

    I would also DEFINITELY get hold of their supervisor. If they will be working with kids then they need to understand the power that their words have!

    I'm sorry that you and your daughter now have to deal with this. I hope you can settle her fears.
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    Oh, Mel - what a self-important a$$! I hope you can convince Eilish that some people exaggerate things to make themselves seem more important, and that this woman was doing just that.

    I've noticed with Maddie that now they are at an age where they are learning that not all adults have the same ... authority. I know a couple of years ago I never would have said - "Oh, pay that Dr/nurse/teacher no mind - they don't know what they're talking about" but nowadays when an adult does something so careless and hurtful I'm likely to give her permission to ignore them - it's strange :rolleyes: ( it's early here - this may not make sense ;))
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  12. wdhinn89

    wdhinn89 Approved members

    Mar 31, 2007
    I am so sorry. That was an awful experience for both of you!

    I am really angry for you right now!

    After my daughter questioned me about blindness in the car, I probably would have gone back in without her and gave them holy hell. They never would have made that mistake again by the time I was through with them.
  13. mishcoto

    mishcoto Approved members

    Aug 3, 2008
    I would tell your daughter (as if she hasn't probably already sensed), that there are people in the world who talk about things like they know what they are talking about when they don't, and there are insensitive people, and there are dumb people. Also tell her there are many good people who just need to be informed about type 1. You and she are doing the best you can for her health and she doesn't need to think about what that moron said.
  14. Toni

    Toni Banned

    Sep 14, 2009
    You didn't cut her off because you also were in shock. So you mentally froze. You are prepared now and will know better next time. First, an eye doctor is NOT an endocrinologist and diabetes is not his/her area of expertise. However, you were probably dealing with an OPTICIAN!!!! They will not be able to advise you on diabetes care; you know more than they. Q: "Do you have good control?" A: "Yes, our endo has always said her A1cs are fabulous." End of story. If/when they start with the gory details, send your daughter right out of the room. You can either accompany her or give the woman hell. I know it can take a while to get an appointment so if I wanted to continue the appointment I would have to make it clear to the woman to just continue the examination. Any diagnosis, prognosis, point of view should be given to me PRIVATELY. I would make a complaint against this "optician" (I am guessing your daughter went through all this on the professional opinion of a mere optician!). I would go to her supervisor and above. I would make it clear to your daugher that this woman is NOT a doctor, has but a few years of schooling, is ignorant and does not know what she is talking about. I would bring it up at my next endo appointment and have the endo reassure her. Explain to your daughter: Can an opthalmologist do spinal surgery? Of course not! Can an endocrinologist walk into the neonatal care unit of a hospital and commence treating the newborns? No! Eye doctors see only the complications of diabetes; they only can treat the complication if it exists; they cannot treat diabetes. They are NOT qualified.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  15. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    I'm so sorry Mel. Being caught so off guard makes it nearly impossible to react with any sense of intelligence in the moment. That's one of those instances where the heart goes right to the gut.

    Something to consider for the future for all parents on this board, is to learn to say very forcefully "STOP". (You may want to practice at home so it becomes easy.) You can then hand the person a card that says something like "Your horror stories do nothing to empower my child. They will not improve his/her self-care. Research shows instilling fear in a patient is counter-productive. Now apologize and reassure my child that he/she is doing beautifully and will live a long and healthy life." I hope others will chime in and state what they may put on a card.

    (A similar incident happened to us. I took our son to a podiatrist. The first thing he said when he read the chart was "Oh my grandfather lost both legs to diabetes." I was flabbergasted and still to this day feel guilty all these years later for not instantly grabbing my son and running out the door. I stood there like a fool trying to find words to explain how my son's control was good, it wasn't going to happen to him.... yada yada yada arrrrrgggg. )

    We need the tools to cut these people off.

    I hope you'll find the words and strength to send to the people in that office so it will never happen to Eilish or any other person again. We can't always protect our children, but we can learn from each cruddy experience and try to make things better for the future.
  16. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    Ellen, I love that post :cwds:

    I know that those moments when I failed to say, "Stop!" have really haunted me. :(
  17. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Mel, I would have been so astonished that I probably would have froze too. I'm sorry this happened, but I thank you for posting it. It has given me an opportunity to think about what I would do in that situation and to read Ellen's excellent suggestions.

    ETA: I really hope you do write a letter to that office. That woman needs some serious sensitivity training!
  18. Mimi

    Mimi Approved members

    Dec 19, 2008
    Wow, I am completely shocked at how insensitive those people were, not to mention out of line as well. :eek: I too, would have been frozen in shock as were you.

    Ellen, great suggestions. :)
  19. spamid

    spamid Approved members

    Jul 11, 2006
    Don't these people have any brains? I agree you should contact their supervisor, and rip them a new one!!!

    Sorry your daughter had to hear those horrible words!!
  20. MichS

    MichS Approved members

    Dec 9, 2008
    I think this is exactly what I will do in the future. Her job is not an endocrinologist and CLEARLY doesn't have a CLUE!! So - why even give them the benefit of the doubt. But I also really like Ellen's suggestion to say "STOP!!" I'd consider stepping into the hall and giving it to her. Stupid A$$E$

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