Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dear Attending

Dear Emergency Department Attending,

My son recently came under your care.  He was the "14 y/o male, dx muscular dystrophy".  He was the child in the wheelchair, trached and vented, with the contracted limbs and the drool cloth under his chin because he can no longer swallow.  He was the child staring off into space, lost in a sea of pain.

Next time, walk into the room and talk to me.  I understand doctor speak and, yes, I'm going to ask pointed and tough questions.  I don't expect you to have all the answers or fix all that is broken with my son.  But, when it's time for me to make difficult decisions regarding my son's course of treatment, I need to know I'm talking to the physician with the most experience.  I need to know I've asked all the questions, received expert answers and have left no stone unturned.  I need to know I am making an informed decision. After fourteen years of living in the medical trenches, I've earned the right to your presence.  I've earned the right to ask you questions and question your answers.  Respect that right.

Next time, walk into the room and touch my son.  Put a stethoscope to his chest. Examine him.  After fourteen years of living with a disease that has stolen everything from him but his spirit, he has earned the right to your presence.  He's earned the right to your touch, your eyes, your ears, your experience and, I dare say, your heart.  Respect that right.

Onward.


4 comments:

E Fischer said...

Why am I thinking that someone, perhaps a doctor, perhaps BEST a doctor, should start a movement to remind others how caring for an other human being is the highest calling. He could call this educational movement the quixotic, "ain't nobody got time for that".

Dana said...

They walk in thinking they know everything. One look at our kids and they already know. I guess that's what their job envolves picking serious cases and going full throttle at them. However, because we have the kids we do, it means that if we show up in your ER, there is a GOOd reason. Treat us like someone who knows what we r doing.
Instead of like someone who knows nothing. I am sure u could of rattled off the tests Jack needed done, what they should look for and where, they needed to start.

Sorry u had a bad trip. Praying still. Hang in there.

Susan said...

I agree with Dana. It stinks that when you finally get to the point that you know you need to take Jack to the ER that it is such a negative experience. I hope they can find the source of his pain and HELP him. Hugs Ann. This must be so hard!

Sarah said...

Amen sister! Hugs!