Words you generally don’t want to hear from a Dr.: ummm, yeah… sure if you want to.
No, Mr. Dr. I did not come here to discuss what I do or do not want. I came here to tell you what is wrong and to hear you say: I know that! that is blah-di-bla-ditis! It is a very clear straight forward ailment and you have to do xyz, in that order, for 4 and half days and you will be fine.
Not : Ummmmmm, yeah… sure if you want to.
You’re just playing a guessing game most of the time… but don’t show us you are guessing! I want some conviction damn it.
so, I took S to an allergist today. A great Dr. here in Riyadh. He is the same Dr. my sisters saw when they were younger for their asthma. And I took my other son to him when he developed eczema. S developed a cough a few weeks ago that didn’t get better, only appeared when he was running, playing football or doing any strenuous activities.
So, history of asthma in the family, poor boy can’t play football without having a coughing fit a few minutes into it, I took him to the Dr. I explained what the problem was and then he asked: “Is it a dry cough” not sure… I asked S and he gave us a 10 minutes of detailed explanation of what happens when he coughs, which I will save you horror of reading, and decided it was not dry and not quite wet (yuk).
Dr.“Does he have a runny nose” Yes, he has had one since he was a baby. His pediatrician said it’s nothing to worry about, slight allergy, and I should leave it alone. It is getting better. “Aaaaah, you see that’s probably what happened. Because it was never treated it developed into this” Ok fine, that almost made it onto my guilt list, but medicating a child from birth for a runny nose seems a little over the top to me.
The he asked “Does he cough at night” sometimes. “Does he cough when he is laughing” not sure, but he definitely coughs when he is running and he has a race coming up. “Does he do this..” and then Dr. proceeds to do an impressive impression of Samantha’s nose wiggle from bewitched. Yes! he has since he was a baby. “Does he do this…” and he rubbed his nose with the palm of his hand. Yes! how exciting, we are getting somewhere. Although don’t all 7 year olds do that?
Dr.“It’s not asthma, it’s an asthma like cough. So he should take this pill once a day for ten days and come back to me then. If this works then great, if not we will look into other things. While he’s here he might as well have a blood test to check for food allergies” I am thinking, it’s a bit late isn’t it? he’s nearly 8 and I garantee you he ate everything edible out there and a few inedible things too, but Dr. knows best. I ask if this would have any effect on the cough and get a vague answer.
Dr.“So, what does he eat?”. Me ummm…. S:Pizza, Cheese sandwiches, carrots, cheese I love cheese. Me: Fish! S: I hate fish. Me: No you don’t! fish fingers are fish! and so are prawns. S: J likes prawns not me, I don’t like fish.
Anyway, he asked about every food group and many kinds of fruits and now and then S would remember something and shout out :Watermelon! or Pomegranate! and the Dr. would scan his list and see if it’s on there and promptly put a nice black tick beside it to indicate it should be tested.
It would have been easier if we had just told him what he doesn’t eat. Again I ask why we’re doing a food allergy test since he obviously hasn’t had a reaction to any foods. Vague answer, I’m too wimpy to insist.
Then comes the question, Dr. What about the coughing? can he play football? can he race? The other Dr. said he should use an inhaler, but I wanted him to see a specialist first. To which the Dr. replied “ummmmmm… yeah, sure. If you want to” Then he wrote up a prescription for an inhaler that he should take before running or when needed. Damn it… I wanted clear and confident instructions!
I walk out to the desk and give them the blood test form. S and I are having a very educational conversation about blood tests and why they are done and it’s just a prick and he’s being so cute all the receptionists are cooing at him while he’s saying “Mama, let’s do it another day! come on… we can do so many more things today other than this” and I am all smiles telling him “no Habeebi, we’ll do it now and get it over with” and the receptionist is smiling saying “Mashallah, Allah yihfathu (God bless him) that will be 7000 Riyals” ($1850).
Yeah……… No, that’s not going to happen. It’s one thing to do something I am not convinced of, and a whole other thing to get ripped off while doing it.
Still smiling I say ” Guess what S, we’re not doing it today Habeebi” and by this time I have talked him into it so I am actually having a conversation with a 7-year-old, trying to convince him not to have a totally unnecessary blood test that is a total rip off.
Aaaaakh for the confidence to sit there and make the Dr/Teacher/Architect give me a proper explanation and not having to come home to my very logical very practical husband and have the answer to his inevitable question “Why?” be “because they said so…”
Teach your children to understand why they are doing what they are doing and to ask questions. They will thank you for it in the future. Also, teach them to go with their gut feelings (so far they have been right EVERY TIME)