Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It gets worse.

Just when I thought that the therapy experience would be the worst...I took the girls to the doctor today.

Going to the doctor in the Valley (DEEP South Texas) is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I have lived in multiple states all over the country. Never before have I had to wait like we do down here. It is not uncommon to wait 2-3 hours for a scheduled appointment.

I know this. But still, I show up early. Just in case. So, we arrived for our 10:30 appointment at 10:15.

We waited. And we waited. And we waited.

Keep in the back of your mind what happened to my girls just three short weeks ago when they were removed. They didn't come straight to my home. They had to endure a visit with an unfamiliar doctor. A long and very detailed visit. Use your imagination and you can picture what they had to go through there. I bet if something like that happened to you, going to the doctor would not be something that you would look forward to. So, using your imagination again, picture all the behaviors I got to experience while in the waiting room with two nervous little girls.

The doctor came in the room to see us at 1:00. Yes, 2 hours and 45 minutes after we arrived for our appointment.

The appointment was supposed to be a simple one. My girls have sleep issues. I wanted the doctor to give me a written OK to give them OTC melatonin at bedtime. I can't give it to them without a note of some kind because the bottle does say "not for use with children under 12". However, I don't want them on psychotropic drugs. I just want something to take the edge off. Melatonin is proven safe. It's a natural substance our bodies already make.

She talked to me like I was an idiot. Said that she will not, under any circumstances, give anything to children to help with sleep issues. I smiled and said OK. Of course this means that we'll end up in a psychiatrist's office. And that visit probably won't be scheduled for at least another month or so. (I can't just decide to take them myself. I must wait for the referral from our agency.) And I'm sure the girls will end up on drugs much too strong for what they need. But my hands are tied.

I'm not an idiot though. I didn't argue. There are many family docs out there that express extreme caution when treating children. I already had a feeling this is how the situation would turn out.

So then I addressed the next health item. My girls don't remember a time in their lives when they have been lice free. They can tell me about all the different treatments that they have lived through. (One would make your hair curl! Let's just say they're lucky they didn't end up with permanent damage of some kind.)

Since coming to our home we have use the Rx lotion three times. I have also used an OTC gel once. We've combed and combed. I even cut their hair myself (after getting permission from the bio mom of course). I can't take them to a salon until the lice are gone. I have washed everything they own - over and over. I have vacuumed and cleaned.

My brother just happens to be one of the most amazing doctors on the planet. In fact, it was his recommendation that the girls use a low dose of melatonin as a sleep aid. He also mentioned that it really sounds like the girls have drug resistant lice. He recommended that I request a drug called ivermectin. It is an oral drug originally used for a parasite but can also be used to treat drug resistant lice. Due to the fact that the girls mention going through so many different treatments and the fact that I've not made a dent in anything using the permethrin, he said that he would prescribe ivermectin if they were his patients. I asked for this drug by name.

This is where the doctor really ticked me off. She said she absolutely would not prescribe that drug. I could keep using the Rx permethrin lotion. I could cut their hair. I could keep using the comb. Then she went so far as to say it's almost winter and lice were less active in the winter.

I have to call B.S.!! We are still having highs in the 90s. There is no sign of winter for a long long time. Not to mention the fact that if you have one louse...you have a lice problem! It doesn't matter how active they are or not. I just want them dead!

I was a little frustrated. I expressed my level of frustration by mentioning that we waited for nearly three hours, we were tired and hungry and the doctor refused to help me with either of my problems. She seemed proud of herself as she said, "yes, that's right." From there, she accused me of being angry and said that she was going to call CPS on me.

I walked out of the office with my girls. I let the doctor know that she could call CPS if she wanted to!! I'm not afraid of a doctor who ticked me off a little. Yeah I was angry. I'm trying to advocate for my girls! I just wanted to help them get rid of a lice problem they've had their entire life! They are embarrassed and annoyed by all the itching. No one likes spending several hours a week getting their hair combed. I just wanted to clear up the problem!!

As I got in my van with the girls, I immediately called CPS. No answer. So I called my agency to let them know some stupid doctor has her panties in a bunch.

I will do whatever it takes to get the services we need! Bring it on lady. Bring it on!

For what it's worth, we will not be going back to that doctor's office. I am going to try some home remedies I've seen on the internet. I will not give up.


Leah W said...

wow. that is crazy.

how do you keep everyone else in your home from getting them?

jendoop said...

This is just one of the sad aspects we deal with in foster parenting. When the children are on a publicly funded healthcare program they don't get the best care. They need doctors who are experts in dealing with traumatized children. Instead we are forced to take them to doctors who see so many bad parents in a day that they just assume we're more of the same.

This is why I hesitate to take my little guy to the PCP concerning his eating issues.

I agree, if you take this to a psychiatrist there will be heavy meds involved in the solution.

jendoop said...

Oh, and I'm proud of you for not being frightened by the CPS threat - that is pulled out so often hat we foster parents have to develop a thick skin to it. The only people who need to fear that threat are those who aren't helping the child - which would be this doctor!!