Saturday, December 22, 2007

passing judgement and my night in the ER

i think i may have said this before but i have never felt such guilt and judgement upon me since becoming a mother... its like this sick little world of who is doing it better, longer, smarter, cuter and on and on. there are so many expectations that we feel we have to live up to. just to break it down i think its bulls***. i am remembering the phrase we all do our best with what we have and what we have is our kids best intrests at heart. we strive to do the right thing for them not for the kid in our playgroup whose mom we think could do better. we do it for OUR kids.

i know i do. i know i prayerfully and thoughtfully make each parenting decision to the best of my ability and i make the decision we (dave and i) think is best for our family. not yours or anyone else's. this brings me to my night at the ER last night where not only was i judged and told i was uneducated but i was also not treated fairly and therefore not sure my sick son was receiving the best care all because someone judged me without knowing me. we get enough of that everywhere else and to get it where you go for help from someone who should be there to care for others it really hurt my feelings and just feels terrible.

to clarify here my choices as a parent in this regards are not up for debate you may not judge me either or impress your opinion upon my choices. i am a parent who has made the decision thus far not to vaccinate my children. i am well educated and have done alot of research. as a family we have decided this is best for US and our family right now. we have also only said we would wait to further decide till the boys are two and then IF we decide to that will also be a choice we make with lots of research and again a choice which will be best for US.

yesterday noah was wheezy seemingly a slight cold. as the evening progressed it turned into full on croup.. worse than he has had it before. i had several conversations with dave on the phone (i was at work) and i could hear how bad it had gotten. around 9:30 dave called and said i needed to come home and take him in.. you could clearly hear he was having problems catching a breathe. i took him to the ER and was seen right away by a nurse. his barking cough was clear and she called in a doctor. he seemed fairly nice when he came in.. asked me some routine questions and then asked if there vaccinations were up to date. i said we have so far chosen not to vaccinate at this time. he looked up at me and rolled his eyes.. went on to tell me that they should be vaccinated as there are many illness's that will kill them if i don't. i stated i was well educated and had done my research and we felt this was best for us right now. he then looked at me and said that i was obviously not educated because if i was then i would have given them the proper vaccines that would protect them against death and because i hadn't i was stupid. yep stupid. face red and also trying to deal with a very tired 27lb toddler crying in my arms i was stunned. i understand its his job to tell me the facts and i would have taken them and said thank you but to call me stupid was hurtful and went way past professional... it was a downward spiral from there as he was rude to me, short and did not give me much information from then on. one word answers and quick to dismiss me.. he even left the room shaking his head. i felt judged and felt condemned.. this man doesn't know me he has no idea who i am. i had a few minutes where guilt came down and i cried looking down at the little boy who was in so much pain and after the anger passed mustered up the energy to make sure noah knew that i loved him and would never intentionally cause him harm. i am his mother.. i know him... i love him.. i kiss his tears away, i hold him at all hours of the day, i pick him up when he falls down, i give him his favorite snacks and know just where he likes to sit when he drinks milk in the morning, i know that the backyardigans makes him dance, i know he loves to look out the window at the bus when it comes by yelling bus bus bus until you say yes noah theres the bus whoohoo, i know that when i sing how big is noah that he will throw his arms up in the air, i do my best for him isn't everything we do about them?

just remember who you are and the gift that you are given.. remember that you do the best for your family and no one else matters. at the end of the day its what we do with what have that counts. i make mistakes we all do... its what we do with those mistakes and how we learn that is the beauty of the process. the last 24 hours i have consumed myself with making sure my kids get better.. every thought i have is for them.
Merry Christmas .. may you celebrate all you have and celebrate who you are this season. give to the fullest...
From our house to yours wherever your life voyage takes you.

20 comments:

Dixie Vandersluys said...

Great post, Heather, about a lesson I'm still trying hard to learn. I hope last night only made you stronger and more sure of the goodness inside of you. And I hope you have a very Merry Christmas with your family and all the best in 2008. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Heather! I usually don't respond to your posts, but this time I just felt like I needed too. It is so obvious how much you love your boys, and for someone to question the care that you're giving them is absolutely adsurb! We all make our own choices and while some of them are different we always have our kids best interest at heart. Don't let some doctor without any bedside manner make you question the awesome mother that you are.

Take Care! And I pray that you will have an awesome, healthy, and blessed Christmas! Hope to see you soon!
Julie

jamie said...

dang...sounds like a really crappy doctor, because even if they disagree with your decisions a good doctor will give you their side and then leave it at that. Most will (or should) tell you that it's not their right to pass judgment but that guy obviously does not operate that way... Once again confirming that the real ER is nothing like my favorite show....!

SuJ'n said...

Heather, I'm so sorry that you experienced such rudeness & disrespect from the doctor - especially while you were already feeling upset and distressed about Noah.

I, too, remember being judged in the hospital when Mallory was born. I actually had a nurse tell me that she couldn't believe I was making the decision I was making and suggested that I change my mind...

... as if she didn't know the anguish, diligence & prayer that goes behind making a decision for a child who's completely dependent on one's best judgment and love...

Sometimes people let their own ideals and beliefs trump compassion and respect. This is a good reminder, even for myself, that compassion and respect come first. Behind every decision (whether one agrees or not) is a breathing, thinking, hoping, loving human being.

On a different note, I'm glad that I can keep up with your life via the Internet.

I hope Noah is feeling better and that your Christmas is warm, healthy and full of joy -- exactly the opposite of the ER experience.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Seoul, Korea!

Anonymous said...

ok, after all that, I hope you were at least given some oral steroids to help with his breathing issues!!!

Yikes. Sounds like you turned that experience into a notch on your belt of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"... good for you.

Peace to you as you parent and plan and love your boys.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Loewen Fest on the 30th.

Karla

DavenHeather said...

aww you guys are the best. thanks. and merry christmas to you too.

tammy said...

Heather I am so sorry you had to go through that!! That's awful. You are a wonderful mother! And don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Especially that dr!
Tam

kelly said...

Sorry to hear that Noah's sick :(
even more sorry to hear how rudely you were treated. That is so sickly unfair!!! I may not "know" you, but my perception is that you are a wonderful mom to your boys. Keep it up!

heather said...

I am so sorry that Noah's sick. The way you were treated is unacceptable. I would file a complaint with the hospital. There is no excuse for that doctor's behavior. No excuse. I hope Noah is better soon and that you all have a wonderful Christmas!

valerie said...

Yep, you need to let someone know. There is NO time that it is acceptable for a doctor (a trusted, resected, safe person) to call ANYONE stupid. Unacceptable -and so far past unprofessional. It makes me sick.

On a separate note - I'm praying that Noah is getting stronger, and that you, Ari, Noah and Dave have a wonderful Christmas.

Lisa said...

thanks for the pep talk....i needed that after our 'episode' at church today. love you.

Melanie said...

Wow... kick a mother when she's at her worst emotionally! How rude of the doctor to treat you that way! I hope Noah's barking cough has gotten better and that your wonderful family can enjoy this Christmas in good health! Blessings to you Heather!

Dianna said...

Talk about uneducated!!! You can file a complaint against that dr. I had the same experience with my 2 children and I WILL mention the hospital. I was at Boundary Trails at the emergency and I went thru the same shake your head attitude about not vaccinating my children. I find that hospital to be very judgmental. Even while I was pregnant I had thruout my pregnancies seen a midwife and had them both delivered by midwives in that hospital and I found some of the nurses not friendly and showing a distaste from what I chose to do. To be honestly blunt with you I think that hospital needs to educate the people in there ore thoroughly as how to respect other peoples wishes and that's it's perfectly ok for parents to make a choice on not vaccinating their children and choosing midwifery. I sympathize with you don't let them get the best of you. Narrow mindness never got anyone far. I hope you have a blessed and healthy Christmas hope your little guy is doing better. I'm a firm believer in vit c it's the best immune fighter.

Marcy said...

Oh Heather! I guess bed-side manners don't come naturally to all physicians. You're an awesome mother. I'VE SEEN IT! There is nothing wrong with presenting you facts and concerns, but his approach and words were totally uncalled for! You are doing what you and Dave feel is best for your boys and that wasn't a decision you took lightly! Don't let it bother you.
Merry Christmas!

Eva said...

You know I'm with you on not vaccinating......a super hard decision, but one that as a parent, is yours to make. Don't let someone who doesn't know you run a guilt trip on you. I hope Noah is doing better...that he's healed up before Christmas. Merry Christmas to you!!

lindsey said...

ahhh, heather! what a terrible experience! hope all is well now and that you had a good christmas
much love!

hannah said...

that doctor sounds like a shit head.
i love you, and i think your a great mum, and your boys are so lucky to have such wonderful, serving, caring, Spirit filled parents.

I like your christmas card by the way!

Emily Deu said...

Heather your the best mom! That guy was letting his own ideas cloud his care for a patient, which is a shame. Is Noah feeling better??? Love you!!!!

anita said...

well, i'm a little late here but you've been on my mind ever since i heard Noah was sick. i'm sooooo sorry for what you've had to go through but you continue to amaze me with your strength. you are such a good person. a good mom. a good friend. so yeah, just wanted you to know that i too, am a supporter! (((hugs)))

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you - that is just terrible. One f my twin has had several serious bouts with croup, and it is awful even when you're getting all the care and support you need.