I Do My Best Michael Jackson Impression For The Doctor

Yesterday Tiny-Small woke up fussy and cranky and before long it was clear she wasn’t feeling well. She kept holding her belly and her crotch and saying that they hurt her. She was in the bathtub splashing around when it seemed to get worse. She started crying. A lot. So, I got her out of the tub and dressed her and we left for urgent care. I had a feeling she had a urinary tract infection. Her pediatrician is always packed and urgent care is part of the same medical group so it seemed like a good choice. I called Jim and since he was out running errands he met us at the doctor’s office.

We waited just about ten minutes to be seen. Tiny-Small told me she was scared so I told her to try to be brave. She asked me, “Like the lion on Lion King?” So I said yes and she was brave, very brave. She let the medical assistant weigh her, check her temperature, and put an alligator clip on her finger (well, that’s what it looked like to me) and ask her questions.

Then the medical assistant gave us a cup. She wanted Tiny-Small to pee in the cup. Jim and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows as we were ushered into the bathroom. Tiny-Small did not have to pee. She tried. She tried about eight times. So, we went back to the exam room and had her drink water. Then we went back to the bathroom where Tiny-Small tried to pee again. She was so bored that she started unrolling toilet paper, trying to open cabinet doors and finally, she pulled the “Call For Help” string dangling next to the toilet. How could she resist it? If you’ve never pulled one of those strings, let me tell you what happened next. The medical assistant and the lady at the front desk both came running to the bathroom. There was an alarm blaring. The lights were literally rolling and flashing. It was a lot of excitement. I am confident Tiny-Small will never pull that string again.

Still, no pee. So, Jim told her if she peed he would get her some candy and then he started singing “Peeing for candy, peeing for candy…” and Tiny-Small sang along too. Then she peed into the cup and we cheered. Of course we had no candy so we told her we would get it on the way home. We went back to the exam room and waited twenty minutes. Then the medical assistant gave Tiny-Small four stickers and we waited for the doctor.

When the doctor came in she asked all of the usual questions, but then it started to get weird. She wanted to know what I meant exactly by “She’s been holding her crotch.” The doctor said I needed to show her. With a long, uncomfortable pause, Jim and I looked at each other with expressions that said “What the heck?” So, I stood up in the exam room and grabbed my crotch…just like Michael Jackson. It was the best impression of Michael Jackson I have ever done. Incredibly weird. The doctor seemed satisfied with my performance. I on the other hand just felt awkward. Once she had the results of the urine test she told us there was nothing wrong with Tiny-Small, but then looked in her ears, in her throat, and listened to her heart. When Jim mentioned that Tiny-Small likes to play doctor and pretends to listen to our dogs heart with an old zip drive, the doctor wanted to know if our dog was outside. Again, Jim and I were silent as we tried to figure out what she meant. Outside in the yard of our house? Then the doctor seemed to get annoyed and she said, “You didn’t leave your dog outside in the car did you?” Another long, awkward pause occurred before we answered, “No. We didn’t bring our dog.” Why would we bring our dog to the doctor and leave it in the car in 100 degree heat? It was becoming clear that she thought we were complete morons. Then the doctor proceeded to ask us if abuse was a possibility. We answered no. We looked at each other again with expressions that said “What the heck?”

“Does she have any other caregivers?” the doctor asked. Apparently, if your daughter is in pain and she doesn’t have a urinary infection the only other option is she is being abused. I was kind of stunned. I mean, I know doctors have to ask these questions, but I didn’t expect it to be the second diagnosis option. Then the doctor said she would have to take a look at Tiny-Small’s private area. So we undressed her on the table and pulled her legs apart. It was incredibly awful and uncomfortable. The doctor said, “She looks normal.” That was it. We had been there for two hours. We knew nothing new about what was causing Tiny-Small pain. The only thing we learned was that the doctor didn’t think we were very bright people and that she might, possibly, be a Michael Jackson fan. Either that or she is just strange. Who doesn’t know what “holding her crotch” means? I felt like a horrible parent all the way around.

Then the doctor said Tiny-Small was fine, but if the symptoms persisted until Monday (6 days from then) that we should take her in to see her pediatrician. So, we went home. I felt uneasy, but how could I argue with medical science? Tiny-Small sang “Peeing For Candy” all the way home.

Last night Tiny-Small had a fever that got up to 103. I was worried, so I did what I do best: I called my mom. She told me to give her ibuprofen for the fever. Tiny-Small’s fever went down and she fell asleep. My friends on Facebook suggested she might have a yeast infection. I am still wondering why the doctor didn’t check for that. Or why I had to show her what holding your crotch looks like. Or why abuse is the next and only logical step after ruling out a urinary infection. Or why she seemed more concerned with imaginary dogs than she did with figuring out what was wrong with Tiny-Small. None of this makes any sense to me. I am actually starting to wonder if she was doing an impression of a doctor. Maybe she wasn’t really a doctor at all, just like I am not really Michael Jackson, obviously.

So, here I am, up early, waiting for the pediatrician’s office to open. I am going to call and insist they squeeze Tiny-Small in today. She’s obviously got an infection of some kind. I am her mother. I know something is wrong. I won’t be distracted by the silly questions this time and I will not be doing any impressions either.



25 thoughts on “I Do My Best Michael Jackson Impression For The Doctor”

  1. Wow. And this is why some doctors aren’t accepted into private practices. A yeast infection wouldn’t likely give a fever. But what do I know? I leave my dog in the car in the New Mexico sun all the time. Keep us updated. I will now sing “peeing for candy” like a boss. Xoxo

  2. So sorry Lillian that you guys had to go through that. I know how hard it is when you see your child in obvious pain . Hopefully the pediatrician will take care of her and not accuse you of child abuse. That’s wrong!! Good luck. Keep you and your daughter in my prayers

    1. I can understand the doctors asking questions. It just seemed so out of left field. There wasn’t any evidence to suggest abuse. From what I have heard and read, UTI’s are pretty common in kids. I might be feeling overly sensitive about it, but it’s hard not to. No parent wants to even think about something like that happening to their child and to have it come up as part of what seemed like a routine procedure was unsettling.

  3. Yikes. My wife was between doctors for a while, and she had to use Patient First (urgent care) for a while. They didn’t give her the right diagnosis once. Zero out of five.

    1. My husband said the doctors that get stuck manning the urgent care are usually the doctors that don’t have many appointments. So, maybe that explains it. People tend to switch to the doctors that they trust and that do a good job.

  4. I think they screwed up the urinalysis. It sounds like a bladder infection or UTI to me. You don’t spike a fever without there being something wrong. You go to your regular doctor with no shame.

    1. A lot of moms are telling me that sometimes the kids have symptoms before it shows up in the urinalysis and that drinking a bunch of water can dilute the urine and make the test not as accurate.

  5. This SUCKS. I hope your daughter gets better FAST.
    Also, please don’t take this the wrong way, because I really respect you – as a mandated reporter, sometimes we have to ask really uncomfortable questions about possible abuse, and it should always be because we’re trying to protect kids, and never about shaming parents. I’m so sorry this interaction with the doctor felt all horrible.

    1. Oh, I know she had to ask. I had the same mandate with my job. It just seemed so quick. So out of left field. Also, the dog thing was weird too. Maybe it was because I was wearing pants with paint on them and my hair was in a messy bun. Tiny-Small had wet uncombed hair. We rushed out of the house because I was worried. We didn’t take time to look neat. I don’t know, but I felt like she thought we were a “type” of people. One that she didn’t have much respect for. She assumed we would be irresponsible dog owners. She also assumed we didn’t have vaccinations up to date and assumed we lived in a town that people around here make redneck jokes about. It was just a strange experience. I don’t think you should make those kind of assumptions about people based on appearance, not to mention, what does that say about how she is treating the farmers/ranchers (and their families) that do live in the “redneck” town. That stuff bugs me too. I’ve worked with kids who have been abused. I’ve worked with families too. I just think physicians should be trained better to evaluate the evidence in front of them and probably to have more tact than this doctor did. The only suspicious thing about us was we weren’t well dressed. Meanwhile my daughter is still sick. I probably wouldn’t have minded any of this so much if she had actually helped her. My first guess is this doctor mostly works with individuals and adults. She probably doesn’t have much experience with pediatric medicine and maybe doesn’t know what is normal and what isn’t. I also got the sense she was angry about something that had happened before she came into the room. She seemed very abrupt and irritated from the beginning. As we were leaving the exam room she collapsed into a chair and let out a big sigh. Maybe she was just having a bad day. Who knows?

      Anyway, don’t worry about offending me. It takes a lot more than pointing out the truth. Plus, I know I am over reacting a bit. It’s just hard not to get defensive when you are worried about your daughter’s health. That kind of stuff can make a mom a little crazy.

  6. Excellent diatribe, so well expressed. I felt like I was right there with you getting more and more irritated at the ineffective doctor. Hello? My DOG?!? I’m not asking you to diagnose my dog! My kid is right here in front of you, tell me what’s hurting her so we can stop it right now!

  7. I am sorry you had to go through this with your daughter. As a nurse and mandated reporter, I felt this doctor was way out in left field. If a child has a fever, there is a reason, Doctor. Forget about the dog. In fact, I had to discuss this with a friend, who is the mother of three. We were both so irritated that we had to have a glass of wine in your honor and defense. We hope Tiny-Small is properly diagnosed. In the meantime, I will share this blog with other young mothers. I am an old mother, soon to be a grandmother, but this still really irked me. You write beautifully, by the way. A u-tube video would be awesome.

    1. It irked me too! Thanks for the support and for the drinking in my honor. Being a parent is so much easier when we have nurses like you to help us through the scary parts.

  8. Hmm, Obamacare must be getting to this doc or he is truly a dope. Probably did his residency in a vets office. Tiny-Small should have peed on the floor except some poor nurse would have had to clean it up. Sorry you had to waste two hours in this jerk’s office. 🙁

  9. This has been bothering me all week. I just haven’t been able to come comment. It reminds me of the time a doctor was convinced that I was pregnant…when I was still a virgin. He was so rude to me that I never went back…maybe I’ll write about that next week…

    I hope that TS is better now. Sending hugs to you and your family.

    1. Oh man, that had to have been a horrible experience. I can imagine it stuck with you for a long time. I think not being believed is one of the worst things to go through.

      She is getting better. Yay!

    1. Sometimes moms really do know what is going on. Especially when your kid loses her spunk and becomes a couch potato. That’s just not Tiny-Small.

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