Monday, January 09, 2006

Milo and the doctors

Since Milo's birth we have seen at least 4 or 5 different pediatricians: for some reason we don't seem to find our fit. Lately we have been going to the same doctor, a middle-aged woman whom, I must say, has good no-non sense advises, but happens to have a very callous and austere personality, and has behaved extremely harshly with Milo. I can't say exactly when, he has developed a fear for the stethoscope and, as a consequence, for the lady. Just hearing the word 'doctor' makes him cry. To my astonishment, during our last visit the day he contracted chicken pox, she begun literally shouting at him, intimidating him to stop crying for nothing. Evidently, the lady had missed her Pedagogy 101 courses...
So, needles to say, here I am hunting for the next pediatrician.

I have lived myself with a phobia for everything that concerns the medical world all my life. I could not even have my tension taken without fainting or literally feeling I was going to die. Endless conversations with my parents on the subject never revealed any specific traumatizing episode in my childhood which might have cased this phobia. It's only during the pregnancy that I found the motivation to dig into it and grab the bull by the horn, facing my Achille's heel. A nurse trained in psychology helped me finding not necessarily the causes, but a way to overcome this fear. And ever since Milo's birth, the phobia has dissolved: miracles of motherhood!

Because of this, I have been very attentive to the way Milo lives these experiences, and it really breaks my heart to see him terrorized each time we need to go to the doctor. I have been thinking as a starter to buy a stethoscope and start leaving it around the house, so Milo might familiarize himself with the object, make it eventually a toy. But I also need an understanding counterpart, and I am surprised at how difficult it is to find a pediatrician who's at once gentle and competent.


Alice in Austria said...

Isabella has a little red doctor's suitcase which she got from a friend on her birthday. Í would strongly advise you to go to Toys R Us or similar and get one, it is worth the investment! It's really neat as it doesn't only contain a stethoscope, but also a syringe to give injections, a thermometer, and this thing that you hammer on the knee, and the device that you stick into the mouth, (my medical english is not up to scratch, hehe). She plays a lot with it, and I think this is very very important for her. She plays "Onkel Doc" in which she treats her stuffed animals. I think it's an important way of kids to playfully deal with their doctors' visits. Anyhow, Isabella is going through a phase right now where she has a lot of imaginary ouchies onto which I have to put a band-aid (the famous Band-aid phase, lol?).

Your ped sounds like a nightmare! I do wish the best for you that you can find a better one, at least one with whom you can feel some chemistry; this is very important, I think. Too bad you're not living around here. I know 2 very excellent doctors, young, female, playful & understanding of kids' & babies' and their fears (I just returned with Dominik from our pediatrician).

giovanni said...

Interesting story, reminding me of my childhood and the various (many?) times I fainted... It's psychological, you know, for sure you know! So there lies the clue. It ain't not necessarily to be something concrete, I mean, a trauma of earlier childhood, I think... But I'm not an expert, I only have vivid memories or can trie to revive experiences, perceptions, fears. I'll give it a try and may come back to you with a suggestion, for whatever it's worth. But obviously, you just need a nice and competent doctor!

kristell bloino said...

i was very lucky to find a very good doctor for my daughter Shannon, he is very understanding as he's got two young children. However the last few times Shannon was very scared to go and see him. She was screaming and hiding behind the chairs, once in the room with him she was more calm and let him look at her. Now at home she very often speaks of the "doc man" and tells us that he looked in her ears. I don't know where they get their fears from, but the idea of getting them a little play set seems wonderful! Anyway good luck on finding a good pediatrician