Interview Your Pediatrician

When we were getting ready for our daughter to arrive almost two years ago, we asked around for some recommendations for a pediatrician. I had read some articles that suggested interviewing  them. So, trying to be good pre-parents, we did what we “should do”, we interviewed. 

Thankfully we were a one and done interview as we absolutely loved the first pediatrician and his nurse. They were warm, down to earth, had a very team approach to health care in that we would talk as a team about options if something ever came up and he would give us his opinion and we would make decisions together.

I’m telling you, the best advice I ever read was to interview your potential pediatrician.

We have been so grateful for that decision to meet our pediatrician. You see, what we didn’t know was that literally day one of Kennedy’s life, we were going to need him. When we received the news that K may have Down syndrome, he came right over and, instead of the pediatrician on call, HE walked us through her echo cardiogram and what it all meant. We made our first decision as a team that day to stop trying to draw blood from her that day and give her a break. From the moment that he sat across from us and drew us his first picture (of many, many we have gotten over the last almost two years) and explained in detail what was going on so that we understood it, we knew he was the right choice.

We have spent our fair share of time in the doctor’s office and have the absolute best team possible. Our team really listens to what is going on and to our concerns and they are ridiculously thorough. We had a recent scare a couple of weeks ago that again solidified our gratitude for our pediatrician. Kennedy was down for the count. Super high fever, super lethargic, just not herself. Of course it happened on a weekend so we spent a lot of time on the phone with the after hour nurses and we followed up again (of course on the day our doc was out) and we took her in to be seen by another doctor and were sent home with some antibiotics and the news that it was likely a sinus infection on top of another virus.

The next day, I followed up with her doc who wanted to see her right away. Knowing us and knowing Kennedy we did a blood draw which revealed a super low white blood cell count. We were packed up right then and shipped off to the ER. She ultimately tested positive for Influenza B and was admitted to the Children’s Hospital and she was poked and prodded and had more blood drawn. When her counts dropped even lower the day after we were admitted there was concern that it could be more than just the virus. The hematologists took extra care to look as closely as possible to what might be going on with her white blood cells. Ultimately and thankfully, they determined that the low numbers were likely just from the virus and not from leukemia – one of our (and any parent’s) worst nightmares – which our pediatrician knows.

Thankfully, Kennedy is on the mend and really back to her spunky self. We are still working on getting the routine back to normal. Two weeks sick preceded by spring break is a long time to be off school and out of a routine…

Having a medical team who you are comfortable with, who you know and trust, who you can make decisions with, who poke and prod until they are satisfied that they have a handle on what is happening, is one of the most important things ever. Without knowing what life would bring, our choice to meet the person that would care for our baby and ultimately, care for us, was far and away one of the best decisions we ever made.

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