Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Who Put Me In Charge??

Part One:  Too Many Cooks

I took Monty to his new pediatrician yesterday for his 2 month check up and vaccines.  He's on Medical, so I took him to the general pediatrics department at Children's Hospital which we had been told was "the best".  The doctor we saw was nice enough and seemed thorough.  I told her we want to get his frenulum snipped.  We have done a lot of research and have asked several doctors about it and we decided it would be the right thing to do.  There's some argument that the surgery is unnecessary.  The lactation consultant at Cedars where I had him suggested we get it snipped and we declined because we thought it was one of those obnoxious trendy surgeries that only persnickety wealthy people get.  We ran that by Monty's first doctor who agreed with us.  Granted, he didn't actually look at Monty's tongue, so he didn't know the degree of severity...  Then another lactation consultant told us to get it snipped.  And our midwife told us to get it snipped.  A speech pathologist sent us a frantic email telling us not to get it snipped because it's "extremely painful and really bloody" and would make Monty lose trust in us...  She also said there's no real evidence that a short frenulum causes speech problems, despite article after article that says it does (Go ahead and try to talk normally without lifting your tongue off the floor of your mouth.).  She said the biggest problem it would cause is that he wouldn't be good at french kissing.  Kurt extrapolated from there assuming it meant he would also be lousy at oral sex, which, granted, is an odd conversation to have about a 2 month old, but he won't always be 2 months and chances are good that at some point in his life he will engage in oral sex.  (GROSS!) I emailed Dr. Ed, the pediatrician we took Monty to for the second opinion about his Frankenstein head and he said that since Monty has no trouble breastfeeding we probably didn't have to worry about it, but that if it was going to nag at us we might as well get it done.  He said it was not that painful and hardly bloody at all.  And of course, if babies lost trust in their parents that easily we would all be convinced our parents were trying to kill us by the time we entered Kindergarten. 

SO.  The pediatrician yesterday brought in the head of pediatrics or some such big wig who told us that the frenulum surgery is extremely painful and extremely bloody and could lead to infection.  He said that studies show the incidents of the surgery go up according to income which h e explained meant that it is, indeed, something that only persnickety wealthy people do.  Of course, one could make a really strong argument that wealthy people tend to be healthier precisely because they can afford preventative medicine (Cue Angelina Jolie telling everyone to get their boobs cut off NOW).

By the way, for those of you who don't know: The frenulum is the tiny membrane that connects your tongue to the bottom of your mouth.  Yes, that tiny piece of skin is causing this much trouble.

Okay fine.

But then this guy gave us another piece of medical "advice" about a certain part of my son's anatomy that I'll try to remain as vague about as possible so that someday when Monty Googles this he doesn't call me screaming that I shared extremely personal information about him with the entire universe.  So, you know, YOU'RE WELCOME SON.  Suffice it to say, it's likely he does not see what he was checking out that frequently and when he was in medical school the prevailing information was incorrect about this particular thing.  A lot of pediatricians are woefully misinformed about this particular thing.  At any rate, he prescribed an ointment (for an area that, by the way, is not the least bit infected) whose instructions implicitly say is not to be used on the bodily region for which this doctor prescribed it.  At that discovery I Googled the "problem" the doctor was having us treat and learned that not only was it not a problem at all, but that the advise to apply any kind of cream, ointment or unguent and to manipulate the area was not only strongly discouraged but, in fact, dangerous.

He ALSO prescribed a multi-vitamin supplement for Monty because, you know, all research shows that what he's getting from my boobs is NOT sufficient and also he's CLEARLY malnourished (at 11 pounds, 11 ounces at 9 weeks of age.).


Kurt and I briefly considered taking Monty back to Dr. Ed for yet another second opinion but decided that nothing is actually wrong with Monty.  He does not need any ointments or supplements or bodily manipulation or second opinions.  What he does need is to simply go to Dr. Ed from now on.  Sure, he's not in network and we'll be paying out of pocket, but if we're going to be taking him for a second opinion every time he sees someone else, we might as well just cut out the middle man.

In the end, it turns out we actually are persnickety wealthy people.  Minus the wealthy part.

Oh, also?  This is a picture I took.  At the hospital.  The Children's Hospital.

Because, you know, fuck health.