Thursday, April 1, 2010


I came across a new blog recently. I don't even remember how I found it but this woman is a wonderful writer and a fantastic photographer. She's also a new mom to a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome. I was reading the story of her daughter's birth and it pretty much left me sobbing big giant tears into my keyboard. Her entire story is moving but the part that affected me the most was when she described how the doctor told her about her daughter's likely diagnosis. The doctor who broke the news was so compassionate and respectful. It brought back memories of the terrible day that Bennett was diagnosed and how the doctor told us.

I will never forget her standing in that tiny room looking down at us. There was not an ounce of compassion in her face as she bluntly delivered the shocking diagnosis of cerebral palsy. I remember the unbelievable pain and then the numbness. I remember the student who was with her nervously staring at the floor as she spoke. I hope he learned something that day - I hope he learned how NOT to treat people. I hope he went on to train with other doctors - other doctors who showed him how to treat people with respect and compassion. I've tried to forgive her and I thought I had until I read that blog post this morning. Apparently I need more time. I will never understand how another person, a human being, a woman, a mother could have treated us so callously.

Fortunately, that was the one and only time we saw that pediatrician. With the help of a family friend we were able to get another opinion from a different doctor who generously offered to take Bennett as a patient. And every time we see her I am grateful - she's a wonderful, gracious and compassionate human being - just as a doctor should be.


Amy said...

Sorry for your crappy experience, though it seems pretty typical from what I've heard. We got our diagnosis from a neurology resident and it was horrible as well. She dropped it on us, with no prep, no compassion, no hope really....I guess they are afraid to promise too much for your child for fear you'll old them to it or something. To this day, pray that she didn't end up staying in pediatrics!

Barbara said...

Amy - I agree with you completely. Unfortunately it seems that our crappy experiences are the norm. What a sad statement on the medical profession. And despite the fact that there are so many wonderful doctors out there, it's those bad ones that stick in your mind.