Child,  Eating and feeding disorder,  Family life,  Infantile anorexia

The continuing battle with local medics

Every time I go to our GP, doctor or any other medic here, I am so amazed by their incompetence in diagnosing and giving the proper treatment, their lack of empathy, professionalism, and arrogance. The ‘let’s sit this out, it’s nothing’ attitude. My head just hurts even thinking about them and what they have put us through.

So, Elodie has been coughing since the end of January and the last 3 weeks it got worse with wet coughs, on and off fevers. Waking up, from her sleep, crying and totally inconsolable because of the coughing and then having reflux and vomiting each time. 3 hours of interrupted sleep, which is killing us too, it’s not like we were having an easy time before.

During a visit to Madam GP (when Elodie was sick for 2 weeks) she tells me; well I think she needs to learn that vomiting and reflux is a part of being sick.

SAY WHAT?? Who has ever learned anything from coughing, reflux and vomiting? So I told her that reflux and vomiting can be re-traumatising for a child with an eating disorder. Those are part of the reasons she has infantile anorexia in the first place. Do you understand the effect of an eating disorder on a body or on the immune system? We need extra tests because she is having other health problems as well, and please give me something for the reflux. I was emotional at this point because you feel so powerless, yet I stayed polite.

Madam GP was clearly annoyed by my push back, and decided to scroll back a bit in Elodie’s file and reads about the issues we have had since Elodie’s birth. She finally prescribes anti-reflux medicines while being passive-aggressive towards me. When I wanted to ask something else she said I had to go, she didn’t have any time for us. I didn’t even get the chance to fully dress Elodie, and she opened the door already. We were barely there for 15 minutes. I always have to wait at least 30 minutes for my appointment, and now you are telling me you are on the clock? That’s convenient.

Their sheer arrogance, lack of reading up on a patient’s file, listening to the parents and giving a personalized treatment to a patient just blows my mind. It has happened time in time again, not only at this GP’s, but doctors, and paediatricians etc, we have met in the in our area as well. It’s like what another mum said, medics feel that they have studied for it, and you are just a mother.

My Belgium parents-in-law heard good things about hospital AZ Turnhout Campus Sint Jozef in Belgium, and 2 years ago we went there for the first time. After Elodie’s failed, 3 week, hunger provocation at the Maxima Medisch Centrum in Veldhoven. At the AZ Turnhout they proposed to run tests on Elodie whereas in Veldhoven they were mainly parent blaming.

Lucky we live close to the Belgium border, and it’s still convenient to go to AZ Turnhout, and the doctors there have been fantastic. This doctor listened to me, asked many questions, starting from since she was born, asked her milestones, length/weight history, and shared our worries. Being so nice to Elodie calling her little girl and sweetheart all the time to make her feel at ease. This load that came off my shoulders when I exited my ‘fight mode’, because of the empathy this paediatrician showed. ‘You have been through so much already, I want to look into this, rule out that it is something rare. You can come to us in the future as your little girl has a complex medical history.’ Elodie will have many tests coming because he wants to make sure he has checked whatever is humanly possible. The visit took an hour! I am positive this was not the amount of time they scheduled.

I was so relieved that it wasn’t me, you start to doubt yourself after so many horrible experiences you have with other medics.

Luckily we are still in touch with Dr. Scheer from NoTube who still has our back. If we run into a difficult situation he will share his wisdom and advice with us. This gives me so much strength and knowledge to try and find the right help here. They see so many families, and he still remembers us as parents, but also professionally, and wants to help us. We had a call on a Sunday afternoon in his own downtime. Can you believe that? Dr. Scheer really cares about his patients, even when we are not his patients any more. We are so grateful that we got to know NoTube and their great team. They will always have a special place in our hearts.

Even Elodie’s dentist is in Belgium coming to think of it. Which shows how crap the healthcare system in the Netherlands is, at least in my area. It seems like it is always about money. Filtering out like 80% of issues who might probably be nothing, having key performance indicators on prescriptions being written out, or who get to go to the hospital and who not.

To be honest, I am at a point that I want to look for a GP in Belgium as well. I am so tired of this incompetent mess here who call themselves medics.

As a parent and even as a patient you can tell who are doing their jobs because they want to help people, because they really care. These medics threat you as a human being they listen, and they think along.

When you have been through so much as parents of a child with a medical history, you are longing for help, the right help, that’s all you want. Parents of a healthy child may have many wishes, but we just have one.

So maybe that explains why I am into hospital series on Netflix lately. The doctors are nice, professional and empathetic, and the bad ones get fired. They love their work and go the extra mile for a patient, or to find a cureā€¦ they care. Maybe watching this is some sort of therapy for me, to see more good ones. Who knows.

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