Monday, May 04, 2009

Now What?

Riley had a scheduled endo appointment on April 17th. A few days before the appointment I got a voicemail from the receptionist saying that the doctor had to cancel the appointment due to health reasons. She said she would call back in 2 weeks and reschedule.

Friday was 2 weeks from when his appointment was scheduled. I called and left a message wanting to reschedule the appointment. I got a voicemail from Dr. Morris yesterday.

She called to tell me that she was in surgery 2 weeks ago and that she had a follow up appointment on Tuesday (tomorrow) and after her appointment she would know more what her schedule was and would call to schedule an appointment. Then, she dropped the bomb.

I’m not sure how old Dr. M is but she’s on the older end of the spectrum. I’ve always wondered what we would do when she retired. I’ve always secretly hoped that Riley would be cured before that happened.

Anyway, she said she wanted to let me know something before I heard it somewhere else. She will be closing her practice. She said her health is good right now and she’ll probably keep it open for another 2 months.

I was devastated. I love, love, love Dr. M. I think she was heaven-sent. For those who don’t know: When Riley was first diagnosed he was sent to the local pediatric endo that covered the hospital where he was diagnosed. We live in Eastern NC and this doctor is the only ped endo in Eastern NC. To say he has a big practice is putting it mildly. Anyway, I liked him just fine but since he was so adamantly against the pump for Riley and I was so gung-ho about it, he wasn’t really a good fit for us.

I let him know that I would prefer to see someone else. His PA said she would check around for doctors that specialize in small children on the pump (Riley was 3 at the time) and call back. Of course, I took matters into my own hands and started searching on the internet.

Almost immediately I found Dr. M. I read a (positive) message someone had left on about her and small kids on the pump. I thought I’d give her a try. I called her office and left a message. Later that afternoon I got a voicemail. Dr. M, herself not her receptionist (impressive), had called and told me she had an appointment available in a couple of weeks. I immediately called back to confirm the appointment. The next day I had a voicemail from the PA at the previous doctor’s office. She read off about 4 names of doctors that were good with kids and the pump. Dr. M was the first doctor on the list.

Riley was diagnosed in October 2005 and we’ve been seeing Dr. M since December of 2005. I was very straightforward from the very beginning that I wanted Riley to be on the pump and that is why I went to her. She was upfront too and told me she wouldn’t just stick him on the pump without knowing that he really needed it or that it would benefit him.

We took initial pump training in January and on March 3, 2006 Riley started pumping insulin for the very first time. Dr. M has been there every step of the way. Not only has she seen him every 3 months for the last 3+ years. I have her home number and her cell number. I have been told to call her anytime day or night. I called her in the middle of the night at home early on in the pump start and she was very pleasant and did not seem to mind that I disturbed her sleep.

She is in a private practice. She is the only doctor. She doesn’t even have a nurse. Her office staff consists of her and her receptionist. I love that when I call she knows exactly who I am and who Riley is. She knows that I try very hard and that sometimes in her opinion I try too hard.

She’s never been harsh, but always reassuring. She doesn’t let me off the hook if Riley’s A1C is up, but she doesn’t chastise me either. She focuses a little on the A1C and sugars, but what is most important to me is that she focuses on Riley. She always asks him how he’s doing and if he’s happy. One thing she always asks is: “Is there anything that diabetes keeps you from doing that you want to do?” Thankfully, Riley’s answer has always been no, but I know that if he ever said yes, then she’d sit down with us and figure out how to change that.

I know I’ve rambled on and on. But, I really can’t imagine seeing anyone but her. We haven’t told Riley yet because we don’t want to have to upset him until it can’t be helped. So, I’m going to start looking for another endo so when the time comes we’ll be prepared.

If any of you know a good pediatric endo in NC please let me know. We will not be seeing the one in Eastern NC, Dr. Harris. Dr. M is in Chapel Hill which is about 3 hours from home, so we’re willing to drive that far to see someone as long as they are good.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Major suckage Penny. Sorry to hear about that. I know that it can be a blow to loose a doctor that you like, and a lot of work to find a new one.

Hang in there - I'm sure there are other fabulous doctors around.

Allison Blass said...

I don't know any doctors in NC, so the only thing I can say is a plug for one of my clients, They are a find-a-doctor resource database, and has pretty much every single doctor in the country there. If there is an endo in NC, they'll have them listed. They you can ask around, or call, with the ones who are in your area.

Harry Thompson said...

Hi Penny-
I don't know if Charlotte is out of your range, but my pediatric endo was great and is still practicing in the area (although I have long since outgrown that stage!).

Good Luck!

Amy said...

Sorry to hear this Penny! I'll be praying that you and Riley find the right fit soon!

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry that this is happening. I know it really sucks to lose a dr. that you respect so much. They can make all the difference. Good luck finding a new one. I'm sure you'll find someone great for Riley!