Monday, February 26, 2007

In which Lawmommy swears profusely and complains about the health care industry

Husband and Gabriel and I had to take Lana to the ER last night.

What a phenomenal waste of our time.

I have rarely ever been so tempted to use the word “fuckwit” in public, but, last night…


To begin with, Lana had a fever of 105.5.

This is a high fever as far as I am concerned. She had also had three doses of Tylenol at the point she was registering 105.5.

So, off we went to the E.R.

They looked at my child. They looked at me. I told them she only speaks Vietnamese so, no, I don’t know if she is hurting in any particular place.

“Why is she here with you?” I am asked.

“She’s my daughter, we adopted her 7 weeks ago in Da Nang, Viet Nam .” ("Viet Nam" Lana helpfully pipes up with a correction of my pronunciation of her homeland, a point about which she is still sensitive.)

“Do you have your adoption paperwork with you?”

I stare at the man in stunned silence for a moment. “No, I do not have my adoption decree with me, since it isn’t something that I CARRY AROUND IN MY PURSE.”

“We cannot treat her without seeing her adoption paperwork,” says Bureaucratic Fuckwit #1.

“Excuse me?” says I.

“You cannot authorize treatment for this child without proof that you are her adoptive mother. Obviously you are not her mother. So we need proof.”

(Obviously, because, you know, I am all of a sturdy-blonde-Nordic-Viking type and not a dainty Asian woman? Is THAT what he was pointing out? Really? Is it REALLY that OBVIOUS to EVERYONE that this tiny black-haired child didn't spring from my loins?? Gee, I didn't notice!)

It is at this point that I am tempted to lean over the desk and grab the Fuckwit by the throat and start squeezing.

“I AM her MOTHER,” I seethe at him through clenched teeth.

“Well, no, you just admitted that you AREN’T her MOTHER, that you adopted her in Vietnam,” the idiot fuckwit goes on.

“At which point I BECAME her MOTHER. For Pete’s sake, no one has ever asked me to prove that I am HIS mother.” I point at Gabriel, who looks up at the guy with a face so like my own that guy looks at me and shrugs, like I have just made his point for him.
“Right, but, you aren’t her mother, so, you know, I need proof that you adopted her.”

(Now, someone dearly needs to explain to this ASSHOLE that adoptive mothers are MOTHERS, but, it wasn’t going to be ME. Not with a child running a 105.5 fever.)

“If you are suggesting that I somehow SMUGGLED a Vietnamese child into the country you are sadly mistaken. I am her MOTHER. The adoption decree is downtown in my law office, half an hour from here. Do you really want me to go get it, or do you want to figure out what is wrong with MY DAUGHTER?”

A supervisor nurse comes over, and she says in his ear, “drop it, Jack. Just drop it. If she says she’s the kid’s mother, just let it go.”

We wait for 20 minutes and they finally call for Lana. At which point the fuckwittery just got worse.

It gives me a headache to contemplate, but, we went from being told she had a kidney infection and needed to be admitted to the Children’s Hospital across town, to being told that she might have pneumonia, to being told that she DIDN’T have a kidney infection to being told that she DIDN’T have an ear infection – NO! WAIT! She DOES have an ear infection, to horrifically traumatizing her by trying to take her blood, then coming back and saying the blood they got was useless and they needed MORE BLOOD…

At which point Husband, who normally leaves medical decision making to me said, “No. No. You are NOT traumatizing this child ANY MORE tonight. You are not coming at her with any more needles when you acknowledge that she is already dehydrated and you couldn’t get any useful sample out of her an hour ago. No. NO MORE. We are going home and we will see our doctor in the morning.”

They insisted that she had an ear infection and gave her a dose of amoxicillin and a list of things to look out for if she had an allergic reaction to it. We kept her fever down with Tylnenol and Motrin, and this morning, when we finally saw a doctor who has been practicing medicine for more than 5 minutes, we were told that she DID NOT have an ear infection or a kidney infection, and in fact that a common respiratory virus, that most children would have had in the US well before the age of 4, probably something she contracted from the babies at the daycare center/preschool, and that she would likely be fine by tomorrow or Wednesday.

Still feeling a little bit angry about the whole thing,


Blogger -Jenny said...

I would have gone fucking balistic. I would have lost it. WTF is that? I mean HELLO.

sucks....I would be pissed to.

Monday, February 26, 2007 4:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only you had remembered to have the adoption decree tatooed to all of your foreheads..

ERs drive me nuts too. Seems like if one is going to be such crisis that it can't wait til morning, there ought to be the best doctors available, not those in training.

Can you write a letter of complaint?

Monday, February 26, 2007 5:05:00 PM  
Blogger mommy magallanes said...

Wow. I had to actually walk away from the computer to cool down. I can't even begin to express how horrible that is. And how worried you and your husband must have been! I'm so sorry that happened to you.

Monday, February 26, 2007 6:22:00 PM  
Blogger Irshlas said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE promise you will unleash both your Momminess AND your law degree on that hospital's administration! I was mortified reading your story. What a horrible experience! Hope that Lana continues to be on the mend

Monday, February 26, 2007 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Perpetual Academic said...

That's bloody insane! Everyone in this house was definitely infuriated on your behalf.

Monday, February 26, 2007 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger La Turista said...

I agree with irshlas - as much as I hate to do it, sometimes you gotta pull the bar card. Like the time I had this asshole realtor ask me if I understood what "fixtures" were, seeing as I was not about to let the woman who bought our old house get her mits on a $300 shelf I had put up in the master bath. I asked him if he wanted the Supreme Court's definition or something laypeople like him could understand. Dumbass.

Monday, February 26, 2007 7:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

I hope you tear that place a new butt!!! I also say we get a group of us together and we go kick some ER ass.

Monday, February 26, 2007 8:22:00 PM  
Blogger jenn said...

Just reading your story has me shaking. How disturbing, rude, and simply useless! Was his job to go over the legalities and preciseness of who birthed said ill child? Or perhaps Jack gets paid to ponder the compexities of weather or not the simple birth of said ill child constitutes being the ONLY mother a child will ever have?
Why is it that you can illegally enter this country, go to any emergency room and get taken care of and you go through an international adoption to LEGALLY bring a child into the US and catch a bunch of crap when the poor thing is sick and confused.
I would MOST CERTAINLY be writing them a letter. Is it really too much to ask for people to have some manners, let alone common sense now a'days!?!?
Hoping you do something about this if you are able.

Monday, February 26, 2007 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger bluefairy said...

WTF! That is horrible! A mother is a mother is a mother, one does not need to be of the same blood to be a mother! What happened to the hippocratic oath????? While Jack there is arguing that she does not look like you who is actually treating Lana! What does it matter and why is it any of his business?????I don't remeber ever hearing or seeing anyone asking a birthmother for the long format birth certificate that lists the birth parents!!!!!!!!!!I hope you send a nasty-gram to them and to the certifying body!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Ok, Ok. First of all, I am embarrassed on behalf of my moronic profession. Secondly, like most people in medicine, my hair instictively stands on end at the mention of a lawyer...HOWEVER, in this case, TAKE THESE A$$*&^@$ DOWN LAWMOMMY!! Bust out some seriously scary lawyer words and make 'em all WISH they didn't have an ignorant and insensitive dumbass working in their ER!! SO sorry you had that experience.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 4:15:00 PM  
Blogger thecurryseven said...

What a nightmare!!! It made my head explode just reading about it, I can't imagine what it would have been like to be in your place. It makes me even more grateful about our recent ER visit. I think a letter...or 2 or 3...are definitely in order

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 5:51:00 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

WHAT?!?! That is absolutely the most awful thing I have EVER heard!! I can't believe you had to be put through that, especially when you have a child who is sick and you are worried sick about her.

I can tell you my short, stocky, redheaded, freckled faced self has been a mother to one slender little Cambodian girl for 5 years and I have NEVER had to defend my motherhood I hope this is the absolute ONLY time you ever have to go through this. I am so, so sorry. But happy to know Lana is doing OK.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 7:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mia's Mommy said...

I'm stunned. I'm just stunned. Wow.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007 9:37:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

OH. MY. GOSH. I can not even imagine having such a conversation!!!!! I would have been raising he** and taking names, big time. (or at least, I'd like to think I would, but probably like you I'd be more focused on my sick kid and just get really mad!!)
I'm glad Lana is okay and not dealing with anything too serious though.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good idea to leave before they did any more damage with their turns out dead wrong diagnosis, on a recently adopted young child from the third world. A child allergic to several meds already.

Check out some other hospitals like the Childrens across town you mentioned. Tell your regular peditrician you have no faith in this hospital and to suggest another hospital or else come to the ER himself when you have a problem.

Not only am I big and blond I am also about 15 years older then you I am sure. In getting child care for my tiny brown Asian daughter I always point out she is on my insurance and start pulling out cards. At this point she still has her foreign name & last name, not mine, but I did get her on my insurance and that does the trick. That seems to be what they want.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Destination Motherhood said...

That is horrible, I'm sorry you had to go through that. I really hope you are considering writing a letter to the hospital. What a jerk, unbelievable!

Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Christina/Mrs. BroccoliGuy said...

I hope Lan is feeling lots better.

Just wanted to let you know Blogger is not letting me publish my Zeeb at the Dentist post so I put it on Wordpress instead (take that Blogger!):

Thursday, March 01, 2007 8:15:00 PM  
Blogger Robinson 4 said...

What a trainwreck! I would write a nasty hate letter to the hospital director!! What a BITCH!

Thursday, March 01, 2007 8:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Mom2One said...

Found you through Journey to Jackson's blog.

But holy crap!! I think I would report that asshat!

My son from Vietnam is 5 years old now and I've never had anyone question my being his mother. NEVER!! SHEESH!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007 7:24:00 AM  
Blogger June said...

Dear 'lawmommy'! You rock! My bff, who recently brought her daughter home from Viet, sent me the link to this post. I have heard of this occurring in the China adoption community.
If I experience this, I will try to be calm as I thank the incompetent idiot for the settlement proceeds from the lawsuit I will file against the hospital. We have not been to the e.r. yet, but I am going to keep copies of la petite's 'papers' close at hand.

thanks for sharing your experience!

Sunday, March 16, 2008 5:53:00 PM  

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