Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Smart Patient, Dumb Doctor

Samantha has this white spot on her tongue. I noticed it when she was really little, like, a month old. Of course, the worst things ran through my mind: Cancer. I brought it up at her next doctor's appointment. The pediatrician told me not to worry about it. Watch it, but don't worry. And it's not cancer. So I did. Nothing changed.

Many months later, I was watching Oprah episode about medical mistakes and being a smart patient. She had a guest on who was a famous chef who had had oral cancer that started as a small white spot on his tongue! He almost had to have his tongue removed!! Needless to say, I freaked out and brought it up to the doctor again. She referred me to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT).

This guy was supposed to be a pediatric and adult ENT, but I don't think he's ever seen a baby in his life. When he started to examine Samantha, who was sitting on my lap, he said, and I am not making this up, "Open up!" Then when she didn't "open up," he said, "Say ahhhh!" He was dead serious, too.

Uh, dude, she's 9 months old.

Although that was the point of this post, I should probably tell how the story ends. The ENT doesn't know what the spot is. He says he's 99% sure it's nothing and he's not willing to put a baby under in order to biopsy it (too much risk). Unfortunately, this makes me nervous since the famous chef's point was that his oral cancer could've been avoided had they just biopsied the small white spot in the first place!


Laural Out Loud said...

Seriously? That guy has obviously never worked with babies before. If he had, he would know how insane it is to tell a parent that he's not willing to do what's necessary to rule out something like cancer! I don't mean to be alarmist (it's probably not cancer), but you need a second opinion from someone who knows babies!

Simona said...

He WAS my 2nd opinion. Both doctors told me that if it IS something terrible, the spot will go thru a change...and it hasn't changed a bit.