Our current pediatrician practices out of an office that’s about seven miles away. Due to timing, distance, and route options, we have never made the trip by bicycle. Every time we take G to this doctor, we pass by a pediatric practice that is less than two miles from us, an easy and lovely bike ride.
I really like our pediatrician (and I’m hesitant to change horses midstream), but if someone had told me back in December that we would be making six visits in just over four months (including four visits in the last 5 weeks alone), I might have switched to the closer practice!
Our mid-April visit (trip 3 of 6 in 2015) resulted in an allergy diagnosis. Claritin seemed to clear up those symptoms, and we enjoyed a week or so of health, and then a cough popped up, followed by a fever and a pneumonia diagnosis (trip 4 of 6). The antibiotic seemed to really do its job — the fever disappeared almost immediately (surprisingly quickly, according to the doctor) and the cough was knocked way back . . . for awhile.
Last Wednesday (10 days after the diagnosis), we went back for a standard follow-up (trip 5 of 6) to make sure that his lungs were clear. They were, and there had been no recurrence of fever, but I had a nagging feeling even then that his cough was headed in the wrong direction.
He had a lot of nasal drainage and a clearly worsening cough over the weekend, and then on Sunday afternoon, he spiked a fever again. So yesterday we headed to the doctor YET AGAIN (trip 6 of 6), concerned about antibiotic-resistant pneumonia.
The doctor took a really good listen to G’s lungs, and, despite the coughing, said his lungs still sounded clear. The doctor’s best guess is that G now has a respiratory virus of some type. This means no antibiotics, which is a good thing (in terms of antibiotic resistance and not having to deal with the side effects of another drug), but it also means no quick fix.
I’m hoping that this virus resolves quickly, with no secondary infections, so we can have a reprieve from the all-too-familiar drive to the doctor (and also a reprieve from sleepless nights — SO tired).
In the meantime, I’m torn, but I may investigate the closer pediatric practice. We actually interviewed one doctor there before G was born. We weren’t impressed with this individual (felt rushed and unimportant during the consultation), but there are other providers in the practice. Trading a twenty-five minute car ride for a twelve-minute bike trip is tempting.
What would you do?
We have had good, bad, and okay doctors. My advice is to switch only if you think your doctor isn’t working for you. Trust your instinct. I stuck with one a little too long and regretted it.
I am in favor of using local options when possible, but if you like a doctor, I’d stick with them. It’s so hard to find a doctor you like, and especially if your child likes the doctor and is used to them and the office and staff, I’d be reluctant to make a change.
I wasn’t really thinking about how changing might impact Gabriel. I’m sure he’d adjust to a new person, but that is an additional factor to consider.
I have a similar situation with vets. My vet is across town, but there’s one a few blocks from me, and part of me thinks I should switch. The thing is, all doctors are NOT created equal, and I went through a number of bad vets before I found him. While I’m not 100% satisfied with my vet, at least I know him, know his prejudices, and know that while we won’t always agree, he will support my decisions. There’s another vet that some of my cat lady friends highly recommend, but she’s not much closer than my current one, so I dunno… Ultimately, I think that the doctor is more important than the distance.
Sounds very similar. It’s also kind-of a catch-22: having more issues and more visits makes the closer practice extra attractive, but I don’t want to switch in the midst of an on-going issue. Matthew and I really like our current pediatrician, and G seems to like him, too. I like the practice, in general, but the wait times can be a bit much.