Change is Hard

Originally written 5/14/18


After several trips back and forth to Hadley's endocrinologist in Akron, we were starting to get the hang of things. Her appointments were every 3 months with blood draws every 6 weeks. Dr. K would post the lab results on Hadley's patient portal and send us a message. She would usually tell us that she sent a new prescription with a different dose of Synthroid to our pharmacy. I think one time in the first 9 months we didn't have to change the dose. Her TSH went from 1100 at birth, down to 12 at 6 weeks old, and down again to 0.2 by 12 weeks. (Normal range is 0.350-5.500.) At her 6 month check she was at 9.4 and at 9 months her TSH was normal for the very first time at 1.534. It was apparent to us that dosing Synthroid for an otherwise healthy and growing infant is basically a guessing game.

Hadley was sweet and so charming at her 9 month appointment. Dr. K asked if she could just take her home. Without waiting for an answer, she took Hadley out of the exam room and walked her around the entire office. They laughed and babbled to each other while Dr. K paraded her around and showed her off to every single employee. I made my way to the check out counter and happily waited about 10 minutes until Dr. K brought Hadley back to me. They were both so pleased with themselves. We love Dr. K.

Which brings me to the most heart-breaking moment in this entire journey to date. We decided to switch endocrinology providers. Why? Why would we even consider leaving Dr. K? We truly did not want to leave Dr. K and today I am still not 100% sure we made the right decision. Driving to Akron for Hadley's appointments meant taking off at least a half day of work for one or both of us every 3 months. This is in addition to her well baby check ups with her pediatrician and outpatient blood draws. Akron Children's Hospital has an endocrinologist with 4 nurse practitioners in Boardman, less than a mile from daycare and my work and walking distance from Kyle's department. It just seemed to make sense to switch providers.

I called the main number for Akron Children's Endocrinology and spoke to a scheduler. When I told her our intention to change providers she informed me that we are allowed one provider change. Ever. Under no circumstances would we be permitted to switch back to Dr. K once we agreed to this change. We also had no say in who would be Hadley's new provider in the Boardman office. I asked the girl on the phone to hold on just a moment. I muted my phone, paced back and forth for a minute, un-muted the phone and then said, "Ok." She told us the name of Hadley's new provider, Nurse Practioner L, and gave me an appointment for Hadley's 12 month check up.

I hung up the phone and went to the bathroom. I splashed water on my face and called Kyle crying. I was completely freaking out. Have you every changed your baby's doctor? Why was this so hard? I have a hard time changing brands of make-up so it shouldn't surprise me that this was so difficult. Though he didn't seemed pleased with the one-provider-change policy, he calmed me down and made me feel at ease, as he always does. He's my rock and always a source of comfort.

The time came for Hadley's 12 month check up with her new provider. Would Hadley like her? Would we like her? Would she like us? Is any of this as big of a deal as I have made it out to be? And the question I ask myself every single day since I became a mother 13 years ago...Did I make the right decision for my child?



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