Yep, I am That Mom.
Ever heard the saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"? It means that sometimes it’s the loudest, most vocal, most demanding of people who actually get the attention they need. In contrast, often the quiet person gets forgotten about or overlooked.
I have been vocal and loud lately with one of my daughter’s doctors. Sometimes, we parents must be loud and demand that our children get the attention or treatment that they need.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not always that a doctor is not as attentive as they should be. The truth is, the doctor has many patients to care for, and I just have one. While my daughter’s health and well-being is always at the forefront of my mind, a doctor has many children to fill theirs.
It’s my duty to treat my one patient with utmost care and to speak up and keep speaking up when needed.
My daughter has an acute issue that started more than 4 weeks ago. Since that time, I have called the nurse at least every other day to give updates and to seek advice. We have been prescribed medications and sent for X-rays. We have been sent to the ER. We have been given detailed instructions to follow. Each time, I’m told to call back with a report.
Now when I call, the nurse literally calls me by first name before I even have a chance to identify myself. Yes, I am That Mom. She waits for me to call. She knows I will call. She knows I’m thorough. She knows I’ll take notes and keep a record.
I hate feeling like I’m a bother. I hate feeling like people talk about me when we hang up. I hate knowing that there’s probably a star beside my name, marking me as a big pain in the neck. I hate knowing the doctor’s office phone number by heart.
Yet, I know it’s my job. It’s my number one job: seeing to it that my kid is safe and well. And I will continue to call. I will continue to document and report. I will continue to be That Mom.
Maybe I should make a T-shirt: “I am That Mom!” I’m guessing there are others who would proudly wear it.
Learn more about communicating with your child’s doctor.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.