I hate taking care of administrative duties. I don’t like making phone calls and booking appointments. I sort of tend to put these things off indefinately. There are so many other things I rather do.
Booking medical appointments, though it should be the top priority on my list, is sadly not. We have been in the new house for over two months and it is only now that I have taken the initiative to find a new family doctor. When it comes to myself, not going to the doctor, dentist, gyno is my problem, but when it comes to my children, there is no excuse.
Part of my problem is all that medical terminology. I don’t know why, but I find it scary. I also tend to feel lacking in vocabulary of the medical world despite my being quadri-lingual. I guess I always missed the lesson on the chapter of ‘going to the doctor’ in the different languages I speak. Even in English, which is my most native of tongues, I somehow seem to struggle… Even now, typing this, my hands a clammy with nervousness…
In France and Brazil, the doctor’s/ dentist’s/ other specialist’s office don’t send out cute little postcard reminders that it has been six month since your last check-up, so we need to be even more responsible to keep track of when it’s time to book a check-up appointment.
In France, and in Brazil, children receive, at their birth a Carnet de Santé, which is a book of their medical records. The doctor keeps records of their medical history, but we as their parents also have everything written down in a nice easy-to-tote little notebook. As we tend to be a family on the move, changing from one doctor to another, having this little book of health is very pratical, and I wonder why we don’t have something similar in America.
I have recently discovered that while we lived in Brazil, my children did not receive vaccinations that are common in France. I feel stricken with guilt that I did not research better the mandatory vaccinations of our three countries, that I did not have a pediatrician that was better informed of obligatory vaccination in different nations.
I feel ashamed that I have neglected my childrens’ health and well-being. That I have perhaps put them at risk, in danger, waiting so long to make sure I was up to date in their health records.
Back in November, I took the boys to a pediatrician that did not inspire me. She was overbooked, had a messy office, a cramed examination room and seemed to rush through the appointments. She also did not seem to appreciate that my childrens’ Carnets de Santé were written in Portuguese rather than French. Dr. Pediatrician was not amused to see the similarities in doctors’ penmanship across the continents – that regardless of their language or country they all seem to have horrible hand-writting. Instead she got mad at me for making her work even more difficult (so French! must blame someone). In our new area, there are no pediatricians, so I have booked appointments for each of the boys with a general practitioner for tomorrow afternoon. We will see how these visits with the new doctor go. I hope she won’t punish me too harshly for being such a neglectful mommy, though I know I deserve it.
UPDATE : March 16
Just left Doc. office, the kids ARE up to date, I was worried for nothing! Phew, not such a bad mum afterall…