A few weeks ago my son was sick. After a few days of high fever, he stopped taking his bottle. Concerned, I called the doctor's
office. "Bring him in," the nurse told me. These words filled me with dread. "Here we go again," I thought. If my pediatrician's
office had a motto, I'm pretty sure it would read, "Waste clients' time." I was pleasantly surprised, though, to find for
the first time ever I didn't have to wait.
In fact, the nurse called us back to an exam room early. And we didn't wait long before the doctor came in. It was going too
The doctor looked my son over and said he had a virus. He'd just have to tough it out. OK. I get it. There's not much you
can do for him. But here's where I got mad. "He just needed a therapeutic doctor's visit," the doctor said as she scribbled
on his chart and scooted out of the room.
Just where was the therapy in our visit to the doctor? Did my son feel better because he'd been poked and prodded for the
last 10 minutes? Did I feel better after paying the $75 doctor's bill? The single statement took me from feeling reassured
to feeling ripped off.
The next day my frustration built as my son's fever rose. Where was the care and advice I expected from my son's healthcare
team? Why didn't anyone offer us tips to lower his fever and keep him comfortable? In the midst of the therapeutic visit did
the doctor or nurse ever stop and think how much a little compassion would mean?
I left feeling like I'd wasted my time and money. The truth is, I never expected a magic pill, but I would've appreciated
a little sympathy. So the next time a client visits with a sick pet, try sharing your own story to offer some support: "I
remember when Max had a cold. I felt just awful every time he sneezed. I gave him lots of love and encouraged him to drink
water. It took a few days, but I know he appreciated the extra TLC." Wow, what a difference. I know I feel better.
Portia A. Stewart, Editor