I was so certain that Jordyn’s hearing was not related to her delay in communication. Especially considering how well she sings her favorite songs and responds to her name when called. However, a hearing evaluation revealed she has fluid behind the left eardrum. Considering this happened to me several months ago, I understand how difficult it is to hear and participate in conversations. In fact, I tried to limit personal interaction to avoid asking people, “Can you say that again? The audiologist instructed me to visit with her pediatrician, Dr. Ellis, to see what she would recommend. I was also told the audiology report would be faxed to Dr. Ellis later in the day, but was given the audiogram to take with me. Luckily, I was able to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ellis the following morning.
The wait to see Dr. Ellis was longer than normal. I assume this was due to back-to-school requirements related to physicals and the like. We finally got a chance to see her 1.5 hours after our scheduled appointment. Once we arrived to the examination room, everything was pretty routine. The medical assistant made a copy of the audiogram, measured height and weight and got a general understanding of the visit, which I explained related to the hearing evaluation of the previous day.
Dr. Ellis enters the room and I explain, again, that Jordyn’s hearing evaluation revealed fluid behind the left eardrum. She says with an annoyed tone, “That’s not what this report says,” referring to the handwritten notations on the audiogram. She continues, “Here, let me explain what it does say…” I let her explain, then she proceeds to ask me about symptoms like runny nose and cough. I responded, “Wait, I want to go back to the fluid conversation I had yesterday. They were supposed to fax a report to you, did you not get it?” She responds, “You are being very difficult. I am trying to diagnose your child. Can we please proceed?” I was stunned. I simply shook my head “yes” and allowed her to ask about cold symptoms that did not exist. In the end, she wrote Jordyn a prescription for the cure-all med, Amoxicillin, and sent us on our way to follow-up in two weeks.
I returned home and called the audiologist about what happened at Dr. Ellis’ office. They explained that Dr. Ellis did not have all of the information needed to make an assessment and that the audiology report does indicate Jordyn has fluid behind the left eardrum. Once the report was received by Dr. Ellis’ office, I requested a referral to see an ear, nose and throat (“ENT”) specialist and immediately scheduled an appointment. I have no intention of returning to Dr. Ellis. A pediatrician should be approachable and caring. Dr. Ellis barely talks to Jordyn and Jaidyn and tends to not know where we left-off from the previous visit. Furthermore, I expected her to call the audiologist and have them immediately fax the report, opposed to blowing me off like I had no idea what I was talking about. I will continue to ask around for referrals and incorporate guidelines found in this article on how to choose a pediatrician. In the mean time, Jordyn is scheduled to meet with a speech therapist today and the ENT tomorrow. Wish us luck! Given our experience thus far, we’ll need it.