accidents happen

WA had an accident yesterday at day care. Apparently he was walking on toys he’d put on the floor, lost his balance, and hit his head, right above his eye, on the edge of a table. I had just arrived at the library for what I’d hoped would be 3 hours of productive time before class when I got the call from MT. She said she wasn’t sure if it needed stitches, but she wanted me to come and check it out. So much for being productive.

I went to MT’s and he seemed fine, but the eye looked bad. So I took him to the doctor where they did nothing but take my $20 co-pay and tell me that getting it stitched was mostly a cosmetic issue (due to his “darker skin”) and that they’d have to send me to a cosmetic surgeon to do it because it was in a place too close to his eye for them to do it in office. But if I went that route, insurance probably wouldn’t pay for it because it wasn’t a medical necessity (due to his “darker skin” again? I’m not sure.)

Well, I’d rather my son not have a permanent large scar above his head, but I don’t have the money to pay out of pocket to fix what is largely a cosmetic issue. The nurse said something to the effect that, “well, he won’t be a supermodel,” which kind of pissed me off and made me wonder if they would have given the same advice if 1) this was my daughter who’d come in with this laceration and 2) if he was white. The first doctor who saw him told me, quite glibly,  that when daughters come in with this type of issue, most parents are like, “yes, fix it” while parents of boys usually just “shrug and brush it off.” The second doctor told me to use a Chapstick with sunscreen on the scar in the summertime to make sure it, well, I’m not really sure why I need it there and not everywhere anyway. I guess to not cause further problems with his “darker skin.”

Can I say again that I detest the medical profession (not doctors as people per se, but just in their role as doctors)?

6 thoughts on “accidents happen

  1. I found this really upsetting, it seems like you and your son were being mistreated. I looked on the web a bit, and it does appear a standard thing in medical advice that dark skin is more likely to have bad scars. But this seems like a reason to do the stitches, not a reason not to. I think I’d call the insurance board and try to get a fast approval or at least a ruling about the cosmetic surgery. Of course I don’t know what kind of insurance you have. In my plan, there is a way to appeal this kind of thing. The doctor brushing you off sounded bad to me.

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  2. You’re right OW, but unfortunately, it’s too late now. Either you do the stitches immediately, or it’s too late – the next day the body has already started its healing process. It will be good to know for the future though.

    Yes, the doctor made me feel that it didn’t matter 1) because he is a boy and 2) because he’s not going to be a supermodel anyway.

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  3. that’s really awful. my daughter was sick for her first 6 months and it took 4 peds docs before she was finally diagnosed and properly treated. they all seemed to think i was this dippy first-time mother who didn’t realize babies cry — and i always felt silly for taking her in (again!) because I KNEW somthing was wrong. i hated the way they made me feel.

    from that experience (and others), i learned to be aggressive and seek new doctors until i find a good one. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I were treated like that and by the time I found another, it was “too late.” You should definitely complain in any case.

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