Tag Archives: Doctor


8 Feb

With my most recent post being about a horrible experience we had with a doctor – I thought it was only fitting to brighten things up and write about an amazing doctor and person.

When ladybug was first admitted to the hospital this past summer, the ER doctor was kind, very thorough and was open to talking about the tests he wanted to run and the results as soon as they came in.  Little did I  know that this doctor would be  looking after my princess during the first couple weeks of her stay at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

Like I mentioned in Watching and Waiting everything started with ladybug having a very fast and irregular heartbeat, and the thought was that it was caused by an infection of some sort.  Then fast forward a bit and the GI bleed began.

Throughout these couple of weeks one thing remained constant and continuously gave me peace of mind; it was a doctor, the same doctor who had admitted my daughter when we were first seen in the ER.

He was always checking in on us even if he wasn’t on rounds, he pushed to have tests done that other doctors didn’t really see a need for, but quite possibly saved my daughter’s life. I often gave a little sigh of relief when I would see him walking down the hall first thing in the morning, because I knew my ladybug would be in the best hands.  One thing really stood out, and that was every morning the first words out of his mouth were always “how are you?”, it may seem like a common question but rarely got asked by the doctors during our stay. Those three words helped me feel at ease with everything else that was going on. He never seemed like he was in a rush when talking to me, always took the time to see how I was, and as soon as any x-ray or ultrasound result came back he would take me over to the computer and show me the results whether they were normal or not.

His name is Dr. Brian Levy.

I held and hold him in such a high reverence that I cried when I found out he was moving on to Labour and Delivery.  Here I was  holding everything together and keeping strong for my baby up until that point, and now crying over a doctor leaving? Maybe it was that last little straw that caused all the marbles to fly everywhere, maybe it was exhaustion, hormones, or maybe just maybe I had become so accustomed to having a caring doctor I really was upset that he was leaving us.  I even asked if he would be willing to switch from being an ER doc to being a pediatrician, sadly for us it was not his calling.

When Dr. Levy or Dr. Brian as our fav nurse and I use to call him moved on to L&D he still popped in a couple of times to see how we were, then we never saw him again.

I always wondered if he had moved on to another hospital, and if maybe one day I’d run into him on one of our regular hospital visits. All the while knowing that I wanted to somehow let him know what an incredible doctor he is.

What better way than to write this post to honor him.  The hardest part was trying to come up with a title. I decided on the word Mensch.  Mensch comes from the Yiddish and literally means “man.”  The real meaning is deeper, because, to be a Mensch means to be a “Good Man.”  The Oxford English Dictionary has an excellent definition:
In Jewish usage: a person of integrity or rectitude; a person who is morally just, honest, or honourable.  [OED]

I couldn’t think of a better title for a post about a man who to us represents what every doctor should be.  A person of integrity, honest, and honourable.

Thank you so much, Dr. Levy.

What Not To Say

31 Jan

Today was the long-awaited GI (gastrointestinal) appointment for Ladybug. Without going into graphic details there hasn’t been a stinky tushy to change in 5 days, and she has started to spit up again. With the CDG, her “short gut” from the bowel resection, and the past GI bleed,  it’s so hard not to think that it’s something more than a case of constipation.

Upon our arrival at the GI clinic ladybug was weighed, measured, meds were increased to correspond with her recent weight gain, and her little round buggy belly was pushed and poked.

I knew that she may have poor bowel sounds (the lack of a hollow drum when you tap you finger on her tummy), but really didn’t expect to hear that there was something amiss with her liver.

Here is an appropriate thing to tell a mum after you find something in an examination: “her liver feels a bit large and hard. It’s difficult to tell for sure as her torso is so short. Let’s run some tests just to put my mind at ease.”

The following is what he the doctor actually said: “her liver feels really hard – you should have waited until after the appointment to get her blood work done – so I could have added some things.” Then he proceeded to sit down and when I finished dressing my daughter he began to explain that “she is at risk for liver problems and if she were to have liver failure, because of the CDG she most likely would not qualify for a liver transplant.”

I felt like I was going to be sick, I could feel all the blood rush out of my head and actually had to support myself on the desk next to me. Why on earth would he ever say something like this without knowing for sure if my princess does indeed need a transplant. The rest of the appointment was just a bunch of babbling. The best way to describe the doc talking afterwards was like the teacher in Charlie Brown.

It didn’t matter what he said all I kept hearing over and over was “would not qualify for a liver transplant.”

I’ve said many times that I’m not a doctor or a health care professional, BUT I am a mum – and common sense tells me that one should NOT talk about transplants or not qualifying for them unless one has substantial proof that it’s needed.

So now here I am thinking all these horrible thoughts that no mother should ever have to think because a doctor didn’t think about what not to say.

I ended up stopping in at my family doctors office on the way home, came into the office which had just closed with blood-shot eyes from crying the whole way and tear stains on my cheeks to try to get a second opinion.

All I can say is thank heavens that there are wonderful doctors out there that have the common sense and bed side manner to put my mind at ease. She actually said it’s hard to tell because ladybugs torso is so short, and suggested we get an ultrasound and next time we’re at the hospital to get her port-o-cath flushed add some extra blood work. There was no talk of transplants, or not qualifying. There wasn’t even any hint of panic in her voice.

The aching pain in my chest had subsided and I took a deep breath and began to wonder why anyone let alone a doctor would ever mention this without knowing for sure that was the only plan of action left. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of doctors who plan ahead and prepare me for what could happen in the future but never to this extent.

Just makes me wonder if he has ever had to worry about what not to say.