Today was a good day until I had to get ugly with a nurse who pretty much threatened my child. I had to take him to the doctor because he has been sickly. He tested negative for flu and strep but has a bad sinus infection. The doctor suggested he get a flu shot. I was a little apprehensive because I normally have to prepare him several hours before he gets shots. I made a bad choice and decided to get him one. I did talk to him right before the nurse came in and tried to prepare him in-brief. He seemed okay – I was wrong. When the nurse came in she looked like she was mad at the world. Not a good sign, right? When he saw the shot he freaked out. So, I tried to talk to him. She then tried to talk to him but was not nice about it – very abrupt and aggressive. I grabbed him up and put him in my lap. He fought me and slid to the ground. She squatted down in front of him. Then put 2 fingers up in front of his face and said… “You have 2 options. You can get in your mom’s lap and let me give it to you there. OR I can go get ***** (another co-worker) and we will hold you down like a baby. Are you a baby? Huh, are you a baby??” At this point he was very emotional and stiffening up. I was floored and trying to comprehend what was happening. She proceeded to pull down his shirt off his shoulder and was going to stick the needle in while he was on the floor. He was fighting so hard I just knew the needle would break off if she tried to stick him… and then she said AGAIN… “are you a baby, huh?” I lost it… I pushed her away from him and exclaimed, “He has autism! The way you are talking so hateful to him is not helping things. The way you are acting would be devastating for a typical kid!” She got ugly and asked, “Do you want him to have the flu shot or not?” By this time my whole body was shaking and I told her “Absolutely not! Forget it!”…… She left the room. THEN I heard her mouthing ugly to the other nurses about me. I swung open the door and demanded to speak with the doctor. I talked with the doctor and told everything that happened. The doctor was very apologetic and said a conversation will be held with the nurse about the incident. That really didn’t make me feel better. I feel that the nurse needs to apologize to me and to my son. This nurse has been with this doctor for a while and has seen us before. She never looks like she wants to be there… you know when you have jobs that you love and jobs that you dislike… she always looks unhappy. I have reminded her on many occasions that he has autism. I realize that they see many patients. BUT – I have been taking my son to this doctor for 7 years. I feel that I shouldn’t have to tell them every time we go that he has autism. This doctor helped us get him diagnosed!!! AND – if they are unsure of the patient… then look at the patient’s chart!!!
Prior to the incident – I had a nice conversation with the doctor regarding how well Carter has been doing. I explained that he hasn’t had an autism melt down in several months. Then this happened.
When I walked out and went up to pay – I was trembling… trembling and sobbing. I could hardly write out the check. I just couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Carter didn’t speak for an hour or so after that. He completely zoned out. Later he broke down crying. I sat down with him and explained that it was not his fault and that he was not in trouble. I apologized that he had to go through that. I felt like a horrible parent for letting it go so far and for not just saying “no” to the shot.
I am simply heartbroken and mortified. He is doing so well… SO WELL… something like this could set him back and that terrifies me.
How in the world can I trust going back to this doctor’s office? I know there are great nurses out there and I appreciate them so much. But this one… she has no business being in a pediatric clinic. NONE! There are other staff at this doctor’s office who are very kind and I have nothing but praise for them.
I didn’t know the Mama Bear in me could “roar” like that. It really scared me. It scared me that I had to get really ugly so she would back off. It really upsets me that she had no concern that he is autistic and treated him the way she did. It just saddens me… that she had no regards for his disorder.
I always try to look at the bright side of things… I am not so sure what it is here…