Personal experience: Russian woman on the work of children's doctors in the United States
Russian Daria Penionzhkevich moved to Texas from the Moscow region. First person mother of two children tells site "Our Texas" about the work of children's doctors in the United States.
“The fact that medical observation of children in the USA and Russia is very different, I realized right away how I came to Texas with my little daughter.
The process of acclimatization was not easy for me. The climate of the Moscow region and the south of the United States is very different, so everything has changed for us. Cold from air-conditioned rooms and the heat on the street, allergens blooming all year round and the child’s constant desire to sit in the pool and in the ocean - all this is not so difficult to survive. However, how to deal with health problems (which I, as a doctor, certainly, could cure myself) and with the fact that almost all medicines cannot be bought without a doctor's prescription?
At the first appointment with the pediatrician, I realized how difficult it is to be a mom-doctor. At first I was delighted to come to the clinic: a beautiful waiting room, smiling staff, no need to wait long — they came and quickly left — what could be better? All myths were dispelled when necessary to take a child with a high temperature to the doctor.
In America, calling a doctor at home is not an option, and a child with a high temperature needs to be taken to a doctor, where he can infect other children waiting in the lobby. The fact that any disease in children - from ordinary rhinitis to flu - in America is treated with antibiotics, I knew firsthand. Moreover, no one is embarrassed by the fact that the child has already taken a course of antibiotics 2 or 3 a week ago. Some drugs did not help, drink others. And when a seriously ill patient with a viral infection is diagnosed incorrectly and an antibiotic is prescribed that does not cure the infection, you will remember all of your favorite pediatricians in your homeland with great gratitude for their hard work.
Here, many will want to argue with me, and I agree. Not every city in Russia can boast of excellent medical care, so my comparison is not so relevant for the Russian hinterland, for example, for the Perm Territory, where the 1 pediatrician on the 4 is a large area, and the building of the clinic is in disrepair. There is no comparison with the quality of hospital equipment, cleanliness and friendliness of medical personnel from the United States.
For me, the most important is the quality of medical care, and not the surrounding comfort. I can say, as a professional, that after a year of my residency in America I wanted to go to Russia to examine my child. Our plans have changed the good news that another baby will appear in the family. The trip to Russia had to be postponed, the daughter was given an important task - not to get sick. For my year in Texas, I, in turn, studied the entire market for non-prescription drugs and herbal medicine shops, so prevention and treatment methods were no problem for us. And acclimatization has come to a successful conclusion.
Recalling my experience of observing a newborn from Russia, I thought with horror, how would all this be here? After all, on the second day after being discharged from a maternity hospital in America, the doctor or nurse do not come home. I was also frightened by the experience of my friends who signed up for the 3 for a month at the only specialized neurological children's hospital in Dallas (3 hours by car from our city) and went there with a monthly baby.
But as time went on, happiness from pregnancy overwhelmed all my worries, and I had to recall this only on the day we were discharged with the baby from the maternity ward. I asked when and how the scheduled inspection of the child, who is just 2 of the day, will take place. The nurse, smiling, entered into the computer the date of our examination: a day after discharge. To take the 4-day baby to the clinic, where there are a lot of children with various diseases in the emergency room, and even on 4 the day after cesarean section and practically at the same time as my visit to remove postoperative braces, for me it was something of a discharge fiction. But, as they say, a woman, having gathered her will into a fist, can do anything. Realizing that I don’t have a choice, I downloaded the baby in the car seat and went on my first visit.
Everything was not so scary. In the lobby, we had to wait about 15 minutes. After a fairly quick weighing procedure, measuring the growth and temperature of the child, which the nurse promptly performs, our pediatrician has already appeared in the office. The inspection was rather superficial and quick. My questions about further examinations by specialists and additional research methods (which I got used to in Russia with my first child) were answered to me: if there are problems, there will be specialists.
I, like any mother, was delighted, but I was surprised how this doctor understands that there are no problems, even if she doesn’t look at innate reflex reflexes. However, I didn’t rule out the high professionalism of our doctor, whom we chose for so long on the recommendations of friends and with whom I was satisfied, so I didn’t ask any questions. They explained to me that the next inspection of the child will be in 2 month. And so to the year: once a month 2 - a routine examination of a pediatrician with multiple vaccinations.
Days went by, baby, thank God, he was not sick and gained weight on breastfeeding by leaps and bounds. Our scheduled examinations were the same: 5 minutes of measurements, 2 minutes for a visual examination by a doctor, then 5 minutes of vaccination and 30 minutes of tears of my toddler in the car after 3 injections.
Communication with the pediatrician
Several times I tried to clarify with the doctor what she thinks about the high tone in the left arm of the baby: I'm a mother from Russia, and even a neuropathologist. Those who raised children in Russia will understand me and, most likely, will recall the “horror stories” about the high tone of the kids. In America, as it turned out, finding a masseur for a child under one year is simply impossible. There are massage courses for moms, but it was strange to even hear our doctor what this specialist can do. All my fears she dispelled immediately, saying that the baby is very strong and, most likely, left-handed. Of course, this could only make me smile. And already at the second reception, I myself showed and told our pediatrician how in Russia we check reflexes in babies up to 3 months in order to identify neurological problems that parents can miss.
I even fell in love with local medicine until I began to notice some problems with my baby. Despite the fact that he was gaining weight very well, he was growing and developing well, I was alarmed by the fact that the baby began to sweat and get tired while feeding. I immediately remembered how in Russia, during a planned ECG, my daughter in 1 had doctors completely accidentally discovered 2 problems: an open aortic duct and an open oval window in the heart. Massage courses, therapeutic baths, physiotherapy and constant supervision were very helpful. This is the question of moms about why small healthy children "carry on doctors unnecessarily." She didn’t have any symptoms, even when she was examined by a pediatrician and auscultation of the heart, until she saw the ECG and ultrasound of the heart.
Therefore, with the second child at the next scheduled examination at our pediatrician, I persistently voiced my concerns. Doctors in America are very polite and always smile at you, especially when they have nothing to say. So in our case, the doctor listened to the baby for a long time and noted with a smile that he is healthy on 100%, there is no heart murmur and there is no need to worry. At that moment, I had a greater sense of joy than perseverance, so my husband came to help, who on his way to the doctor realized that without assigning an ECG to a kid (heart ultrasound), we would not leave the office. Apparently, our doctor also understood this. We were given directions for examination, probably, as the most harmful and persistent parents.
Through 2 of the week, we responsibly arrived at the hospital on 15 minutes before the scheduled examination time. But I had to wait for about 50 minutes, which reminded me a bit of a queue at Russian clinics. For us, waiting was more fun, because our baby in this line was the youngest. The average age of those awaiting in the cardiology department was 60 years. In Texas, they love the little blue-eyed blondes, my son was in the limelight and smiled at everyone. This saved us, because in the future 30 minutes still had to “lie still” according to the instructions of the technical worker who conducted the study, which is almost impossible for an 4 month-old baby who spent nearly an hour in the queue.
I was very worried (any mother would understand me), recalled how in Russia a pediatric cardiologist conducted this study, explained everything she saw to me, and reassured me. This time everything turned out to be completely different. Since in the US ultrasounds are not done by doctors, but technical workers, they do not give comments and explanations. It becomes uncomfortable when you see on an ultrasound that you don’t want to see in your child, but you smile nicely and are silent. The only thing I was able to hear from a specialist at the end of the study: "You will be called if that." This "if that" kept me in suspense for almost a week.
Husband and friends reassured me and explained that they would immediately report the problem. I also tried not to worry and convinced myself that, apparently, I was mistaken and everything is fine with the baby, until after 6 days the nurse called me and said in a calm, gentle voice that the baby had heart problems on the ultrasound. Which, she can not explain by phone, it can only say a doctor. My state at that moment was comparable to the unconscious, but the next question the nurse brought me back to consciousness and just discouraged. She asked if I wanted my cardiologist to see my child or not. Probably, in America there are mothers who would answer this question "no", since she asked me about it, but my answer was obvious - "yes." The fact that the cardiologist will be able to see us through 2,5 of the month, we were informed by phone through 3 of the day.
You can imagine that all this time I thought about medicine in the USA. And how I thanked God for the fact that by the will of fate I myself am a doctor and can give my children a massage, check the symptoms, treat them with improvised means that you can buy at a pharmacy without a prescription, and just madly love them, because love is better than all drugs ! ”
The material was published with the permission of the editorial office of the newspaper "Nash Texas".
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