Change: The Feared Word for Special Needs Families

I mentioned in a recent post that our family’s medical insurance changed to Kaiser Permanente in January, requiring us to change all of our doctors.

This may not seem like a big deal if you are a family that moves often or has flexible children, but we are not that family. In fact, Bug and Peanut had been with the same pediatric group for 10 1/2 years. Add in Bug’s Asperger Syndrome and Tourette Syndrome diagnosis and we’re even less flexible.

Our former pediatrician understood Bug very well. He got Bug’s quirky Aspie tendencies. He connected with Bug, talked about gaming with him, made sure they were on good terms at all times. He understood Bug’s tics, the varied symptoms of Tourette Syndrome, and never hesitated to refer us to professionals when he was out of his comfort zone.

Today Bug had his first appointment with his new pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente. I hand-selected this particular doctor based on his online profile. (Have I mentioned that I love how Kaiser embraces technology. They totally get it.) He just read like a good fit, but that was just a profile. These things can be a crap shoot.

We arrived on time for our appointment, checked in, waited just a few moments, the nurse took Bug’s vitals, and situated us in an exam room.

Within a few minutes, the doctor came in. He was incredibly personable, shook my hand, said hi to Bug, and sat down to get Bug’s history, entering it into the computer as we talked.

He took the time to explain some of the subtle differences of Kaiser—how the immunizations are handled in a central location, how medical records from prior doctors are entered, etc. He gave me his card and wrote his email address on there for me to contact him directly with any concerns or questions.

He did a brief exam of Bug, talked with me about his BMI, past/current meds, and education, and then we were pretty much done.

Except for one thing.

Bug asked if he could have a glove from the box on the wall.

And, this is how you win over Bug. When he asks for something quirky, and you may or may not think you know why, say “yes.”

The doctor asked him if he wanted a white or blue glove. Bug chose white. Then Bug started to blow up the glove, making cheesy ‘hand’ jokes, and eventually turning it into a bunny.

We stopped by the pharmacy on the way out of the building to pick up Bug’s prescription, accompanied by the glove bunny. On our way out to the car, I told Bug I really liked the doctor and thought the appointment went well. I asked Bug if he liked the doctor.

“Yes, he gave me a glove. So, he’s not a strict doctor. A strict doctor wouldn’t have given me a glove. I don’t like strict doctors.”

Who knew? Well, the doctor did. That’s who.

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