3rd Cardiac review of the year

As mentioned in my earlier posts, baby domo is having VSD – basically “hole in the heart”. We were honestly quite excited to see the results, hoping that the hole had closed or become smaller. But oh boy, what a visit it was….

P.S if you have difficulties handling the “toxicity” of my usual posts, you might want to skip this one.

Still here? Great, let me start from the beginning.
We checked in for the visit, eager to see the doctor quickly as get to celebrate my wife’s birthday (which also happen to fall on the same day). On our visit slip, we were assigned to room X, we then saw one of the nurse PHYSICALLY transferring baby domo’s case notes to another room – lets call it room Y. We managed to catch a glimpse of the attending in room X and was disappointed that it was the previous doctor that we quite liked.

So it means now we are getting the shorter end of the stick …True enough, it was the same doctor that we have been seeing for the last few visits. We willed ourselves to stay positive and open-minded even though the past experiences were not good.

After the physical examination was done, the doctor asked the same old few questions that were being asked every visit (weight gain, feeding well and bla bla). A check with the stethoscope revealed that the defect was still there.

Then the first red flag came out of nowhere…” we are going to do a scan today to see if we can stop the medicine, we might need to sedate her since she was fearful of the process”

We did not think much of this statement till much later on…

A new sonographer greeted us with a feeble smile. Without saying a word, baby domo is placed on the bed, stripped with the sensor attached to her body.

Baby domo was doing quite well but I guessed her patience went out halfway. She started crying and struggling and our attempts to calm her down were totally useless. The sonographer gave a blank look and twiddled with her equipment, waiting for us to calm baby domo down.

“Kudos to her, I am sure that is the best way to get your job done, I guess whether you can get the scan done is not your KPI, but being there physically is.”

So one professor was apparently beside us through this ordeal, yes ORDEAL because we had to resort to restraining baby domo. He came in and said that the baby domo was crying too much and it is not possible to get an accurate result. At this point in time, I am not sure if it is a coincidence or what, but our usual doctor came in and asked what is going on (after baby domo has been crying for the last 15 mins).

The professor asked the doctor, what is the purpose of today’s echo as the hole (VSD) is still present. The doctor seems rather unsure and started a desperate word search game – the final result that was coined was “the scan is to see if we can stop the medicine“.

The professor gave a very very confused face and told the doctor that this is a clinical decision you must make on your own. Before he left the room, he threw a question at the doctor, ” you are not going to charge them for this right? Since the echo was not completed”

Thanks, prof, you just saved me a 100 bucks.

Embarrassed at the current situation, the doctor told the sonographer not to charge us and gave us three option for today’s visit.

  1. Sedate baby domo and do the scan. If she wakes up, we will have to increase the dosage
  2. Wait for her to sleep and do the scan.
  3. Come back in a few months, but meanwhile, we will need to continue the medicine

The answer is clear, sedation at such an age is definitely something we want to avoid. For those who are curious, you can check out dental sedation in young children and the side effects (sure they are not fatal usually but there is a risk of asphyxia).

Baby domo is a light sleeper, so we are doubtful option 2 can work, especially since the sonographer is working slow as hell.

We told the doctor, we will come back few months later, after all, in our OWN treatment plan, we just want to monitor the hole till it gets smaller or til the doctor decides to operate on it. (we did not get a proper treatment plan since the first visit till now other than observing …)

Personal Takeaway

So that’s was the end of this terrible experience at KKH. Unfortunately, we would most probably have to stick with this doctor as we are on the subsidized path (costs about 40-50 sgd/ visit as compared to 300/visit if seeing as a private patient).

My personal takeaway is sedation should not be suggested to babies UNLESS the benefits of the scan outweigh the possible risks of the sedation. (I.E going for an operation or making a detailed scan to determine the next part of treatment).

Yes, we might be playing doctors here, not giving baby domo the prescribed medicine (which alleviate her symptoms but does not actually aid in recovery) but surely, we all have the good intentions of the patient in mind. If she is able to grow well and eat well, we do not really see the benefit of taking the diuretic which affects her appetite.

Lastly, the sonographer was definitely a true blue Singaporean. Giving the least fuck about the situation and just stoning in the room. Yes, we do not expect you to hug the baby (not that you should be doing that anyway) but at least open your golden mouth and say something soothing to calm the baby (other than , please try to calm her down, I cannot do the scan if she is struggling and crying). If she is inexperienced, she should be asking for help from her peers. But if she is the most experienced one, I really worry about the operations in KKH, why they would rotate a whole batch of sonographers for this clown. Is this department a dumping ground for interns or something?

I sincerely hope that the next visit will be more fruitful, for everyone ; the doctor, the sonographer, for us and for baby domo.

Author: domodaddy

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