I went along to a GP appointment with Jude yesterday late afternoon and felt completely undermined.
It’s the GP surgery used by Jude’s school for all of their pupils so a first time for me attending their clinic. I feel ashamed to say that all my usual steely strength disappeared from the shock of the doctors ignorance to our situation. I said nothing stunned into an unusual silence. I thought GP’s are supposed to be mindful of emotions, situations, parenting woes and just generally thoughtful people. I guess I’m wrong.
So how do you cope as an SEN parent in one of these situations?
I haven’t felt undermined for a while so I think that’s why it hit me so bad. Am I being over-sensitive? Did I read the situation right? Who knows. All I know is that I left the doctors surgery feeling awful so rationally I guess that means it can’t have been right.
It left me thinking contemplating how I have changed over the years since Jude’s birth and in particular, has being Jude’s mum rendered me more sensitive to people’s comments than most parents?
I’m not sure it has but I might be wrong. I’m not even sure that’s an answerable question. I think being a parent of a child like Jude has made me acutely aware of our environment. Whenever we go places, I note all the people around us, their reactions and expressions, who is an ally and who should we avoid sitting near. I’m certainly incredibly aware of potentially bad scenarios and can sense animosity from the initial reaction expressed by a nearby stranger. Friend of foe is most definitely determined in the first ten seconds of interaction!
I don’t want to dwell on the negativity from yesterday particularly because I’m sure she didn’t mean to be hurtful. She was stupid, yes. Crass, yes. Thoughtless, yes. It wasn’t meant to be mean but considering the nature of her work I would have thought she always erred on the side of caution.
Thankfully, we left after a few minutes with certainly not the outcome I was hoping for but I was just glad to get out.
But embracing the positive:
I have had a lot of contact with Jude’s school nurse over the last week or so because of his eczema, that’s what the GP appointment was for. We had a long chat two days ago and like me, she doesn’t embrace the harsh medicalised route as an immediate step. Rather she likes to look for environmental reasons for each unique problem and try to make lifestyle changes to see if that helps first. Sensible, non? So we talked about the washing powder used at the school house, the bubble bath, how many baths Jude has a week, etc. She touched on a few holistic style ointments and oils we could try, that we could assess in a few weeks and then see what happens. If we can cure it by making changes rather than just whacking on some steroid cream and continue not really solving the issue (as the GP immediately prescribed) then surely that is the better scenario.
I love the school nurse. She is the most darling woman I’ve spoken to in a long time. Caring, thoughtful, positive, embracing. She sensed my upset from the GP appointment and gave me as long as I needed to chat it all through with her. All the while repeatedly consoling me and insisting that this truly is the best place for Jude. I’m struggling with Jude being away. The guilt of it. Maybe this does mean I’m more sensitive than most parents these days. I just feel awkward not looking after him especially as he is having huge anxiety issues at the moment. So much so that we are stopping all weekday visits for now. Week days for school, weekends for home. Just until he’s content again.
This nurse made me feel better and insisted I call or email her anytime I like, even if it’s not a medical issue. The true epitome of an holistic practitioner. She instinctively realised that Jude has extensions to his being that struggle with the physical gap we have created and that those extensions need supporting too <3
I’m sending her flowers on Monday.