It’s because I’m too busy having conversations like the following…not to mention chasing after the scattered fragments of my sanity afterward.
G/I Dr.: We think it’s possible your son has Condition X. There is no conclusive test for this, but here’s this list of expensive and time-consuming tests I’d like you to have done. They might give us some glimmer of an idea whether my diagnosis is correct, even though he doesn’t actually have the main symptoms of Condition X.
Me: If it IS Condition X, what’s the treatment?
Dr: A 10-day course of antibiotics.
Me: (stunned silence)
Me: Is it a special antibiotic? Because he’s been on antibiotics lots of times for respiratory infections and stuff.
Dr: Oh yes, this would be a different drug.
Me: If the tests are so inconclusive, why not just try the antibiotic and see what happens?
Dr: Because we mustn’t prescribe antibiotics without some evidence the diagnosis is correct, because of resistance and stuff.
Me: But you said the tests might not show evidence.
Dr: Oh yes, I’m not even sure your son is capable of cooperating with the main test. It may not work at all, given his other issues.
Me: (stunned silence)
Me: But if the test fails, then what?
(Cue sound of crickets.)
SCENE 2. Three days later.
Audiologist: Oh dear, your son’s eardrums are all red. Let me do a tympanogram. Yup, no response at all. He must have an ear infection. You need to take him to the pediatrician.
Pediatrician’s office: The doctor will call you soon.
(Cue sound of no phone ringing.)
(Cue phone! But it’s not the ped’s office.)
G/I dr’s nurse: Hi there! The doctor asked me to call and schedule the Test Deemed Most Likely to Fail.
Me: Yes, I have questions about whether that’s a smart idea. Also, the audiologist says my son has an ear infection. He will likely need antibiotics. Could we use the same antibiotic that would treat Condition X?
Nurse: Oh, goodness no. But you need to inform us ASAP if the ped puts him on antibiotics for the ear infection, because in that case we cannot administer the Test Deemed Most Likely to Fail for at least six weeks. The antibiotic will skew the test results.
Me: (stunned, incredulous, mystified silence)