Lady, Please

I’m rarely political on this blog. It’s not that I don’t ever have a political thought, but this blog is about connecting with others, and not about making them mad, so I mostly keep my mouth shut. That will change today, however, because some things are so terrible they need to be addressed–even if it makes some people unhappy. At the end of the day this is a blog about raising kids, and they are the most important thing.

Recently, a conservative  radio talk show host advised her listeners to not let their children be treated by medical workers who are gay.

She was careful to say that, of course, this would be in non-emergency situations, and that it was especially important when your child is in the hospital where they might be vulnerable to the morals of others.

And all I can think is: Lady, please.

There is a ton of stuff that I don’t know. I don’t know squat about plants, bird, hunting, fishing, car engines, or computer games. There are things that I know, though, and one of those is kids in the hospital. I’ll give you my pedigree: three kids with extended hospital stays totaling approximately four months. We’ve had MRIs, CTs, IUGRs, swallow studies, Ultrasounds from stem to stern, EKGs, EEGs, ECMO, upper GIs, and two rounds of electric shock. We’ve had brain surgery, major cardiovascular procedures, feeding tube placement, and a couple extended stays for observation. We’ve stayed in PICUs, ICUs, and CVICUs. We been treated by neurologists, neurosurgeons, neonatologists, intensivists, hospitalists, physiatrists, nephrologists, pediatricians, and cardiologists.

boy in a pirate costume

It’s safe to say I am well-versed at having a kid in the hospital, so I’m going to voice my opinion on this one: when your kid is sick, you want the best possible person for the job. Really. Don’t try to pick and choose–let them give you who they think is the best person for the job, not someone whose non-professional life is more pleasing to you.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that in a non-emergency situation, it’s acceptable to get less than stellar care. It isn’t. Think about it, do you want the nurse who takes four tries to find a vein or do you want the one who gets it on the first try? Do you want the ultrasound tech who calls for backup when she’s not sure, or the one whose too green to know what she doesn’t know?

boy in pirate costume looking at camera

The quality of  care does matter–in every circumstance. My husband and I once took Charlie to the emergency room for uncontrolled screaming. We had no idea what was wrong, but we wanted to have his shunt looked at. A CT revealed no issues, so the two emergency room doctors just sat there scratching their heads. They peered in his mouth, ears, and nose. They took his temperature. They had no frickin clue what was wrong with my kid, so they admitted him for observation.

As soon as I met the hospitalist (doctor who works only in the hospital), I knew she was good. She had a hypothesis, but also ran through a list of other possibilities. She had her bases covered. Guess what? She didn’t need to. She waited, observed Charlie, and noticed he was putting his hand to his throat. A quick examination reveal foot and mouth disease. Two other doctors had missed this. Let me repeat myself: you want the best medical care you can get.

twins in a red stroller

As a final thought, I’ll offer you this: you have a right to get sub-standard medical care if that’s what you want. I agree. The problem is that your decisions affect everyone in the hospital. When Charlie was his sickest, we had the best nurses–nurses who had been there forever, had good bedside manner, and generally you could sleep at night knowing your child was in good hands. As he got better, we got less-experienced nurses. Not bad nurses, but younger and maybe a little less apt at making you feel OK. So maybe you’ve decided that you’re OK with less than the best if that means that your child is treated by people who are morally the same as you. Fine. But when you disrupt the system, you could be leaving a high-risk patient with a less-than-perfect nurse. And that? Is not OK.

So there it is. My two cents on the matter. Like I said, I don’t know everything, but I do know kids in hospitals. Also, I know someone crazy-talking on the radio to get attention. I just hope no one takes that lady too seriously.

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  1. One question: was her argument that being around gay doctors would make your child gay, or tolerant?

  2. Oh good lord. In that setting what you want is the best care for your child. People need to see beyond themselves and their preconceived notions.

    And awesome pictures of Charlie and the twins! Charlie as a pirate! I love it!

    • I agree–I’m all about my kid getting the best care possible and not messing up someone else’s care too.

      We were all pirates this year. I think next year I may see if Charlie wants to pick out his own costume–that should be interesting.

  3. Jennifer Igney says:

    I’m with ya on this one. I don’t care what someone else does on their own personal time but if they give me the best medical care for my child and take really good of my child than I’ll take it.

    • Yes. It can be extremely stressful to have someone who does a less than stellar job with our kids. I suspect this woman doesn’t know anything about that, though.

  4. Good Lord does this woman have children? The fact that she would turn down care for her child based on someones private life that in absolutely no way hinges on their ability to perform their job is ridiculous. “I know my kid is very ill, but can you send over that other guy, I don’t want someone who listens to country music working on my child.” She might as well be saying this, it’s just about as silly.

    • I checked and she has two children! Scary! I’m just going to tell myself that she’s never actually had to make these kinds of decisions.

  5. Good grief! Why does anyone care what people do on their own time. Love is hard enough to find without the world trying to micromanage WHO you love. Sheesh!

    I’m glad you spoke up!

    • I don’t even have TIME to worry about what doctors, nurses, etc. are doing on their own time. I’ve gotta life of my own.

  6. I agree. That is just crazy. How would you even go about asking that anyways. None of my business. If you do your job great, that is all that matters.

  7. Oh my gosh–LIKE this, a thousand times like. Love actually. You are so dead on. Who’s freaking business is it who my doctor has sex with anyway? Should be a total non-issue.

    • I agree, Toni. I don’t even know if a lot of my doctors are married or not–and I could look at their fingers. But I don’t because I’m too busy addressing medical issues.

  8. Totally agree with you on this one! That woman is way off to even suggest such a thing…wow…
    On another note, while I love all the photos of your boys, the one of Charlie in his pirate costume where he is smiling…made my day! That boy is so damn cute!

  9. Is this woman going to perform a pre-treatment interview with every medical person she encounters to quiz them about their personal lives?? Sheesh! Agree with you totally.

    Great pics of the boys, Katy! So. so. cute!

    • Yes, exactly, Joell. I mean, who has time to figure this stuff out? Some of us are up to our eye balls in real life.

  10. I was in the hospital for three weeks recently. I saw every dr they could possibly throw at me. I couldn’t begin to guess the orientation of any of the drs, nurses, techs, etc. But, now that I think about it, I’m feeling rather tolerant. So, one of them probably got to me. Darn it! What if my tolerance now rubs off on my innocent, loving children?

    How utterly ridiculous.

  11. I’ve heard of people requesting new providers (while in the hospital) because of race/perceived ethnicity as well as sexual orientation.

    Maybe this sort of stupidity is just Darwinism at work?

  12. Obviously, this radio commentator is the result of numerous botched lobotomies. I too know hospitals and care-takers all too well. Many of Adam’s care-takers and therapists are gay and I find them most compassionate and caring. I could give a sweet crap about who anyone sleeps with. This is a nice blog, so I’ll refrain from my usual profanity laced rants about homophobes.

  13. I may puke up my lunch. This is ridiculous. Seriously.

    Sorry for the graphic comment. ;-0

    In other news, Charlie makes an AWESOME pirate. Did you see my Ben? They would be a great pair. 😉

  14. You make excellent points, and they’re obviously from someone who KNOWS.

    And also? Your three boys in costume are just too much. Precious!

  15. Agreed! Good post!

    The pics of your boys are great. Your twins are sure cute, as is Charlie. It looks like one of the babies has on a pirate shirt — were they dressed as pirates, too?

  16. meghatronsmom says:

    All I can think of is she must so lucky cause she has never had anything seriously wrong with her child. If going to the doctor & all she has to worry about is their private sexual orientation… La-dee-da! Like you, when my child is ill or in crisis, I could give a crap less bout who they sleep with. Same goes for work. I work with the best of the best medical people as well without worrying bout that while we try to save someone’s life. Guess they got to me…. Sheesh! Seriously? Must be nice to have no medical issues, but not nice too live in complete ignorance

  17. I totally agree–she’s obviously never had anything wrong with her kids–well, nothing serious.

  18. Clearly she has nothing better to worry about at daytime!

    Charlie makes a dashing Pirate. Your boys are too cute.