“My Story… ” Monday: Dr. Y.

(I love telling stories. It might be my favorite “style” of writing. It is, without a doubt, the stuff that most of my readers best respond to. This year, I want to tell you some stories about my past– about people who’ve made me who I am today. Some will be happy, some will be sad. Some you will find encouraging, some you will find maddening. But they all have one thing in common. They are all: People Who’ve Made Me Who I Am Today.)


We moved to Indiana when A. was barely four months old. It was a good decision– an important decision– because, ultimately, that choice is what gave us almost three months to be close to my father-in-law, whom we lost later that summer. Nonetheless, it wasn’t the smoothest move ever, for a number of reasons.


One of those was that neither of us had a job. Now, we had planned on my staying home with baby A., so that wasn’t a huge issue. But we certainly hoped that my husband would find employment soon! This was 2005 and things were still pretty good, so we had no reason to assume otherwise. Until that happened, however, we relied on COBRA insurance from our previous employer. (Side-note: say what you want about Bank of America– they had STELLAR insurance.)


This was all fine, but we were out of Bank of America’s region and, as a result, there were very, very few options in terms of practitioners. We finally tracked down a pediatrician who was covered by our plan and accepting new patients. She was all the way on the other side of the nearest “city” which meant about a 40 minute drive for me, but we are pretty chill people and accepted that.

When A. turned six months, we took him in to see Dr. Y. I am relentlessly optimistic when it comes to meeting new people, I think. I LIKE people. I enjoy chatting with new individuals. I think I typically assume all will go well. Maybe that’s an annoying trait, but it’s the truth.


The nurse weighed and measured our boy. She cooed over his blue eyes and tickled his rolly-poly thighs. And then we waited for the doctor to come in.


A few minutes later, she entered the room, her eyes on a clipboard, never once looking up to meet our gaze. Further, she didn’t look at our child. She simply stared at the paper before her and declared, in a flat tone, “Well, he’s kind of obese, isn’t he?”


My heart raced and my stomach plummeted.


My baby. My first born. My sweet boy… obese??? What had I done to him? And why hadn’t anyone ever mentioned this to me before? Why had everyone simply ooh’ed and ahh’ed over his chunky monkey legs without warning me I was setting him up for a disease-ridden life??


I can’t fully describe the panic and guilt I felt in that moment.


Mere seconds later, however, she must have finally read his length. “Oh,” she continued, “I guess he’s just really big overall.”


And then she finally looked at him.


She grilled me about his diet. I answered her questions, matter-of-factly, and grew ever-more defensive.


And, when we were done, I stormed out of that office, eyes flashing. I. Was. Mad.


I did, however, learn to speak up and stand up for my child. Dr. Y. was the first one to put me in a position where I had to do that. I realized that I was actually much, much better at defending my child than I was at defending myself. (I think that is the case for most people.) I vowed not to let someone like that make me question my parenting when, in this case, the deficit was in her, not me.


I’m happy to say that, with the birth of C., we were brought into an amazing practice that wasn’t taking new patients. They took C. because one of the pediatricians was a lung specialist. A father of four, he told me right away he’d take our son, too.


The first time he saw A., he just grinned over his stats. “He’s heavy,” he said. “But I don’t want that to worry you. First of all, because he’s very tall. Second of all, because that weight is right here in his thighs– he has no fat layer around his abdominal region, which would be something we’d watch more closely.”


It’s amazing what happens when a doctor looks at your child instead of a piece of a paper.


Other people who’ve made me who I am:

Mrs. JohnsonMoneThe Guy in StarbucksKeithMr. Dorfman, Jay, Hannah, Reno

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8 comments to “My Story… ” Monday: Dr. Y.

  • mlearley

    Our peditrian always told us that they don’t worry about “heavy” kids until they are over 2 years old unless their percentage of weight suddenly goes up. Take our youngest, she was born 9lbs 7oz (95%) and has stayed on the bigger size. However, at 14 months she was 25lbs (yes heavy) but down to 65%, so the doctor showed no concern at all. You can’t just compare a 6 month old to other 6 month olds, you need to compare them to their birth weight/trending. My oldest was a chunky baby but now at 4, she’s 17% for weight so the size of a baby doesn’t mean too much in the long run. Glad I had doctors who told me that.

    Also glad you found out how to defend your children. This took me a little longer to figure out and am still working on it. :)

  • kdelange

    When I come armed with knowledge and questions and ideas and theories about daughter’s constant, never ending, debilitating headaches, and they roll their eyes knowing I’ve been searching the website again…it took me a very long time to gather my wits and nerve and provide a courteous, but firm response followed by my southern smile.

    “At best, you spend five minutes in this room with her, and you haven’t read any of my summaries prior to this appointment filling you in on the last time we were here, so what did you expect me to….really? I’m asking.”

    It is amazing how that grabs their attention and forces them to realize I speak the truth.

    ;) Love how you word things. Keep ‘em coming.

  • Professionals who act so much less than professional. <—— Pet Peeve

    • She was a lousy doctor. Seriously. Our current practice is very, very focused on childhood obesity, but they have so much more common sense and ability to see the big picture. (Although, at this point, I don’t have any kids who even count as “heavy”, but you know what I’m saying…)

  • Laraba

    Our little man (age 9 months) has the chunkiest little thighs. I’m glad that is normal :-). He is our first to be mostly formula fed and he is a big boy but he is also long. Everyone comments that he is big…and cute :-). Yep, we as parents totally need to stand up for our kiddos. (BTW, he is 21 lbs at 9 months so I guess not that big compared to A.!)

    • Chunky thighs are awesome! (on babies ;) ) A. was a huge baby. He really was. And now he is a lean, strong, fabulously healthy eater. I’m so glad I didn’t fret too much about that ignorant doctor’s remarks!

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