Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top Five Doctor's Who Have Saved My Sanity

Generally speaking at Diary Of A Premmy Mum, I try and keep the names of professionals anonymous. However, If someone has done something Ace, Something brilliant or something thoroughly unforgettable, then why not  publicly declare their excellence? It is nearly Christmas, After all.

So in today's post I bring you my top five Doctors.

Top five? I hear you say. That's a whole lot of Doctors to come top . But you know this Premmy Mum has met more than her fair share in recent years, there have been at least 100 who have looked after Smidge between the four Neonatal Hospitals and  the children's ward.

Some Doctor's are naturally gifted with people,others have to work at it, personally, I made nearly every Doctor work at it, so if they made it to my top 5, then they are hard core, dedicated.....the best of the best!

So here they are.. in no particular order.

Dr Dylan Watkins. (G.P) Leatside Surgery Totnes.        
Dr Watkins used to be my G.P before I  had Smidge. I wish he was still my G.P now but dreaded Geography forced a surgery change, putting an end to all that was awesome about care in the community.
What I liked best about Dylan was his laid back attitude, his off the wall sense of humour and  his willingness to listen and support.
He is totally devoted to his patients, a bit of a cynic and  not in the least bit  P.C. If there was a town award for being the 'People's Doctor' I'm fairly sure he'd  bag it in a flash and I wouldn't hesitate in signposting a few of my bean sprout loving friends his way, or any friends for that matter.
I love the way this Doctor embraces the alternative nature of the  community, he doesn't judge people in difficult times and regularly goes above and beyond for everyone.On occasion, you'll even catch him whizzing around town on  his motorbike dropping of prescriptions on his way home. If every G.P took his attitude to good community care then perhaps we wouldn't be so swamped by services trying to fill in the gaps.
Dr.Watkins also writes his own blog, where he raises awareness, shares his views and talks about community and medical issues.

Dr David Mabin. Paediatric Consultant and Neonateologist
Ever since we returned to Devon (when Smidge reached about 33 weeks gestation) Dr Mabin has been helping us to take great care of our family.
When I first met him, it was a time of massive upheaval, I was hugely stressed from the whole Smidge Live/Die saga. The frequent hospital moves, the constant shifting about but he was so kind and understanding and he reserved judgement, despite my coming across as quite rude and insensitive at times.
He's been nothing but a support to us over these last two years, watching Smidge grow and develop, Always sitting in the background empowering us as parents and having us believe that we are making sound decisions about her care.
There have been long periods spent on the children's ward, where I've suffered more than a little cabin fever from being shut in a cubicle for too long.There's been tears, there's been snot, (me not the doctor) there's even been me asking him out right (in a totally undiplomatic way) if he thought I was a bonkers raving lunatic who needs professional help. I have to say he dealt with it all fabulously, always taking so much care to make sure I take something positive away from our conversations and goodness knows when I'm in that state I don't make it easy for him, so what he's done, it really means a lot.
Further more, I know I'm not alone in my 'Dr. Mabin Loving' as he is a very popular Doctor amongst all the families we know at Exeter S.N.U.G group, many of whom have been lucky to have him as their allocated consultant.

Dr.Richard Thwaites. Paediatric Consultant and Neonatologist at Q.A Hospital, Portsmouth.
How Could I ever forget Dr.Thwaites?The doctor who who resuscitated Smidge at birth, the doctor who put the tube down her throat and bought her safely in to the NICU. He was very involved in her care in those vital early weeks and made a lot of the clinical decisions, literally saving her life.
If it were not for him and his dedication to Neonates or  his obvious expertise in dealing with extremely low birth weight babies, she really wouldn't be here today, I totally believe that.
From the second Smidge was admitted to Intensive Care, we knew she was in the hands of an expert.Of course i'd be lying if I said I completely put my faith in him, I couldn't, not in anyone, knowing the risks. However I did always know she was in the best possible hands, I always knew if anyone could save her it would be him and the team around him. He was passionate about premature babies, it really came across when he spoke about them. His explanations of risk,of the theory that lay behind the decisions he made were really second to none and  One-day Hubby  felt a lot more involved on account of his detailed descriptions.

Dr Alice Martin. Registrar at RD&E Exeter
Another Doctor who I will always remember is Dr. Alice Martin, a registrar in Exeter. My dealings with her have  only ever been brief and in emergency situations, once, when she was working on the transport team and then again quite recently, in the spring when Smidge was 'naughty' again.
Alice comes across as really genuine. She is friendly and supportive and can canulate an ex pre- term baby in record time.It was thanks to her quick thinking and steady hands that Smidge came out of a 25 minute seizure and I was extremely impressed with the way she conducted herself in this this emergency situation. If Smidge had gone on to fit much longer she would have been at risk of brain damage and I think it's a real skill,remaining calm, giving instructions and not saying anything that would  alarm parents and make the situation worse.
I can also tell that Alice really cared about the impact that the whole event had on us and she came by to check on us several times afterwards to make sure we were okay.This made a real difference to us, knowing that she cared.

Dr Liz Donovan. Paediatric Consultant and Neonatologist Q.A Hospital Portsmouth
Dr Donovan was one of those Doctors who made me feel sane when I thought that I was losing the plot.I guess the thing is when you have a child in intensive care, its so easy to worry about everything, I would need constant reassurance about the decisions that were being taken.
Dr Donovan was the sort Doctor who would make herself available if she saw me in the corridor.She'd even take me in to a side room for a  bit of a chat if that's what was needed. She wouldn't do it in a scary 'lets go to the quiet room' kind of way but more in a 'lets get away from the noise' sort of way, which was great because I couldn't always concentrate in the ICU with the monitors going off and Smidge apnoea-ing left right and centre.
Whenever I had a concern about Smidge, she didn't make me feel foolish or unskilled or obstructive, she'd validate my concerns and take my views on board. She seemed to totally understand my battle of wanting to be a Mum but not 'having the knowledge' and she really wanted to help with that. Without this kind of support my mind would be plagued with fragments of medical  information which would drift amidst the bleeps and fear. When someone takes a little time to understand how you're processing all that it really makes a difference, I'm so glad she was there.

So there we have it, My top five Doctors and why I loved them. I think it's really important to recognise good care like this. These people work so hard, they go above and beyond and the real reward for them is knowing that they have made a difference. So which Doctors have made a difference to you and why?


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