Guest Author - Neville Sexton
This week I wanted to ask the question about sensitivity in relation to child sickness. Particularly in the case of those of us parents who’ve lost a child, whether to a terminal illness or perhaps just an accident, is it possible – probable in fact – that we can become over sensitive when any of our other children become sick? Or, as a bereaved parent, do you feel that when you bring your children to see a GP for whatever reason, that the GP may think that you are being the overly concerned parent.
The reason I’m raising this question is purely because of something that occurred this week in my own life. Actually it first began about three weeks ago, when we brought our 4 month old son to see the GP. At the time he had a bit of a nasty cough and we were worried that it might lead to something more severe. As it turned out, after the GP had thoroughly examined him, he had no sign of infection and we were sent home. That was fine, but then two days ago he got very sick indeed. His eyes were watering heavily and he was coughing all night. That kept him and us up throughout the night and left him very cranky and upset during the day. We decided to bring him to the GP immediately to get it checked it out. As we went into his room it occurred to me that the doctor may be thinking that we were being the cliché bereaved parents – being hypersensitive to every ailment and knock to our child. I wondered, in that split second, whether our GP was contemplating the short-term future where he envisaged us calling into him every other week with silly questions and concerns over the tiniest insignificant thing. This thought occurred to me in a flash, and then in a flash it was gone. We are lucky with our family doctor, Dr.Liston, who is nothing if not completely thorough. He was, and is, sensitive to our situation and having treated our now departed son, Craig, was completely understanding.
I expect many bereaved parents out there have had similar examples and similar thoughts. But I just wonder how many of them feel they are being treated differently by their doctors because of the tragedy in their lives. The law of averages tells me that some will invariably be patronised by their GP’s every time they bring in their child in, and that they will have to suffer that extra, and needless, sense of embarrassment that goes with looking out for their child, in a responsible and loving way. This of course will only happen to a small few, but it’s terrible to think they will have to go through this.
Just a thought . . .