I’m really ticked off. I was treated poorly this morning by people who should have wanted to help me and my daughter. It hurt my feelings and made me feel angry and helpless.
First, a brief anatomy lesson.
Gloria has a very “clicky” latch. She also swallows air, audibly. Her latch hurts a bit when she first attaches (normal) and then progresses to a different sort of discomfort as she retracts her tongue and starts clicking and swallowing air. It doesn’t have anything to do with my milk ejection reflex as it happens before it lets down, after, during… it’s independent of that.
I suspect posterior occult tongue tie, or tight frenulum. It’s treated by applying a topical anesthetic to the underside of the tongue (that banana stuff they use before the shot at the dentist) and then the tissue holding the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is cut, and when it heals it’s not as tight. It’s almost painless (even without anesthesia) and it provides immediate resolution of the problem.
The trouble is most doctors have never heard of posterior tongue tie because it doesn’t affect bottlefeeding much. They think tongue tie is largely related to the position of the frenulum, not the length. So you have to really look around to find a pediatrician experienced enough in breastfeeding difficulties and, more importantly, solutions, to diagnose and treat it.
OK, OK Fee, you are thinking. Cut to the chase, as it were.
This is the most breastfeeding friendly pediatrician in Oklahoma City. I’ve met him. He’s really nice, down to earth, and intelligent. (Also, I happen to know he knits. Which, you know, would irrationally predjudice me in his favor.) We went to him about eight years ago when Faith was tiny, I think twice, then moved to Wichita, Kansas. When we moved back to Oklahoma four years ago we didn’t use him as a ped because our insurance had changed.
OK, fast forward to this morning. I called to see if I could schedule a visit today for Gloria. We’d have to pay out of pocket, I knew, but I figured one visit and one procedure would be doable. I was hopeful that we could be seen today, even, since feeding difficulties are very important to catch.
They won’t see us, ever.
Apparently we owed them some money from 8 years ago, like $30 that insurance didn’t pick up, and since we never paid, they very snippily told me “your family is not welcome at our practice and has been discharged.” I asked if we could pay the past due amount this morning and was told no. I said “but my daughter really needs to see Dr. Moore! He’s the only pediatrician I know of with enough breastfeeding experience to diagnose her! Please, let us pay you this miniscule bill we knew NOTHING ABOUT!”
“No.” said the office manager haughtily from her high horse. “You are no-good, no-count people who shouldn’t have children anyway, and they deserve to suffer for your irresponsibility.”
Well, okay, she didn’t say that last part, but she implied it.
So now I have a clicky latch air swallowing kid, an angry feeling in the pit of my stomach, and no other ideas. I guess I get to hope it resolves, which it can, but it’s not fun while you’re waiting for the frenulum to stretch. It takes months.
Those rotten bastards.
ETA: Have mustered some other troops – CBEs, LLL Leaders, and local midwives. Maybe someone has a recommendation.