Sunday, February 18, 2007


In a past post I described my experience at The Fanny Allen Walk in Clinic. I whined because it took close to three hours for me to be seen and given my prescription for antibiotics. I really must admit that my whining was not warranted. My experience was typical of a visit to a walk in clinic anywhere in the country. I was low on the triage list (a sinus infection does not an emergent situation make) and I waited for the people who were higher on the triage list to be seen. Many people from other parts of the country might tell me that a three hour wait is a luxury. I might wryly be asked if I was expecting hors d’oeuvres and cocktails during my wait. Well, to be truthful, yea I was, kind of.

I think one of the best kept secretes in my neck of the woods is the quality of health care we back woods, Northwestern Vermont Yankees are provided. Fletcher Allen Health Care and The University of Vermont College of Medicine take very good care of us. This becomes more and more apparent to me as I read accounts of parents of children with Down syndrome from all over the nation. Accounts that relate ignorance and prejudice of health care providers that are hard for me to believe exist.

I have only positive things to report with respect to my experiences with health care providers. The Rascal received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Of course Mr. Yankee and I were made aware that terminating the pregnancy was an option available to us. We had to state only once that termination was not the right option for us and that was the last we heard of termination from anyone in a white coat. During the remainder of the pregnancy, I received nothing but quality care that was delivered with compassion and respect. Once The Rascal arrived it became clear that I had seen nothing yet. While the health care providers that took care of me were excellent, the pediatric teams waiting for The Rascal were superheroes. I have never encountered a doctor, nurse, therapist…who is not dedicated to providing The Rascal with the best support they can provide.

The organizations that provide emotional support to families of children with special needs in this area are no slouches either. And the health care community and the support community in this area are far from exclusive. This past August, The ARC of Franklin County had an Ice Cream Social. At this social we all enjoyed an ice cream party at a local dairy farm. While we were having fun visiting, there were a number of photographers running around capturing particularly photographic moments in order to put together a 2007 calendar to be sold at October’s Buddy Walk. One of the people behind a camera was an area pediatrician. Actually, I strongly suspect that he was the sponsor of the whole ice cream shin dig as well as the sponsor of the calendar.

I am grateful to know this pediatrician. He is a very special man. I am grateful to live where I live and there are many individuals within my community for whom I am grateful.

Now. If any of you flatlanders are feeling jealous and thinkin’ about movin’ here so you can take advantage of what I’ve got……take a look at this picture. This is was our Valentine’s Day present.


Elbog said...

Excellent post - "the system" can even make it hard to be properly grateful, even, sometimes.
Nice pic. I'll keep my palm tree, thanks, Yank.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog while doing a google blog search. You have a beautiful family.

I have a 2 1/2 year old with DS. I'm not currently blogging, but I do maintain an comprehensive list of DS related blog on my blogroll.

I look forward to reading your blog.

jennifer said...

It's so good to read of parents having positive experiences with the health care systems...ours was a mixed bag--could have been better, could have been worse--but the good experiences give me cause for hope...

Thanks for sharing yours!

Anonymous said...

Just stopping by to wish you a happy World Down Syndrome Day.