Stunned, and unable to speak, Rene Stevens sat frozen in Dr. Allan’s office, while nerve-racking thoughts of disbelief raced through her mind. Every nerve in her body felt pierced when he declared his overconfident verdict of suspected Munchausen’s Syndrome.
“In good consciousness, Mrs. Stevens, I am unable to accommodate your request to refer Annie to an ENT specialist at Stanford Medical Center. As I have told you on several occasions, Annie’s frontal sinuses are not yet fully developed, making it highly unlikely for her alleged head pain to be associated with any sinus anomaly.”
“Therefore, after careful consideration, it is my professional recommendation that both you and your daughter seek Professional Counseling for Munchausen’s Syndrome, which if substantiated, would account for Annie’s inability to get well.”
Gaining her composure and recouping what little dignity she had left, Rene stood up and calmly countered her objection. “You have been Annie’s pediatrician since she was three years old and nothing in her medical past indicates attention seeking behavior by either of us. So, with all due respect and in good consciousness Dr. Allan, I cannot abandon my motherly intuitiveness and concede to your professional recommendation at this time.”
Ten days later, Rene Stevens’s handed Annie’s medical records to the head ENT Physician at Stanford Medical Center, Dr. Faun.
After skimming through the file and reviewing the CT scan taken only days before, Dr. Faun looked directly at Annie and compassionately told her, “I am very glad to see that your parents refused treating you with Prozac and subjecting you to EMG testing but instead brought you here.”
“However, I am extremely saddened to see that you were treated by 19 Doctor’s, endured numerous x-rays, a Spinal Tap, and an Adenoidectomy while living with uncontrolled pain for five weeks now.”
Grabbing Annie’s hand with warmth and confidence, Dr. Faun asked Annie, “Do you trust me?” Gazing back at him and taking her time to reply, Annie finally said, “I want to trust you, but if you don’t believe me or can’t fix me, then I just want God to take me home because I can’t take all of this anymore.”
With an empathetic chuckle, Dr.Faun tenderly expressed his understanding. “I don’t blame you Annie, but before I can help you, I need to do a simple procedure right here in the office. It’s a small scope that will look up into your nose and take pictures that you can see right along with me. When it’s done, I will be able to tell you exactly what is going on inside that pretty little head of yours.” Now smiling, Annie replied, “OK, as long as it doesn’t hurt.” Reassuringly, Dr. Faun told her it would not.
After the procedure was finished, Dr. Faun looked at Annie and said, “Well, kiddo, I have good news and bad news.” The good news is that I will have you feeling better and completely out of pain within two weeks. The bad news is that you saw 19 Doctor’s who for whatever reason, did not give you a strong enough antibiotic that would have killed that nasty infection that is indeed hiding inside your sinuses!”
As Annie and her family were leaving, Dr. Faun pulled Rene aside and asked her, “How did you know which CT Scan to order?” A little fearful of how to answer, Rene began to stammer but before she could reply, he kindheartedly told her, “It’s alright Mrs. Steven’s. I realize that it was you who made Annie’s appointment today and not Dr. Allan’s office. I wish every child had an advocate such as you.”
Relieved, Annie’s mother enthusiastically told him, “Godly intervention Dr. Faun. I didn’t have a clue what to order. When I called the Radiology Lab stating that I was so and so from Dr. Allan’s office and had an 11 year old with chronic head pain, the technician jumped right in and offered this particular one. I simply said, yes.”
Unbelievably and exactly 2 weeks later, Annie’s sinus infection was completely gone and she was pain free.
Today, Annie is in her 3rd year of college following her vow at age 11, to be a Doctor who would treat children in pain whose Doctor’s gave up on them because they didn’t believe them.
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