Friday, July 16, 2010
When I was pregnant with Thomas, I totally put off finding a pediatrician for him. When I gave birth, the on call pediatrician came in, introduced himself and started cuddling and talking to our newborn. When getting his length, he hung Thomas upside down by the ankles and joked around with us, as pretended he was going to drop him. With each of my three children he would tell us they surely looked neglected and their eyes were never going to stay blue. He knew how to joke with parents and children, was especially great at getting 1st time parents to ease up.
Many parents would not agree with his methods, especially of suggesting foods extremely early, but loved when parents disagreed with him and went with their own beliefs. Every time he seen Bailey, who has the chunkiest belly and thighs, he would joke that my milk must be starving her and I was depriving her of baby food. With Thomas I followed his every word. With Collin I began to research and follow my own instinct. With Bailey, he always expected me to do the opposite of his advice.
His theory was as long as baby/child is growing on track, meeting milestones on their own time, was happy, content, and kind the parents were doing their job perfectly. He was the one person who never made me feel like a bad mom.
We disagreed a few times, for example when he told me to supplement w formula because my children weren't at their birth weight at 2 weeks. I listened the 1st time but not the 2nd and 3rd. He respected my decision.
In his office hung signs like "Unattended children will be given espresso and a puppy."
He believed in old fashioned non-medicated remedies for coughs and colds, pink eyes, and more.
Whenever I fell ill or needed a script he would give it to me after examining me, though he was a pediatrician. When I was freaking about my milk supply and expressed my deep want for nursing to work, he gave me a script for Reglan, telling me if it didn't help he would give me a scrip for Domperidone. When my husband was having problems with shoulder pain, he gave something for the pain. I remember having a really nasty infection and coughing up the grossest of things, he had helped.
I could call any time day or night with the dumbest of questions and he'd call back kind as ever. In the (almost) 5 years we used him he never once was on vacation. I don't think I ever seen him take a day off until the beginning of 2009.
In the beginning of '09 he had a stroke, losing all use of his left side. He pressed on. He refused to retire. Parents would help him do his assessments. I remember helping him put the blood pressure cuff on my children so he could get a reading. I remember holding them so he could get their heart rates.
As the year and a half has gone on he has missed more and more time. He wasn't able to see Bailey in the hospital. Or for her 6 month check up. Or her and Collin when ill. We have been seeing Milford Pediatric Group on and off since October. I knew the day was coming to find a new pediatrician, but I never expected him to die. Never saw it coming.
Milford Pediatrics is offering and willing to take all of Dr. Fugal's patients, they have about 12 doctors in office, two I can't stand, two I love, some I can deal with, some I don't know. We will be having our files transferred next Friday.
Next Friday will be my children's last time entering Dr. Fugals 70's style office. We will miss the toys that look like they are from my parents childhood. We will miss the wood paneling. We will miss the Christmas decorations being up until April. We will miss the children's drawings all over the walls as well as photos. We will miss the silly signs and saying.
Most of all we will miss Dr. Fugal.