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To be pig sick of all these HCP's bothering me and looking for problems where there aren't any?! VERY LONG, EPIC IN FACT!

(170 Posts)
Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 11:37:30

DS has slow weight gain, he has been like this since 8 weeks old, he is now 20 months old. My HV has stressed me out about it in the early days to the point of despair. She even said after they pressured me in to putting him on formula that 'oh, we thought his poor weigh gain was to do with your breastfeeding but we can see now that he's the same on formula'. Yes, I told you I was breastfeeding him just fine but thanks for making me feel like I was starving him and that you were talking about me behind my back!

She wouldn't listen when I told her he is very high energy, just kept saying 'they're all like that'. She kept suggesting things to feed him but couldn't grasp the fact that he is very difficult to feed and only eats small amounts. She refered me to the paediatrician and had me worried there was something physically wrong with him. He has seen ds several times, done blood tests etc, says he's just a normal little boy but made small. He said he doesn't put on weight very quickly as high energy and doesn't eat massive amounts and that's just the way he is. He follows the bottom centile nicely.

It was only when I mentioned that he was difficult to feed to the paed that my HV suddenly tried to help with that. She came to 'observe' him eat ad was no help what so ever, she then claimed that this was the second time she had seen him eat - not true at all!! I think she was worried she would get in trouble for not trying to help earlier... She kept saying 'oh I saw him feed a while ago didn't I?' when she called me and I was thinking 'have you???!'

She then refered him to a program called 'moving pictures' as recommended by the paed to see if they could help. The lady came and filmed ds eating. The program is a group of psycholigists that deal with children who have behavoural problems. She reported back that we are doing nothing wrong at all and that he's just not got a great interest in food. She said to just be relaxed and encourage him to play with and experience the food etc and just said it will take time and progress will be slow. She added that she didn't really need to have seen him as he doesn't have a behavoural problem and usually they work with parents who have problems but we don't.

The HV also referred him to the physiotherapist at 11 months as he was commando crawling but not 'proper' crawling. I said I had no concerns about this as he had been a little slow with milestones but not exessively and I could see that he was making steady progress. She still insisted on referring me anyway angry.

So then I had to attend a string of appointments with the physio at 9am each time only to be told he was fine. Still had to go and see her though as now that i'd been referred she had to see him till he was walking. He walked at the age of 15 months, hardly 'late'.

I was also referred to the dietician, I explained to her he eats small amounts, she advised on high calorie foods and put him on high calorie milk which he's still on now.

I was also referred to a speech and language therapist to see if he had a physical difficulty with eating. Again, I didn't think he had. When the SLT came to see him the first time she said my HV had written to her telling her my ds gags, chokes and goes blue when eating shock. She also said she was told he had very frequent hiccups. To explain this I said he had gagged 'a few times in the very early days of weaning' which baby doesn't? The going blue thing was because she thought he looked a little blue on his top lip on one occasion when she visited, yes, i'm aware babies get this if they have a little trapped wind but theres a difference between that and 'going blue' everytime he eats. The hiccups were also observed on one occasion on one visit. I told her he gets hiccups 'now and again', not 'very frequently'. I feel like she exagerates everything and is constantly looking for problems with my ds.

At his year check she was not flexible at all on her 'marking' of him on her lists and made him out to be a lot less capable than he actually is. For instance she wanted to know if he would get the 'ball' if asked. Well, we hadn't taught him the word 'ball' by then so no he wouldn't. BUT if she had asked him to get the 'cat' he would have done it no problem. She didn't write down that he can fetch things on request though cause 'get the cat' wasn't on her list. She was just very pessamistic about his abilities and I felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall as I kept explaining he can do this this and this but she was like 'oh but can he do it exactly like this'. Bascially it made him look like a different child on paper. She also made out he had a weak left hand just because he wasn't keeping hold of a crayon with it when she handed it to him. He just didn't want to play with it! The physio checked this, nothing was wrong with his hand. So, another thing for me to worry about for no reason!

I stopped taking him to her at the clinic to get him weight when I was referred to the dietitcian and paed as they weighed him every few months and were a lot more optomistic about his weight gain.

When he was younger, she had me getting him weighed every week until he was 20 weeks old, then every 2 weeks till he was 50 weeks old! Every single weigh in caused me stress as she would pull her face and say 'only 4oz' or whatever the gain would be. I would then get questioned again about what he was eating, I dreaded it each week. I spend hours googling and posting on MN to find out what could be wrong with him as she had me so worried with her pessamistic attitute and constant referrals.

I went to see the doctor during all this and broke down and was put on ADs and sent for counselling. I am feeling a lot better about the whole thing now. I am no longer depressed and am off the AD's.

I am at the point now where I can see ds is small but perfectly formed and we just relax as much as we can about food. We encourage him to explore his food and he is slowly making progress. The paediatrician is happy with him and doesn't want to see him till he's 2 (last saw him at 18mo). He still see's the dietician as she is in charge of his high cal milk. In every other way we feel he's a perfectly normal little boy.

Sorry this is so long. I haven't seen the hv since his year check and didn't want to see her. She always stresses me so I made the decision not to get him weighed by her. As I said before he just gets weighed every 2/3 months by the dietician or paed which is quite frequent enough.

Anyway, last week he had a check up with the SLT just to see how he is getting on. She was happy with him regarding the food and said to just relax, make food fun, try food role play games etc.

What I am not happy about is her interpretation of him in other ways and also my HV (again). I recieved a phone call from my HV yesterday out of the blue (as I said, haven't seen her for 8 months). She said she had recieved the letter reporting back about Ds from the SLT and had I recieved my copy. I said no I haven't recieved it yet (and therefore had no idea what it said). She said that the letter said we should 'continue to monitor his weight', I swear this woman is obsessed with weighing him. I said 'well we are, he gets weighed by the dietician and paed', she said 'oh cause I noticed you hadn't got him weighed at the clinic for a while' I said 'yes, there's not been a big enough gap for me to need to plus I prefer to get him weighed by the paed/dietician'. The she said 'oh the letter says i would be a good idea to have him go to creche for a dinner time each week to see if eating with other children would help' I said 'yes that was suggested, I haven't had time to look in to it yet'. She was then like 'I can phone up about it for you if you like, would you be willing to pay for that every week' (I don't want her to phone for me particularily, I am an adult and can do it myself). Anyway, I felt a bit arkward so I just said 'yes if you like but it depends on the cost'. Then she mentioned a help with costs form and arranged to come round next week (great!) to fill it in with me etc

Anyway I recieved the letter she was referring to this morning. At no point in it does it say the words 'we should continue to monitor his weight' and certainly doesn't mention the hv doing it. It is worded in a way that assumes he gets weighed already and that we should seek help if his weight drops or he becomes pail or lethargic. This is unlikely however as he has so much excess energy it's unreal and I would never describe him as lethargic. But, if this did ever happen it would be picked up by the paed/dietician anyway as they weigh him...

Another thing in the letter is that it doesn't suggest him going to creche every week. It suggests to try him with 1 session to see if eating around lots of other children would be beneficial to him. So again she has exagerrated and I didn't know as I hadn't recieved the letter yet.

Another thing that has stressed me about the letter is the way the SLT has reported about Ds and how he is generally. She saw him for half an hour when he was tired and due a nap, has never seen him before.

She said things such as:

'Dylan has a very limited attention span' - He was tired and is only 20 months! What does she expect?

'Dylan continues to cast toys such as out of the box rather than continue to play with them for any length of time' - Again, he was tired, doesn't always do this, sometimes plays with toys for long periods of time with excellent concentration.

'Dylans speech can still be quite hard to understand' - He only said about 3 words whilst she was there as he was a bit shy and had never met her before, a lot of his words are clear as a bell and he is only 20 months!

'I have suggested that they should intrude on his wheel spinning and try to encourage some more imaginative play and show him how to brmm a truck or a car' - He likes to spin wheels but it's not the only thing he does and he can 'brmm a car' if he likes, he plays with allsorts, why would I purposely interrupt him doing something he enjoys all the time?

'I do think it's important that we continue to monitor his language development, social interaction and emerging imaginative play and refer to the Portage service in the autumn if this were needed' - I dont' feel there is any problem with any of this, he can say 40-50 words at least, interacts socially just fine and does engage in imaginative play (makes dolls dance, pretends to feed us, tries to ride the dog like a horse(poor thing), pretends to eat fake plastic food, cuddles teddies, pretends to talk on the phone etc etc).

I don't feel the SLT got a good idea of what he's like at all. This keeps happening, hcps see him for half an hour and assume he's a different child to the one we know. I don't want to be referred to someone else, i'm sick sick sick of appointments, I just want to enjoy raising my perfectly normal little boy without people picking and poking at him!

I don't want to see my HV again, she will drive me to despair, always does arrgghh!

Does anyone know if I can request to change HV's? I feel constantly undermined in my ability to be a parent and this affects my confidence, i'm sure it has contributed to my depression and in the early days affected my relationship with ds sad. I just want to be left alone to raise him. I dont' mind seeing the paed or dietician but all the other referrals seem over the top!

Thanks for getting this far, give me your oppinions good or bad.

Disclamer : I am hormonal and pregnant so I may be getting a little more wound up than usual but I wasn't pg in the past when she upset me. I felt like crying after she called yesteday as I thought 'here we go again'.

wuglet Sat 11-Jul-09 11:43:29

Am sure you can request to change HV

Am also amazed you have had all these assessments etc with your what sounds like small-but-perfectly-formed child when children with real SN often need to wait ages for them!

Just a thought - and don't want to make you more paranoid -if you request to change will she see this as some sort of avoidant behaviour and add it to her list of imaginary concerns?

Good luck with it!

shonaspurtle Sat 11-Jul-09 11:46:24

This HV appears to be very bad for your health.

Honestly, I think you should report her. You can't be the only person she's treating like this. Maybe she needs some extra training because it doesn't sound like she's very confident and is covering her own back at every step at the expense of your nerves - she must be really clogging up the clinics with these healthy children!

Could you make an appointment with your GP (I am very hazy as to the line management of HVs) and talk through everything you've said here - maybe even print out your post or make a written list of all the monitoring/referals? It might be good to get a second opinion as to the appropriateness of all the intervention.


AvengingGerbil Sat 11-Jul-09 11:50:38

Why not send this whole post to your GP/Practice management team? Ask them to tell you what the concerns are (if any) and to get the HV to leave you alone.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 11-Jul-09 11:52:52

I am shocked. He sounds completely normal to me? My DD is very similar - 10 months and still just sitting there happily. My fantastic HV just laughs (in a nice way) and tells me to make the most of it!

I would definitely change if I were you - for your mental health if nothing else! I would be beside myself having someone do all these checks and think you are fantastic for realising how silly she is being.

The only explanation I can think of for her behaviour is paranoia that she will miss something one day. It must be very hard being a HP if you think about it - if you miss something you get hauled up, possibly in the news etc etc. However she is not dealing with this in the right way.

I am guessing you can just request a change. I would be tempted to change doctors surgeries - would there be a new one at a different one - but perhaps that is the easy way out as such. I would also be tempted to write a letter explaining why you want to change to the superviser of health visitor - or whatever they are called.

Good luck

Montifer Sat 11-Jul-09 12:02:28

Poor you, this HV's behaviour sounds appalling and extremely unprofessional / incompetent.
I would certainly consult GP and as Shona suggests print out your post or make a chronological list of events.
This has obviously caused you great stress and has undermined your instincts as a mother, my guess would be that other parents are receiving similarly inappropriate advice from this HV and IMO it's really important this is addressed.
It makes me angry to hear about the awful service some HV provide although I've been lucky and encountered a few really good ones.
Sorry this one has caused you grief, good luck

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 12:10:39

Thanks for all the replies. I was half worried people might think I was blowing things up out of all proportion.

Interesting idea about changing doctors, my doctors surgery have also been pretty appaling at times regarding other things so might be a good idea.

Guess i'm worried that when this baby is born she will be his/her hv again and i will have to go through it all agian.

I truly believe MN has kept me sane through this, I would have gone mad without the reassurance on here!

I'm a little worried about changing HV in case I bump in to her and it's arkward, I know this is a silly concern but we live in a small town. Some of the other HV's are lovely and have told me not to worry on the odd occasion I have seen them.

Some parents might be 'reassured' by all these referrals but not me, just makes me worry more.

lou031205 Sat 11-Jul-09 12:41:11

How old are you? It shouldn't make a difference, but some younger mums get more intense 'support' - unjustified in many cases, but prejudice is prejudice.

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 12:43:18

I'm 28, not that old but not that young. I look youngish I suppose, check my pics. You're right though, it shouldn't make a difference....

flockwallpaper Sat 11-Jul-09 12:53:01

What an annoying woman, very unprofessional. DS was 'underweight' so I empathise. You would be more than justified in requesting to chance health visitors. All the best with your pregnancy.

Quattrocento Sat 11-Jul-09 12:56:34

D, it's clear that this health visitor is bad for your health. You do not have to see her. There is no law saying that you have to have this nightmare continuing. I went back to work at 3 months and never saw a health visitor again - apart from an 18 month checkup. What benefit are you or your little boy getting from this? Just don't see her.

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 13:01:10

I don't want to see her, I was happy not to and had managed it for months. But then I got the call from her, I didn't know it was her as she called from a withheald number and by the time i'd realised it was her it was too late and I was roped in to another meeting with her grr!

Quattrocento Sat 11-Jul-09 13:03:27

You're not being assertive enough. I INSIST you ring her back and cancel. If she asks why, you can tell her you appreciate her concern but you feel able to manage things well enough alone without any further intervention. Don't put up with it.

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 13:06:44

I know you're right, she just seems to have a way of getting round me, she's pushy but nice at the same time. I am considering cancelling the meeting. Might have to wait till mon now...

SoupDragon Sat 11-Jul-09 13:08:11

You don't have to change HV, you just stop dealing with them and ignore phone calls etc. If they phone say "<<insert professional here>> is dealing with this now."

CarGirl Sat 11-Jul-09 13:10:33

sounds like your HV doesn't have enough to do!!! I was told by my HV that they now have to target babies/chidlren that there input I wonder if it's the same where you live (it's cost cutting) and unfortunately she was wrongly got you on her list....

you don't have to see her.

Have you got parent/aunts/uncles/grandparents who were or are small especially as young children. It's always helpful to say they clearly take after x & y they were just the same.

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 13:11:41

Thats what I was trying to do soupdragon. I guess as I hadn't heard from her for so long I wasn't prepared for her calling like that and she caught me off guard.

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 13:14:59

cargirl - My mum was always skinny and found it difficult to gain weight when younger, I was a skinny child, dh was a skinny child, both my brothers are like beansprouts and fil is a skinny thing. It's hardly a surprise ds is like this. I've told her this though, just get a 'hmm yes'. She even told me once that it could be damagin for him to be as small as he was, something like that anyway, it was ages ago and I can't remember the exact wording.

lisad123 Sat 11-Jul-09 13:19:06

you can of course request a new HV, but you dont have to see them at all tbh. I havent seen my HV for about 9 months, and dd2 didnt walk till 19 months and they werent jumping up and down.
Sorry shes caused so much stress, she sounds like a right PITA

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 13:21:23

I'm confused over who I have to see to change HV's anyone know for sure. I think HV's can be useful if you get a nice one but as it stands I wouldn't approach mine with any problem.

Jux Sat 11-Jul-09 13:24:18

Definitely change HV. I did it so you can.

Dalrymps Sat 11-Jul-09 13:25:03

Off to feed ds lunch, back in a

CarGirl Sat 11-Jul-09 13:28:09

I changed HV after lodging a formal complaint. I spoke to their boss who was based at the local hospital site. If you contact your PCT they should be able to tell you or perhaps ask your HV for the name and number of her manager!

CowWatcher Sat 11-Jul-09 14:25:12

Poor poor you. Have no helpful advice except that you know your own child best, stick to your guns and don't deal with that woman again. Best of luck.

CJMommy Sat 11-Jul-09 14:46:19

Firstly, I think you should contact your PCT (primary Care trust) and ask for the number of the HV manager. Contact her and ask to see her regarding a possible complaint that you would like to discuss with her. If she won't discuss with you, make a formal complaint by asking your PCT the procedure for this.

Secondly, I'm sorry to say this but you MUST be more assertive. You are letting this HV ruin your health and the memories of precious early years with your DS. You need to take controlof this situation, or get a sibling/trusted frien/parent to help you.

Thirdly, I would print off what you have written and give it to your paediatrician to read and ask for support.

From what you have written, you are being unecessarily harrassed and I am sitting here, very angry on your behalf. I, too am a paediatric HCP and the actions of the HV and others are inconsistent and totally unprofessional. Please seek further advice and support from your PCT and let us know how you get on. You need this sorting before your DC is born, but changing GP is not going to sort the problem as the HV will only pass on info to your new HV, who may be totally different, but s/he may not! Change GP after you have resolved all the issues. Good luck!

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