A Bad Reaction, Dr. Dung

Filed under: Health, Rants

Warning: This is a long-assed rant. Sorry, but it is.

Yesterday I took my children to the allergist. I’m not going to use his real name. I’m going to call him Dr. Dung (his real name is one letter off, and rhymes with dung). I had never been to see this doctor. Our pediatrician recommended (two years ago, it has taken me a while to get around to it) that we go see an allergist to get a baseline idea of what my kids might allergic to (hay fever type stuff, nothing serious) – and also to try and help us figure out why Ella continues to get sick so frequently.

Before the appointment I had to fill out detailed new patient forms for both girls –  7 pages for each about every kind of symptom they’ve had (I basically check-marked “sneezing” although there were hundreds of options, and put “Not Applicable” where needed). On the phone they told me it was going to be a long appointment – 3 hours – but when I asked if I should bring an iPad for the girls so they could watch a movie while we waited, they said they would have a movie for the kids to watch so I didn’t bring the iPad.

Long story short, this was officially the worst day of summer for me and my children, if not our lives. They kept us there for nearly four hours and 99% of all of it was total bullshit. First, the nurse (who spoke English poorly and took an unusually long time to understand what I was saying) took me into a tiny room without enough chairs for all of us to sit and interviewed me for one whole hour. She went over literally every answer on the questionnaire, even the questions I answered “No” and “N/A” to. Huh? She would ask me the same question literally three times, and this was done one-by-one for both children until I couldn’t see straight! My mother’s instinct was shouting at me, Something’s not right here, but it had taken me so long to make the stupid appointment and I really wanted to get to the bottom of what’s going on with Ella, so we stayed. After an hour of this bullshit, where everything was in slow-mo, she took us into the doctor’s palatial office. I had thought she was being thorough so she could communicate all our concerns to him (read: sneezing), however I couldn’t help but notice that before bringing us in there, she did not even speak to the doctor.

The only way I can describe this man is that he reminded me of Kim Jong Un and the whole time we had to sit there at his desk – one and a half hours! – I kept picturing Kim Jong Un and what it must be like for North Koreans on a daily basis to be at the mercy of a small man who has a superiority complex. This man was not Korean, he was Chinese, from Taiwan, but the power trip he had going was nothing short of militaristic.

Please note: I have nothing against Chinese people or people from Taiwan. In fact, I’ve traveled there and met not a single person as unlikeable as Dr. Dung. In addition, I have lots of friends who are Chinese, Taiwanese, etc. This is not a discriminatory post about Taiwanese people, it is a discriminatory post about Mean people.

So anyhoo, it took only about 3 minutes for me to hate him.

I wonder if he reads the Momalog?

I wonder if he reads the Momalog?

This was one of those times that as a mother, I made the Big Mistake of not listening to my intuition – which at this point was shouting at me to stop the appointment and get the fuck out. But I did not. As he kept warbling on about nasal passages and dander in a slow, pedantic way, as I kept worrying whether or not Ella was going to lose it and say something to him, as she is prone to do because she is an authentic person, as I worried what I was going to say to him, that baby-faced image of pudgy Kim Jong Un kept popping up into my mind. Dr. Dung went over the same things the nurse had gone over.

It was an interrogation. I’m not kidding.

Without speaking to the nurse or reading her notes, he took me through the same 7-paged questionnaire that she had taken me through, and that I had already spent about an hour at home filling out myself.

And he was: rude, irritable, dismissive. He lectured us – a busy mom and her two children – pedantically on allergy information and human biology that we could find anywhere. He kept shushing me. He kept telling me that what I thought I knew was wrong, or what I had said was wrong, even though I didn’t say very much. For example, he wanted to know how many times Ella was sick this past year. I said that although I had marked it on my calendar it was at home, and I didn’t have the exact number in my head, but he pressed me for specifics. “Once a month,” I guessed. “Sometimes twice a month? Definitely over 15 times,” I said. “On what dates?” he said, and “what were the symptoms?” I said, “Like I said – I have the dates in my calendar, and if you had told me before the appointment that you wanted such specific information I would have brought that and her medical records.”

“But that’s perfectly normal,” he said.

Me: “To be sick over 15 times in one year, probably more?”

Him: “Your child is looking for attention.”


He said this in front of Ella.

Him: (accusingly) “And did you got to the pediatrician every time she got sick?”

Me: “No, but I did go many times, and they are the ones who suggested we do ALLERGY TESTS because they said that she gets sick too often! My pediatrician sent me.” Jesus! I wanted to say, “I am not a hypochondriac.” I felt – attacked.

When he left the room, Fi whispered: “By the time we leave this room, we will have our medical degrees!”

At one point, about 45 minutes into it, Ella got my iPhone out of my purse and began playing Stack the States. This annoyed him so he told her how he’d read the Washington Post piece that morning about how impolite it is to use apps or text on an iPhone while having a conversation. Well, yes, Dr. Dung, it is impolite to text while you are having a conversation however this isn’t a conversation, it’s water-boarding, so in my parental opinion texting is OK. At this point, though, my head was spinning. I was confused, and my maternal instincts were being subverted. It was just a doctor’s appointment, but it was super fucked-up.

Picture 11

I asked Ella to hand over the iPhone and she wasn’t having any of it, so there was a small, awkward battle between us in front of Dr. Dung that stressed us out even more and made me feel even shittier. Finally, she handed it over. I feel bad that I made her do that, because she was bored out of her 8-year-old, cotton-pickin’ MIND. And poor, diplomatic, Fiona, my child who loves harmony and balance! She could see I was becoming Angry and could sense that things were going to get worse. It was just an awful situation all around.

A few minutes later, Ella sat with her knees up, picking at a scab while Dr. Dung droned on about sinuses-blah-blah-blah and allergens-blah-blah-blah and he stops and says, “Ella! Ella! Are you listening to me?”

That’s when I snapped. I don’t know if you know this about me but I can be really shitty and direct when I snap. Ever since I was a child, when pushed, I was always the one to point out when the Emperor had no clothes. Some people might see this as a bad thing, but I regard it as one of my Very Best qualities. I also find that with power-hungry people like Dr. Dung, you’ve got to be proactive, not passive. Otherwise they will goose-step all over you.

Picture 10

I said, “Excuse me, just because she isn’t looking directly at you does not mean she isn’t listening to you. She’s an 8-year-old child –”

He tried to stop me and talk over me. I continued talking.

“An 8-year-old child and this has been a very long appointment. Frankly, she’s bored!” (They had no kid-friendly things at all anywhere in the office, either. Not even a Highlights.)

He cut me off in what I can only describe as a Narcissistic and militaristic kind of way, and continued to ask and re-ask the same questions I had already answered and which I had answered for the nurse.

“I’m sorry,” I interjected – several times – “but I have just spent the past hour answering these same questions for the nurse, and I’m not sure what we are doing.”

I don’t even remember what he said – just blah-blah-blah-dust mites-blah-blah-blah-air-conditioning-vents.

When he tried to scold Ella again for not paying attention I just handed her my iPhone, defiantly.

He continued water-boarding us with his words, taking us hostage with talk of indoor allergens vs. outdoor ones, with shit about bee pollen, dust mites, basically he could have been reading the information packet inside a box of Clarityn. After we had been there for two-and-a-half hours, I wanted to kill him.

Picture 13

He continued his interrogation, and I’m not exaggerating, it was really an interrogation. He would ask me a question, I would answer it, he would raise his eyebrows dismissively as if I as the mother was somehow making it up or trying to fudge the truth. Did she have sniffles, or post-nasal drip? Teary-eyes, or itchy ones? Did she sneeze in October of 2008? That sort of stuff. He would ask the same question over and over again, he would try to tell me my answer was wrong and then he would ask Ella and she didn’t know what the heck he was talking about so it became very awkward. I am sure that he was in the army. I am sure that he was trained in how to interrogate prisoners and that instead of being a pediatric allergist, he wanted to be a general and command and abuse people. Instead, he was sitting in front of an 8-year-old who was more interested in picking her scab than in showing any kind of bullshit deference to elders who don’t deserve it.

The thing I really like about Ella is that she has great taste in people. She is a barometer of character, so when she encounters people like this, she doesn’t put on a mask and pretend to like them, and she doesn’t do what they say – she just is who she is.

He started – finally – trying to hone in on why Ella gets sick so frequently, and this is where it went into the shitter and I got belligerant, and so did he.

Him: “Ella, Ella! Please listen to me.”

Ella looks up from her iPhone at him.

Him: “How many headaches do you have?”

Me: “What do you mean, how many headaches does she have? How can an 8-year-old answer that question? Over what period of time?”

Him: “Well, Mommy, why don’t you answer the question for me?” (Did Kim Jong Un just call me ‘Mommy?’)

Me: “I really can’t tell you how many headaches she’s had in her life.”

Him: “The last year? The last month? When did they start?”

Me: “I – I’m not sure when they started.”

Him: “What, surely you must know? One year? Two years?”

Me: “Last year?”

Him: “Ella what did the headache feel like?”

Ella: “Which headache?”

Him: “Headache when it started.”

Ella: ???

She looks at me, confused.

Him: “What did it feel like? Punchy-punchy? Boom-boom? Throbbing?”

Ella: “Throbbing?” (she didn’t know what that meant)

Him: “It was throbbing?”

Me: (see below)

Picture 13 Picture 11

Me: “She’s not saying it was throbbing, she doesn’t know what throbbing means.”

Him: “Was it punchy-punchy? Boom-boom?” (Punchy-punch? Boom-boom? WTF?? Are these medical terms?)

Ella: “Which headache?”

Him: “Last year.”

Me: (see below)

Picture 14

Ella: “Well – it just felt…like…a headache. In my head.”

Him: “But where in your head? Where? Here? Here?” (he moved his hands all over his skull)

Ella: “Here.” (she put her hands on her forehead)

Him: “Mommy where was the pain? Did you observe?” (Did he just call me “Mommy” again?)

Me: “I’m sorry but I am getting lost here. I have no idea which headache you are referring to. This is confusing – I am not a scientist or a doctor –”

Him: (interrupting and trying to talk over me) “I know you are not a scientist or a doctor–”

Me: (continuing to talk over him – kids are like deer-in-headlights now): “If you wanted me to bring her medical records with me you could have asked, because I do not remember how many headaches she had or know what they felt like. In addition, I have already filled out all of the information you have been asking me about on the intake form, and I have just spent the past hour answering these same questions to your nurse. Can you –”

Him: “Yes, yes, fine! Fine! What have you come here for?”

Me: “I just want to get a general test to see if they have hay fever!!!”


Me: “Then what are we doing here? Are you going to test them, or not?”

Him: (testily!) “Yes! Yes! I’ll test them! I’ll test them! But I am a DOCTOR, NOT a technician! It’s not just in and out and thank you, ma’am!”

(Apparently, not!)

Picture 15

Our voices had raised now and both Fi and Ella were on high alert, looking at me and back to the doctor as if it was a freak show. My mother’s instinct told me to get the heck out! But I didn’t. I wanted the test. Clearly, here we were – polar opposites, from polar opposite countries, with utterly nothing in common, and if he was Kim Jong Un to me, I was a representation of the indulgent, clueless, entitled American mother who lets her kids use their iPhone and shows no deference to elders if they do not deserve it, because no one’s forcing me to – in his mind I am everything bad about democracy run amok, probably.

So after telling me that “Mommy is feeding the child stories about where the pain is in her head,” and implying that I am a hypochondriac-mom! (ME! Hypochondriac mom? Have you seen me being interviewed on the Huffington Post panel as the featured “anti-hypochondriac” ? (I actually talk about how I would never get a doctor on the Internet. Oops.) I am not a hypochondriac, and to get a BandAid out of me, my kids have to practically be hemmorrhaging. The reason we were there was that our pediatrician had recommended we rule out allergies as the cause of Ella’s frequent illnesses.

After his stooge of an assistant did the pin prick test on the girls, after I stopped her because Ella was clearly about to cry – she didn’t know what was happening and as a Montessori parent, I stupidly had expected this woman would attempt to explain to the child what she was about to do and that it was not going to be very painful. But no! So I said, “Excuse me, she’s asking you to explain to her what you’re about to do – can you help her out?”

She said: “I’m just going to stick you with all these little POKES up and down your arm, and they’re going to itch.”

POKES? POKES? Ella was alarmed now, she imagined they were like vaccinations, that she was going to get a whole bunch of shots up and down her arm.

Oh, it was just awful. Then they herded us into a little room (again without enough chairs!) to watch a video. But it wasn’t Pocohontas or anything, it was a poorly produced, creepy film all about dust mites and how they live in your bed and feast on dead skin cells and how you can never get rid of them. How they are in your teddy bears and all your stuffed animals and if your mommy doesn’t wash them frequently, you’re in danger. How you should not sleep with any of your stuffed animals on your bed.

That night, I found Fi standing beside her bed, afraid to get in because she feared the dust mites.

Picture 16

In my opinion, it was a crappy film to show to children. I went to turn the movie off but they had a sign that said, “Do NOT touch the computer.” I realized that others had been there before me, had seen the link between their children watching that film and developing an irrational fear of bedtime and, possibly, OCD and had tried to turn off the movie.

Dr. Dung finally came in and spent another 45-50 minutes lecturing us about dreaded nasal passages again. Turns out, the kids have hay fever, but what they are severely allergic to is dismissive little men with power trips. After he prescribed us two bottles of Nasonex I thought to myself: the pin-prick test took 20 minutes, the prescription for Nasonex could have taken 10 seconds. All told, we should have been out of here in 45 minutes to an hour, at most.

As we were leaving, Ella told him:

“Mommy told us we get to sleep with ALL our stuffed animals on the bed tonight!”

Take that, Dr. Dung.

Our Ella is one-of-a-kind, a true individual who goes against the scuttling herd, and although it might threaten some types of people, we love that quality about her.

Picture 10

We ran from Dr. Dung’s office, although I was so furious I wanted to goose-step. We punched the elevator buttons with our fingers and when we got out of that building we sprinted to the car! We met my husband for dinner at a restaurant, and he asked me where I found Dr. Dung. When I told him sheepishly that I had found him on the Internet, he Yelped him. All sorts of dreadful reviews popped up including words in shouty caps: “IRRITABLE!” “RUDE!” “DISMISSIVE!” and, “WORST doctor I have EVER met!” My husband then explained to me that Dr. Dung was probably scamming – getting paid by the insurance company per hour and he was going to bill my insurance company for two people for four hours each and make a killing! I wish I had more street sense and had figured that one out sooner!

I’m going to find somewhere to go lodge a complaint. It’s not something I usually do, but in this case, I’m gonna.

Lessons learned:

  • Do not be stupid and try to find doctors for your children off the Internet.
  • If you do, then at least Yelp them first and read some parent reviews.
  • Always, always listen to your gut. Mother’s instinct resides in primal brain, where there is no bullshit, only Truth. Your intellect will try to talk you out of what your gut says to do – but when it comes to your kids, always listen to your instinct.


Leave a Comment

You might also like...

  • "Dottie Sandusky smiled as she took the witness stand to defend her husband defend him against charges he sexually abused boys in their home." - Fox News

    What Did Dottie Sandusky Know?

  • Picture 70


  • Picture 24

    This Carnivore’s Dilemma

  • Picture 329

    Breastfeeding on the East Coast Sucks (Pardon the Pun…)

  • xmas carol

    A Christmas Carol in the Radiology Department


19 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. I am grossly allergic to my children’s allergist – A Bad Reaction, Dr. Dung



  2. What a horrible experience for you and your children. My two boys are teens, but when they were in preschool to 5th grade, they were sick quite often. They are better now… Age 13 and 17..No More Asthma. Seasonal allergy not so bad… From my experience I would not give them the nasonex. My boys were prescribe this tooo. TOO MANY SIDE EFFECTS ESPECIALLY FOR CHILDREN. I have had better out come with having them bathe and wash hair before bedtime. if they were outside. Also changing the pillow case on their beds more often. More hollistic approach use saline nasal spray, and a spoon full of Local harvested honey on toast or right from the spoon before the hayfever season starts. Good luck to you.



    • Thanks so much Susan – it’s interesting, I noticed he spent quite a lot of time “defending” the steroids present in Nasonex (I had no idea it even had steroids) and simply because he was so unlikeable, I don’t really trust what he prescribed. I will definitely do the more holistic approach and have them shower after being outside, at night, I will change the beds more frequently and wait an hour for the dust mites to settle before vacuuming, and use the saline nasal spray and see how that goes. Thanks



      • I do not like to be this way but: Doctors will say and do anything to get the pharmaceutical drugs out to their patients. Some only care about the perks/offers they get from the pharmaceutical companies. They do not care about the patients well being, and what the side effects will do in the long run. I just recently joked with my endocrinologist, I am 2 years in remission thyroid cancer. My thyroid medication requires that I do not consume any calcium for 4 hours after I take my pill in the morning. I have been on it for 2 years, and I also am on the verge of being diagnosed with osteoporosis. I know there are options for me to go on a natural based drug instead of the synthetic one I am on. I need every moment of the day to get my calcium. So anyway I said to her, this is the way it goes these days, you doctors think we don’t read the fine print, prescribe us a drug to help one issue knowing it will cause a nother issue in the long run. I will be a bag of broken bones in the near future…. she laughed at me instead of giving me an answer and walked out of the room. ( Before hand I waited in the waiting room for 75 minutes sitting next to 2 pharmaceutical reps). YOU have to be your own advocate these days. Doctors don’t care any more.



        • I so totally hear you. One of my pet peeves is being marketed to, on any level. We don’t even have a television/cable because of how much I despise being someone’s “customer base.” At the end of the appointment he gave me informational pamphlets – loaded with sales info about medication and hypo-allergenic pillows, mattress covers etc. Not to mention all the ads around his office for “product”.
          So, I’m with you! PS: Congrats on your remission!!!



          • THank you, I love your blog, I’m looking forward to more entries.


          • Thank YOU Susan. (-:


  3. OMG. What a horrible appointment! Evil little man. I hate that you all had to suffer through that. Three years ago, we were referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist…supposedly the best in the city. I walked out of there so pissed off, and immediately called around to find a different doctor. My son is much happier with his current eye doctor…as am I!
    Twitter: chasingcloud9



  4. OMG. Terrible.

    It seems you got your result, though. Hope things get better.

    An alternative is to go to a naturopath. They “cured” my husbands’ migraines. They performed several tests: hair (to look for mineral deficiency) and blood, for food allergy. After several weeks of taking their ‘water’ and changing his diet (removed some veggies) his migraines disappeared.

    5 yrs ago, I enrolled to see this chiropractor (neck specialist). Long story short, a total of 12 people were sitting in his waiting room. He started giving a presentation about how we do things wrong,indulging into Advil for everything, etc…
    Half way his presentation a woman asked a question. She wasn’t rude, but he considered her question as a no-believer and she was not good to be part of the crowd. Told her to leave. THAT should have been an alert to us and get the heck out too – we shouldn’t allow those assholes to continue right? But we stayed. We wanted to know details on his services. It wasn’t that bad after that, but nobody needs to be shitty, especially with no reason in the service industry. Gah!
    Twitter: Mama_AndTheCity



  5. OMG that’s dreadful. I would have lost my shit at hour 2 if this happened to me.

    My oldest went in for allergy testing. It took over an hour, mostly because the nurses couldn’t get a needle into my boy’s arm to do the blood test, and they had to wait for the doctor, who took the syringe, found the vein and voila. In like, a minute. Gah.
    Twitter: AlisonSWLee



  6. Horrible!! (But I do love your little Ella!) I applaud you and your girls for making it through that nightmare.

    Susan’s advice about the honey is a good one – local, raw honey – it contains minute amounts of pollen so it acts very similar to getting allergy shots, but in a simple way and without charging you or your insurance a ridiculous amount of money :) There’s also a product called NeilMed Sinus Rinse – it’s similar to a nedi pot but waaay easier to use in a squeeze bottle and much more child friendly. My cousin’s youngest actually thinks it’s hilarious to squeeze the water up one side of his nose and watch it come out the other. And it comes with premixed little saline packs so no stinging or horrible sinus feelings. Just an easy way to rinse away the pollen after playing outsider or during spring or whenever it’s worse for them.

    As for a complaint, as soon as you get notice that your insurance has processed the claims, challenge it with them directly. I would be awfully tempted to write out a complaint directly to the doctor’s office and send it – send two, one with each child’s name attached – they are required by law to keep them in their file. You may not get anywhere, and I doubt you’ll get a response from the doctor or his staff, but that kind of abuse of the system (in billing hours of worthless charges) gets under the skin of the insurance companies. Enough complaints and they’ll start auditing his charges.
    Twitter: normalmomally



    • I have good news – the office of the allergist called me to ask me TWO MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE, ahem. So of course, I LOST it on the phone and delivered a whole spiel on why we will never return to that office and what went wrong. So anyway, they realized I was very unhappy and the office manager (who I’m sure has heard this before) asked what she could do for me. I told her to not bill my insurance company, and she immediately agreed. So – hopefully they won’t get paid for that, if there’s any justice in the world! PS: Thanks for the natural remedies I will definitely try ‘em. (-:



  7. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time
    and was hoping maybe you would have some
    experience with something like this. Please let me know if
    you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to
    your new updates.



  8. Hello there, I discovered your website by the use of Google while looking for a related subject, your web site came up, it seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. fkakakekdaac
    Twitter: euuityew



  9. A big point was about fifty yards to the west for the opening fishing
    rod ugly stik of this building is Ray Mears. Morey
    may be part of a pilot program started by tthe North Carolina
    Wildlife Resources Commission NCWRC in support of state
    recreational anglers’ increasing efforts to be a marshy
    inlet. It’s the start of the 2012 salmon season on the River Tay.




    A Bad Reaction, Dr. Dung – Momalog



  11. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get
    there! Appreciate it



Leave a Reply

Stuff Ella Says


The Musical Parent

Greetings from Ireland

Moms I Admire

Hayden\'s Hope

Your Text Ad Here


Ado. It rhymes with PlayDoh.

Recent Tweets




  • DIY: painted dried fall leaves

  • .

  • Beatle Love

  • Follow Me on Pinterest

Browse Tags

art birthing Born-again moms bucket list coffee Daddy Brain doulas Duggarmoms ella emotional baggage Enneagram Fear of Flying Fiona food for the soul iPhone Photo Phun Link-Up Ireland Judgement Day Kitchen laundry lunchbox Mary Poppins molecules Mommy Brain Mommy Rants Mother's Day mothering nursing Paris photos questions religion royal wedding sherpa moms six-year-olds smooches SPAM stuff Ella says Summer Suzuki the END of the WORLD the Rapture travel with kids Vacation violin practice wisdom

Grab a Button

Momalog Button

Moms I Admire

Syndicated on Blogher

Currently Reading

Slowness White Dog Fell from the Sky A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

More of Adrienne's books »
Book recommendations, book reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Google Analytics Alternative