The Medical Exam….

The Medical Exam……

While we did not learn about our daughter’s abuse until approximately eighteen months after the last encounter, we felt it was prudent to take her to the doctor for a physical exam and tests.  Of course, there was concern that there might be added trauma to her mental state if she was required to undress and subject herself to an exam that many women do not have until they reach adulthood.  However, we spoke to her and explained the importance of making sure that she was physically healthy.  We also gave her the option of stating whether she preferred a male or female doctor.

When making the appointment, we notified the staff at the doctor’s office about the reason for the visit.  We were very specific because we wanted to be sure that the doctor was not blindsided by what would be discussed during the visit.  It was also important to let them know during the initial call that we had just become aware of the abuse,  a police report had been filed, and  an investigation was underway.  These precautionary measure were done in an effort to ensure that the doctor and staff were especially sensitive to our daughter’s needs and avoid a scene that might involve the police or Child Protective Services being called to take another report once we arrived and the appointment got underway.

The appointment involved a screening by the doctor during which my daughter was asked a few open-ended questions to help the doctor assess what type of trauma my daughter experienced.  Prior to actually starting the exam, the doctor took proper care to explain the process of the examination to my daughter, the types of tests that would be run, and when she could expect to receive the results.  As the exam was getting ready to get underway, I gave my daughter the option of me staying in the room or standing outside the door while the examination was conducted.  Thankfully, she chose to allow me to stay in the room with her for support.

I was careful to allow her to answer the questions that were posed to her because I wasn’t sure if the doctor’s report would need to be subpoenaed by the courts and it was extremely important that the doctor could honestly report that all of the information that she received were my daughter’s words and there was no sense of coercion or coaching on my part.  This is very important for all parents and caregivers to understand… must let the children speak for themselves if they are able to; otherwise, you can affect the outcome of the reporting and investigative processes.  It is also important to note that your family doctor’s medical report may not suffice in the courts and you may be required to take your child in for a court required examination with a court appointed medical professional.  If that is the case, your legal advisor will provide you with the details and specifics of this process.

All be it we had been praying constantly since we learned of the abuse just days before the medical exam, there was even a greater sense of urgency in our prayers when we were faced with waiting for the various test results.  Keep in mind, discovering the abuse is more than one thinks they can handle as a parent, but the thought of the abuse leaving your child with some type of medical issue creates a whole nother level of mental anguish.  We are grateful to report that our daughter’s tests all came back fine. That was something positive for us to hold on to in the days, weeks, and months to follow!

We thought we would address the aspect of dealing with Social Workers this week as well, but the medical exam and dealing with social workers might be a lot to take in all at once so let’s hold it over until next week.

Next week’s topic…..Social Workers and their policies and procedures

Category: For Dads, For Moms, For Survivors, Uncategorized |

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