All of my kids recently had a birthday. Alex turned 6, Ava 3, and Audrey 1. And of course you know what birthdays bring…cake, parties, presents and the ‘well’ doctors visit. It has been 4 days since this ‘well’ visit and I now have 3 sick kids. I can tell you that I am OFFICIALLY done with well visits. I realize that I am now fully confident with my ability as my children’s MAMA to care for and treat them to the best of my ability. Of course if I feel that a doctors visit is necessary then we go. It has taken me two years to get to this point but I am happily here.
Here is how I got to this point…
I put Alex in preschool two years ago. A few weeks into school he woke up crying that his ears hurt. Oh no..his first ear infection I thought. So first thing in the morning (Halloween Day) off to the doctor we go to confirm my suspicion. Yep, it’s a double ear infection and we receive our first prescription for an antibiotic. He took his amoxicillin on schedule and shortly after each dose he would cough and cough until he would vomit. I expressed my concern to the doctor and she explains to me that he just has a sensitive gag reflex. A few days and many phone call later I again express my concern over the fact that he continues to vomit, sometimes even in his sleep. She switched him to a different antibiotic. He recovers even though I am sure that we didn’t give him the entire bottle of antibiotic.
Christmas rolls around and both Alex and Ava get sick. Off to the doctor we go. They both have an ear infection and they both get prescribed antibiotic. I again express my concern and remind the doctor of his previous vomiting. I was assured that the two had nothing to do with each other. This time we got numbing drops from their ears and I loved these drops…it would rapidly ease their pain. Alex once again vomits daily. He fights taking his medicine. I beg and bribe him to take it.
One night after dinner I notice red spots on Alex’s arms. Hmmm I wonder. Could it be the chicken pox? I was talked into the vaccine (I was mistakenly told he couldn’t go to school without it) but could he maybe still have contracted the pox? He begins to itch. I get him into the bath and notice his knees are extremely swollen. I begin to worry. I give him some benadryl and put him to bed. Google was my friend and enemy that night. I concluded he was most likely allergic to penicillin.
This is what my baby boy looked like when he woke up.
The next morning I frantically wait until 9:00 on the dot to call the doctors office. I get through, explain this serious situation and am told to come in at 11:45. Really? 11:45? Why are they not as frantic as I am about this? It was unbelievable to me. I waited and waited until it was time to go. At this point I had to carry him. His joints were so swollen and he was in so much pain he could not stand let alone walk.
Doctor comes in and looks at Alex. Yep, he’s allergic to penicillin. Really? Are you kidding me? She says this so casually as if I never made those 10 plus phone calls voicing my concerns regarding the antibiotic. So she tells me not to give it to him anymore (duh) and prescribes steroids for his joint swelling. I go home feeling so horrible. I had begged and pleaded with my baby to take this medicine that was poisoning him. I ignored that mommy voice that was screaming in my head.
The next day the doctor calls to check on Alex. I tell her it is no better. The swelling has not gone down at all. She asks me to come in. She looks at Alex and then looks at his chart. She tells me that she has given him the incorrect dose of steroids. She acts as if this is no biggie, and she ups his dose. She graciously tells me that she will refund my payment for the visit, we had no insurance at the time. I never received any refund.
I did however receive something worth much more than the $50 office visit. Validation. Validation of my mama instinct. Validation that I am his mama and I am competent to take charge of his health care.
I have an amazing friend that spoke to me often about the healing power of herbs. I recalled our conversations and called our local herb shop. I picked up some burdock root to make tea for Alex. He began to feel better.