Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Negligent Mom

It almost looks like a pattern, if you look close enough. I just have to say, up front, that I am glad our doctor knows me and trusts me. (sometimes more than I trust myself).

First let me tell you a story from about a month ago. Middle boy crashed on his scooter and successfully kissed the pavement long enough to get a mighty fat lip. I oohed and ahhed and sympathized with him, assuring him that every day he woke up it would go down a little more in size. Day two came, then day three. Still a big fat lip. By the fourth day I realized this was the kind of time that health insurance came in handy. So I called to make him an appointment with kindly Dr. Karen.

As I was headed out the door with Middle boy I realized Baby boy was being left without a playmate. Daughter was home to watch him but he risked dying of boredom by the time I got back, so I convinced him to come along with me, 'for the ride.'

We had been squeezed into the office schedule (which I appreciated greatly) so I was very aware that we needed to be in and out. Take a peek at fat lip, give us a solution, and send us on our way.

Dr. Karen was her usual cheery self and after a quick peek at said lip, declared that we were dealing with something similar to a huge cold sore, a reaction to the trauma. She turned and asked my Middle boy, "So, what is your mom putting on it? Is she giving you tylenol?"

He looked at me blankly. "Nothing, and no...."

Let me defend myself. He wasn't really in 'pain', it was just bugging him, to have a big fat lip. So tylenol didnt seem to be an answer. And I know my kids...they dont like ointments or lotions of any kind. They would rather have all their skin flake off and have all their organs exposed to the elements than think about putting something 'Yukky! and Greasy!' on their skin. So I didn't even offer ointment.

(feeling a bit negligent, as a mother, at this point.)

Then, as Karen and I discussed treatment plan for Middle boy, Baby boy would not stop pulling on my shirt sleeve. This is not typical. He is the kind of kid who can sit for hours, waiting for me at medical visits. This is the kid who spent his full third year of life hanging out in the prosthetists office while I got my first leg made, then tweaked almost daily. His persistence in the shirt pulling told me he really had something to say.

When I finally leaned down to acknowledge him he whispered in my ear, "remember mama? you were going to have her look in my froat?"

He had been complaining for a few days of a sore throat but our family had been passing around a mild cold so I kept telling him it was 'only drainage' and sending him on his way. When I had insisted he come with me to the doc he had mumbled to himself, as he put his shoes on, 'maybe she'll look at my froat...' Of course I ignored that comment...we were, after all, going to the doc for Middle son.

I felt bad even asking, since we were already past our appointment slot time, but Dr. Karen quickly obliged and, after peering in his throat announced, "It is pretty red, Judy..."

"It's okay," I wisely replied, "Just tell him its drainage and we'll get out of your way...."

She smirked (I swear, she did) and said, "As a medical professional, I am pretty much obligated to swab it, looking that red..."

I thought to myself (didn't dare SAY it) "Oh, good's just drainage...he's only along for the ride.."

But sure enough, after the trauma of a first throat swab, my Baby boy came back up with a swab test positive for strep. Not just any strep. One of the worst they'd seen this season. Nice.

Negligent mom, round two!

So now fast forward to yesterday. Same Dr. Karen, same exam room. It's her last appointment for the day so we chat and laugh a minute before she turns to examine latest victim, Daughter. The cold that has circulated in our household landed firmly on my girl and has not let her go. For the past four days she has barely eaten food, her throat is so sore. I kept thinking it was again 'drainage' (my favorite diagnosis, can you tell?) but after she stopped taking in nourishment I started taking her seriously.

So here we were once again, our weekly trip to see Dr. Karen.

Karen asked Daughter to open wide and say ahhh, shined her flashlight in the cavern for a full one second, then jumped back and said, "Oh my GOSH! Have you seen inside this child's mouth?!"

Now honestly, it had never occurred to me that there might be something for me to see, so NO, I had never looked inside my daughter's mouth. I assumed there was some trick to figuring out sore throat pain and I have not been to medical school lately so I was not qualified to even try.

Turns out my daughter's right tonsil is so swollen and filled with puss you can practically see it with her mouth closed. Sure enough, when she opened her mouth, and I bothered to look inside, I could see the offending tonsil, as clear as the nose on my clueless face.

Dr. Karen didn't say a word about what a bad mom I am, not even looking inside a child's mouth when she has had throat pain for FOUR days...and I assume it had something to do with the plate of cookies we had brought in to thank her for another incident that recently went down in her office (another story for another day). So for now I am pretty sure the division of family services won't be on my doorstep today...

But then again it's still early.

Maybe I should make a plate of cookies for them, just in case.


Leigh said...

Oh, Judy! I can certainly relate. I'm just so glad to know that I'm not alone. Negligent Moms Unite!!!

Carmen said...

Judy, there was time that I never went to the pediatrician's office without a plate of cookies. Just in case, as a thank you for prior help and as a suck up for future.

Hmm, the on call nurse was really short with me yesterday. Methinks that I need to make cookies once again.


(for some reason, my blogger sign in is messed up and won't display my site, but you know who I am ;0)