Yesterday, I was faced with a difficult decision: Do I take my son to the doctor, or wait it out to see if he got better? This may not sound like a serious debate, but this is something that I constantly struggle with.
I have a love/hate relationship with the pediatrician’s office. Since we brought Andrew home from the NICU after he was born, I feel like I’ve been fighting for doctors to listen to me.
I’m not sure if it’s the overprotective mother in me, and often, I’m afraid to trust my instincts. It feels like every time I call them when he’s sick, they say the same thing:
It’s just teething.
It’s just a virus. It will pass in a week to 10 days.
For the past few months, I’ve opted not to call the nurse’s line and instead directly book appointments when Andrew was sick. How can a nurse diagnose him over the phone when she doesn’t even remember his name?
But even now, it feels like every time I go into the pediatrician’s office, I’m being judged. If his symptoms aren’t bad, they look at me like I’m a hypochondriac mother. I over-react to everything. If his symptoms are worse, they treat me like I’m abusing him.
I feel like there’s no middle ground.
Let me be real here. Andrew has been sick for the last week. He’s had an awful cough at night, so we took him to an urgent care kids clinic. I just couldn’t face the judgment at the pediatrician’s office. They said it was just a cold and it should pass.
Well, it didn’t.
Yesterday, I noticed a white coating on his tongue. I debated whether or not to call the pediatrician. I finally bit the bullet.
I’m glad I did.
Turns out he has strep throat, along with hand, foot and mouth disease. I knew there was something wrong. And I pushed my instincts aside, afraid to be judged.
I feel horrible. My little boy has been suffering, all because I
couldn’t wouldn’t stand up for him.
I really think it’s time to change pediatricians. I don’t trust them. And they don’t trust me. It’s like we’re in a stand-off, trying to prove who knows best for Andrew. That’s not how it should be at all. I want to feel like his pediatrician is working WITH me to take care of him. And I’m just not getting that where we are.
So here’s to all the mothers out there who trust their gut and fight for their children. Who don’t back down when a doctor who can’t remember your child’s name — let alone his age — tells you it’s nothing.
I’m slowly learning from my mistakes.
PS – Combination strep throat and hand, foot and mouth disease is awful. If you don’t hear from me much this week, I’m just trying to survive. I promise to be back stronger than ever, if we both survive this.