Will I ever know what to do?

Two weeks ago, we’re over at Grandma’s house & Jr trips on the carpet. Nothing new here, he trips ALL the time (especially since he started wearing shoes—he still kind of looks like he has lead attached to his feet when he walks). Well, his head was magnetically attracted to the coffee table. And not just the coffee table, but the very corner of the coffee table. Blood everywhere. Screaming. HUGE GOOSE EGG. Grandma says to put ice on it. Well the kid SCREAMS even more when we try that. Goose egg is getting even bigger…is that possible? Goose egg is getting even MORE blue…is that possible? Force ice or no ice? Tylenol or no Tylenol? And how do I stop the pints of blood screaming down my kid’s face from his forehead? Two days later, it’s Jr’s 12 month doctor’s appointment (really 13 month because apparently you have to book all of your check-up appointments when they are first born or your out of luck). Doctor comes in. No, I don’t abuse my child…he just looks like he was hit with a 2 x 4… blah…blah. Nurse comes in to give shots. She asks me to hold his arms while she gives him the FIVE shots. Complete torture. One, two, three. One leg done. Jr’s not breathing because he’s crying so hard. Next leg. Four…then comes five. Jr is SCREAMING & I forgot what I’m supposed to be doing. Nurse screams as the fifth shot is going in, ‘Hold his arm!’ Oh yea, I’m supposed to be holding back his arms so he doesn’t try to…needle pops out of his skin & some oozes down his leg. Did he get enough in him? Nurse seems to think he got enough… Inside, I’m sure she’s thinking ‘What a dumb Mom, I told her to hold the kid’s arm.’ Turns out Jr has an ear infection. The Wiz knew this when I talked to her on the phone a few days earlier & diagnosed it for me. Should I have known this without some one having to tell me? Should I have done something about it sooner than the appointment I already had scheduled? Well, Jr’s given a prescription for Amoxicillion & we’re good to go home. Eight days later….bedtime. Jr feels warm. Does he have a fever? Where’s the thermometer? Did it just walk away? 20 minutes later, oh, there is it. Yes, he does have a fever… Tylenol or no Tylenol? It’s pretty bad, so I guess Tylenol. Is that a spot on his skin? Um…that’s weird. The next morning. Jr definitely has spots all over him. What? I call the nurse. Yes, it’s somewhat common for kids to get a rash & have a fever after getting the chicken pox shot. It will usually break out 8 – 10 days after the shot if it happens, so he’s right on schedule. It will get better in a couple of days. Is this a rash? I guess so. Jr is fine all day until that evening… Even more spots on him..old spots are turning into welts…fever is higher… he looks miserable & only wants to be held. Why did I have him get the chicken pox vaccination? Shouldn’t some one have warned me that my kid might end up looking like this? It should be better in a day or two, right? Bath or no bath? Soap or no soap? Benedryl or no Benedryl? Clothes or no clothes? Shouldn’t this kid have come with a manual? Yesterday, poor kid. He can’t walk because the welts on his inner thigh must have hurt too much. Doctor or no doctor? I give him a cool bath to help bring down his temperature. He’s shivering. What do I do? This morning, Jr doesn’t look any better. He’s going to the doctor. I call to make an appointment. The lady on the phone asks me if I know where the back door is located. I tell her I do. She said to knock on it & some one will let me in the back & take me directly to a room. That freaks me out! My kid must be contagious? After all, they are treating him like a leper. The nurse asks me to keep him on my lap & not let him play with the toys in the room. Yea, right, I’m supposed to keep this curious kid on my lap when he sees these toys calling his name? The doctor will be how long? 15 minutes? Impossible. I give him my cell phone, my wallet, my purse, anything that other kids wouldn't touch to entertain him. Junior is screaming wanting to get off my lap & play with the toys. Finally, the doctor comes in. ‘oh’. Oh? Is that a good 'Oh' or a bad 'Oh'? After a few minutes of diagnosis, the doctor informs me that it is definitely not a rash from the chicken pox shot. It’s not? It’s a condition called blah.blah.blah. A condition called what? That's an awfully long name, what does it mean? Basically, big hives. Hives? Hives from what? Hives from the Amoxicillion he's been on. But he’s been on that before, that can’t be it. The doctor then reminds me that I know nothing & that sometimes allergies to penicillins don’t occur until the second time it’s used. Oh. So why didn’t I take him to the doctor earlier? Why didn’t I realize that it wasn’t just a rash? Why did I wait it out? How much longer will I have to deal with a child with whatever condition is called having big hives? Will I ever know what to do?


Anonymous Mary said...

You poor thing! And your poor little guy! I hope you are both doing okay. I've only got an 11-month-old and I don't think I'll ever know what to do. It would be really nice if there was an expert on hand at all hours to train us as we go. Now I'm nervous about those shots!

Your comment about your boy walking like he has lead feet when he wears shoes is exactly how my daughter looks too! She's getting so good sans shoes, but strap on a pair and she just fumbles around.

9/23/2005 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Your poor little dude! I hope he's off the meds and that Benadryl (or something) helps him until the rash is gone completely.

My 4yo is allergic to penicillins, too, but she didn't get nasty hives like that, just a small little rash.

It's hard when the vaccine is at the same time as other changes (like medicine). You never know which one to blame.

If you're like me, you'll never really feel like you know what to do, but at least you're learning.

9/24/2005 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Oh, and it looks like he could have played with the toys,huh? Allergies aren't contagious. But I'm always a little wary of toys in dr.'s offices, anyway.

9/24/2005 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea Wright said...

Not to make you feel worse, but I think the answer to your question is a big fat No. I still feel so helpless, clueless and just plain stupid when it comes to knowing what to do for my kids.

I guess I have gotten better diagnosing and treating some of the more basic things and at knowing each child and their vulnerabilities (i.e. if my oldest gets sick she almost ALWAYS gets strep.)

9/24/2005 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

Hon, I am 54 years old and I still don't guess right. It is so terribly scary. I think kids just survive childhood by sheer luck and the grace of God.

When I was your age, if my kids were bleeding, I'd cry with them and my husband would have to take care of them. Blood, I'm not good with.

I took Buttgold to the ER with a charleyhorse in January. $500 it cost me, but she was in pain.

It sounded to me like you were a lot calmer than I have ever been. You're okay. Go easy on you.

9/24/2005 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Island Queen said...

Nope - you will never know what to do.

I hate that .. it seems like I was much better with my son - of course he was never really sick. My daughter on the other hand has already had many trips to the ER and been hospitalized twice in her 3 1/2 short years on this earth. I am contstantly second guessing myself with her and gratefully do whatever my husband tells me to with her. If it messes her up .. I'll put the blame on him :-)

Good luck! Hope he's doing better!

9/25/2005 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Us said...

Oh thank heavens, it's not just me! I swear the doc must have thought I had Munchausens(sp?) by proxy with my first kid, there was always something weird going on with him. Of course if I skipped going in because I thought it was nothing I was wrong, like the time we all ended up with strep because I thought all he had was a heat rash. Then there was the 'broken nose' incident....sigh, don't get me started. The hardest part is that I thought I had it all figured out for my second. But it turns out that each kid is different. Who came up with THAT brilliant idea?!
Here's hoping everyone feels better and saner soon!

9/25/2005 02:50:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

Buttgold broke her foot twice and had to have stitiches in her foot, all within maybe 6 months. The last time they wouldnt' let me with her because they had to check if I was abusing her.

Guys, my daughter-in-law called today and my precious little four year old Rowan looks like she might be getting chicken pox. Sarah (aka BG) will be sad, but the really sad one will be Rowan, she was so looking forward to being a princess in the wedding. We will have to manufacture an event for her if she does.

Although we think Jamie (aka DIL) has mencheasens. So, maybe...

Also, I work in the nursery and many of the little kids have trouble walking in shoes. Several of their parents just take their shoes off before they bring them in, I think it's safer. Barefoot, they really rock.

9/25/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Did you research vaccinations? Allowing five vaccinations is problematic. Just because they are wearing a white coat does not mean that they have the best interests of your children in mind.

9/25/2005 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

You know, Andy, I was thinking the same thing. I don't remember my kids getting that many at once.

9/26/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Goochie said...

Thanks guys. I'm glad I have company out there!

Andy, as far as researching the vaccines, I guess I should have done some more research to it, huh? I've known several kids that have done them all at once & they were fine, so I didn't think there was any more risks. Guess I'll chalk it up to another thing I've learned in the last 13 months!

By the way, Jr started feeling better on Saturday night. Yippee!! No new hives since Saturday & his old ones are almost gone.

9/26/2005 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Ana said...

Sometimes we're so close to these babes that we can't see. Honestly. When my oldest was 2 he screamed for 24 hours solid and I had to call my mom and tell her to come and take away my demon-possessed child before I killed him. He had an ear infection. I was so worn out from his little brother's ear infection and subsequent amoxicillin reaction (similar to what you went through) that it just did not occur to me.

Four years later we are all okay and he seems to have forgiven me, even.

Hang in there. You don't have to know what do to, you just have to be unafraid to ask for help.

So glad Jr. is feeling better.

9/26/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

It's all part of the process, learning as you go. It does get easier when they get older, I think. I mean, now Jacob can say things like, "I can't sleep, my ear hurts!" and can even point to the things that hurt. One time when I took him in, he pointed to the opposite ear that he had pointed to earlier, and I thought, Oh great, this doctor is going to think I'm an idiot because my kid is making this up. Turns out he had a DOUBLE ear infection, so in fact, Jacob was telling the exact truth. The whole talking thing helps a lot. And the worst of the immunizations are behind you.

9/26/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous jay s said...

I would argue that a Dr. Does have the child's welfare as their highest priority. However, your definintion of best interest may be different.

If your comment was meant to intend that Drs perform procedures so as to get more money, and crank through more patients, I would seriously disagree. If your intent was that your priority was different (you are ok to come back 3 times for that less than .05% chance of a complication), then I agree. Also you do need to be communicative with your dr, so that you understand what is going on.

9/26/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

I hope your little boy gets better soon! My toddler visited the doctore this morning for a double ear infection. We didn't know he had one until the eardrum burst and stuff started oozing; I was blaming his crankiness and rotten behavior on his age.

I was just thinking this morning about how clueless I've felt pretty much every single day since becoming a mom. It's been eight years, three kids, and I still have "duh" moments.

This morning I figured out that my toddler, who's always kicked and screamed bloody murder every time I change his poopy diapers (but never the wet ones), protests because he doesn't like me to lift his legs up to wipe. I also figured out that if I let him stand up to be changed, he doesn't struggle or mind at all. Why did it take me almost two years to figure this out? I dunno.

My 5 year-old's soccer coach pointed out to me that she's left-side dominant. I had never noticed this (she writes with her right hand but uses her left hand for many other things, and always kicks, does cartwheels and leaps with her left leg leading).

My oldest daughter learns best kinesthetically. Her swim instructor pointed this out to me. I thought I knew my daughter perfectly well, but this had never occurred to me, and she was absolutely right.

I hate the saying, "It takes a village..." but really, it kind of does.

9/26/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger melissa c said...

Your story is so funny that it is sad. we, as mothers go through that kind of crap. The pinning the child down during shots is the worst for me.
Stand up for yourself though and don't let doctors make you feel stupid. They teach that class at medical school you know. "How to intimidate your patients into believing all you say."

9/26/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

I think one important thing to do when visiting a doctor is ask lots of questions. And if you can't think of any questions, ask if there's something you should be asking them about.

9/26/2005 09:08:00 PM  

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