Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I know better...

..than to ignore my instincts. Truly I do. Especially when it comes to my kids and their health. For the first few years of our parenthood experience, Adam thought I was entirely too doctor-happy, meaning, he thought I yanked Ethan off to the doctor at the first tenth of a degree rise in my trusty thermometer's mercury. He would roll his eyes when I whisked Ethan off to our pediatrician thinking I was most certainly overreacting. It took him only about three years to catch on to the fact that I might actually know what I'm doing with this mothering bit (Ha! At least I have him fooled too!). And then he began to realize that each and every time I took Ethan to the doctor, he actually needed to go.

I have a stellar track record with both boys (medically speaking, that is). I can practically sniff out strep throat before it strikes. I can sense an ear infection before it even becomes infected. I know when Ethan will catch what everyone else has and when he won't. I know when Eli is under the weather before I even open his door in the morning. I'm damn good.

And so, here I sit, my record tarnished. Eli broke out into hives on Sunday morning. After a call to urgent care, three-quarters of a teaspoon of Benadryl and an hour of waiting around, he was totally fine, not a mark on him. Seven hours pass, same drill. But during the second episode, I think I hear wheezing. No, I'm pretty sure I hear it, but it is faint, barely audible. So what do I do? I talk myself into thinking that I didn't really hear that wheeze after all. But it is in the back of my head and bothers me all night. I did mention it to the nurse on call, "Um, I think he might be a little bit wheezy? Maybe?" and she didn't seem to think that it was all that important either, I guess. Plus, I figured the Benadryl would keep whatever it was at bay. And it did for a while.

And then we had a repeat this afternoon of those mysterious welty hives and this time, more obvious wheezing. Off to urgent care. Almost three hours, a breathing treatment and an oral steroid later, (plus a trip to the pharmacy) I'm beating myself up. I most certainly should've taken him on Sunday morning. THAT was my instinct. And I ignored it.

And as the doctor today told me that Eli was probably having a systemic allergic reaction to something-but-who-knows-what, I realized I had once again ignored another instinct. You see, Eli has been having these funky rashes off and on for months (different than these weird, unexplained hives). He's also been having a lot of throat and ear issues. I had pressed our family doctor for a referral to an allergist and he told me he didn't really think it was necessary yet. I knew then that I should've pushed harder, but I didn't.

Eli is fine, nothing serious happened as a result of my delay, but I just feel like I didn't really fight for him today the way I should've. I feel like I let him down. I've been walking around for months thinking that I should get him to an allergist and haven't done a damn thing about it.

I've already put in a call to our family doctor and will follow up with a second call tomorrow. And will not stop calling until I have, in hand, a referral to an allergist to see what is bugging poor little Eli.

Lesson learned: never ignore my instincts! They are (almost) always spot on.

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