Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get out of here!!

It was a long day for sure. We were at the gym by 9:45 am, at my mom's house for a long visit until around 4:00 pm, and then home, outside play time, dinner, and bedtime at a perfect 8:00 pm. It was a long day, but a great day! Just me and my girls.

I stayed up late (again) to write, and to bury myself into the loud silence of yet another long playlist. Just as I was winding down, and feeling myself relax enough to enjoy sleepy-town, I heard this noise coming from Leah's room. Surely that wasn't a cough? And it came again. And again. And when I heard it again, I literally ran upstairs, all but tossing my laptop onto the floor, fearful that Leah had something sort of lodged into her throat. It was a terrible cough- something I'd never heard in my 6 years as a professional mommy.

When I picked her up, my heart started racing. It wasn't that there was something lodged into her throat, she was wheezing, and raspy. Her breathing was labored. "Oh, Jesus. Help me think. What do I do? What's going on?"

A backstory might be needed right now. My girls have been blessed with a supernatural health. Have I said this before? It's worth repeating. They are so wonderfully healthy. I am the 'nutty' mom that refuses vaccines, and second guesses medical 'professionals' that think an antibiotic and decongestent is the best thing for a common allergy or a slight ear infection. I am the mom that feels certain that God created our bodies to take care of itself, with something called an Immune System. I am the mom that refuses her children the pleasure of sugary juice boxes and gummy bears for a mid day snack, because I know that sugar makes said Immune System weak. I'm the mom that refuses her children a second glass of organic milk because I know our bodies were designed to drink water. I am super cautious about what my daughters put in and on their body, allowing treats, but only in moderation!

So when I say that Leah had a round of antibiotics around the middle of April due to an (uncultured) diagnosis of H. Flu, you'll understand that it was an absolute necessity that she be treated. Double ear infection- One ear drum on the verge of rupture, a hacking cough, and tonsils that were swollen to an extreme. I'm no idiot. It was classic allergy symptoms, but the DAY she started showing signs of something more, we called our doctor. I am thankful, and will use when necessesary, something that was invented to heal our body when our system has fought hard and long enough.

Leah fully recovered. We gave her loads of organic yogurt and Kefir to ensure she get the good stuff back into her body after the meds stripped her of them. I juiced strawberry, spinache, carrot and apples to fill her up with productive vitamins and antioxidents. I gave that same juice to my other girls and myself, because H.Flu is highly contagious. And we were all fine! Nothing more than a stuffy nose and slight cough.

So last night I was lost. What. Do. I. Do? My baby is wheezing! Her breathing is labored. But she's smiling at me?? Joshua was groggy and didn't offer any advice. I fought the urge to call 911 and have an ambulance rush to my house, and opted for the closest ER. Chestatee.

It was 1 AM. Chestatee made sense. I mean? An ER doctor is an ER doctor, right? What hospital would staff an incompetent person to work in the Emergency Room?

The (male) nurse checked her oxygen; 100%. He asked the basic questions. Allergies? Nope. Currently taking any medication? I explained the recent H.Flu treatment. Up to date on Vaccines? Then the 'you're an idiot' look was directed at my swollen tired face when I said "No. We don't vaccinate."

Off to the 'wait on the doctor' to see you 6x6 room. And Leah, as usual, is just hanging out. Looking around, perfectly content, happy to have me holding her, just chillin'. She had her paci and her mommy. Life is good. She was fine. Well, except for that wheezing and that cough, of course. I'm starting to think about what it could be that caused this sudden reaction. It was so weird and random. And then.....OH! MY! GOSH! Bam. It hit me. I felt stupid and reckless. We were at my mom's house for hours! My mom who has 3 dogs living inside her home, and 4 smokers. They didn't smoke in the house around Leah, but the house is constantly smoked in, so it was IN the air and on the furntiure. Oh, Geesh.

Upon my revelation, the doctor walks in. He doesn't ask me any questions, just confirms that Leah has a 'croupy' cough and is wheezing. Listens to her chest. (Clear). Looks in her ears. (Fine.) And then..... THEN!!! this doctor stuck his NAKED finger inside my daughters mouth in an effort to look down her throat. This doctor did not wash his hands upon entering our room, and he didn't put on any gloves before he put his germ infested hands on my daugher, or stuck his finger in her mouth! I didn't even have the opportunity to protest; I certainly would not have hesitated to insist he either allow me to convince her to open her mouth, or that he wash his hands AND put gloves on. It's the ER, people! The E. freakin R. It's like a synonym for Germ City.

He said "She has the croup", and left before I could even think of something polite to say. Something to the effect of "Excuse me, sir. Where did you go to school? Do you think you're hands are too good to carry around all the germs that are lingering on the door handles? Did you know that basic hand washing is the key to prevent the passing of virus' You didn't even LOOK inside her mouth before she clamped down on you. Are you going to check to see if it's anything else? Do you not want to ask any questions about new foods she may have eaten?"

In walks the nurse. He has 2 syringes of medicine to be taken orally. An antibiotic to get rid of whatever crap that nasty doctor passed on to Leah, um, I mean to get rid of the Croup. And a steroid to relax her throat and help her breathe. My brain wasn't processing what was going on. I was still in shock, and couldn't think of the questions I knew I needed to ask. Ok. Down goes the antibiotic. Leah? She's good. "Whatever.... you just stuffed some nasty crap down my throat. Cool. Water? Thanks. Yum." (if she could talk, that'd be what she was saying).

Next the steroid. Ok? Steroid? My brain was swimming for a light bulb. Where are you information? I need you. I need to ask this guy a question first, I know I do, but the mommy in me is thinking about the relief of having my baby breathing normally. This is going to ensure she breathes better? Ok. I've never EVER taken what a doctor has suggested and actually submitted to it with out a gazillion questions first. By it's 2 something a.m. and my brain is on auto-pilot. I just give her the liquid and watch her face turn to me as if asking "What did you just do?!?" She shuddered and quaked, and her eyes watered, and she gagged and coughed and gave me a 'you're crazy!' look when I offered her some water.

Brace yourself..... after! giving her the medicine the nurse turned to me and asked, "Ok, has she had this kind of medicine before?" I'm startled. "No??! The antibiotic she had taken a few weeks ago was the only time she has ever taken any kind of medicine." (this was information I volunteered during our initial check-in)

"Oh? Hmmm. Ok..... Well, we're going to need to keep you here a while longer and keep an eye on her just to be sure she's not going to have a reaction," and he walks out of the room.

This is a joke! You give an 18 month old a steroid and an antibiotic at 2:30 AM and you didn't feel the need to check BEFORE hand what her medicinal history was? Oh- my brain is back on again. THIS is why I question the medical field the way that I do!

These people need to go back to school! I have never had formal medical training outside of obtaining a C.N.A, but who wouldn't know proper hand washing technique? Who wouldn't know to think carefully about whether or not to safely give a specific medicine so late, er, early early in the morning? What happened to the 'better safe than sorry' ideals?


  1. Honey,

    Let's do the deep breath in and out...count to 10. It is not the end of the world. Everyone makes mistake. You have to remember you are not perfect either. Believe me, I would go mad if ER doc had no idea what they are doing most of the time. Hang in there honey, it will pass. God will take care of our children. Go and take a nap with your girls okay? Relax and take one thing at a time.

  2. If it makes you feel any better, the ER in Gainesville is not much better. Now, about the smoke. That is the main reason why we don't take our children to visit my in-laws very often. They also smoke in the house, and I can definitely tell a difference in the kids' congestion for a few days after we've been over there. When the boys were diagnosed with asthma, we finally just had to stop bringing them over there. It wasn't worth it. Unfortunately, I don't think Chris' parents understand. But its what we have to do anyway. It sucks, though.

    So you're one of those non-vaccinating moms, huh? I've been doing some research on that. I think that if I ever have another baby, I'll probably delay his/her vaccinations until age 1 or 2. Did you get a lot of flack from your pediatrician about this decision? And did the school system say anything? I thought having an up-to-date shot record was a requirement. How'd you get around that? I'm with you on this issue. I read somewhere that something like 80 percent of pediatricians don't even vaccinate, or at least delay the shots until their kids are older.

  3. Erin-
    As far as vaccinations go- there is only one pediatrician so far that has continued to push the subject of vaccinating. I'm just forward, and don't allow anyone to pressure me. One pediatrician that I had a lot of respect for said "If you have reasons that are NOT based on some stupid Parents' Magazine, I won't give you a hard time about it." And of course, I gave him my reasons, and he was like 'Cool.'

    As far as the school is concerned, I got a "Religious Waiver." I signed it and had it notorized. The front office gave me condemning looks, and made comments about 'children in elementary school get very sick, you need to rethink this'. I just smiled and said, 'Thanks so much; my daughter is healthy and I'm aware of the germs that kids pass around'. (sidenote: she never got sick outside of the common runny nose and sneeze associated with allergies in her 7 months there before we started homeschooling)

    I've always said "If there is an outbreak of something, we will be happy to vaccinate." I mean- We will certainly use the wisdom and the resources God has made available. Medication, Antibiotics, Vaccinations, but only when it's necessary- they are something to be thankful for, as are trained medical professionals. But I feel like the medical system is so over ran by political adgendas and fear that the care they offer is not as good as it could or should be.

  4. Wendy-
    :-D I know, I certainly get fired up, especially where my babies are concerned. I already have a distrust where medical professionals are concerned, so having the mistakes being made while in an 'emergency' situation put me totally outside of myself.

  5. Ha! I know all about those "condemning looks" from Lanier's front office!spanol

  6. wow.....not sure i agree 100% about the vacines but everyone is entitled to their opinions and you have rights when it comes to your children, I;m glad you do get the help for them they need when neccessary, I respect your decisions and understand fully about the ER.