Much like H Boy only seemed to sprout new teeth over holidays, Baby C seems to conjure some sort of issue at the most inopportune times. The weekend I take all three to my folks while my sister arrives as solo parent as well? New teeth. The night before I have to fly to Rhode Island and back (leaving at 5am and returning at 11:30pm thanks to a 3 hour delay in DC)? An unshakable fever. For 3 days straight the girl was hot to the touch and getting hotter.
As I posted on FB, I decided to play to the mom guilt and take her to the doc – 3 days and 104 were my limits. However, I was fully prepared to get the “it’s a virus, plenty of fluids, dose up on the Tylenol” schpiel. But instead, doc said that it was likely some sort of infection, be it sinus (she was drippy), ear or even urinary tract, and prescribed a antibiotic.
It’s no secret I’m not a lover of the pharma industry or its sway on the medical community. Apprehensive is the friendly term I’d use for my response. I asked a few questions, as I think all patients should, including “so you don’t think it’s a virus?” But the doc felt pretty strongly that an antibiotic was needed as the fever was too high (agreed) and had been there for too long (agreed).
He looked through her charts and noticed that she’s not up-to-date on her vaccinations (read: hasn’t had any). I think I saw the “you’re one of those” light come on and then he threw in, “if you don’t want to do the antibiotic then we’ll have to go down to Children’s and do a full panel workup to find out what’s causing it.”
I hate fearmongering. Especially to moms, who live and sleep the “what if I would’ve” game. It’s not a fair card to play simply because you’re wearing a white coat. They gave us a dose of baby Motrin (right there at the office because I’m sure he was convinced I wouldn’t do it on my own, even though I told him we’d been doing Tylenol for the past 2 days) and asked me point blank if I was going to get it filled.
I left upset and frustrated. I felt bullied, backed into a corner. I stopped in to my chiro’s office (they share a building. Weird, eh?) and though she wasn’t available, I chatted with the receptionist, who I adore, and she made me feel a bit better. Later she called and said that Dr. A agreed and the antibiotics were the best route at this point.
I came home sorting through my frustrations. It wasn’t that the doctor prescribed an antibiotic; it’s that I felt he didn’t want to listen to a single concern I had. Because truth be told, I was willing to give her the medicine – I just wanted to talk through all options. And honestly, I would be satisfied with an “I don’t know how it might affect X, but I really think that it’s a secondary concern to the high fever.” That’s a fair answer. But in my situation, I was being treated like it wasn’t even a fair question.
I think perhaps the larger Christian community could learn a little something from my doctor. Perhaps we should know when to prescribe and when to listen. When to air concerns and when to say, “I hear you, but I think at this point, that’s a secondary concern.” (*Note: this means later addressing secondary concerns as true concerns, not just gloating about how you were right about the primary issue.)
In the end, the doctor was right. The antibiotics dropped her fever quickly and she was in good spirits this afternoon. I didn’t even have to give her a dose of Tylenol tonight. Does that make me want to call him up tomorrow and express how wrong I was and how glad I am that he whipped out the phrase “children’s hospital”? Not at all. I’m shopping for a new doctor. Because even though he’s right doesn’t mean he cares. Just because he can present true fact doesn’t mean I want to see him.