Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Mother's Instinct

2 nights ago while putting Patrick to bed Shannon woke up. This NEVER happens. Shannon is a sound sleeper, and sleeps through Patrick's tantrums at bedtime. She was inconsolable. So, for about 10 minutes, 10 long minutes, 10 ear piercing excruciating long minutes both kids screamed. And, during this time I had flashbacks to last year. My kids were sick nearly every week last year, and I am terrified the pattern will continue this year. Patrick stopped screaming first, but Shannon was still crying. We finally calmed her down, put her back in her crib (because she'd rather be there than cuddle with us) and she fell asleep. 30 minutes later she was up again. At that point I knew something was wrong, and my gut said Ear infection....
So we found ourselves sitting in the muggy, hot examination room at our doctors. I like my pediatrician's office, but there is a doctor or 2 that I would rather not see, and, of course, today I had one of them.
He walked in, asked me to explain what was going on with Shannon, then gave me this speech (which he gave me last year when I took Shannon in and she had an ear infection)
"Well, we will always look in a child's ears, but I can't make any guarantees that I will see anything. Has she had a runny nose? (no) Well, an ear infection almost always comes after the runny nose. BUT, I will gladly take a look to see if I see anything. Now, I am only looking today. Tomorrow she could develop an ear infection, or maybe in 2 days, so I can only look for today."
He looked in the first ear - "Perfect gray ear." Then looks in the other and says, "Hmm this light seems to have gotten dull, let me go change it." So he leaves, gets a new ear inspector thing, and peers in her ear again. "I'm seeing some irritation and red ear. Hmm wasn't expecting to see that in there."

So....I was right. As a veteran mom, I know my child. Even though she didn't have any other symptoms of an ear infection (fever, runny nose) I just knew by her scream and night waking. The lesson I learned...trust your instincts. Doctors may know medicine and symptoms, but they don't know your children personally. And, some are pompous about their expertise. This is the second time I've proven this doctor wrong.

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