Thursday, April 18, 2013

What Ails You?!?!

When I was younger - a lot younger - there was a period of time in which I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician when I grew up.  I had always loved working with children and I wanted to do something big - something important - so being a pediatrician was a logical choice.   As I got older, however, I gained a better understanding of what the profession and the education necessary to enter the profession would require.  The idea lost its appeal.  Somehow, giving shots, looking at infected throats and ears, inspecting rashes, and occasionally having to impart very bad news didn't seem so glamorous any longer.  I was also far less than enthusiastic about spending so long in school.

Now that I am a parent, I more than occasionally regret that decision.  I never knew how many weird ailments children can have or how difficult it can be to decide how to try and help them.  I've made many unnecessary trips to the pediatrician's office.  I've used the internet to self-diagnose my kids with everything from ADHD to diabetes to cancer.  Can't even begin to tell you how many times I've thought that having that medical degree in my back pocket would most certainly save me some anguish, I think.  Here are some examples:

  • I have written before about Megan's tummy issues.  We haven't had any "episodes" lately, but also haven't ever gotten any answers.
  • I have vivid memories of Rachel's first ever ear infection.  She was seven months old and I was up with her all night long.  She cried and cried.  I tried nursing.  I tried walking.  I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked.  Finally, I plopped her into the bed with my hubby so I could take a bathroom break.  She snuggled up to him and fell asleep almost immediately (which led to several months of unintentional co-sleeping.  But, that's another story.)  She woke up with a slight fever and we headed to the doctor.  As a naive new mom, an ear infection had never crossed my mind.  After that, plus two more kids, I couldn't even tell you how many times we've been to the doctor for ear infections.  We also been many times for what I thought was surely an ear infection, but turned out to be teething or nothing at all.
  • Recently, Rachel began breaking out in hives.  She came home from school one day with several patches on her torso.  No fever.  No aches.  Just the hives.  I tried some Benadryl cream, but it didn't help.  I had to give her a dose of actual Benadryl and the hives slowly went away.  The next day, same thing.  On the third day, I thought we were in the clear until she broke out again around 7:00pm and again with the worst yet around midnight.  So, the next day, we headed to the doctor.  Any guesses what it was?  A virus.  The doctor said that sometimes when kids get a virus, the body reacts by breaking out in hives.  Apparently, it is actually quite common in kids around Rachel's age.  I just had to keep giving her Benadryl at the first sign of the rash and let it run its course.  (Which took 6 days total, by the way.) 
  • A few months ago, after we had gone out for a bite to eat, Emily got her fingers smashed in the sliding door of our minivan.  They started to swell immediately and I was ready to head to the ER.  My hubby was a bit a lot calmer.  He said we should ice them, and wait to see what happened.  I ended up texting a picture of her swollen fingers to a doctor friend of ours who basically gave the same advice.  Turns out, she was just fine.  Her fingers were a little sore the next day, but it was nothing major.  
  • Emily frequently complains about being tired.  We're busy and she's the baby and . . . .  Well, at what point should this complaint concern me?
  • What about nutrition?  I have mentioned before that my kids are picky eaters.  At what point does their pickiness compromise their health??  How do i know when we reach that point??
The list could go on, but I'm sure you get the point by now.  The truth is, I still don't think I really would want to be a pediatrician.  It's just not my cup of tea.  I am very thankful, though, for the excellent medical care we all have access to here in the USA and for the doctors who provide it.

 So, how about you??  What strange afflictions have your children had??  Has parenthood made you view your career choices differently??   

9 comments:

AnnMarie said...

I have one son who gets these red bumps and then can't walk. It's scary and it's odd and we still don't have an answer as to why but it always happens when he has been in contact with someone that has strep. He's on penicillin to keep them away and so far that is working. With two boys battling Cystic Fibrosis, I wish I was a respiratory therapist or a pulmonologist to be able to decipher when something is a "normal" kid illness or a CF related one. My daughter has stomach issues with no known cause. So frustrating and I'm right there with you on the picky eaters. My youngest daughter is the worst.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Wow, AnnMarie! That is scary! Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon! :-)

Janine Huldie said...

Lisa, my younger daughter actually had that happen with hives last year and having never gone through something like that before I took her immediately to the pediatrician. Same thing it was viral and kept happening for 3 more days until it finally went away. Thanks so much for linking up with us and could totally feel our pain on this one!!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Janine!

Kristi Campbell said...

Ach, hives and allergies in children are so hard. My son gets these random rashes on his face and we have no idea why. He is also a super-picky eater (on the autism spectrum) so I feel your pain there. We just hide multi-vitamins in his juice and hope for the best...

Dawns Disaster said...

Ah yes, the doctor want. I just became friends with our pediatrician, and am SO glad! Our office is pretty easy to get a hold of, but it's nice in the evening time!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks for coming by Kristi!!! I used to give my kids the multi vitamins, but have slacked off lately. I need to get back on track with it. . . .

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Hi Dawn!! So glad you visited The Golden Spoons! I have a good friend whose husband is a general practice physician & they have three kids themselves, so I am guilty of texting her hubs a question or two on the weekends! Fortunately, he doesn't seem to mind!

JenKehl.com said...

Yeah it would be nice to be a DR without all the work it takes to be a DR, so for now I just try to find the best ones and stick to them!

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