Ok – so you all probably know that Jude was in the hospital on Monday: the crazy high fever, Mr. fussy-pants, not eating well, stuffy, coughing, x-rays, all that stuff. I had mentioned the ”
douche-bag moron dipshit idiot that the doc himself was,” and things have progressed enough (and I have stewed enough) to finally address the offenses against my son, my husband, and me. I will forewarn you, however, that my filter will be completely removed from this post, and I’m using our new computer, as opposed to our tablet, so there will be no magical autocorrect of my profanities even. If this may bother you, stop reading at this point. If, however, you’ve been looking for a good long rant to read, do continue…
So it all started with the question we get every time we go to a new doctor. “And is he all caught up on his immunizations*?” Now, we’re very used to this question and very comfortable with our answer, so typical doctor responses don’t often get me fired up. I respond, “No, he’s not at all vaccinated.” Easy answer, straightforward, to the point, confidently spoken. “And why is that?” Doc asks. “Well, blah blah blah, statistics, blah blah blah, risks, blah blah blah, choices, blah blah blah, in the best interest of our son.” That’s fine, we’ve done this before. He’s not going to change his mind, but neither are we. And that’s always been just fine to leave there.
*Vaccines do not guarantee immunity. “Immunization” is a misleading word.
So Doc starts to ask us about Doodle’s medical history. “Has he ever had an ear infection before?” “Yes, just one, it was a double ear infection, back in September.” “Just one? That’s interesting, a lot of kids have more by now. But you said it was a double ear infection? I don’t think it would have been a double ear infection, doesn’t really make sense that both ears would get infected at the exact same time. Kind of sounds like too much of a coincidence. It was probably just allergies” “Well, he was spiking a fever of 103, his doctor diagnosed it, and the amoxicillin helped, but whatever you think is fine.”
“So he has been on antibiotics then? And no reactions to that or any other meds?” “Nah, he was just fine on those antibiotics. And when he was 7 weeks old, he had a different kind of IV antibiotics for 10 days from a staph infection in his blood. No issues with whatever meds they had him on then, either.” “A STAPH infection in his BLOOD? At 7 weeks old? That doesn’t make any sense. Are you sure it wasn’t meningitis?” **Oh my dear lord…**
“They did a spinal tap, there was no meningitis. They also did a blood culture, and there was staph.” “Well, I just don’t see how at 7 weeks old he could have gotten a staph infection like that. It was probably just meningitis. You know, sometimes those tests aren’t entirely accurate.” “They were kind of confused, too. They did another blood culture just to make sure. I know it’s weird, but that’s what it was, so…”
Ok, so you can see how we’re already starting off on a good note. Apparently either I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, or he’s the only intelligent doctor we’ve ever taken Doodle to. Either way, everything I say is wrong. Whatever, doctors, they always know what’s best. Smile and nod. Moving on…
Doc does the typical stuff, checks vitals, listens to him breath, looks in his ears and throat and stuff. Says his right ear looks a little red, but it’s probably just from his high fever, so he doesn’t think it’s an ear infection… but it still could be. Throat’s fine. Stuffy nose, wheezing… He calls in for some tests and an x-ray.
The radiologists come in to do an x-ray for Doodle. He’s really excited to see a camera “like Mommy’s” and have them take a picture. I even googled the sign for “x-ray” for Doodle real quick before they brought the machine into our room. He did everything they asked of him, sat up straight on the bed, put his hands at his sides, looked up, happily following all of the instructions… They leave, we wait.
Doc comes in, “So there’s something wrong with the x-ray. We can’t tell if he was just slouching, but it looks like his heart is enlarged. We’re going to review it some more, and we might do another x-ray just to be sure,” and then he just walks out. Um… HIS HEART IS ENLARGED?!?!?! I know for a fact that he wasn’t slouching, and if those are the only two options, you might want to fucking stay and chat goddammit!
An HOUR later, Doc comes back in, “Yeah, it looks like maybe he just didn’t take a big enough breath when they told him to. We’ll have to do it again” **They never fucking told him to. He would have, and consequently did SIX MORE TIMES to get good shots, had they asked him. Were you going to say anything about the enlarged heart bit you threw at us? No? Ok. Moving on…**
Another hour. Real Doc comes in (we learn at this point that the Doc we’ve been seeing is a resident. While I have nothing against new doctors learning their way around emergency room visits, perhaps some of this past three hours could have been spent with an actual fucking doctor with more experience with patients than books) and he does his check-up stuff on Doodle. Says the same stuff pretty much, wheezing, stuffy, only this time both ears look fine. We quickly interject, “The other doctor said his right ear looked a little red. So it’s probably not an ear infection then?” “Probably not. I can kind of see what the resident doctor was talking about, but with these other issues I don’t think it’s an ear infection.” Real Doc leaves.
Another hour. Nurse-lady comes in with discharge paperwork and a prescription for amoxicillin. Discharge paperwork says ear infection. “Uhh… I thought it wasn’t an ear infection? What about the chest x-rays and the tests?” “Oh, Doc didn’t come in and go over that with you? Let me go find him.”
Thirty minutes. Doc waltzes in. “Yeah, his chest x-rays don’t say pneumonia to me, his labs came back and there’s no flu or RSV concerns. I don’t really think it’s an ear infection, but we don’t really know what could be wrong so hopefully the amoxicillin will knock out whatever is going on.” “Ok, and what are we supposed to do if it doesn’t?” “I really recommend trying to catch up on his vaccines. These kinds of ear infections can be prevented by vaccines. And that meningitis that he had, that probably would have been prevented by vaccines as well.” I can’t respond, I’m at a loss for words, Doodle’s going completely crazy for having been cooped up in this room for so long, and we just need to get the fuck out of there. We accept the diagnosis, sign the paperwork, and leave the hospital.
So, let me get this straight… His first ever ear infection at 2 years and 3 months old wasn’t really an ear infection, and this second ever ear infection isn’t really an ear infection… But all of these ear infections that he keeps not getting would have been prevented by vaccines? And the meningitis that he didn’t have (and consequently the 10-day stay in the pediatrics ward of a hospital, the incessant poking and prodding, and the outrageous amount of stess on my Doodle) would have also been prevented by vaccines?
But wait, Doc, vaccines only “prevent” these things 10-20% of the time (yes, we read medical journals and CDC statistics extensively before we made our choices) because they only “prevent” some of the causes of these infections, not the infections themselves. Other causes, and even the vaccine-specific causes, can still turn into ear infections and meningitis in fully-vaccinated children. And he’s, by your words, likely never had an ear infection in his life. And he’s, by our knowledge of ten days in a hospital, two blood cultures, and one spinal tap, never had meningitis.
So why are you preaching vaccines to me for this specific ER visit, buddy? Why don’t you save your pitch for someone less informed than me, or for someone whose child does have or has had these things that you’re concerned about, or maybe just throw the pitch out the window and actually focus on the specific issues that I brought my son into the fucking emergency room for!
Whatever, doctors, they always know what’s best. Smile and nod. Moving on…
So this was Monday. The entire rest of that night and all day/night Tuesday and Wednesday we battled these 104.5 degree fevers. They came straight down with ibuprofen, so we didn’t take him back per Doc Fuckwad’s orders. He was breathing ok but fast, still coughing, not eating much, fussy… but we could handle it, and he didn’t really seem like death was looming over him or anything. Wednesday night, however, he went from 99.3 to 104.1 in less than 15 minutes. Again, it came right back down with meds, but seriously, these antibiotics don’t seem to be doing shit. (Probably because it’s not a fucking ear infection…)
This morning I called his regular doctor’s office – and by regular, I mean he only sees them when he’s sick, by that I mean he’s only seen them once… in September.. you know, for that double ear infection that wasn’t an ear infection… I switched his ER follow-up visit from later in the afternoon to as soon as possible because we needed to figure out a new action plan.
We get in, they’re asking me what the issues are and such, and I mention something to the effect of possibly needing to do some more tests or x-rays, that pneumonia, flu, and RSV had been ruled out, so I asked what else could be going on. And that’s when the bombshell is dropped on me. As she’s reviewing the ER papers, she says to me, “Oh, they never told you that his x-rays showed viral pneumonia?” **Um… I think I probably would have remembered that one…** She continues, “Did they not put him on breathing treatments or anything? They really should have, even before the x-rays were reviewed. His oxygen is great, but he’s breathing too fast. Looks like he was breathing just as fast when they checked him there.”
Three days, guys. For three days Doc Dipshit knew that my son had viral pneumonia. For three days no one told me. For three days my son’s breathing was rapid and labored and wheezy and painful and no one gave us anything to help him. For three days we were left completely baffled as to why he would be spiking such ridiculous temperatures for no reason other than an ear infection that had been treated for those same three days. For three days Doodle had to suffer through what we could have been actually treating.
So now that we know what the fuck is actually going on, and now that we have at least somewhat competent folks looking over him, we’ve got Doodle on some cortosteroids and nebulizer treatments for the next few days. We’re continuing with the amoxicillin because, while it likely still isn’t an ear infection, his ears are irritated enough to be worried that the pneumonia could be trying to start an ear infection, so she wants him to continue just to keep it from getting bad. That’s fine. I’m not at all for over-use of antibiotics, but if they can keep him from getting sick more or again, awesome. And he’s only ever had two courses of antibiotics in his entire 2-years-and-8-months life before – I know of many, many kids who had at least two courses of antibiotics within their first year of life, and they’re probably fine.
I don’t know – I just, seriously… This Doc Asshole wants to sit there and tell me what harm I’ve been doing to my son by insisting that he not have these life-saving vaccines, and he isn’t even going to tell me when Doodle does have an actual life-threatening issue? I mean, really, even if the FOUR radiologists who were gawking at Doodle’s x-rays as we left the radiology room hadn’t noticed the pneumonia, perhaps when whoever did notice it found it, maybe someone should have called me? Or maybe someone should have called our regular doc and had them call me? Or maybe they should have at least tried to do something to help us with his cough/breathing. Something. Anything. This is my Doodle we’re talking about.
**Disclaimer: Please, I’m not here to have a vaccine debate. Do your own research, take all information with a grain of salt, consider the sources, consider who stands to make what profits off of what they’re leading you to believe, and make the choices that are best for your children. And I will do the same. And it’s ok if they’re different.**