Losing my faith

The opinion of doctors has always been important to my frame of mind. For Jason and I, they’ve been our measuring stick to tell us how to react. Jason tends to picture the worst case scenario and depends on the doctor to bring him back to solid ground. On the other hand, I tend to be overly calm and wait for the doctor to give me the news so I can properly freak out. This played out when I was in labor with Keira. Jason was rushing me to the hospital, sure we’d end up giving birth in the car and eager to have me safely in the hands of the doctors. And even though I was doubling over in pain, it wasn’t until I was in the hospital, hooked up to the machines, that I began to freak out as they told me her heart rate was slowing.

I have some close friends who have quite a different view point when it comes to trusting doctors. They’re skeptic of doctors and tend to double check the answers they’re given. I never really understood that point of view. I figured, the doctor specializes in medical stuff. I’ll focus on accounting. We’ll trade information and we’ll both be better off. Besides, what am I going to know more medically than someone who’s been studying and practicing for years?

And then Keira got pink eye….

I wasn’t worried at first. She had little crusties in her eye, similar to when she had gotten colds before. We knew Ethan had just gotten pink eye so we decided to watch and wait. A couple days days later, she woke up with bright pink eyes and swollen. Jason rushed her off to the doctor and got her medicine. I was worried. But it was just pink eye! Every kids gets it, right?

That night, I came home late from work to a very tired and lethargic baby. My sister was already rocking her to bed so I took over rocking her in the dark nursery. I couldn’t see much in that lighting but I could definitely tell she wasn’t feeling her best. My sister was in tears as she left us to our nighttime routine.

In the middle of the night, Keira woke up at her typical mid-night time. Jason went into her room and came back to our bedroom, “We need to call the hospital!”

“What?” I sat up sleepily.

“Keira’s eyes are completely sealed shut! What do we do??”

I woke up quickly at that point, the adrenaline kicking in. I called the doctor’s office first and left a message. Their voice-mail message claimed they’d check their messages every two hours and would get back to anyone who left a message. I told Jason that as we rocked a very uncomfortable and scared baby, both of us worried out of our minds.

After a half hour had gone by and no call from the doctor, I decided to call the ER. I told them that Keira had pink eye and now her eyes were swollen shut. Should we come into the ER?

“Well, did the doctor give you medicine?”

“Yes, she’s on the medicine.”

“Oh, well. I can’t really tell you if you should come in or if you should just wait for your doctor to call you back.” But her tone implied something completely different: Why the heck are you bugging us with PINK EYE??

Finally, we got Keira back to sleep and decided we’d get as much sleep as we could get before the doctor called us back. Three hours later, my morning alarm clock went off with no call from the doctor. I wondered, did the doctor even check the messages?? Or did she and decide that it wasn’t an emergency?

Finally, at 7:30am, I received a call back from the doctor. I told her the situation. Again, “well, are you giving her the medicine?”

“We tried to – but her eyes are completely shut! I can’t get it in her eyes!”

“Well, you kinda just have to open her eyes and get it in there. It shouldn’t be too hard.” She didn’t seem to get it.

Finally, I said, “Well, can we come in and at least get some help? Her eyes are really swollen!”

“Well, yes. We can let you come in.” Again – the tone. As if I was just being a silly first time mother and they’d pacify me by letting me bring Keira in. By that time I was pissed. I set up the appointment, told Jason the time and place, and hurried off to work.

The final determination? The medicine that each doctor and ER nurse had told us to “just keep giving” to Keira…. was causing a severe allergic reaction. The pink eye was only causing some of the situation but the bulk of the swelling, making my baby girl look like Sloth from the Goonies, was this terrible allergic reaction. I was relieved! Finally! An answer!! But then again the anger returned…. why didn’t any of these medically trained people take me seriously? Why did I have to pull teeth to get someone to look at my daughter?

I now find myself in a land of distrust. I’ve been let down by the people that I relied on to keep my little girl healthy. I hate to think of the damage and how more severe her eyes could have gotten if we had just continues to “just apply the medicine”. It was only until I finally trusted Jason and my parental intuition that we finally got this resolved. Maybe I haven’t been giving us the credit we truly deserve.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thegnomesmom
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 10:43:06

    That’s hard. I would be Pissed. With a capital P.



  2. Sara
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 11:03:14

    Poor baby. Remember that doctors know their medicine, but YOU are the ONLY expert on your baby. I hope you ate all feeling more calm since you have answers.


  3. Scott Moll
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 11:12:56

    My kids have had pink eye many times. A couple times they had to give us stronger eye drops than normal to help, but we never had an allergic reaction. Most of time nurses and doctors know what is wrong cause they see it day in a day out. You as a parent have to make a decision to go back to get you child checked, we do it all the time, even if our kids get a fever over 101 or 102 we go get the kids checked. A lot of the time we learn they have an ear infection that caused high temp.


  4. amberdegrace
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 15:27:26

    Where do you take the kids? We go to Eden Park and they see Dr. Knox-Lee. I’m one of the parents who double-checks every single fact I’m told by the doctors because I’m a skeptic. However, I’ve been super pleased with Eden Park entirely. They correctly diagnosed a heart murmur in Asher (sent to a pediatric cardiologist immediately and confirmed to be a normal murmur), Lyme disease (immediately put him on a strong dose of antibiotic to ensure it was removed from his system), and amblyopia (immediately recommended to go to a pediatric eye doctor who was able to prescribe glasses for him). I have never once felt as if they were downplaying my concerns as a parent or the kids’ health.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this but glad it is now resolved. Also, you should consider a different doctor where you feel cared about.


  5. Trackback: The Update: Poor Baby Eyes « Domestic Deeds

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