Thursday, June 17, 2010

on being medically conservative

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself among the medically "conservative".
Why not?
Well, maybe it's because I know so many who are so much more medically conservative than myself. I know people who refuse vaccines all together, people who don't give their kids antibiotics, people who don't believe in using tylenol or motrin. I know people who don't have pediatricians. I am also acquainted with some who have engaged in home birth, and "free birth" (birthing a baby with zero assistance, and no medical professional; at home). None of these things are practices I would engage in, not because there's anything wrong with them, but because I have more fear of bodily harm via infection than I do of medical intervention.

To a point...

Last Friday Levi came down with a fever. As I've explained in a previous post the fever continued well past 24 hours before I caved and called the pedi. I called because he had no other symptoms. That said, my mommy instinct could have told you there wasn't anything HUGE wrong with him. He was far too happy and had way too great of a disposition for that.

While there, they performed a number of tests to rule out the unseen. I allowed them to do these tests, I could have refused them. I almost did. But, I allowed them because I'm a worrier and the on-call doc (it was Sunday after all) said "this is what I would do if he were my child". Convincing enough.

Come to Tuesday evening and Levi presents with a speckled rash. "HOORAY!" I thought. This is just Roseola. Harmless. Common. So, I called our Pedi. again to ask if we could quit using the "just-in-case-it's-a-UTI" antibiotics she had perscribed.

"not so fast"... she said to me, in not so many words

Apparently there was a teensy bit of bacteria in Levi's urine sample (19,000 units, compared to the 100,000+ that signal a UTI) so this on-call doc who looked him over in the first place suspects the rash is caused by something else, possibly the antibiotics themselves.


So, the nurse I'm talking with asks me to make an appointment, which I agree to begrudgingly, with our normal pedi. Jill (who I love). Jill and I are like minded when it comes to balancing logic with intervention. She looked at his chart, looked at his rash (which she agreed was totally roseola) and concurred the bacteria in his bladder was completely unrelated.

But wait. How does e-coli get into one's bladder? I'll tell you how.

I was not present when they cath'ed my son. Jonathan stood gaurd. I've watched it 4 times in his short life (only ONE of which was necessary, and I knew it was, because there was blood in his urine) and I thought I might vomit if I had to watch it again. To my horror, I found out from my dear husband that they had to try FOUR times to successfully cath Levi. They used the SAME cath for the first three of those. So, you be the judge - don't you think it just might be possible that a very small, almost insignificant, amount of bacteria could find it's way into the bladder if the SAME tube was unsuccessfully crammed in there THREE of Four times?? I do. and I'm no professional.

But my professional Pedi. agreed with me.

You see, I understand that medical professionals have the obligation and responsibility to protect themselves legally. I understand that the majority of parents they interact with are probably a bit less conservative, desiring more precautionary intervention than I do. I understand that the on-call doc was trying to cover all her bases and not leave a stone unturned - But sometimes, the intervention seems like overkill.

Sometimes, you have to use logic.
and that's why I love Jill. She uses logic.
And logically, Levi had Roseola.
Not a UTI, not a bacterial blood infection, not a reaction to the two shots and two oral doses of anti-biotics.


And yes, that was a rant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brynn's sister had a sore throat and went to the doctor. He told her, "You have 3 of the 4 signs of strep, but I'm not going to treat you for strep." mmmkay? So a day or two later she goes back and it turns out she DIDN'T have strep, she had something else. It's easy to assume that doctors are just covering their butts or going through procedures, but we have to admit that we're not the docs, they are, and they know things (lots of things) that we don't. Just because 3 of the 4 times they cath'd Levi turned out to be innocuous, it doesn't mean they weren't necessary. It means they were innocuous and we are all thankful for that.

P.S. I'm the kind of guy who won't take medicine for a headache unless it's a last resort. :)