What pissed me off

We are home with a clean bill of health. Apparently it’s not uncommon for babies his age to run a fever then have it break with no reason to be found. His little hand is still swollen because of the tape that held his IV but he doesn’t care now that he discovered he can suck that hand again. He’s been rubbing it on his mouth in his sleep for an hour now.

The happy part out of the way I want to vent a little about the first two doctors we dealt with.

In the ER the doctor we had came in the room and asked some questions then told out that with his age, less than 56 days, and the fever being over 100.4 they would do a full blood work up then a Lumbar Puncture (spinal tap) and he’d be admitted for 48 hours on IV antibiotics while the tests were being done. There was no discussion period. I felt trapped and when I pushed for solid answers about the treatment the answer I got was it was protocol. There was no explanation nor was there much sympathy to two scared first time parents.

When I voiced that I was not comfortable with the LP because it left him open to infection the doctor just shrugged and stated they did it under sterile circumstances and said nothing else. As if I didn’t know that they wouldn’t do it with a rusty spike in the parking lot. Nor did they tell us the risks of the procedure.

When I also stated I wasn’t happy to have him given antibiotics with no concrete proof because I feel they are given too freely and I feel it’s best to avoid them unless they are 100% needed I was again given the protocol explanation. Nothing at all was given to back up the protocol except that they’ve found this is needed over years of treating children and that this was standard in the US.

We were given the option of AMA but I felt if we did that the hospital might have a social worker follow up. So I went along with it because I felt there was no real choice.

The doctor on the floor also gave the same song and dance then an hour after he was admitted his nurses showed up with a third antibiotic and monitor. When I pushed to know what it was for after again stating I wasn’t happy with the meds in the first place the nurses couldn’t give me more information though they did offer to not start the meds until I could speak with the doctor. Well given the doctor hadn’t talked to me at all about the meds before they were ordered I wasn’t confident speaking with her would do anything at all to alive my concerns.

What they could tell me was that one of his LP stains came back and indicated there might be a bacterial infection. The nurses rushed to assure us that this was almost for sure because of the skin puncture messing with the results but that the doctor wanted the third med until they could be sure.

By now I was pissed. Of course I was scared of my son and I did have a few good cries looking at his little arm immobilized and how tiny he looked in the bed. But I was pissed because I didn’t know what was going on with my son and I didn’t feel like there was any partnership, the buzz word hospitals like to use now, with his care. I was pissed because I didn’t feel like Jason or I had any say in what was happening with our son.

That changed the following morning when his doctor came in to talk to us. Because our regular doctor has no privileges at Children’s we were given a staff attending. He was wonderful. He explained why the three meds and what they were being give for unlike the other two docs. He told me about the studies that lead to this protocol and then went on to say 2 or 3 babies a week were admitted just like Kyle and that under 10% had any problem but then he gave a good run down of the why they treat it so serious. I finally felt like there were answers to what was being done and why we were there.

Most of all I felt like he too us serious and took my questions serious. I felt much, much better about subjecting Kyle to what had been done to him when he left. Even more because he made sure he called our doctor to let her know what was going on instead of trusting it to dictation. In the end I it changed my opnion of Children’s and how they worked with parents.


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