Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just Call Me Unqualified

For the past few days LP has had a cough and a runny nose. I figured it was a cold. She didn't have a fever and while she would cough in her sleep, it never seemed to wake her up. When I picked her up from day care this evening her teacher told me that he had to wipe her nose a lot - she had green snots - and she coughed in her sleep during nap time. Since bronchitis is going around the Hoos' office, I called the pediatrician and make an appointment to get her checked out. Piece of mind is well worth the $25 co-pay.

I was thrilled when the doctor's office told us we could come in at 6:45 tonight. I figured the office would be relatively empty at this time of day and this way we wouldn't have to plan our day tomorrow around an appointment.

The good news is, I was right. The office was empty. And, because the pediatrician just moved to a new, more modern building, the office was actually very nice. So nice that LP didn't want to leave. Who can blame her - they have a big, gorgeous fish tank, a large stage shaped like a boat to climb around and everyone that saw her kept commenting on how adorable she was. I don't think I get that kind of experience anywhere.

Anyway, it turns out LP's lungs are fine. She has a very small amount of pus (eww, what a gross, gross word) in her right ear. According to the Physician's Assistant, with a full-on ear infection there is usually a big swirl of pus and you can't see anything. With LP's ear she could see everything and on the bottom there was a very small line of not-clear fluid. "So," she addressed me, "we can either prescribe antibiotics for what may not turn into a bad infection or you can give her Motrin every 6-8 hours and wait and see for 24-48 hours." Unfortunately, if we chose not to give LP antibiotics now, and she did spike a fever, I would have to bring her back on Saturday to get the antibiotic prescription filled.

Umm, when did I become qualified to make this sort of decision? Is there some mommy-fix-it book that I was supposed to read?

I do know that LP has never been on antibiotics before nor has she ever had an ear infection. My limited knowledge of antibiotics includes some vague recollection that they are over-prescribed nowadays and kids are building up immunity to them. I also have a fuzzy memory of potential not-so-fun side-effects of antibiotics in babies. But still, even with the PA honestly and helpfully answering my questions, I knew that the ultimate decision on the course of action was mine to make.

I decided to hold off on giving LP the antibiotics. If I have to go back to the doctor on Saturday, well, at least LP likes it there. Besides, she loves taking medicine. I think they must pump that stuff full of sugar or something to make kids slurp it up like candy.


KiKi said...

I think you made the right decision. Hey, like you said - peace of mind is worth the $25 copay. While antibiotics are beneficial (esp for a child with a bad ear infection - ugh!)there are side effects. So if she seems to be okay then she's probably better off without.

Tiffany said...

You made a good decision mama. I might have said give me the antibotics and if I think she needs them in a few days I will give them to her so I do have to make another appointment.

They always say that we over medicate our kids.

A's Mom said...

I too think you made the right decision. Too many parents are jumping to give their child medicine. And you're right about the children's tylenol. Little Man A just opens his mouth and I squirt it in.

Wenderina said...

I think you made the right decision too...although since LP was diagnosed today with conjunctivitus and ear infection...what are you gonna do?