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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Time for a new pediatrican...

Our twins' pediatrician isn't the warmest friendliest woman; however, I have insisted that we keep her as our twins' doctor because she is the doctor that has seen them since their time in the NICU, and because I was grateful for all the information and resources she provided me with after Makayla's was diagnosed with Nystagmus. I felt that, since the kids are so young, sugary-sweet isn't that important, right now...at least she's thorough. Well, that was before this last week.

Last weekend I noticed that my very busy little boy was a little lethargic. This kid is always going, going, going; so, when he just laid down and watched me play with Makayla, I knew something was wrong, and by Wednesday it was clear that he had caught Makayla's recent bug.

He had a nasty cough and was really congested, so we weren't surprised that he was not interested in eating or drinking, and was having trouble breathing, so we took him in to see his pediatrician, to see what we should do for him. She took a quick listen and said he had asthma and sent us home with several prescriptions to use with a nebulizer and said his appetite will return as he starts breathing better.

Getting an Albuterol breathing treatment in the ped's office 24 hours before going to the ER
The breathing treatments did help for very short periods of time, but we were told to only give it to him every six hours, so I laid with him on the couch all night, sitting upright to help him breathe, listening to him pant as his tired little body tried to sleep. His breathing scared me, but the doctor said that there was nothing more we could do but give the treatments time to work.

By morning, he still wasn't eating or drinking and he still had a dry diaper.  It seemed like his breathing had gotten worse. I called the doctors office and a nurse said that their regular pediatrician was out that day, but to come in right away. Within seconds of entering the office, they had Austin on oxygen and Albuterol, and had called 911.

Every nurse and doctor was in the office with us and before long the whole fire department and the paramedics were there too. In the middle of all the madness I tried to call my husband at work to let him know what was going on, but over the loud machines and all the people, I think all he heard was "hospital" and "ambulance" and then he hung up and text me that he was leaving work ASAP.

My sick baby in his hospital room after transferring from the ER
Once at the hospital, we learned that Austin had pneumonia and his oxygen levels were very low and his heart rate very high, and that we probably should have taken him to the ER the day before. At first I blamed myself, and I am still kicking myself for not trusting my gut the night before when I listen to him pant and cry, but I feel so let down that his pediatrician didn't spend more time listening to him. The ER doctor was immediately concerned that there was pneumonia because they could hear the crackling in his lungs...why didn't his doctor notice that? Not knowing anything about pneumonia myself, I swear I could hear that crackling that night that I laid with him on the couch.

That's ok, maybe she couldn't hear the crackling because it wasn't as bad 24 hours earlier when she saw him, or maybe he wasn't breathing deep enough for her to notice...There must be come explanation, she's normally so through...

Austin responded really well to the treatments he received in the hospital and after two long days, they sent us home just in time for the in-laws to arrive and for my dad's birthday.  With the family in town, we went out to the store to pick up some easy dinner fixes, and I bumped into our pediatrician.  She saw me first and said hello, and waved at the kids, and then went about her shopping.  I can certainly respect that no one wants to talk about work outside of work, but it seemed so cold to me that she didn't even say that she hopes he's doing better.  Admittedly, she wasn't there the day that the paramedics came, but I have a hunch that the paramedics and fire department doesn't get called all that often, so I would assume she would have heard about it the next day, especially since it was her patient....but, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt (again), even if she didn't know about it, we had just been in to see her a few days before, why wouldn't she at least say that she hoped he was doing better, or that he looked better?  Even my OB was checking in on Austin while we were at the hospital!

So that's that.  I don't think we'll be seeing that pediatrician again.  For Austin's follow up visit, we went in to see another doctor at the practice who was there the day that he left in an ambulance.  We have seen her a handful of times before and my husband and I both liked her very much.  She is very sweet and friendly, and always asks about Makayla's Nystagmus when we see her and wants to know what her other specialty doctors think.  That's the kind of doctor I want for my children.

Austin is doing much better now (although, he did have a low grade fever again this morning).  The new pediatrician has us keeping an eye on his breathing and new fever and keeping up with the breathing treatments, but she thinks the poor little guy may have caught a new bug. *sigh*


  1. Oh Ashleigh you poor guys!!! I think that is one lesson all parents go through continuously, the one that says to trust our gut, and sometimes it is just so hard.

    I went through something similar with our first child and his doctor. I stayed with the one we had when he was born even though I had my doubts, but after a similar experience I left my doctor and found one that was wonderful. It taught me a great lesson. It also made me one of "those" parents. I speak up, I question and I don't hesitate to go to someone else. But, it took me a while to get to that point. And, I still have days when I kick myself for not moving quicker or making another choice. We are parents not super hero's and we do our best with what we have to work with at the time.I'm so sorry you all had to go through this! I'm glad he is recovering and I hope this new bug will leave quickly! My thoughts and prayers are with you all!! I think you are amazing!!

  2. Don't you just hate it when the kids get sick? I hope Austin gets well soon. It's good that you have a good pediatrician- one you can communicate well with.

  3. Something to remember Ashleigh...YOU are the customer and as the customer you have the right to demand further testing if you feel that your doctor is not being thorough enough. I know that not being in the medical field you might not have known what to ask for but good grief she could have at least done a chest x-ray, not doctor offices have them right in their building now. Hope he continues to get better

    Billy's Mom
    The Nurse

  4. That's a tough situation for sure, but you made the right call. You tried for as long as you could with the first ped, but in the end, you trusted your gut and I'm sure you feel relieved and more at peace now!
    I sure hope your precious babies feel better soon! Having sick kids sure makes you thankful for the blessing of health, although we sadly often don't appreciate it till it's gone (talking to myself here!)
    Have a great rest of the week!
    (new follower!)

  5. I would get a new pediatric doctor too. So sorry you had to go through this. Mommy guts are usually right.

  6. Hi Ashleigh-
    Found you through VB. What a scary situation! I am so glad that your little Austin is doing better and cheers to the new pediatrician who will hopefully be a better choice. There are pediatricians out there who can be knowledgeable, thorough, compassionate, follow up on their patients and have a sweet bedside manner too. I hope you find that for your twins and it was so good of you to give the other one the benefit of the doubt. Sounds like you made the right choice, though and that you are trusting that instinct that is always right! xo Tracy

  7. How scary! My kids have had some asthma/bronchiolitis/wheezing issues and I know how anxious I felt. You must have been scared! I'm glad your little one is on the mend and that you have a doctor you're happy with now.