On Being an Advocate

August 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I have unleashed the crazy, I's for reals, Putting on Baby Weight (Pregnancy) | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

It all starts in utero.  It’s not a conscious decision, but one you ponder endlessly anyway.  That glob of cells… is there a heartbeat?  I’m 16 weeks… why haven’t I felt the baby move?  Is that a Braxton-Hicks contraction or a baby-is-on-its way contraction?  I haven’t felt the baby move.  I can’t hold down water.  For me it was: I have a bad backache and something that feels like heartburn.  It all ends in the same question:

SHOULD I CALL A DOCTOR?

For me, pregnancy was easier.  There wasn’t a helpless child in front of me.  I wasn’t feeling well but I can feel the baby move.  The baby is good.  I didn’t want to be that woman who calls the doctor for every little thing.  I was sustaining life with MY MIND and damnit, that makes me hardcore and if that means dealing with a bit of pain then so fucking be it.  Well, we all know how that turned out.  I didn’t want to be a pest so I suffered in silence without making a phone call.  I figured I’d mention it at the next regularly scheduled OBGYN appointment, if it was still bothering me.  My pride/meekness/laissez-faireness could have killed myself and my baby.  Thank goodness concern rose above my obstinance and I called the doctor about the pain.  Evan was born 6 hours later. 

All bets were completely off when you have a sick baby in front of you.

That newborn with a fever?  Did that: December 1st (Our 1 year wedding anniversary), 2am, ER.  The book from the pediatrician said any baby under 3 months with a fever over 101 needs to be seen immediately.  I called after hours.  I was told to go to the ER.  The ER doctor tried to scare us with a spinal tap “if we really want to find out what’s wrong, but I’m sure it’s just a virus and you don’t want to put your baby through that dooooooooo? yooooooouuuuu??”  I was annoyed; he was making me feel awful for coming in and wanting to know what was wrong and I hadn’t even pressed the question.  It was drowned out by the relief I felt because Evan was OK.  But lemme tell you, if the euphoria high of relief were not coursing through my veins, I would have slapped the bastard.  I’m not a fucking doctor.  He would have been much more annoyed if I acted like I was.   Not only was I worried, but I was directed to go there.  I paid for the service with my cash and some good insurance.  I am Evan’s advocate.  Get irritated the with the parents who refuse to be an advocate for their children.  Treat me with some respect, please.

I am now in toddler illness hell.  For a child that is obsessed with washing his hands and a mother obsessed with Clorox, you’d think we’d have a fairly healthy kid.  But no.  Kids get sick.  And with every. little. cough. you get to feel like a bit more of a failure of a parent.  Woo!  A sniffle! Go me. 

I don’t, I swear I don’t, send my child with the doctor with every little cough he gets.  I don’t call the nurse’s line with each sniffle.  I don’t go to the ER for every fever.  When I feel it’s necessary, I do.  If I’m extra worried and I need reassurances, I do.  (They don’t call it a Mother’s Instinct for nothin’.)  But you know what?  Who cares if someone does go in for every little thing?  I mean, really?  They go to someone, pay for a service… who really cares if it’s not necessary?  Like getting your oil changed every 100 miles.  (Which reminds me…)  Change my oil and take my money… YOU’RE WELCOME

This is not to say you should go to the ER for a splinter because they have to treat you even if you can’t pay.  This isn’t saying you should insist to be seen first by a busy doctor with sicker patients.  But I should feel free to schedule an appointment.  For no reason other that I want a doctor to take a look-see at my child.  I have insurance.  I’m going to pay.  Please provide me service.

Parents don’t want to be that person.  The one always calling the doctor.  Worried about every hangnail.  I know I don’t.  And I know that sometimes I pause before I call the doctor because of it.  I look at my child with a 105 fever and worry that if I call they doctor they might scoff at me because their book SAYS that a 105 fever is nothing to be worried about.  I’ll lose sleep… not because of another $20 co-pay or the fact that I’m out of vacation hours… I’ll lose sleep because I don’t want the doctor to not take me seriously because I bring my child in too much.  I feel stupid typing that.  I am Evan’s advocate.  He can’t roll his eyes at me because I’m being silly and call the doctor himself.  He can’t even tell me what hurts.  I have to be the one that describes the slight change in Evan’s behaviour or sleeping habits.  I have to detail his appetite.  That’s my job.  Being that I’m not a medical expert, I tell the doctor the symptoms.  That’s their job.

My tirade comes from an odd batch of symptoms Evan has been producing lately… fevers, rash, peeling fingertips and toes.  Weird.  I called the nurses line and she tells me it’s no big deal and I’m OK with that answer and I go about my merry way.  The next day there’s more weirdness so I get uncomfortable and call again.  This time I want to see a doctor.  Hi, if you don’t think something is wrong I’d like to just come in… a doctor can take a look and put my mind at ease.  I got sighed at.  I heard the rolling of eyes over the phone.  As in, “I’d like to bring him in for an appointment” then, “*sigh* holdon.”  It infuriates me.  Rudeness.  To a customer.  To a worried mother.  Fuck that.

I’m on the look out for a new doctor.  STAT.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.