Saturday, May 27, 2006

parent phone calls: episode II

04:44 5/27
mommy: yeah, i'm calling about my son. he's 8 months old. he's had this cold for a long time. 
girlMD: how long is a long time?
mommy: a couple weeks. he got some medicine for an ear infection last week, but i know his ear is still bothering him 'cause he's still digging at them. and now he's got this cough. 
girlMD: can you describe the cough at all?
mommy: well, it's dry but tight.
girlMD: any fevers?
mommy: no, not really.
girlMD: do you feel like he's having trouble breathing?
mommy: no. right now he's pretty calm. 
girlMD: alright. he's not flaring his nostrils or retracting or breathing fast?
mommy: no. he's drinking his bottle. 
(awkward pause as girlMD tries to figure out how to politely say, why the heck are you calling me at 5 in the morning if your kid is fine and has been sick for several weeks?)
mommy: well, i guess i'm just worried that you might think he needs to be seen now, instead of waiting until the clinic opens.
girlMD: well, if you don't think he's having trouble breathing, then i think it's ok to wait. our phones open at 8am and our appointments start at 9am. do you feel comfortable waiting until then?
mommy: yeah, i think so. we'll get some rest and call in the morning. thanks a lot.
girlMD: oh, you're welcome. 


Amka said...

Just a comment about what might have been going on. Baby was crying for a long time, and probably first time mother was worried, tired, and worried. She does her job, comforting, feeding, etc and when the baby is finally quiet enough she calls, not realizing really that the fact that she could get baby calm for a few minutes means baby doesn't have an immediate need for medical attention.

You were woken up at 5, but she was probably awake already for hours with the baby's coughing waking him up.

I woke my doctor up a bit more with my first than my last. Feel bad about it now, but at least I learned from experience.

Leah said...

Oh - how I marvel at people who get to call their MDs at home (my clinic has a night-answer nurse).

This post did bring up some irks I have though - I have a kid with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and had plenty of watchful waiting and calls into the Dr. but what really, really frosted me is an exasperated Ped saying "why didn't you bring her in sooner?" Why? Why? Because I get the nurse who tells me the usual barfing-kid advice, sips H2O and call back in 6 hours...and by then, I'm to blame because I didn't bring in this poor dehydrated kid in sooner. *That* always frosted me. I felt like I couldn't win either way.

Your Post's mom sounds like she needs a mother's group or family member so that she can call them first - sometimes it's hard to really see how silly your concerns are until you say them out loud...and really, haven't we all done that at some time or another? It's just too bad it was at the expense of your sleep.