Careful What You Put In the Suggestion Box.

IVs are the new black...

Apparently (referencing my last post), there was no manager on duty.  Or he was on duty, but on a break.  Or he’s just giving us the finger from behind the register.

While I was at a Parker’s therapy appointments with her yesterday, I got a frantic call from our nanny letting me know that Owen was an unhealthy shade of blue and that his hands were cold but that his body was very hot.  I immediately hopped in my car and sped home, dialing our pediatrician on the way.  I left a message with his answering service, and called Scott to fill him in. By the time I got home, Owen’s color had returned to just about normal and his hands were only a bit cool.  I took his temperature and he had 104.4 – so much higher than the 100 it had been been lingering around for the previous 36 hours or so – and I was worried.

Moments later, the pediatrician called me back.  I explained the situation, reminded him of Owen’s complex medical history and of Parker’s history of having had a febrile seizure, and I expected him to either tell me to go straight to the emergency room, one of the local pediatric after-hours clinics, or right to his office (if he was still there).

“What does he weight?”, he asked.

“What?” I was genuinely perplexed.

“I need to know his weight so I can calculate the proper dosage of Tylenol.”

“He weights 37 pounds.  I know how much Tylenol to give him.  He was blue Dr. This-is-likely-our-last-patient/doctor-conversation (not his real name).”

“Yes, yes.  I understand.  Now what I want you to do is give him the Tylenol and watch him for an hour, then call me back.”

I agreed to follow his instructions, gave Owen the Tylenol (not through the end I would prefer, but he won’t take it any other way), and then proceeded to get my boy into my car and hightail it to our local Emergency Room.

Fast forward more than four hours, a chest X-ray, and a WWE-worthy wrestling match for an IV insertion and blood draw, later.

An Emergency Room doctor is standing in front of me.

“Do you think we’ll be able to go home soon?” I asked. “He’s exhausted – it’s three hours past his bedtime.  All of his tests are fine, right?”

“The chest X-ray we took shows that Owen has pneumonia in his left lung.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?!”

Those were my exact words.  No, I’m not proud, but that’s what 74% of the people I told afterwards also said, in my defense. Also, it’s times like these that having a child who is missing the parts of his brain responsible for speech, and therefore embarrassing/inappropriate repetition, comes in handy.  Silver linings, people.

Yep, pneumonia.  Remember that entire post I just wrote about how unfair it is that he got a typical-kid illness like croup?

Scratch that.  This feels much more familiar.  Because it was scary.

I spoke to our former pediatrician early this morning, and told him he could shove his advice where Owen takes his Tylenol expressed my displeasure and disappointment with how he had handled last night.  He tried to cover by saying what a caring physician he was, and reminding me of how he had called me “right back” last night, and then called again to follow-up an hour later (I didn’t answer because I was too busy trying to get Owen to sit still for the X-ray), and how he was calling again at that present moment.  He spent some time extolling his own virtues, until he said “and I trust the parents of my patients…”

And then I stopped him.  I interrupted him and said to him, “I do not have a medical degree, nor do I claim to know as much as those who do; but I can tell you that as a result of the past few years, I’ve become more medically savvy than I ever wished to be and probably 90% of the other parents in your practice and you should know that as per our many conversations.  I felt strongly that there was something wrong, and you ignored that, despite my insistence.  While I’m happy to hear that you trust me doctor, unfortunately I no longer trust you.  You dropped the ball on this one, I think we both know that, and your denial of it is truly disturbing in the wake of how all of this played out.”


I then promptly got off the phone with him, checked my reflection in the window I was passing to make sure that steam was not literally coming out of my ears, and continued on with my day.

So, I guess the universe heard my complaint the other day and went ahead and rectified their mistake.

Careful what you wish for.

Check, please!


  1. Dan Dahill says

    Now that post has just made my day. That would be the exact reaction of my wife. Good for you Jamie

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