Monday, July 17, 2017

Be Your Child's Medical Advocate

I love hospitals, doctors, and nurses. Not in the literal sense but in the term that I am grateful they are available to help and heal our loved ones. With that being said I am going to touch on a rough subject today and I mean no disrespect to the healthcare industry.  Many of you will remember the situation when Jude was a tiny toddler and I knew he was getting pneumonia. He had all the classic symptoms and for some reason I ran him to a children's hospital in the area that was not our usual destination. That was my first mistake but they were well known and the ER wait showed to be short. We went in for an evaluation and from the start I felt like the doctor was annoyed with the knowledge I had of Jude's medical condition. Anyway, after evaluation and X rays the doctor decided to send Jude home. I protested and the nurse (God Bless her soul and nurses) also protested and in a professional manner told the doctor she didn't think it was wise to send Jude home. Oh man she reaped his wrath right there in front of me which I then turned around without a professional and manner and growled, "If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck it's a duck! So I will take my child home but you mark my words if something happens to him this is on your hands." Now granted I am not generally confrontational but when it comes to my children I will speak up. I knew Jude's symptoms and body in detail and I knew the poor baby was sick and the sweet nurse knew it too. In fact she handed me a pen and whispered, "document all of this before you leave." I also knew aspiration pneumonia can present with symptoms prior to showing details on an X ray. 

Sure enough hours later we were being transported via ambulance with an oxygen rate of 71 and a blue Jude.  I cried in the ambulance and told the paramedics exactly what had happened who then lodged a complaint on Jude's behalf. The doctor from the aforementioned hospital called me to apologize, had to apologize to the nurse, and he promised to always listen to the parents after Jude's case. I believe he also had to attend some sensitivity type training ridiculousness or something like that. I can only hope it helped. 

My point of this blog is one of importance and I would like you to read my next lines carefully because you are not exempt from tragedy. Someone posted in my forum that they lost their child when they took their kid to the ER complaining of the worst headache the child had ever had. There was not a CT, there was no MRI, there was only a diagnosis of a migraine. The parents felt uncomfortable with the diagnosis and uneasy about heading home. When the headache continued they contacted a health care office who backed up the ER even though the parent asked for a neurologist. Soon the child was in cardiac arrest from an embolism and it was to late. Under that post are multiple parents saying the same thing happened to them. If you feel you are not getting the answers you need do not be afraid to be your child's medical advocate. Remember that fear may lead to a loss. Looking back I never should have taken Jude home and even though I spoke up I should have pressed for more answers or taken him myself to another ER at that very moment. After Jude's surgery in July of 2014 when he was not getting better I finally spoke up.  For 13 days Jude threw up and couldn't keep any liquids or food down.  They continued the Iv's to hydrate his body but he was slipping away and I knew it. I insisted they transfer Jude to the hospital I knew his neuro and GI could take care of him. They could not perform the surgery at that hospital but they could find out why he wasn't getting better. I laughed when the current hospital said they would call CPS if I moved him and told them go ahead and then handed them the phone where Jude's neuro scolded them profusely and said put him on an Ambulance! Within days Jude was finally better and I was relieved to take my smiley little Jude home. 

So don't be afraid. Speak up for your child if you feel you need to because their life could depend on it. Most doctor's and nurses will always tell you they listen to the parents first because you know your child better than they do. 

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