Right folks I’ve wanted to write this for a while and I feel very strongly about it.
My little one has unfortunately been at the receiving end of very ill advice (excuse the pun) from several medical professionals since we’ve moved to Leeds. This happens everywhere I know so I’m not condemning Leeds but I am hoping this post might make a difference to parents everywhere in ‘going with their gut’ and not being patronised by meds.
Now I know kids get bugs all the time but recently Baby O had a cold that dragged on and on (we had all suffered from tonsilitis and these things happen), but it wasn’t too bad at first. So we took him to be weighed and then to see the GP where he was diagnosed with a chest infection. This involved said GP listening to his chest which he said was noisy and writing a prescription for penicillin.
Later that night we struggled with soaring temperatures of about 39.5 and were only able to reduce it slightly with calpol. He seemed lethargic despite taking off all his clothes (a must if a baby has a high temp and is shivering). Shivering=high temp thus clothes off. After phoning NHS direct and feeling utterly frustrated (yes they eliminate potentially life threatening ailments over the phone-but no they cannot see my child so whatever they ‘say’ could be baloney)-I decided to attend the wonderful LGI (Leeds General Infirmary) A & E department. Several hours of not being able to get his temperature down was just not right.
The nurses and pediatricians are amazing at my local A&E-they know babies and children and how to handle them-pastoral care is so important when it comes to children and they are best qualified to deal with children. Immediately they checked his pulse, temperature etc and confirmed he was very hot (at this point he was nearing 40).
The next thing they did was weigh him. And guess what the woman who I don’t even believe was a health visitor at my GP surgery who had weighed him a mere day earlier had got his weight (VERY) wrong by 7 pounds (3 and a half kilos)- a lot of weight to have calculated wrongly. We were promptly told Baby O in fact needs double the calpol measurement we were giving him (due to his weight to calpol ratio) hence not being able to get his temperature down. Not only that but he DID NOT have a chest infection as previously diagnosed by the GP and the pediatrician actually told us to throw away the penicillin we’d been given as she was sure this was a viral infection.
Bacterial ones are usually accompanied by a hot ear etc. (Yes I’m a wannabee doctor and took notes). She also made me laugh immensely as did the nurse who commented that ‘Yorkshire folk are very generous with giving each other bugs and viruses’ and that they call NHS Direct (NHS Misdirect).
Look I get that GP’s can’t always get it right but I was annoyed that yet again we were failed by doctors. A few months earlier when Baby O had gastroenteritis we were given bad advice again from another GP who recommended we starve him for up to 10 days. (Hello?) The A & E pediatricians informed us dioralytes and food is the way forward. You can read about that fairly crazy experience here. I now go with my gut and instinct and if I feel something is v wrong I go to A & E.
In fact the pediatrician advised me to go there in future-she said she’d rather we wait a few hours and be told to go home once he’s checked and ok than be ill at home. I’m not saying there for a sniffle but if you are concerned or it’s dragging on or your gut says go then flipping go. No one will make you feel bad for checking your child.
Now you’d think that was the end of the story but oh no, a week ago a nurse at the GP practice was extremely rude to me and actually tried to cajole me into giving my baby a booster injection combined with his MMR (this combination only started recently since Nov 2010). She did this when I turned up for a regular booster injection.
I had said yes originally then changed my mind which I have every right to do so, deciding to wait and spread the immunisations out by a month as mothers have been doing for a very long time before the change. She however, responded very badly, told me she had already prepared the combined injections and tried to make me feel bad, irrational, wrong even stating ‘ well I would give it to him’.
I asked her if she would get in trouble or be inconvenienced if she discarded the other injection to which she replied she wouldn’t be. So what’s the problem and furthermore who cares what you would do, you are not his Mother!
Her attitude was awful, she was huffing, puffing and tutting and then pushed my child’s shoes off her table, shooing us out of her office. Well she messed with the wrong woman. Funnily enough when I told her I’d ironically been commissioned by the NHS and Department of Health in the past to create promos and a web drama to promote best practice in medical professionals, she changed her aggressive tone. Too late lady.
So you know what- I complained about that nurse to her manager in person and followed up in writing, that very day. I and all mothers are entitled to choose what we want for our children. I am waiting to hear the outcome of this and my complaint is being investigated.
If you are worried about your baby or child and are not getting the answers you need to hear from your GP/NHS direct or anyone else for that matter and still have underlying concerns or you instinctively feel something is wrong with your baby-go to A&E and furthermore if you are at the receiving end of bad care, please complain, it’s the only way to make changes and I will bloody well change the NHS single-handedly if I have to.