These feelings of distrust began a few months ago when Cara woke up looking like this:
It seemed like just a minor rash, almost like bug bites, just on Cara's arms and legs. I like to think that PJ and I are not crazy, freak-out parents; we are okay with a little dirt, and we acknowledge that Cara eats Cheerios off the floor without any germaphobic panic. We called our pediatrician this time since Cara had never had a rash like this before. He said "no big deal" and "don't worry." So we tried not to. But by that evening, Cara looked like this:
And the next morning, she looked like this:
I felt completely justified in freaking out
a lot just a little bit. We called the doc again, and he said "don't worry, don't bring her in" again. This rash appeared at the end of a round of penicillin-based antibiotics, but this was not Cara's first experience with antibiotics. It seemed possible for the rash to be an allergy, but not definite. Here was the pediatrician's suggestion: Wait until the rash goes away and give her another dose of the antibiotic to see if the rash comes back. Then we'll know if it's a penicillin allergy.
Really? You want me (an English teacher) to conduct medical experiments on a child who has slept and fussed and cried in my lap all day long?? You want me to give her the antibiotics again to see if we can close her throat up next time???
I broke the "don't bring her in" rule, and I took her to see another pediatrician in the same practice who was appropriately concerned and empathetic. She showed me pictures of rashes in her books to find how how the rash progressed, and she determined that Cara is probably allergic to penicillin. I felt better. Except that this caring human being left the practice the following week. Hm...
So, this morning, I took Cara back for her well visit. She's doing great, no ear infections, no snot, no rashes or bumps. The receptionist yelled out that I had a balance across the waiting room. Of $12. No big deal, I guess. That might have embarrassed some people who are concerned about paying their bills on time, but I let that one go. While we were waiting on Dr. Brilliant in the exam room, Cara pooped. So I changed her diaper. Then she pooped again. Great. I decided to wait for a minute or two to make sure she got it all out, but in came the doctor. I warned him about the poop and changed the diaper. He didn't flinch when I put it in the trashcan in the exam room, just kept on talking. He fussed at me for letting Cara have peanut butter, even though she loves it and has had no reaction to it. No discussion on the peanut butter. Not until age 3, he said. Is it really THAT bad? And I need to keep a better track of how much milk Cara drinks because she needs 24 oz a day. Where is mom instinct? If she's drinking throughout the day, gaining weight as she should, and happy, why do I need to try to get her to drink more?
When the nurse came in to give Cara her shots, she said "do I smell a stool?" (Seriously, exact words) I explained the poop situation, and she proceeded to tell me that diapers do not go in the trashcan because the doctors would not want to work in an exam room that smelled like poop. Where are the diapers supposed to go then? How can a pediatric practice not have a plan for poopy diapers? Was I supposed to put it in my bag? Let Cara hang out in her poop? Did I miss that lesson in mom school?
I hate that I feel like an idiot every time I call the doctor or go to the office. That's not normal, right? I can't possibly be doing everything wrong. I feel a little overdramatic here, but a pediatrician is a long-term relationship, so I want one that loves me for me and loves Cara for Cara, even when she poops in the office.