I would think that by now I would be one of those bad-arse mothers that could tell lousy doctors where to go, but alas, I am not.
I'm getting better, but sometimes I still find myself deferring to some M.D.'s opinion when really, I should just trust my own instincts.
Over the past week, I got that lesson in yet another Medical Adventure with my little Miss B.
On March 23rd, Miss B fell down a step? off a chair and down a step?? and hurt her foot. No one is quite sure what happened. My sister was watching my kids for the weekend and because nothing seemed swollen or bruised, we just let Miss B keep doing her thang. The next night when Dr. C and I went to pick up the kids, Miss B still wouldn't put a lot of weight on her right foot, but still no swelling or bruising anywhere.
Sunday morning, I became more concerned because she didn't want to walk on it. I took her into Urgent Care, where the doctor looked at her for 3 seconds and proclaimed that she had simply "overstretched the tendons" and that x-rays were completely unnecessary. I explained to him that Miss B had a very high pain threshold, and wouldn't it be better to x-ray it just to be sure?
"No. Just give her a few days and she'll be fine."
I left the office feeling a bit unsettled and questioning my judgement--was I just being overanxious?
By Tuesday, Miss B was STILL complaining that it hurt and would only walk on the outside of her foot. So I took her into the pediatrician (LOVE her!) who immediately said we needed to x-ray.
Ten minutes later, a definitive.
Miss B's first metatarsal was fractured.
Um, would have been nice to know that on Sunday. Let's just say I'll never go back to THAT urgent care.
Our pediatrician set up an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist, the soonest we could get in was Thursday morning at 7:45--before school and while Dr. C was traveling--which meant I had to take all three kiddos with me.
After trying to corral all three of them in a tiny room ("Stay out of the red trashcan!! See that "bio hazard" sign?! It means it's not safe!" and "No, you may not jump from the bed to the spin-y stool, you will break your arm!") I was already a bit frazzled. The doctor came in and was no help.
His first statement to me was that Miss B's SureStep SMO's (which I think have done wonders for her ankle stability) were pointless and that the only reason to have them was to make me feel better and so that some brace company got money.
Hey doc, I've lost all respect for you already, and we haven't even talked about why we're here. This probably isn't going to be a good visit. Just sayin'.
He then went on to tell me that, "there was no point in casting Miss B's foot because she is going to have problems anyway." and "it would take four people to hold her down to get the cast on, so it's not really worth it" and "it's already been broken for a week and she's gotten around fine, let's just give it a few more weeks and see what happens."
The way he presented it to me, it sounded like he didn't want to cast her foot simply because it would be inconvenient. To me, that is unacceptable.
So I went home, wondering what the h*** was wrong with doctors this week, called the pediatrician and got a referral to another pediatric ortho specialist the next day.
After having a day to get over my irritation at the first guy, I was much calmer by the time we got to that appointment. And the 2nd doctor actually listened to me. (Hooray!!) He agreed that her foot did not need a cast, but thankfully he explained his opinion by describing why it was not medically necessary and how it could even be harmful to her.
AND he said he was happy to see her in her SMOs.
And so I chalk this whole much-ado-about-little experience as another trust-my-gut lesson learned. If I think that something is wrong with my daughter, I need to trust that feeling and not let a doctor blow me off. And if I don't get answers that make sense, I have to push to get real answers from a different doctor.
It's up to me to make sure Miss B is being taken care of by the medical community the way she needs.
And, just because having a broken foot seems to have not slowed my little lady down much, I leave you with some pictures of her--loving life as always.