"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." Well, not really, but I do play one every single day of my life as a mommy who is raising a toddler. For mommies of toddlers who are in daycare, it seems that every week during the wintertime (especially during these early months in the year), we are either fighting 1 virus or another or attempting to fend 1 off.
Last Friday night, the Biscuit started showing the signs of an upper-respiratory infection. It hit him overnight and the severity of it caused me to move into action pretty quickly, considering the Biscuit's history with RSV. He had a progressing congestion, coughing, lack of sleep, and his 102 fever rounded out Saturday night. By Sunday morning, we were in the doctor's office for a checkup and remedy (and, oh yes, the Biscuit's pediatrician has Sunday office hours for sick visits). And by remedy, I mean meds. "Gimme the scrip Doc!"
For those who know me well, you know that I truly don't like to resort to medicine unless the situation truly warrants it. I prefer natural remedies, TLC, good food, etc. whenever possible. This time... not a practical approach.
If I've learned anything as a toddler mommy (much less in my own life, with my parents, and friends), I know that you HAVE to be informed about medicine and health issues. You truly ARE your toddler's own best advocate. If you are relying on your doctor to figure it all out for you, you are way behind in the game. Not only do you need to keep yourself up-to-date on toddler ailments, but you should walk into your doctor's office for sick visits with a couple of possibilities of what you suspect your little one has.
Any decent doctor will respect you for the research you've done and for the "legwork" you've already put in the game to attempt to diagnose. Now, this is not to suggest that you will be right, but you know your little one better than anyone (including your doctor) and you know the nuances of things that are not right and can offer the best holistic picture of everything that is wrong, which will help your doctor to diagnose and suggest the "right" type of treatment. So educate yourself and advocate for your toddler.
Second, you should have 2 pediatricians that you see. Ideally, these should both be at the same practice (to ensure records always cross over). Why? Well, you're going to want 1 doc who is the conservative doctor (who doesn't rush to drugs, tests, or procedures every time). This doctor may be more of an alternative-type doctor or one who includes a less traditional, more homeopathic-type approach. The other doctor, is your drug-pusher and aggressive doctor. These docs are easy to ID because they always default to an antibiotic for an ear infection.
Once you've learned to be educated about your toddler's health and are truly an advocate, you'll be able to make decisions before you go in to the doctor about which 1 you want to see. In the case of the Biscuit last weekend, we needed the drug pusher. But if I'm not sure what's wrong and the Biscuit is "okay-ish", maybe nursing an ear infection, we're heading to our "crunchy" homeopath doctor, the 1 who didn't freak out when I asked about including seaweed in his diet to ward off future ear infections, but actually discussed the decreased % of ear infections in island communities due to the sea-based diet.
And for goodness sakes, if you end up like me with a triage nurse who is doc-blocking your ? about the proper dosage of OTC guaifenesin to give your toddler because she insists on telling you the evils of guaifenisen (when you know good and well that your child responds to it and even Dr. Sears says it's ok--is he a real doctor?) and wants you to try honey instead, just take a deep breath and know that she HAS to ask your doctor when you call and your drug-pushing doctor will come through for you in the end.
And, yes, the Biscuit is on the mend now... until the next ugly virus sneaks up on him at that Petri dish we call daycare. Google up folks!
The Biscuit and family want to say a heart-felt thank you to all of you who have sent us kind thoughts and prayers both publicly and privately over the past couple of weeks. We still miss our kitty, but we are healing every day.