Thursday, July 30, 2009

Should I Take Him In?

It's one of my biggest frustrations as a parent.
A parent of two relatively healthy kids.

We make maybe 2-3 extra visits to the doctor each year aside from their annual check-up. This last year our little guy made it well-child to well-child visit with no extra appointments needed. Twelve months and no doctor's visits. We are very lucky that way.

But then the moments come when you have to decide whether a kid should be seen by a doctor when things come up and I'm always so torn. If you go and nothing's wrong, sometimes you can feel a little silly (and by you, I mean me). If you don't go and something is wrong (it's never happened to me, but I can imagine it's terrible), that would be rough too.

Today our little guy was complaining about his leg. This morning I gave him a Tylenol and assumed he had a muscle cramp or something. When he was complaining after lunch, I assumed maybe a bruise. By supper time, after a good nap, he was still crying and complaining about that leg. Even limping. What to do?

I took him in for xrays, to the ER at our local Children's Hospital. The Hubs and I were so undecided, to go or not to go? What a horrible decision to make. So I took him, to be on the safe side.

It stinks to have to see dollar signs about the whole situation, but I do. It stinks.

So the x-rays were clear. No fractures. Although...there's something called a Toddler Fracture that can show up a week to ten days later. So give him rest, Tylenol, and get him checked in a week if he's still limping.

So should we have gone? I just can't say. It's nice to know that he's fine. If we'd stayed home, I'd probably still be fretting.

Maybe it's worth the $100+ to know. For the peace of mind. That my baby is okay for another night.

Knowing that is priceless.
I'm over it for now. I can fuss again when the bill comes.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I've got universal health care and I still wonder if we should or shouldn't go. Because no one wants to be the hypochondriac-melodrama-mommy, nor do we want to be the Munchausen-syndrome-by-proxy-mom, either.

Now I'm afraid I've jinxed myself and something bad will happen. *knock on wood* *cross my fingers*

Mama said...

When Brett was in high school he ran into a wall and jammed a finger. It hurt so bad and was still swollen on Sunday so on Monday we went to the dr. He'd broken the bone on the end of his thumb straight down the middle. Dr wrapped it and said there's nothing we can do. I asked if I should have brought him in and the dr said no, it would have healed. A year later he fell on his arm and I took him in- it was a sprain. To make a long story short I don't know how many times I took him in and is was "Ice it." So his senior year when he complained about his hand I said something like "Do you think it's bad enough to go to the dr?" and an hour later he came and told me one of his friends would take him to the dr and I could stay home. Half an hr later I get a call- "Mom, my arm is broken, I have to go to a specialist, can you come in and take me to see him?" I felt like the worst mother in the universe. What I'm trying to say is... we do the best we can and sometimes we guess right.

Mama said...

p.s. Sorry M is in pain- that not fair!

Aliki2006 said...

We go through this ALL the time. I can't tell you how many times we've taken kids in, and all has been fine; which is, of course wonderful. We've spent thousands of dollars on T. for specialist visits, MRIs, CT scans, etc.

I guess you have to weigh each situation and trust your instincts...I'm glad he's fine!

Mimi said...

I'm with Subspace Beacon -- I don't see the dollar signs (other than when I pay my taxes) but I still fret about whether to go to the dr or not. The last time that Pynchon overruled my 'it's nothing, it's nothing' it turned out Munchkin had pneumonia. Oops.

I'd rather err on teh side of going in than not, I think. Now.

Mama said...

Those cupcakes in your last post are makin' me hungry!!! Seriously. AND I just left the supper table. There's something wrong with me.

LoriAnn said... is hard to decide that's for sure. I think it's something all modern moms have had to deal with - to go or not to go. Last year at K's well-child check up his doctor said that although his urinalysis has always come back with microscopic blood in his urine that time it had more than usual - she asked us to come back in a month for another urinalysis just to double-check. Uh...11 months later I still haven't made it back. LOL. His next well child is in Sept. so I guess we'll see then...of course I can't help but worry just a tad that maybe there really has been something wrong all this time, but heck, you would think he would complain or something!

Michelle said...

I think you did the right thing (although I'm like you- it's hard to look past those dollar signs!) but if he was complaining all day, even after tylenol...and then even limping? Especially since you couldn't see anything on the outside I think you made the right call to take him in just to be sure and get checked out.

Is it possible it's "growing pains"? I remember having such awful pain in my ankles and it was finally chalked up to growing pains.

Hope he's feeling better tomorrow!

California mom said...

I go through this a lot. I usually err on the side of caution and thus am at the doctor's office more often than some...but I figure if it will help me sleep knowing that my kids are okay it is worth it. The one time I debated about going to the doctor was last summer when Peter fell off a slide at the playground. Hours later he was still not moving his arm and I grudingly took him to the urgent care only to find out his elbow was fractured. Since then, I don't take any chances.
I have more trouble taking myself to the doctor when I need to go because I see the dollar last month when I went to the ER with bad pain in my abdomen and it turned out to be diverticulitis. The ER doc told me though that it was good that I had come in, otherwise my intestines could have ruptured and that would've been REALLY bad...

Jenifer said...

It has been awhile and I am trying to catch up a bit on my blog reading. B is getting so big and your vacation shots are great. My fave is the reflection in M's glasses, awesome.

I always err on the side of caution and Rosebud had one of those types of fractures that did actually show up on an x-ray, so do, and required a cast for 8 weeks.

I always think that I will never forgive myself if something was to happen...which is also to say that parents are human and make mistakes, but somehow that takes a lot of convincing.

Glad to see you are having a terrific summer.

Swistle said...

OH I KNOW. This drives me crazy. And then EVERY so often there's some HORRIFYING news story about something that seemed little but wasn't, and that makes it even WORSE.

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