Trusting your Momma instincts
Ever feel like an idiot after talking to a nurse on the phone at your pediatrician’s office? It doesn’t happen often, but there have been times that I think the nurse on the other line is either new, had a bad day, or just doesn’t want to deal with people. Of course, I can say that in hindsight. At the time, when I deal with one of these jerks, I’m the one who feels like I’m asking the stupidest question in the world, like I’m the ONLY one who can’t handle their own kid.
Stop the Momma guilt! Trust your God-given instincts!
This past week has taught me a lot. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I’ve been MIA from my blog. My goal is to write weekly, and I’ve been meeting that goal and thensome since starting this blog a little over a month ago. But sometimes, life happens. Thanks to my Momma-instincts, we were able to address the issue and be proactive about it before it really got out of hand.
*Warning! The next portion of this post may be medically graphic & TMI for some.
My daughters were exposed to strep recently from a family we carpool to/from school with. When my youngest was having an out of the ordinary cranky spell and then started complaining about her throat, we assumed she had strep. I called the pediatrician, and we were able to get both girls in with the PA on call to get throat cultures. Results were negative; the PA diagnosed it as a virus. 48 hrs later, my youngest developed diarrhea. By the 3rd or 4th diaper change, a rash started to appear. We put Desitin on it, and when that didn’t work, we moved onto nystatin (we were told if Desitin doesn’t work, it’s likely a yeast infection). Overnight, she had another round of diarrhea, which only made her rash look worse, swell and bleed!
I paced all morning while holding my toddler, wondering WTF to do. It ripped my heart to shreds seeing her little butt look so red, just awful. She screamed & cried every time we changed her diaper. My eyes welled up several times and I apologized over & over as I wiped her; I knew it had to be painful, and let’s face it: Mommas take on their child’s pain as if it were their own.
Once I put her down for her afternoon nap, I couldn’t take it anymore; I was going to call my pediatrician’s office about the diaper rash. I knew there was a chance I would get laughed at for calling about a diaper rash, but at this point, I didn’t know what else to do. Something was wrong. I had never seen a rash like this before. It was Friday too, so if we were going to have to be seen, it had to be now. Our pediatrician’s office has a voice-mailbox for the phone nurse. They call you back, hopefully with a list of answers to your questions. Around 3:45p I got a call back. When I ran down the symptoms she started to tell me to put Vaseline on it, then, the nurse actually looked at my daughter’s records (woah! Did I actually get a smart nurse this time?!) and noticed that she was tested for oral strep on Tuesday. A lightbulb went on. She said “is the rectum itself red?” I’m like “Well, she’s still napping, and even if she were awake for me to check, there is no way you would be able to hear me because she screams bloody-murder when we change her. It looks very painful. Red, splotchy, swollen, and it was bleeding this morning.” The nurse says “I’m asking about her rectum being red because of rectal strep. I think she should be seen immediately.” I thought “Rectal strep?!???” but I didn’t say that out loud. Then she asked me how fast I could get there. I didn’t want to have to wake up my daughter who had been having a rough day already, but, the clock was ticking.
I grabbed my routine-oriented 5 year old, told her the rundown, and she threw a fit for having to drop everything she was doing in order to take her sister to the doctor. Good times. Woke up my toddler, who would’ve likely slept much longer (of course, the one time she takes a much needed long afternoon nap!) changed her poopy diaper again. Poor girl. Arrived at the doctor’s AT the 4:30p appointment time. Saw the PA again, and when she saw her rash, she couldn’t believe how bad it was. Another PA had never seen rectal strep before, so she came into see it too and gasped. Then, they took out a culture-swab and ran the test rectally. OH YEAH. They use the SAME TEST they use to test for oral strep! 5 minutes later, results proved she was positive for Rectal Strep.
I received a quick run-down of the treatment. Basically, give her an antibiotic 3xs/day for a week; Neosporin on the rash. No wipes, only warm washcloths until the rash was gone. Make an appointment for Monday to make sure progress is being made. The rash wasn’t great on Monday, but did look a lot better by Tuesday & was practically gone by Wednesday. What we weren’t prepared for were the awful the mood swings. The pain my daughter was in was obviously unbearable. My typically happy toddler’s joyful moments were few & far between until today, nearly one week later. She would lose it over anything & everything, which is not like her at all. Even when she does meltdown like any 2-year old can, my toddler normally snaps out of it very quickly. The last week or so threw me for a loop, my house is a disaster, I’m rundown, but my main focus was taking care of my kids & enjoying the many snuggles I got to have with someone who has constantly been on the go since she started running!
I am so grateful that I trusted my gut and called our pediatrician. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if we let that rash go even one more day, let alone the weekend, without treatment. Yes, I’ve had negative experiences when I’ve called and felt like a dumbass for “wasting their time”. Thing is, if you have a feeling something isn’t right, you know your child better than ANYONE. If you are wrong, you are just wrong. If you are right… and let’s face it, most of the time we are! Ha! Isn’t it better to check into it and get the problem fixed instead of letting it develop into something even worse? Trust your instincts, Mommas. They are more accurate than you realize.
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