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Friday, August 30, 2013

Mom guilt

(Shutterstock image)

This is how I feel when my kids get sick. Some days I think, "I can't do this again!!!!"

All 3 of my teenagers have asthma (as do I) but when they were younger, they were sick ALL THE TIME! It got to the point that not only did I know EVERY doctor in my pediatrician's office, but I knew many of the other after-hours doctors too.
And the doctors and respiratory therapists at the emergency room.......

I would always worry if I was doing the right thing. 
I would think, "What if I don't take them to the doctor in time?"
What if I take them to the doctor and he says "It's just a virus" and I don't listen to my mother's intuition and take them back?

How do I know when to go to the after hours doctor and when to go to the emergency room?
What if the one of my kids get admitted to the hospital? Is it my fault? Did I wait too long? Should I have insisted the doctor give them oral steroids?  Should I have pushed for a chest x-ray?

I'm not a doctor or respiratory therapist, I don't have a medical degree. But I do know my kids and I know when 'something just doesn't seem right.' Hubby would say, "You're taking them back to the doctor-again?!"

I would tell Hubby and the doctor, "Look, I don't know what's going on. I can't put my finger on it, but something's not right."

As a mom, you know your kid's patterns. How and when they sleep. How much or little they eat (or drink.) How energetic they are. Even how they usually look or act. There were times the doctor would say "it's just a virus-you'll have to just let nature take its course." Okay, I'm not a doctor, I'll take his word for it. 

But there were times that I thought, "Something isn't right here. My son or daughter is WAY too lethargic and sleepy. They aren't eating or drinking. They seem to be sleeping WAY too long." The doctor said they'll be fine, what do I do? Well, I have insurance, so I would go back to the after hours clinic. If it was after 10:00 pm, I would head straight to the emergency room.

Son #2 and daughter Kitty have been hospitalized 12 times for asthma. Son #2 has been in ICU twice. Did I fail as a mom? Should I have taken them back sooner? 

We kept a bottle of prednisone (a steroid) at home for each of the kids. Asthma Doc would give me instructions on when to start them on prednisone. Then I was supposed to call and let them know. When that didn't work, we went back for a shot of Decadron (another steroid.) There were times I did EVERYTHING the doctor would tell me to, and the kids would get worse, so I would head to the emergency room.

Know that if your child ends up in the hospital, it DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BAD MOM!!!! You can have mild, moderate, or severe asthma. Some kids may never end up in the hospital, and others of us have spent WAY too much time in the Pediatric Ward with kids. Son #2 has severe asthma. And sometimes, no matter how much medicine we gave him, or how many times I took him back to the doctor, he would still end up in the Emergency Room. And then in the Pediatrics ward (we used to joke with the nurses and say, "Yep, we're back again. We would like our corner suite!" )

If they are hospitalized, don't blame yourself!!! Do the best you can, get instructions from the doctor and follow them VERY carefully. And listen to your mother's instinct. If you think your child is getting worse, take them back to the doctor. Webmd has a page that lists symptoms of a severe asthma attack. If you have any of those-get to a hospital FAST or call 911. 

And let go of the mom guilt. You can follow the doctor's instructions to a T and your child can still end up in the hospital. We have enough to feel guilty about (the kids aren't doing well in school, the house is a mess, you paid the mortgage late, etc. ) Don't add one more thing!  

Just know that it does get better!!!! :)

After 12 hospitalizations in a few years time, my kids are doing better now and haven't been hospitalized in 7 years! Woot woot!!

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