A Scary Wake-Up Call to Parents Compliments of C.Diff

I usually consider myself a pretty private person. I realize that happily writing a blog goes against that grain, but that is me simply trying to step out of my element. So please, bear with me.

My husband and I consider ourselves to be intelligent parents. We spend much of our time, really thinking about the choices that we make for our children. We are not afraid to say that we make mistakes, or to ask for help. We are committed to doing as we teach our children. These philosophies have translated to making changes in the food we eat, the books we read, and the music we listen too. We don’t insist that our kids eat a healthy breakfast without sitting down at the table with them. We are committed to consciously being the type of adults we hope our children will one day become.

Having said all of that we really got a case of the parenting stupids last week. Three weeks ago our son who is almost 5 had strep throat. We went to the Dr. and he was prescribed 10 days of antibiotics. He finished the prescription and exactly 24 hours later he got a fever. Back to the Dr. and he was diagnosed as having strep again. More antibiotics and 5 days later ANOTHER fever. It was late Saturday night and we gave him Motrin. When the Motrin didn’t work, we gave him Tylenol. Two hours later my little peanut was crying out from stomach pain and still had a high fever. He was begging to go to the doctor. He had a severe stomach ache and fever with the initial rounds of strep, but this was different. After spending some time with our little one we determined that this was definitely not normal and that we should take him to our local children’s hospital. Based on what we understood from his symptoms we guessed that it may be appendicitis.

At the hospital he was given an ultrasound, and although it showed some inflammation in his abdomen a diagnosis could not be determined. He then was sent for a cat scan. After consulting with many experts the results were still inconclusive. The ER docs wanted to give him a bit of time, and took the lets wait and see for a bit. He became increasingly unwell and eventually a diagnosis of C.DIFF was given to him. C.Diff is a bacterial infection which can be caused by long term antibiotic use. All the ‘good bacteria’ in his stomach was killed, making him susceptible to a more serious bacterial infection. After 4 days in the hospital and treatment with antibiotics (ironic I know), we were sent home.

The night after we had gotten settled at home hubby and I began to rehash our experience. We were exhausted, but most importantly grateful that it was not a more serious problem. During our stay we were fortunate to have a very high level advocate. One of our close friends is the medical director of the children’s ER. Although she was not on call when we arrived, she was aware that we were going and had informed her staff of our relationship. She asked all the ‘right questions’ and was able to answer all of ours. She made sure that she spoke to the doctors on our floor as well as the GI specialists in charge of our case.

As we were talking about our experience we realized that for two smart rational people we certainly lost our heads and our sensibilities. We did not ask appropriate questions, we did not fully understand what was happening, we did not understand home care. We were LUCKY to have someone watching out for us. I know that not everyone with a child in the hospital will have the privilege of having the medical director looking out for their family, but if you ever find yourself in that situation, please make sure you have a friend or family member to act as an advocate for you. Please endure that your bases are covered by someone else, because as I can attest you really lose your head.