Friday, March 16, 2007

More pissed.

Well, Reed and I are both still grossly sick. And he's learning to aim those snot rockets, so watch out!

When we went to the emergency room, they gave him 6 mL of Motrin to bring down the fever. We had been giving him Tylenol, but the dosage we were giving him was 1.6 mL, so I figured that it was some kind of emergency get-that-fever-down dose. Later I mentioned to the nurse how the "mega-dose" of Motrin they gave him knocked the fever down pretty quickly. She replied, "That's the regular dose. That's the dose you ought to be giving him." So I said, "Wow, we've only been giving him 1.6 mL." She said, "Oh, maybe that's why his fever wouldn't go down, because you weren't giving him enough of it."

The doctor at the emergency room later confirmed that we could give him 6 mL of Tylenol and 6 mL of Motrin in rotating shifts every 4 hours. I kept saying, "Wow, that's just so much. We had been giving him 1.6 mL." As we were leaving the nurse said, "Did they tell you? You can give it to him every 2 hours."

When I took him to his regular doctor, I asked again if 6 mL was really what we should have been giving him. He said yes, that we could give him that much every 3 hours, not 4 or 2. I was starting to feel dizzy at that point, so I got him to tell me "6 mL" one more time. I commented that we had only been giving him 1.6 mL because that's what we thought his correct dosage was. (This story is going somewhere, I promise.)

So yesterday I called the doctor again to say that the fever was still pretty high (staying in the 103 range), and that now he had a wet, hacking cough, and he just didn't seem to be getting any better. The nurse called me back and said, of course, "It's a viral infection. You really just have to wait it out." We were just about to get off the phone when I said, "And we're supposed to be giving him 6 mL of the Tylenol or Motrin, right?" At this point I had been giving him 6 mL doses since Tuesday, so for about 48 hours.

She sat there for a second, and said, "Uh, no, 1.6 mL. He's 15 months, right? And he weighs about 26 pounds? 1.6 mL."

It was about that time that I started weeping and hyperventilating. And yelling.

"Then WHY did DR. NAMEREMOVEDBECAUSEHE'SACOCKSUCKERANYWAY tell me 6 mL? And WHY did they tell me that at the emergency room?"

I could tell that the nurse was getting flustered. There were a lot of "um"s and "uh"s coming from her end of the line. Then she said, "Are you giving him Childrens' Motrin or Infants' Motrin?" I told her Infants' Motrin. She said, "Okay, yeah, the infant stuff is concentrated, so he's only supposed to have 1.6 mL."

So I sobbingly sputtered out, "SO WHAT YOU'RE TELLING ME IS THAT I'VE BEEN POISONING MY CHILD FOR THE PAST TWO DAYS." She said, "He'll be okay. Don't worry; it'll be okay." I replied, "NONONO, I'M ANGRY." Her reply was, "Oh. Hm."

I eventually demanded to speak to the doctor, and of course the doctor wasn't there. So then I hung up on her, which I realize isn't necessarily the BEST reaction, but I was gasping for air by that point and I just couldn't make any more words come except for "FUCK" and "BITCHES" and "AX" and "MOTHERBASTARD".

So later we talked to poison control and they said that the amount he took isn't toxic, so he'll be fine. Which is great, and that's the bottom line.

BUT THE NEXT LINE UP FROM THAT BOTTOM ONE IS THIS ONE WHERE I AM ON FIRE INSIDE, so mad that I can hardly comprehend it, so mad that I can barely form sentences about it (my Crazy Speak interpreter Juan is typing this right now, say hello Juan- Hola!). I cannot be the only person in America who didn't realize that there was a difference between Infants' and Childrens' Motrin, and I know the whole time that I was saying "Motrin" and "Tylenol", NO ONE ever said, "Now that's CHILDRENS' Motrin, not INFANTS'." And shouldn't someone make that distinction? Really? Especially when I kept saying "We've only been giving him 1.6 mL." Shouldn't that have rung a bell in someone's air-filled head?

I am Reed's mother, and believe me when I say that I take some responsibility here. I have felt more guilt over the past twelve hours than I thought possible. I have pictured, over and over, forcing Reed to take all that medicine, nearly FOUR TIMES what he should have been given, and wept because I know now that my initial instincts- that it was too much medicine- were right. I think, I could have killed him. I could have killed him myself. I could have ruined his liver entirely, and he deserves the opportunity to do that himself with beer and painkillers in his college years AND I ALMOST TOOK THAT AWAY FROM HIM.

But I also feel like those people, those people who go through years of schooling to learn how to take care of my child, and who I now pay large sums of money to take care of my child AND to tell me how to take care of him when I don't know, they have some responsibility here, too. I questioned that dosage over and over again, and I told them how much we had been giving him. It would have taken one breath and three seconds to tell me that I needed to be using Children's Motrin instead of Infant's Motrin.

So, here we are, alive but barely. I don't know what's going to happen from here. The nurses supposedly left word for the doctor to call me today, but I'm not sure what I might say. I KNOW that we're finding another pediatrician, because there have just been too many problems over the past week that could have been avoided.

Thank the good lord that MY doctor believes in Medication, and I have a nice bottle of codeine to get through this, because I would be setting buildings on fire by now if I didn't.


Birdie said...

de-lurking to say RIGHT-FUCKING-ON! your point that you pay them good money to tell you the right stuff is spot on. i hope you both feel better soon!

anyway, i stop by your blog from time to time and really enjoy it. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Damn, that blows. Who would think the infants drops would be so much stronger than the children's? You'd think it would be the other way around, and the DOCTOR gets paid to know that. Ugh. Sorry, sweetie, that sucks. Steph