When to call the doctor?

I’m the type of person who goes to the doctor when I’m in pain, or I think I’m about to die. If either of those conditions aren’t present, I figure, “Eh…it will run its course eventually.” It works for me.

I’m not sure this is a good way to be for the kidlet though. Earlier this month, when he was running a fever, I waited four days to take him to the doctor. Then last week when he was throwing up, I struggled with calling the doctor at 2 o’clock in the morning. “Is this really an emergency? I hate to make a big deal out of something if it’s nothing…” I’m still not convinced that O needed to go to the ER (I think of the ER as the avenue of last resort, when death is imminent), but it was probably the best decision for the time.

As a result of all the illness this little kid has been fighting what little sleep he was getting prior (My kid’s a shit sleeper. I’ve mostly come to terms with it. Mostly.) to getting sick has been whacked all the hell out. I think the longest stretch he’s slept in the last 3 weeks has been 3 hours. (Which also means that’s the longest I’ve slept for.) Anyway, yesterday he started getting clingy again. And he added screaming to the mix.

The screaming bothers me. O has never been a fussy kid. He’s never been a screamy kid. He’s a completely little happy, chill dude. Even when he’s tired, sick, or cranky. But yesterday? I couldn’t change his diaper without him screeching and throwing himself off the changing pad. And I couldn’t console him. No hugs, no nursing, no walking with him. Nothing helped. He was like this all day. And then last night? He woke up screaming at about 2a.m. after having been asleep since midnight. (And then proceeded to nurse and nap, and not let me put him down until 4 a.m.)

So, the screaming. He’s at it again this morning. Screaming doesn’t seem like a reason to go to the doctor. But it’s incredibly uncharacteristic of my child. And he’s been sick so long, and it’s a holiday weekend. Is he in pain? Teething? Normal developmental milestone?

I don’t know what to do.

What would you do?

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4 Comments

Filed under life balance, O, parenting

4 responses to “When to call the doctor?

  1. Betsy

    Look… you’re not a “hysterical” mom that freaks out every time your kid is sick. So if you are concerned, and your kid is now uncharacteristically screaming, then by all means, go to the ER. It seems past time that the kid get some potential relief and you both get some much-needed sleep. Worse-case scenario? You go to the ER, and they say there’s nothing that they can do. So what? You will have then alleviated your concerns and fears. By all means…GO. (just my two cents)

  2. I agree with Betsy. You’re obviously not one of “those” moms that calls the dr for every cough, sneeze or hiccup. I think such a drastic change in behavior would be very unsettling and it’s worth seeing the Dr just so you can have some peace of mind.

  3. Do you have a nurse line at the pediatrician? We had to call for Little E while we were out of town & she was SO helpful. Assured us we could go to the ER if we needed to but that his symptoms were normal and he would recover with some Tylenol and extra cuddles (not that it made me feel any better about being up with a SCREAMING CHILD ALL NIGHT in my in-laws house). Then if the nurse/doctor thinks it’s worth an ER trip you at least have their opinion to back you up when you check in.

    I’m just afraid if you go to the ER you won’t get the kind of detailed care you need when the question is a general “Why is my kid acting differently?”

  4. Ah, 15 months! Got it!

    I can’t believe you’ve held out on night weaning for this long. Highly impressive! And what an adorable little munchkin you have!

    I took my little guy to the doctor with a sickness for the first time last week. We ended up going straight to Children’s Hospital for a lung x-ray. Maybe I waited a little too long… or maybe not? Hard to say. IN any case, he’s better now. I’m going to start eating more coconut oil in hopes of increasing his immune system.

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