Tuesday, April 03, 2007

How to freak out mom 101...

Tell her her baby may have some exotic baby disease that she can't pronounce or that perhaps someone has shaken her baby and then send her home.

Yeah that will do it...

So, last night I took Zack to the clinic to have his ears checked for ear infection. They had told us when we were in the hospital that sometimes bronchitis can turn into an ear infection and since he had been pretty fussy yesterday and Sunday I figured it couldn't hurt to have the doctor take a look.

Our appointment was at 7:50 and by 8:10 I knew I was in trouble. The first thing Dr. Quack did when he got in the room was pick Zack up under the arms and hold him out in front of him. My poor little guy is just dangling there giving this man a look like what the hell do you want?

"Oh he only turn his head to one side. What wrong with his head? You take him to physical therapist?"

Okay... NOT here for his head but I humor him.

"Yes, we have been working on getting him to turn his head the other way and are going to talk to the doctor on Thursday and see if we need to go to a physical therapist."

Now... could you check his ears??

So he lays him down and looks at his ears and announces that his ears look fine. He thinks that he is just fussy because of the bronchitis. I try to explain to him that he is fussy if he's laying down or sitting up but he doesn't want to hear it. He leaves and sends in a nurse to suck out his nose and give him another nebulizer treatment.

So we get all of that done and I'm thinking for pete's sake I could have done this at home. In fact I'm just getting ready to pack him up as he is STILL fussing when the doctor comes back in.

"Oh... he still fussy? Ok, I want to check blood to make sure he doesn't have infection before I send you home."

Okay. So back on the table he goes and another nurse comes in and pricks his finger. He of course cries and cries and cries. After she gets the blood drawn she tries to get a band aid on him. She has brought full size band aids to try to put on a 1/2 size... no make that a 1/4 size child. Needless to say it didn't go well.

She struggled as he flailed and the band aid kept sticking to her gloves. Finally she got the first one on but she wanted a second one to wrap around the finger and that one she ripped in half and then had to open a third before she got it on his finger. As soon as she finished I scooped up my baby and cuddled him. He quickly fell asleep after all of the trauma and I began packing up his things to get him out of the land of the quacks.

About that time the doctor came in.

"He have fever?"

"No, not this week. He had a fever last Friday, Saturday and Sunday but he hasn't had a fever since."

"Ok. So he have fever three days."

Very good... you can count... that is three days...

"His platelet level is very high. He could have Kawasaki (or Keocera or Kaowacera or something) disease."

The only thing my mind focused on was the word disease..

"But normally they have fever for five days and he only have fever for three days. Also, he too young. Usually babies six to eight months when they have Keorea (or kowamonga or whatever) disease."

Okay... so where are we going with this?

"Or sometimes when platelet level is high could be that he has bleeding on the brain."

It WHAT? Excuse me?

"He go to daycare?"

"Um yes..."

"How many kids with him?"

"There are eight children in his room."

"Okay, well this start on Sunday right?"

I nod my head... numb at this point...

"Well sometimes can be from bleeding on the brain but you with him all day on Sunday so not likely."

Then he proceeds to feel my son's head and tell me it feels normal. AS IF he would be able to tell from that.

Then he asks me if I feel comfortable taking him home. Do I WHAT? Should I feel comfortable taking him home? Aren't you the doctor? He finally decides that since he doesn't have a fever I can take him home but I have to take him back today to have his platelet level re-checked.

So off I go at 9:30 at night in a total daze. I load Zack in the car not sure if I should be worried that at any moment he will die. I called my mom and she immediately talked to my sister. As I was waiting for her to call me back I was running through things in my head and becoming more and more convinced that this man was simply a QUACK!!

Let's see, he was with Jess on Saturday morning. I know he peed on her and her rug but I don't see her as a shaker... (Just Kidding Jess... I know the worse thing you did was give him a bath... oh the travesty, you mean woman you.)

And after that, he was with me until I took him to daycare yesterday morning. So... um yeah not thinking that anyone shook him. Moving on to the exotic baby disease. First he throws that out and then he tells me he thinks he may be too young for it. Than why even mention it?

Finally my mom called me back and told me that Lindsay read her a page in her medical textbook about high platelet levels in babies. They can be caused by an infection or by steroids. Well hello?? My son has been on an Albuterol nebulizer for a week!! Or, it could be an infection... but no... Dr. Quack jumps right to exotic baby disease or someone shook your baby.

Needless to say I will NOT be taking him back there to have his platelet level rechecked. He will be going to his NORMAL doctor today to have his poor little finger stuck again.

Oh and in case you're wondering, it is Kawasaki disease and he has NONE of the symptoms!! Nor is he old enough to have it. I think I may have to file a complaint!!


OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

KAWASAKI disease - yeah I'm thinking that would be the first thing that pops into my mind - as in I will jump on my Kawasaki and get my child far from you - QUACK!

Oh my gosh - I can only imagine how frightened you were. Keep us posted as to what it is.

Quick suggestion about his only turning his neck one way. My son did the same thing and the doctor said it was because (other than nursing) I was a left armed mother - meaning I always had his head resting in the crook of my left arm so for him to look around he needed to turn to the left every time.........they had me make an effort of holding him on the other arm for at least a couple of hours every day. Just a suggestion.

Lynanne said...

Holy crap, Heather. That physician came up with all of this based on a finger stick blood draw?! If it was that out of wack he should have drawn blood from a vein (which obviously they avoid on an infant unless it is REALLY out of wack). Second, how in the hell did he come up with Kawasaki Disease when Zach has none of the symptoms (is this physician Asian by chance)? It reminds me a physician I used to work with who admitted every baby with an unexplained fever to the hospital for a spinal tap because he once missed a cases of meningitis.

Increased platelets can also be seen in infants with bronchitis caused by gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) I won't play doctor on this one (on the internet or on TV) but true GERD in an infant to the extent of causing a high platelets is unlikely. I only mention it since Zach has been regurgitating his feeds (hello - patient history anyone?) Reflux would also cause fussiness ½ hr or so after eating, especially when lying flat (or sitting in a way that he compresses his stomach.) That would ONLY be a suspicion if the high count persists when he's not sick and it shows up on a venous (not finger stick) blood draw. Most infants have some degree of reflux that doesn't cause inflammation.

Albuterol shouldn't cause a problem - it isn't a steroid. (but Pulmicort (inhaled) or Pediapred/prednisolone (oral medication) bot are.)

My point is that IF the high platelet count is real and you ignore the fact that Zach has been sick (there are also viral illnesses going around that cause slightly elevated platelets) there are MANY other explanations than Kawasaki disease.

The most likely explanation is that the lab tech didn't get a clean finger stick. It wouldn't be the tech's fault necessarily – finger sticks in babies can be tricky. (Not as tricky as drawing blood from a vein.) Trying to put a adult bandaid on an infant (choking hazard anyone?) was a bit of a red flag for this.

I second your thoughts to see Zach's regular doctor for a follow-up blood test, hopefully when he's feeling better.

My god you've been through it all these past weeks. It's simply not fair.

Jess Olson said...

Yes....you baby peed on me and rug...he puked on me and couch....I NO SHAKE BABY....I LOVE BABY!!!


Lynanne said...

Oh...one more thing on Zach not turning his head. Hopefully your pediatrician has also reassured you that in an infant as young as Zach it could be simply a result of his position before birth. Oldmotherhubbard has a good suggestion also. That doctor should be flogged for freaking out about it. It sounds like your regular doctor is on top of the matter. Sheesh...

Tink said...

Omg. Omg. Omg. GET A NEW DOCTOR. When my brother was a baby he was misdiagnosed with Kawasaki Syndrome. The key symptoms are like Scarlet Fever with a red rash that extends over the whole body and peeling of the skin on the palms and feet. Doctors love to diagnose babies with this because they're all racing to find a case that hasn't gotten heart damage because of it. That doctor is a quack dear.

kreints said...


My doctor just showed me some different holding positions for Sam and how to rub his neck ... but she mainly said it is because of how he was sitting in utero.

I woul dnot worry to much about it... kids get bigger and they hold there head up for longer and you will not even remember this problem...

stella said...

Bwahahahahah, Jess. That's funny!
Crazy doctor indeed.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

Jess, Your a genius you discoved a new disease "Shaken Doctor Syndrome" for which the cure should be a glass of milk - then we could have quackers & Milk!