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Several times in the past almost 2 years I've been a mother I have butted heads with doctors and/or family/friends about the different ailments and things going on with my son. From ear infections to the flu. From acid reflux to baby wearing. Many times I've been proven right (See, I told you it was an ear infection! Oh, it IS the flu and not vomiting due to nasal congestion!). Enough times anyway that when that tiny alarm goes off in the back of my head ("Hey, something's off here. Something's not adding up") I take a moment to re-evaluate.
This weekend I did not listen to that alarm as well as I could have, though I did pay attention. On Sunday my son fell off of a slide. I put him down a slide I've put him down many times before. This time, however, he whapped his head on the curve of the slide. I immediately jumped down another slide knowing that he was going to be pissed when he came out. I found him at the bottom of the slide crying hysterically.
I kiss and cuddle him and talk to him until he calmed down. He even became distracted by a couple of kids eating cheetos! In fact, he wanted down off my lap to chase after those kids. I told him "no" and took him to a swing instead. He screamed bloody murder. I figured it was because he wanted the cheetos. I put him in a swing and he was happy for a second and then began screaming again. I go to take him out and he screamed even more. I figured he was tired, so I took him home for a nap.
Flash forward a few hours and we're at my in-laws. He's still screaming and crying. He seems fine for a time and then just starts screaming. Won't let me pick him up. I had enough. So we take him to the ER. I explain everything to the doctor. The doctor just stares at me like I"m an idiot. He does a brief examination of Alex's body. He only probes the rib cage because that was the only thing I could think of that might have gotten hurt falling off the slide. The doctor ignores everything I say about Alex struggling to eat, get off the ground on his own, running around, etc. He checks Alex's ears and says he has an ear infection and that's why he's so mad.
I've seen my kid with real nasty ear infections and NOTHING has ever made him not want to be picked up or to run around. And no ear infection in the WORLD could ever stop him from eating a meal as fast as humanly possible.
I told the doctor that i wanted a chest x-ray. The ER doctor continued to look at me like I was crazy "You won't see anything. I examined him and there are no sore spots". The x-ray comes back and the doctor said that everything looked normal.
I eat my crow and we go home with a very miserable baby. Monday was awful. Tuesday morning DH wakes up Alex and discovers that his right clavicle is all red and swollen. I beat it over to the ER to get a copy of the x-ray (also made an appointment with his pediatrician). I get the x-ray and pull out the info sheet. What does it say? "Cortical buckling is noted within the mid right clavicle."
I freaked out. I asked what this was about. The imaging receptionist looked at her records and said that we were called Monday morning because the radiologist took another look at the x-ray and found the break. I was home all morning and so was my husband. A quick look at our home phone showed that the radiologist called at 2:12 Monday. After I was at work and DH and the baby were out of the house on errands. We didn't get home until after 7 when we ate, went for a walk, and then everybody went to bed by 9/10pm. My Mom yelled at me about checking my messages but I'm sorry, I was NOT expecting a phone call, the ID on the call just said the city name (a city name we get all the time from friends/family/telemarketers), and sometimes you just don't check messages! I don't live for my home phone! No follow up call, just one call to our voicemail. I've done more call backs when I delivered flowers.
All said and done (after the pediatrician visit) my son's break was confirmed and he is now in a sling. It should heal up within the next couple of weeks.
What kills me is that I had to demand an x-ray and while that's great for me I also chickened out on demanding to see it for myself. If I had done that I would have seen the break. It's not a vague crack. The break is very obvious. The ER doctor just limited his viewing to the rib cage to shut me up. He probably thought I was an overprotective weirdo who goes around demanding special treatment. I believe that he didn't see the break because I also believe that he wasn't actually looking too hard because he dismissed everything I said.
In short, nobody knows your child like you do. Not even the best doctor in the world can possibly be a better expert of what is normal for your child. It is always better to ask for things to settle the nagging voice in the back of your own head than to settle for the soothing one of your doctor. This is YOUR child and you better believe you'll be fighting for them all the time.
'Scuse the bad typing, please. 'Breast is Best' but not when browsing the internet!
Aw, poor thing! Clavicle is a hard place to have an injury! Slings stink! I'm glad they found it, though and you demanded an xray. It's too bad they had to look at the xray more than once to see it, but at least it was found. Wishing him a quick recovery!