Saturday, May 28, 2011

Three Rules for Visiting the Doctor

I have three rules whenever I visit doctor's offices:

1. Dress like a professional--I read an article once about how doctors subconsciously tend to listen better to professionals.

2. Don't wipe the snot--I learned this one from my mom. I have some humorous memories of my mother whispering for me to not wipe my nose until the doctor had seen me. I find myself doing the same thing, "No, let's let that gunk stay in your eye for a few more hours until the doctor can see it."

3. Finally, sticks to the facts and save emotions for the end--I've found it helpful to begin an appointment by simply going over the facts devoid of emotion. I try to just report what a video camera might catch. So instead of beginning an appointment by saying, "I don't know what to do, my son won't sleep and I think I'm losing my mind," (all true), I say, "Here's a sleep log. You can see Sam tends to get up three times a night, sometimes for as long as two hours." Boom. There it is. My response to the sleep is the side-effect, not the root. Now it's quite possible if the doctor shows any hint of a bedside manner I might end up tearing up, but that's normally just at the end.

This last rule has been the most important for us. I neglected to come armed with the facts during my very first doctors visit and was told to try de-cluttering his room so he wasn't distracted at night. Not helpful. I was armed and ready for the next visit. I had charts, graphs, you name it. I kept a journal of what his daytime behavior looked like after a poor night's sleep (attitude, eating, potty-training, the inability to walk in a straight line, etc.)

Sam's been having some noticeable breathing problems the past two nights. Wheezing, coughing, and pathetic, break-your-heart, "Mommy" cries. I probably went a little overboard when I called a respiration therapist and reported the facts. She might have found it a bit odd that a parent could describe her son's breathing problems with scarcely any emotion attached. She ended up supplying the emotion as she vividly described what what was going on with Sam's lungs and how we need to respond. Bottom line, we're on a regiment of using a nebulizer every 4 hours for the next little bit. This includes the night--which actually is no big deal since we're up at least that amount anyway. Thankfully, Riley has 24-hour-on-call sleep/pulmonology doctors that I can call with questions without feeling like a bother.

I feel so bad for the little guy. These past few nights he's been a little honey. Just so sad.

We head back to Riley next Friday for the results of the sleep study as well as next steps. (And yes, it's killing me to know that he results are in and just sitting in his file. And yes, I'm calling every day to see if the doctor has looked at them and/or whether or not there is a cancellation so we can go sooner.)

In addition to praying for Sam's health, we're needing prayer for the rest of the family as well. Being up regularly with Sam means any cold I catch just lingers [insert Cranberries song here]. Also, I'm preaching at a two week youth camp in Iowa in the middle of June with both kids. I'm really looking forward to the camp, but am experiencing some anxiety at the thought of preaching on so little sleep. We're still praying/hunting for someone to travel with us. Thanks for joining us in prayer.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Glass-Turner said...

Prayers for you all. I've had asthma, to greater and lesser degrees, for years: it can be scary. Spring and fall are always worse for me as the allergens in the environment spike. (Started w/ it in Indiana, too!)
You're in our prayers. Peace and love.