Tuesday, June 7, 2011

when it doesn't pay to be a medical-info junkie

I've always been fascinated by all things related to the medical practice.  I didn't play house with my dolls, I played hospital.  When I was 9, I got a bad case of chicken pox and then I passed them on to my three younger siblings.  Since I had them first, I got better before they did.  My mom still has charts I made to keep track of their medicine dosage.

Some of my friends tease me about how much I know about illnesses, diseases, medical procedures etc. I love most medical shows.  My friends call or text me their medical questions.

When it comes to my kids, this fascination I have is usually a positive thing.  I typically know when my kids have an infection and need antibiotics or when it's just a virus.  I hate wasting the $15 co-pay to be told it's a virus and will have to work itself out.  So I learned and listened to the doctors explain things.

However, it also means I tend to overthink medical things.  Like right now.  Lily still had a 103 fever this morning and was downright miserable.  I was hoping to go to work and leave her with my mother-in-law to rest and watch movies.  But she needed so much attention this morning that I knew she needed mama.

The doctor told me yesterday that after the antibiotic shots I should see some improvement today.  Still having a 104 fever at 4am and then 103 at 9am was not on par with the improvement I was expecting.

I spoke with the nurse who told me some signs to look for of other serious medical issues that would necessitate an immediate appointment (none of which she has).  He also told me that so far, her urine culture wasn't growing anything.  If she does have a UTI, the culture will grow the infection.  (sorry if that just grossed you out.)  24 hours is the typical incubation period, and it had only been about half that when I talked to him.  Which is why our follow-up appointment is on Wednesday, when those results will be conclusive.

And now my mind races.  What if it isn't a UTI?  Where is the infection in her?  How did she go from perfectly fine on Saturday night, to an average fever on Sunday to a raging fever on Monday complete with a bad bacterial infection.

This is when it doesn't pay to be a medical info junkie.

I'm thankful I was able to stay home and care for her today and her fever is coming down, a degree at a time.  The antibiotic she received yesterday is effective for a wide range of infections so we are on the road to recovery.

We'll see what our follow-up appointment holds tomorrow.

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