Thursday, November 20, 2008

Headlines: Phone Nurse goes Crazy!


Yep. That sums it up well.

I have been working phones the last week at the peds office I work for part time. (This means I run triage, I filter all the incoming calls of parents who have questions for the doctors and their nurses.)

Along with this I have started reading this book, "Paranoid Parenting: Why Ignoring the Experts May Be Best for Your Child" (full of facts but interesting so far... now if I can just finish it...)

The two fit very well together. I really honestly think they need to make a book for parents about COMMON SENSE parenting... I don't know if this has been done for the medical field yet but they should make if FREE and available to ALL PARENTS. Here are some pieces of advice I have been giving out and I'll let you wonder as to what the questions were....

*No, there is NOTHING you can do for a baby's cold. There is no medicine to give them. There is nothing to drug them up with so that they can sleep and so that you can sleep. IT'S A COLD. Snot is good, coughing is good. YES, they can still breath while they are eating. YES IT WILL BE LOUD BREATHING and NO THEY ARE NOT SUFFOCATING(they would be blue). Yes, they will have colds back to back growing up.... seems like they are always sick... that's ok, it happens, it's called germs.
ADVICE GIVEN: Saline drops and nasal suction, humidifier at night, sleep in up right position for drainage. Colds can last for up to THREE weeks at a time.

**No, I will not write an excuse for your child's school if they have a cold. They should go to school. If you feel they get sick there or that they will spread something, then you should keep them home but for those reasons... if you don't like the idea of germs at school... then maybe consider home schooling....

*Vomiting. We will not do anything for your vomiting child until they have been vomiting for over 48-72 hours. It's called a GASTROINTESTINAL VIRUS. We all get it. We've all HAD it. Children throw up and all though it may look disgusting and sound scary... it's a part of life. That is exactly WHY our bodies have the ability to puke, throw our cookies, hurl, etc. DON'T TRY TO FORCE YOUR CHILD TO DRINK OR EAT RIGHT AFTER THEY VOMIT. (This is really amazing.... some actually try to feed their children immediately after they throw up!) Ask yourself... how do you feel when you've been throwing up? Do you want to eat and drink right afterwards? I know I don't.
ADVICE GIVEN: Let the stomach rest for 2-4 hours. Start with SMALL sips of pedialyte/gatorade/water. If they hold this down for 4 hours, then introduce SOFT foods. (NOT HOT DOGS)

*These are NOT emergencies and do not need to go to the ER: An ear infection. A fever. A cold. A dry cough. Won't sleep at night. A urinary tract infection. Etc..... This is why ER's are closing all over the country, because many people use them as a doctor's office. It's not. It's for emergencies.

*THESE ARE ALL EMERGENCIES: If your child is hit in the head and it's gaping open. If your child falls and loses consciousness. If your child is working so hard to breath their ribs cages are sucking in and out with each breath. If your child's lips are turning blue while breathing. If they fall and their arm/leg/finger/ is bent in a "funny direction". Don't call me! Go to the ER, THAT is what the ER is for!

*If your child is "really sick" and I offer you an appointment, take it. Don't tell me it doesn't "work with your schedule". If your child is really THAT sick, they should be seen.

*Diarrhea. It sucks, I know.... ( We all get diarrhea at some point in our lives. Yes, it can last for 2-3 weeks! If your child is not running a fever, is eating, and playing, then let them POOP. Better out then in. Do NOT give them anti-diarrheals, adults maybe, children NO.
ADVICE GIVEN: push fluids, change them frequently, let their little bottoms air dry, TRY A PROBIOTIC (really, no one knows this one! It's over the counter and helps to restore the natural flora in the gut... works WONDERS!!)

*Dehydration: Yes, then can be an emergency but most of the time it's not. There are excellent ways to tell if a child is dehydrated: No tears, no urine for 8-12 hours, no spit in their mouths. If you think about this logically, it's the same for adults! If they don't have any of these, relax, they are going to be ok.....

*Fever: It's a good thing.

*Lice. It is absolutely ridiculous that children have lice for 6 weeks at a time. If they do, then a step was missed in the treatment process somewhere. And the crazy thing about lice is that the BEST WAY to get rid of it is PARENTAL GROOMING. The medical shampoo does help BUT you need to TAKE THE TIME to sit with your child and go through EVERY STRAND of hair and get rid of the eggs (nits). If you know you have done all this and they STILL get lice, then you need to talk to family and friends, find out if someone they are around all the time has it.... and no, you can't get lice by standing next to someone with it. And yes, even the thought of it makes my head itch like crazy....

*For new parents: Babies have gas, it's normal. Babies can't really taste their formula. Holding a baby will not spoil a baby. Babies don't need 10 layers of clothes in the winter inside a house. Babies cry, it's their only form of communication, that's why they cry. And no, babies are NEVER like the book you just read about babies.

*(This ones for John) Nose bleeds: Tell your child to stop picking their nose!

*Last but not least: STOP READING THE INTERNET! There are a few good sources out there... but some are seriously crazy and most will give you worse case version.... stop, take a breath, and calm down.

This all sounds very bitter but it's really not. I encounter numerous people that are rude, treat me like an idiot, and some who actually hang up on me when they don't like what advice I give them. I'm not giving this advice with out knowledge. I have numerous doctors who back up everything written here. I have 2 books about 500 pages thick each that say most of the stuff written here. Just stop treating me like I'm an idiot and I will return the favor. I don't mind educating people about these things, I enjoy it.... but I don't enjoy it when the advice is not taken into consideration.

Hell.... you don't think I learned some of this just by reading do you? I've done a lot of silly things as a first time parent as well... I've been to the ER with out need, I have been in a panic when my children are sick. I have doubted myself when they get "really sick". I have also learned a lot by doing it myself and listening to my own advice. I have had a child with a fever of 106 degrees and brought it down myself. I have had lice in my house and got rid of it. I and the the whole family had diarrhea for over 2 weeks, we survived. My kids have been dehydrated and I have rehydrated them at home. My kids have puked everywhere! (and they're still alive!)

I feel better now :-)

I hope this advice makes it somewhere!
*****(HALF HOUR LATER) THIS IS NOT FUNNY: I write this little ditty of a blog... I go pick up Zak from school... and he PUKES all over the street and again when we get home.... SHIT HAPPENS :-) (It will really suck if I start puking! :-)


-jd said...

I have to ask you to take the link down of the "worst time of my life" aka "butt-pee-a-palooza". My asshole puckers just thinking of it.

Miles To Go Before I Sleep...... said...

Well John, my belly is rollin' watching Zak hurl! Purple Puke is NASTY!!! Way worse then your butthole puckering! :-)

Anonymous said...

My, my, My... did you let it all out. I guess that's what this is for!!! Live and learn, how I learned, how you learned, how others will learn. It's life!!!

YanniFan said...

OMG! you two are NASTY!!!!! I say this with LOVE! ..........PURPLE puke???? what in heaven's name did zak eat???

Dana, all of your advice is SPOT ON! but, there is a cure for all childhood ailments.........POPSICLES!!!!! ;-)

ChiTown Girl said...

Girl, that's what I LOVE about you. You tell it like it is, and there's no holding back. You rock! This was a great post. I wish I could print it out and give it to all my parents at school.

JD, thanks for putting that "puckering" image in my head!!!

Miles To Go Before I Sleep...... said...

mom-- that is what this blog is for :-) If I let it out here, then i don't yell at anyone who doesn't deserve it :-)

yannifan-- Zak apparently ate a black cupcake at school (and apparently... black icing turns everything in your stomach purple!) Here's more nasty... it looked like PURPLE SLUSH! and it was ALL over my WHITE scrubs.. yet I'm happy it wasn't in my car!! And I'm glad my advice is good, coming from someone who works in the childcare field! And I agree... popsicles are great... just not purple ones for awhile!

Chitown-- I would hope you would print it out! :-) I could go on for awhile but I figured I was boring people... i even tried hard to keep "nurse" words out of it :-)
Glad u like me the way I am :-) Some people don't! ( I KNOW! It's SOOO hard to believe! :-)

three moons said...

phew.... I bet that was cathartic!