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To expect maternal instinct to be taken a little more seriously

(18 Posts)
IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Apr-13 13:29:40

I know the counter argument to this will be that GPs would waste a lot of their time, however...

DS (2.3) has just been discharged from a 3 day stay in hospital on IV abx for an ear infection that got out of control and lead to mastoiditis. He is very lucky not to have ended up in surgery.

He suffers with glue ear and has done since birth really. He had grommets at 18 mo - so when it comes to his ears I am quite experienced. Not saying I know much about ENT but I know my son. So when I have taken him to the fucking GP surgery three times in two weeks as 3 courses of antibiotics aren't working and there is pus streaming down his face - which means I have to change his clothes almost every hour - I would like them to listen when I point out he is really quite poorly.

But no, I get fobbed off - until he is so bad I walk in with him and the GP said "I don't need to examine him he's got to go to hospital now". With an ear so distorted it was barely recognizable.

Yes, prob BU but I needed to rant. Thank you. And yes, I know an ear infection isn't all that serious, I'm just angry!!

Snoopingforsoup Mon 22-Apr-13 13:36:11

YANBU. I have had similar experiences with a certain GP at my Practice who I try to dodge like the plague. She is useless. The other GP's there are not.
You have my sympathy, that sounds awful for the poor little boy and for you.
I would perhaps try another GP if possible. Move practice, that sounds pretty bloody crap from where I'm sitting. I'm no doctor but if I saw a child with pus dripping out of his ear, I would be stirred into making sure it was cleared immediately...perhaps we're just old fashioned.

thebitchdoctor Mon 22-Apr-13 13:45:23

YANBU to be angry, I have ever sympathy there my DD suffers terribly with ear infections too sad

...but I think YABU a little bit that you were fobbed off. I'm not sure what else you expected the GP to do initially. It's hard to predict when an infection becomes so serious is warrants admission and I say that as a doctor and also someone recently admitted to hospital after multiple courses of oral antibiotics didnt work. I wasn't fobbed off, I was given the appropriate treatment however I quickly developed a nasty secondary infection unfortunately.

I hope your little one feels better soon.

HeySoulSister Mon 22-Apr-13 13:46:52

Er,how is that maternal instinct?

HeySoulSister Mon 22-Apr-13 13:47:51

Why did you let his ear get so distorted it wasn't recognisable? Didn't you think to just go to a and e ??

StuntGirl Mon 22-Apr-13 13:49:41

Knowing he was ill due to pus running down his face is hardly a sign of maternal instinct! grin

That said I'm sorry your son is ill and I hope he gets better soon.

HeySoulSister Mon 22-Apr-13 13:50:35

Lol so a father couldn't see he was ill either?

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Apr-13 13:51:41

Because I knew he was poorly when, to the GP, he didn't look that bad. That's maternal instinct.
And his ear swelled overnight - I had a GP appt for 9am already and I knew if I went there and got a referral letter I'd be seen a lot quicker than waiting at A&E. And, I also had to take my DD with me and she is covered in chicken pox and I didn't want to spread that around A&E. As it was we were able to be immediately quarantined.

HeySoulSister Mon 22-Apr-13 14:08:32

But the gp knew he was poorly?? He prescribed ab's .... Not like he sent you away saying you were imagining a problem!!

DoJo Mon 22-Apr-13 14:31:20

YABU - if GPs sent every mother who was convinced that there was something wrong with their child to hospital in spite of the child showing no signs of being seriously ill, then there would be immense pressure on the hospital system. They can only go on the symptoms presented at the time they saw him, and it sounds as though they did prescribe him antibiotics, so not exactly ignoring the problem. The fact that it didn't get better and in fact got worse doesn't mean that they could have treated the resulting secondary infection before it happened. Whilst I can completely understand that it must have been horrid for you and your son to go through this, it does sound as though you were taken seriously by your GP who did their best to treat the symptoms your son had. I hope he feels better soon.

thebitchdoctor Mon 22-Apr-13 14:40:34

YABU to not take him to A&E when you knew his ear had swollen up overnight just because you thought he would be seen quicker in a hospital with a doctors letter in the morning.

DeWe Mon 22-Apr-13 14:44:18

Actually our GP does go by mother's instincts. He says that if a mother comes in saying that she really feels there's something wrong he'll make the referals. 90% of the time it's been proved right, even when medically there hasn't been anything to pick up on.* I have on two occasions said that I'm not comfortable with treatment and he's listened and referred me (correctly) both times.
He says fathers and grandparents do not have the same instinct.

It has the advantage that I know if I phone up and say I need to be seen urgently then I'll see him within half an hour, because he takes it seriously.

But on what you describe there's nothing above what I've had with my ds, and he's recovered with antibiotics, although it's taken a long time. SO on the face of it then the Gp was probably right in most cases.

I assume they swabbed the gunk for testing, as ds sometimes has ear infections that have antibiotic resistance, so he has to change antibiotics.

*Disclaimer: I suspect it also goes with the GP knowing the parent-so if a parent frequently comes in and says they need to be referred she knows they're going to die from the graze on the knee, he probably ignores that.

mrslaughan Mon 22-Apr-13 16:55:43

I absolutely agree with you. Had similar situation with DS - big in this country and bit as severe. BUT I have to say - I think GP's on this country are crap - maybe its the NHS/ push them through attitude, but the standard of care is appalling.

JedwardScissorhands Mon 22-Apr-13 17:13:46

On the fence.

Were the 3 visits after the second ABs?

Or was it more like visit 1 - ABs, visit 2 - change ABs, visit 3 - refer to hospital.

SouthernComforts Mon 22-Apr-13 17:21:40

Yanbu in your case,

insanityscratching Mon 22-Apr-13 17:22:45

I once took ds aged 8 months to A&E after he had been violently sick. He was my second child, ds 1 had been sick many times before and I'd never been to A&E with either of them previously. I have no idea why I took him but I just had a feeling that something was wrong. Triage dismissed me as over anxious but the Dr admitted him to the children's ward "as a precaution" because I was convinced by then something really was wrong.
On children's ward the nurse was really snappy telling me "all children are sick sometimes" and "she would have thought with him being my second I would have been a bit less anxious about a bit of vomit"
Within hours ds started to deteriorate and the Doctors started querying meningitis but he was clear and then when I said he'd missed a dirty nappy they discovered he'd got an intussusception of his bowel and needed transferring to the childrens' hospital for surgery

insanityscratching Mon 22-Apr-13 17:26:27

The Doctor who diagnosed it who had obviously been subject to the snappy nurse's views made a point of telling her in front of me "and that is mother's instinct and this is why we should be listening to them" wink

SouthernComforts Mon 22-Apr-13 17:27:25

Gahh.. lost the rest of my post.

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