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To take my dds to the Doctors .....

(28 Posts)
lavenderbongo Thu 15-Oct-09 04:51:12

I hate going to the Doctors as I feel like an over anxious parent almost every time I go. My dds have never (thank goodness!) had any serious illness but I admit I do tend to panic if they are even slightly unwell.

Over the last few days dd2 (2 years old)has been feeling poorly in a general sense. She has been lethargic, quiet and not eating much. All she had yesterday was a few bites from a slice of toast, a few peas and a few bites of an apple. Anyway last night she has a very high temperature (39.1) and the shakes really badly when she got out of the bath. This morning she still has a high temperature so I make an appointment for her at the Doctors this afternoon.

Dd1 (5 years old has had green, slightly runny poo for the last two days which has obviously been worrying me as well. She has no other symptoms but clearly green poo is not normal! So I ask for an appointment for her at the same time.

So it turn out that the doctor can find nothing really wrong with either of them and I am left yet again feeling like an over anxious mother with too much time on my hands! Apparently children do get green poo from time to time and its nothing to worry about - this is news to me!

My question is - am I unreasonable to take my kids to the doctor over this kind of thing?

Are these things that you would take your kids to the Doctor with?

SarfEasticated Thu 15-Oct-09 06:59:49

I would have taken my children with the same symptoms, IMO they are too precious to take any chances with their health.

Don't worry about the doctor thinking you're a timewaster, it's part of their job after all.

ErnestTheBavarian Thu 15-Oct-09 07:09:38

I don't think you're over anxious by what you've said and I always feel like a neurotic mother when I go to the docs too. I would though have not gone to the docs till dc had the temp for 3 days assuming there was nothing alarming of course. If it's a bacterial infection it doesn't show up right at the beginning, so a test done after 1 day of a temperature is likely to come back negative, but positive on the 3rd day ifswim. My ds3 has in the last few months started to devolo high temperatures (39-41) and they tend to last 3 days or so. <I would be at the docs every 3 or 4 weeks atm if I went straight away!

PfftTheMagicDragon Thu 15-Oct-09 07:14:01

Did your DD's temp go down with paracetamol or ibuprofen? I'm not sure if I would have taken her so soon into a temperature TBH, I mean, the not eating is normal when they are under the weather.

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 15-Oct-09 07:15:40

Have you considered swine flu?

lavenderbongo Thu 15-Oct-09 07:19:50

Hi - thanks for the replies.

Pfft - yes the temperature did go down but was up again by the morning. I think your right and perhapes I should have waited a bit longer but its the way didnt have any energy and was just lolling around on the sofa barely moving. I just go into panic mode and can't bare the thought of anything being seriously wrong.

Wallace Thu 15-Oct-09 07:51:01

No I wouldn't take my children to the doctor for what you described.

Sorry, you did ask blush

mo3g Thu 15-Oct-09 07:56:31

I would have taken my children to the doctors aswell better to get them checked than sit at home worrying imo

Romanarama Thu 15-Oct-09 08:01:18

I usually wait for 24hrs of temp, but only because experience shows that docs rarely find something to treat before then. If it was Friday I'd just go without waiting though. It's a GP's job to see sick children, nothing to apologise for.

anonacfr Thu 15-Oct-09 08:21:17

Fevers happen but I would be very worried and definitely go to the doctors if any of my kids were lethargic and acting out of the ordinary.
DD through the years has had very high temperatures but still been 'well' enough to watch TV, read books or eat properly.

Anything that caused her to change her behaviour would really worry me.

clayre Thu 15-Oct-09 08:29:01

Wallace i wouldnt take them to the Dr for them symptoms either, unless they have been going on for about 4 days and showing no sign of improvment, on the other hand the woman a few doors up from would have called an ambulance for her son (and has done in the past) for them sysmptoms!

WurzelBoot Thu 15-Oct-09 08:36:38

No, you are not unreasonable to take your children to the doctors if you think they are ill.

My story (in brief). Daughter at 9 months had a high temperature and what we thought was an ear infection. She was given amoxycillin. This is fine and normal and in most cases would solve the problem.

At 10 months, she'd been struggling with a fever. I took her to the doctors on the Thursday and they checked her thoroghly and send me home finding nothing. On Friday I wasn't happy with how she was so repeated the experience. On the Saturday morning, she was in my bed at 5 blazing hot. I turned the light on and noted she was covered head to foot with a rash. Now she springs a rash with every cold she gets so I'm very experienced in the blanching test. They blanched fine, but she wasn't 'right'. I called NHS direct and they told me to take her to OOH which is at the local hospital.

We got there an hour later and she was now quite distressed. I took her into the consulting room and showed the doctor the rash. He told me if she was his child he'd be inclined to wait an hour. He also told me that she wouldn't be this responsive if she was really ill - but to my mind she was so much lower than she usually is; very clingy, very whiny - not even vaguely herself. Then she went floppy. Then I noticed that some of the rash wasn't blanching any more. He decided to call the children's hospital for a consult and we sat there for a few minutes watching this sodding non blanching rash erupting all over her body. He made another call, this time saying it was an emergency and he needed paediatric help immediately. By the time we got her to the treatment room in the children's hospital (about 3 minutes later), her hands and legs were very dark purple. The doctor wouldn't leave nor let the nurse leave 'just in case'. She was pumped full of saline and she seemed OK. About 6 hours later I noticed that her legs were purple again and we had to go through the whole bloody lot again. She was given a cocktail of fairly hefty antibiotics every twelve hours.

She was amazingly discharged the next day as she seemed to be getting better, though she still had a cannula in and needed to go back for more antibiotics.

Now that's just half of the story. Here's where it gets relevant to the OP - sorry, I know this is hideously long.

The next 4 months were hell. She had fevers more often than she didn't. I think the longest I had between doctors trips was about 10 days. They could never find anything wrong. It got to the point where the doctors were saying 'it's teething' and I would say 'she's been on Ibuprofen and paracetamol for a week - that's not teething' and they'd say 'there's nothing wrong.' I sat there and made one doctor go through her history and pointed out this much fever wasn't normal. She decided I was a 'worrier'.

Nursery wouldn't take her because she was in such distress that she needed one on one care. I also had to work full time, and the doctors couldn't find anything.

Eventually she got up one morning and her left ear appeared to have slid down the side of her head. I recognised that wasn't right and took her to the doctor, asking Husband to check with the nursery if it had been knocked (didn't think so, they're excellent at reporting these things). Doctor assumed it was a skin infection and gave me antibiotics and instructions to watch like a hawk for signs of septicaemia. Joy.

Two days later it was no better and finally, joy of joy I was referred to the children's hospital. The ENT expert diagnosed 'mastoiditis' immediately (this is very rare in this day and age). She was operated on that evening to remove the massive cyst in the mastoid bone (the removed the bone).

And thus ended the weekly doctors trips. There also appears to be notes on her file that she is seen immediately due to her now extremely poor immune system and notes to say 'listen to the mother'.

Yes, I've been back in a panic when there has been nothing wrong but I've never since been made to feel small, or like a hypochondriac freak when I know there is something wrong.

Now the disclaimer; this does not mean that there is automatically something wrong with your children (the symptoms sound like a nasty virus but I'm not a doctor, nor have seen them). But I'm very, very aware that if I'd have accepted the 'teething' diagnosis Claudia would not have lived.

If you are not sure whether a doctor is necessary, you could ask to have a phone call, or speak to NHS direct. The worry is hideous, but it is not wrong, and it is absolutely not unreasonable. Ultimately, all of us are our children's first triage. It's up to us to work out whether they need medical help and to get them there if they do. Some of us may be more overcautious than others, but I would never, ever, ever say that a mother shouldn't go to the doctors if she fears for her child's health.

WurzelBoot Thu 15-Oct-09 08:37:13

Oooo - sorry that was so long! It seemed shorter in my head!

lavenderbongo Thu 15-Oct-09 08:43:14

Some interesting replies - thanks. Good to see some people agree with me.

I dont want to give the impression that I go to the Doctors all the time - as this is the first time I have been in about 6 months.

In my defence - Its very difficult to judge how ill a 2yr old is and surely you can only base your illness assessment on vague things like changes in behaviour.

Wallace - green poo wouldn't worry you or a lethargic and feverish 2 yr old?

I do use NHS direct online to see what symptoms indicate but I couldn't find green poo. Maybe they could have a more in depth symptom spotter to give advice which could filter out unnecessary trips to the GPs. On the other hand this could be potentially dangerous.

lavenderbongo Thu 15-Oct-09 08:48:14

OMG - WurzelBoot- that must have been terrifying for you all. I am so glad your dd is ok now.

Your story has made me feel a lot better. I am aware that I do panic too much at times when the dds are ill but I think - as you say - that I will always trust my instincts.

2rebecca Thu 15-Oct-09 08:58:13

Reasonable to take your children to the GPs but I doubt the GP really found nothing wrong with them and just found nothing requiring a prescription ie it was viral which most childhood and adult illnesses are. Green poo is common in diarrhoeal viral illnesses in small kids. It's black/red/ blood stained poo your GP would worry about.

BexieID Thu 15-Oct-09 09:01:14

I weanted to take Tom to the docs on thurs/fri last week due to high temp and him complaining of a sore ear, but first available appt was tuesday just gone!

ramonaquimby Thu 15-Oct-09 09:05:04

no i wouldn't have taken them to the drs either

i don't think you're unreasonable in doing so tho

Firawla Thu 15-Oct-09 09:16:49

i would have taken for the 2 yrs old temp, not sure about the green poo if that dd was feeling alright in herself i might have left it. but def not U to take them, if you are worried its better to just go and get them checked, im sure GPs would agree with that. its only 10 mins apt just to make sure, better safe than sorry

curiositykilled Thu 15-Oct-09 09:47:21

I would not take mine for a high temp unless it was still high after I had tried to reduce it with paracetamol and cooling. I would not take for green poo.

You can only do things your way however, if you try to do it a way that doesn't come naturally then your children might not be as well looked after. I think you are probably over anxious but NU to take the 2 year old for the temperature. Just do it your way and don't worry. There's plenty more anxious than you who take to the GP at the first sign of a sniffle or cough!

curiositykilled Thu 15-Oct-09 09:57:37

Oh also, very normal for a child with a fever to experience very scary looking symptoms such as lethargy and hallucinations. The worry comes if the fever is not reduced after giving paracetamol. It sounds like the fever was reduced with paracetamol but that when the medicine wore off it came back. In that situation what I would have done is carried on giving paracetamol for the temp and if it the DC still had a temp for a couple of days or the fever did not reduce with medicine I would take to GP. Paracetamol doesn't treat the cause of the illness, it treats the pain and the fever symptoms so you couldn't necessarily expect to give one treatment of paracetamol and the symptoms to disappear. BUT, still, do it your way. Don't try doing it other people's way. Much better to be instinctive in your responses where these things are concerned like Wurzel said.

curiositykilled Thu 15-Oct-09 10:00:13

Oh and children have green poo if they've eaten blue food colouring. I wouldn't worry about the colour unless it was black which can indicate blood. I would worry about the consistency more than the colour but would not take to the doctor for diarrhoea with no other symptoms unless it persisted for a while.

Stigaloid Thu 15-Oct-09 10:25:12

I would have taken mine - especially the 2 year old as young kids cna go down hill very quickly and betetr to be safe than sorry. if your instinct tells you they are sick then listen to it. Best she gets seen asap incase an infection is setting in so you can get on top of it quicker IMO. The Dr's are there to treat those unwell and you shouldn't feel like an over anxious parent if you believe them to be unwell.

Milkmade Thu 15-Oct-09 10:29:26

WE're quite lucky in that our GP receptionist is a nurse, and she goes through symptoms on the phone, then prioritises giving out appointments, and will also help me decide if a visit is required (though she has also said that their policy is for under 12months, if the parent is worried enough to call, they get them in that day). I like it as a filter system as it means I don't agonise about whether to call or not.

roulade Thu 15-Oct-09 13:42:13

My Ds had a high temp for 2 days when he was 19mths old which did come down with calpol & ibuprofen taken together ( as was recommended at the time ) but i took him to the docs ( i am a worrier ) and we were sent straight to hospital as the gp could not count his pulse as it was too fast and he spent the next week on IV antibiotics being treated for menigitis.
When i recounted the story at a nurse appointment she basically told me off for leaving it so long and said thet she would see a doctor if her child needed meds to bring down a temp more than 3 times in a row.

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