I often wonder about the life of a blogger outside of blogging…
When I first started The Clever Carrot, I wasn’t sure how personal it was going to be, especially when it came to my kids. With that said, I had a recipe for you today but I am not going to publish it. I’m feeling compelled to share a different kind of story, one that doesn’t involve any food at all. In doing so, I hope to inspire those who might find themselves in a similar situation. Because when it comes to your kids, they trump everything.
(Go get yourself some coffee and a snack… this is a long one).
Two days ago, Jake woke up with a really nasty bite on his upper thigh. It looked like a ‘bulls-eye’. Was it a tick?
We went to the pediatrician to have it checked out.
She wasn’t convinced.
Because he showed no other signs that pointed to Lyme disease (fever, rash, pain), the doctor suggested it could possibly be an infected mosquito or spider bite. She wanted to run some tests first before prescribing treatment. I understood where she was coming from, and appreciated that fact that she wanted to approach with caution. But for some reason, it just didn’t sit well with me…
3 hours later, Jake got a fever. Then a rash.
I called the doctor again, but it was after hours so I could only speak to the nurse practitioner. She told me that he would probably need antibiotics, but only the doctor cold make that call… in the morning.
I protested. This can’t wait! Should I take him to the ER?!
She said no. It would be absolutely fine to wait until the morning.
Again, another response that didn’t sit well with me, but I was caught between overreacting and trusting my instincts.
So, we gave him some Advil for the fever, made a little nest in our bed, and watched him like a hawk the whole night.
The next morning, I got all packed up and went straight to the doctor.
Ugh. I had no gas.
When I finally got there, just my luck- walk in hours were over. I missed it by 3 minutes! The earliest I could get an appointment would be at 11:15…
OMG. Are you kidding me?!?!? Can’t you just squeeze me in?
So now, back in the car mentally cursing out everyone in that office, my cell phone rings.
It’s the doctor.
Jake’s test came back negative across the board. No Lyme disease. No bacterial infection. But what about the fever and the rash? She concluded that it was a ‘viral coincidence’ and these things happen more often than you’d think. No treatment was necessary.
Coincidence? I think I stopped listening to her at this point.
No mother or any parent for that matter, wants to hear that their little child with a fever of 102+, a skin rash that’s spreading, and a bite mark consistent of a tick was just a coincidence.
I needed a second opinion.
I ended up taking him to a walk-in urgent care facility right by our new house. I needed an immediate answer.
Coincidentally, this pediatrician had done personal research on Lyme disease as her best friend had it for 5 years (undiagnosed). She explained to me how very little is known about this disease. Most tests are horribly inaccurate, and cannot detect the infection in its early stages. In Jake’s case, even though his test came back negative she felt strongly that he needed treatment for Lyme disease based on his current condition.
And exhale… Now I was starting to see the light. I just knew something wasn’t right.
So, where do we go from here?
Jake will need antibiotics for 3 weeks, 3x a day to blast this out of his system (sigh…). Thankfully, we caught it in its early stages and can be fully treated. I don’t know how or when the tick got him, but I’ve learned that ticks are everywhere- not just lurking in tall grass and on deer. I’ve also learned that Lyme disease tests are only about 25% accurate. Request a ‘Western Blot’ which is an additional test that helps to detect a false negative. When in doubt, just ask.
As I scroll through Instagram tonight, trying to drain my brain before bed (while simultaneously devouring a box of Trader Joe’s mini biscotti), I contemplate whether or not to post this. Then, I thought about my life as a blogger and I knew that the pork tenderloin I made for dinner could wait. Like I said, kids trump everything. I hope that this story finds you well, and if anything, inspires you to keep your little ones close, hug them tight, and to always trust your instincts. ♥
In addition to speaking with the doctor who suggested treatment for Jake, we spoke with a handful of industry professionals including a pediatric doctor for infectious diseases (thanks to my husband!) and my dear friend who’s a nurse. They all agreed that we did the right thing. We are forever grateful for their encouragement and support.
Please look on Netflix for a documentary on lymes disease. Just type it into the search bar and it will come up. The worst part about lymes disease is that it’s a man made virus. Do some research. Needless to say after much pain and anguish I no longer live on the east coast. From CT not far from Lyme.
Well, let me start by telling you a story about a physician with whom I once worked. A patient came in toward the end of her pregnancy and she said that she truly felt there was “something wrong with the baby.” We performed a number of tests, and all were within normal limits. However, the physician looked at the woman and said “You know this baby better than anyone else in the world, and if you believe something is not right, let’s send you for more testing.” Sure enough, further investigation revealed placental insufficiency, and the baby was quickly delivered. All was well. My point is that one must trust one’s gut, especially where health situations are concerned. Do not ever let anyone tell you that you are “three minutes late.” My sincere advice, as a health care professional, is to address the “three minute” issue with your pediatriciin should you decide to remain under his or her care. There is no place in medicine for the martinet, a nurse who rules with an iron hand. I will be frank; the individual who refused you “walk-in’ accommodation on the basis of 180 seconds (180, I will repeat it) is in the wrong line of work. Our raison d’etre as nurses is to comfort and assist patients, to be their advocates, not to roll over them with absurd rules. I am so glad to hear that your son, who is an absolute doll, is alright. Rock on, Mom. You are doing a wonderful job.
Pam Green says
It’s so scary how common lyme disease seems to be these days especially back east. I’m so glad you guys pursued it and got the right diagnosis.
Oh Em! That sounds so incredibly stressful!!! I am glad that you got a solid second opinion in the end and that Jake is now on his way back to health. Although Aaron and I don’t have kids yet, I’ve been progressively learning through our friends that a ‘mother’s instinct’ (or father’s instinct!) is often right, despite ‘expert opinions’ that say otherwise. I’m glad that you can rest and breathe again now!! And I’m glad that you posted this snapshot of life as it happens. I think that your experience will definitely help others in some way, shape or form! Hugs xxxx
Connie Raffa says
As a health care attorney, I know that you have to be proactive when involved with any health care system and speak up. Good for you Emilie!!! Auntie Connie
Thank you Auntie! Love you! xoxo
Sounds like listening to your instinct was the right thing to do, so glad your son’s going to be all right, this must of been a frightening time for you and your family.
Hi Cheri! Yes, it was definitely the right thing to do, though not necessarily the easiest. It’s so difficult sometimes to go against ‘trusted’ professional advice vs. your own. It was a little scary, but in the end, I’m glad that we went with our gut instinct. Thank you so much for stopping by!! :) x
Do you remember the scene from terms of endearment, when Shirley Mclaine screams, “Give my daughter pain medicine now!” or something like that. I’ve had to pull that act before many times, after not going with my gut and insisting something was wrong when I was pregnant. It’s especially odd when it’s a male OB and they act like they know better. Anyway, I’m so glad your sweet son will be okay.
Ah, yes. That was me. I felt like my head was going to explode! Thank you Mimi for making me laugh :)
JJ - 84thand3rd says
Oh my goodness, how scary, I hope you told the original doctor what all the others said about her diagnosis… It is hard to know how much to share but so long as it feels right to you, who cares what other people think! I hope sharing this helped your frame of mind a bit, and who knows, it may help some other mum who’s sitting there thinking something isn’t quite right but isn’t sure what to do! xx
Hi JJ! You know, I’m actually leaving that practice. Our original pediatrician is still out on vacation, and every time I think about that office I get chills. So, I think it’s time to leave. Plus, the urgent care facility that I took Jake to for our second opinion also functions as a traditional doctor’s office. I was so impressed with their service (I’ve been back twice since) and it’s closer to our new house. Trusting your instincts pt. 2? Some things are meant to be! :)
Good for you on staying strong and listening to your instincts and fighting for your boy x
Thank you Nancy! That means so much, and I really appreciate your support :)
You are a good Mama indeed! We have to be proactive these days concerning our health and the health of our children. We must take NOTHING for granted. I am going through something like this right now. One doctor says I am terribly anemic and the other says I am fine. One a man who does not seem to care and a lady doctor who cares very much. All these bruises for nothing? I think not. We have only one life and one body. We must take care of it!
Hi Joyce! Trust me when I tell you that I can totally relate to your situation- so sorry to hear that you have conflicting opinions. What stress! I’m sure you already know this, but get as many opinions as you can until you feel comfortable going forward. Sometimes it’s easier to do this when it involves other people than yourself, but your persistence will definitely pay off. Sending you a big hug and wishing you all of the best :)
So glad to listened to your intuition! Lyme’s is extremely prevalent here on Nantucket and I’ve been bitten multiple times. I’m always searching Iley for ticks. The antibiotics should do the trick but are hard on our immune systems. You probably know this already but probiotcs are good to take while he’s on the antibiotic regimen. Yogurt, kefir and kombucha all contain them naturally. Hope your little one feels better soon. xo Kaity
Hi Kaity! So sweet to see you here :) Did you have to do a course of antibiotics as well for your bites? They really are hard on our bodies. I have Jake on probiotics (in between doses-spaced out) and we do kefir smoothies in the morning. It’s a lot of work! But totally worth it. Thank you for your well wishes xx
I saw this shared on a FB post and I am so glad you wrote it! It is scary to “put yourself” out there but this may also help or save another child some day. I know too well that instinct, when my son was an infant a similar doctor situation occurred to me, and I wrote Bout it on my blog too. I think it is important to give moms a voice know its ok to trust your gut and that doctors are human too. So glad you little guy is ok!
Welcome Jill! I agree- it is SO important to give moms a voice, and I believe that in some way we can all learn from each other. I’m sorry to hear that you went through something similar as well. Didn’t it feel good after you blogged it? I felt so compelled, I could think of nothing else until it was published :) Thanks for stopping by!!
Laney (Ortensia Blu) says
First of all, Jake is absolutely ADORABLE! And you did exactly the right thing – moms just know if something isn’t right with their child and it’s best to be persistent until you get answers you feel comfortable with…xo
Aww, thank you Laney! He’s my little monster :) I just knew something wasn’t right, and I’m thankful that we kept on going until we were satisfied with the answers we got. it was a loooooon 48 hours, that’s for sure. I was like mamma bear on the move! xo
Merryl Chantrell says
Good on you for insisting and persisting. When your children are ill you want answers straight away.
Hi Merryl! Thank you! You’re right- I needed answers right away and that’s why I took Jake to the pediatric walk-in facility. I wasn’t going to wait around all day for a doctor’s appointment! In retrospect, I am so glad that I made that decision because of the pediatrician who diagnosed him- what are the odds that she had done personal research on Lyme disease as her best friend had it? I think someone was watching out for us :)
Well done, you wonderful woman. I’m glad your little man is going to be ok, but it sounds like a long, worrying night. One of these days, we’re going to have to get together for a cup of tea and a debrief.. xxx
Absolutely! I would love that Celia! And then you can tell me everything you know… just make sure that there is chocolate (yours) and wine involved :) xoxo
I have 3 little boys. I’m so happy to know all this! Thank you for the information.
Hi Jesse! How old are your little boys (aren’t they the best?). I hope that this information finds you well. As mentioned above, I was hesitant to share at first, but it felt good to get our story out there. Power in numbers! Thanks for stopping by :)
That is so scary. You did exactly the right thing, and sharing might help someone else realize the same. Sometimes I think we feel like our mom instincts are “over the top” but we always have to go with it!!! I think it is great that you decided to share. It is nice to see the “human” side of bloggers…and sometimes life is definitely more important then dinner ;)
Scary beyond belief. The amount of adrenaline that I exerted from my body was enough to make me pass out! It was emotionally exhausting. I think that once you become a parent, your senses are heightened and you just have to roll with it, like you said (even if everyone thinks you’re crazy!).
I’m glad that I decided to share too- my friend said to me, what you’re not a kitchen robot? xoxo
You absolutely did the right thing by getting a second opinion. How many times do we look back in hind sight and realize we should have acted in response to our nagging gut instinct?
I have to ask, after everything you have just experienced, will you continue to take Jake to his original pediatrician or have you decided to choose a new one?
Thank you so much! After such a negative experience at the doctor’s office, I just knew I had to keep going and get someone else’s advice. I have been going to the same office for about 5 years now, and I never had a problem. I could’ve stayed and requested a second opinion from someone else in the group, but again, instinct told me to just leave.
To answer your question- the pediatrician that we went to was a fill-in for our regular doc (who was out on vacation). I will not be seeing her again. We are all human and make mistakes, but I can’t imagine where we would be if I had listened to her advice.
Coincidentally, I was so impressed with the new pediatrician that I found, I might consider switching to her altogether. She was kind, sincere, talked slowly, and I just got a good vibe from her. Plus, it’s right around the corner from our new house (we just moved) so it’s more convenient for me! Some things are just meant to be… :)
I’m so glad Jake is fine. Lesson I’ve learned too (mostly) trust your own instincts and you’ll feel better for trust in yourself and your son. Have a Wonderful Weekend!
Hi Liz! I know, it can be tough sometimes to go with your gut especially when you are questioning someone in the medical field. You want to believe that they know best, but as someone mentioned to me recently, doctors are human too. I’m glad we caught this right away. Thank you :)