Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Pox Upon Our House

Oh, what a sense of humour the universe has! The health of the Whoo household has been less than stellar this past week. Last Wednesday, Bean had his 6 month shots (at nearly 8 months) and got diagnosed with an ear infection for which he started Augm.entin. Last Wednesday evening, I decided to get a sympathy ear infection and spent the next 3 days in the most pain I have had since labor, and I started Augmen.tin and any other decongestant I can find to clear the constant sensation of my ear being filled with fluid. Sunday, on call, with the ear infection, I delivered a baby at 6:30 am, shipped a 32 week pre-term labor patient to the high-risk hospital, rounded on various complications of the post partum variety including an adrenal hemorrhage and a vaginal hematoma, labored a patient all day long, sectioned her for failure to descend past zero station despite pushing for 2 hours, and admitted a complex ovarian cyst. Monday, noticed a couple of raised bumps on the Bean's head, chalked it up to his sensitive skin, and whisked him away to daycare. Got to clinic, saw the 7 patients that were scheduled between 9 and 10 am, and got a call from the daycare that Bean's rash was spreading. Mr. Whoo picked up Bean and brought him to the office, where it was obvious that he had the chicken pox. I felt like the worst mother in the world for not noticing it that morning. I took him to the pediatrician on my lunch break, who confirmed the diagnosis, and canceled the rest of the day in the office to care for my poor sick baby.

I took Monday afternoon and Tuesday out of the office (but not off of the pager, which continued to sound every 1-2 hours like clockwork) to care for the Bean, and went to see the ENT on Tuesday. He essentially told me what I had already deduced; I had an acute otitis with an effusion. The otitis was clearing but the fluid in the middle ear (which is giving me moderate functional hearing loss, BTW) could remain until almost a month. A fragging month! Feeling like I have fluid lolling all through the right side of my head, and torturing my family with the high tv volume, and muttering "Huh? What? 'Ay?" like a little octogenarian with her "listening cone" anytime someone tries to speak to me for another freaking month. Fan-tastic. He added a Me.drol Dose.pak for extra fun with steroids to my treatment regimen.

Wednesday I had a 12 hour surgery/work day, made stressful by a surgical complication on one of my favorite patients. Mr. Whoo stayed home with the Bean, and proved himself un-house-husband worthy by failing to have dinner ready when I dragged myself and an exhausted CindyLou through the door after 6 last night. Mr. Bean had a particularly fitful, itchy night last night, so either of us slept very well, and today I am again taking out of the office, but on the pager to care for him. Call me crazy, but I am running out of patience and sympathy for the patients that just have to be rescheduled *next week* due to the fact that their golden ticket, ahem, "free" medical card runs out at the end of the month. Go to the freaking health department for your pap, for goodness sake, it's still "free" (ie. I will be generously subsidizing 30% of the salary for which I work 24 hours a day/26 days a month, so that you can play Wii and smoke weed all day long and still not have to pay a whopping fifty bucks for a pap smear). I'm just about all out of doctorly concern, and eyeing up my liquor cabinet right this minute, even though it is not quite noon yet.

So that, dear readers, completes your lovely week-in-review from the Whoo household. So, how are *you* doing?


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry your Bean is sick. We have been very sick this winter but no pox. My baby girl is growing, six months already. She's very weird about solids...very weird. She won't eat off a spoon. I can get maybe four bites in, and then that's it. She even cries when she sees a spoon now. Not sure what's up, but at least she's getting a little bit in.


dr. nic said...

If you really want to know, I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant, haven't been home before 7pm all week and I'm starting to get sciatica. But I love life, really.

I feel your pain.

audrey said...

I love your blog!

We recently had the pox at our house and our fighter of choice was oatmeal and benedryl like clockwork. The cheapest crap you can find at the store, Aveeno baby oatmeal bath wasn't so great. My formerly-poxed child is 6 so he enjoyed taking a bath in food.

Get an old nylon put some oatmeal in it, soak it, then dab on the pox. It'll dry leaving a film and the itchiness will subside.

Anonymous said...

Aww, Bean is so adorable, even with the chicken pox. Wishing your family healing vibes!

Anonymous said...

Argh! Ain't this just what you needed? A baby with chickenpox is a truly miserable thing, so is its mother. I only hope you, Mr. Whoo and Cindy-Lou have already had of our OB-GYNs caught it from her kids and was sick for weeks. Hope the ear--and the Bean--feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

wow what a week! get well soon! hope your child gets better asap too! your feelings are totally understandable.

Midwife with a Knife said...

A pox is upon your house! That is a cute picture, though of the Bean with the pox.

Anonymous said...

The Bean is adorable, chicken pox and all! Hope your ear feels better. It's rotten to have to go to work sick. I'm a pharmacist, so you only get to call in to work if someone died, practically!
Hang in there, hope you all feel better soon!
Happy Easter!

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

How CUTE is that little bean!

Hope things settle down again soon.

AtYourCervix said...

Ohh!! You need to have a pox party now. I'm avoiding the chicken pox vaccine in my 4 yr old, hoping she is exposed. Yes, I'm one of the kooky parents who would rather she have an active chicken pox immunity, rather than the vaccine - which isn't foolproof in preventing chicken pox. But I digress.

Can I have my four year old play big "sister" to the little bean at a pox party? Pretty please!

Anonymous said...

Yep, he's a cutie!

Hope you all are feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

mamadoc FP Try chicken pox mix

30gm Talc
30 gm zinc oxide
30 gm 1% hydrocortisone

Mixed by compounding pharmacy. You dot it on the pox It seemed to help our kids, or maybe it just gave us something to do.

kario said...

The good news is: you won't have to have your little one get the vaccine for chickenpox now...

Nothing worse than an ear infection as an adult! I'm sympathizing with you.

Anonymous said...

You lack of worry over whether Cindy will get it makes me think she's been vaccinated.

My kids had chicken pox one after the other and it was a pain. Being the wife of a road warrior I missed a lot of work!

That said, this isn't the first instance where something has happened and you've canceled appointments. Medicaid patients aside, if you've arranged to take off of work/procure a babysitter to go see the Dr. and they suddenly canceled their appointments, no matter how worthy a reason, it can be pretty annoying.

So remember, while you're annoyed, others are probably annoyed with you too.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I marvel at your patience. You and your family are troopers! Even the Bean has a smile on his face, poxed and all. Hope you all feel better this week!

Anonymous said...

Why the hatred for those in poverty? Surely your wealthy patients deserve your ire as well?

Somenurse said...

I love the picture! He is so cute, especially with the pox. Great post!

Tory said...

Even with pox, bean has a smile..what a sweetie. He's so cute.
found your blog by accident and loved it. come on over and visit me sometime.
Take care

Tory said...

Even with the pox, little Bean has a big smile. He looks like such a happy baby and adorable too.
I found your blog by accident and really enjoy it. come visit me sometime on my blog.
Take care

Dragonfly said...

Hope things are better now!!!

Anonymous said...

I too feel your pain and sympathize with just about everything you've said being as how I also am( no way ) an ob/gyn in the mountain states, with kids, though mine are older now, at 23, 18, and 14. All have had the pox, thank g-d.

And you need to slow down girl, (listen to me, that's the last thing i'd do) and Mr. Who needs to rally on the dinner.

Oh and about the pts with their expiring medical cards, just let it be, You do what you need to do. They will not lack for competent care.

Hang in there.

ditzydoctor said...

the bean is super adorable, pox and all! :D

i hope you all get better soon :) sounds like an incredibly rough week!

dr. whoo? said...

Dawn~ It is no fun when the little ones are sick! How funny about the spoon..maybe she would prefer her hands instead?
Hope all is going well!

dr. nic~ Congrats on your pregnancy! Ooooooh, the sciatica! It is terrible to feel like a little hobbling old lady! Hope you are able to get some more rest soon!

audrey~ Thanks! I am glad you like the blog, apologies for the muy sporadic updating. Thanks for the suggestions, the oatmeal worked great!

peony, anon 3/20, jeff, mwwak, anon 3/21,tbtam, disappearing john, anon 3/25, artillerywifecq,tory, dragonfly, and ditzy doctor~ Thank you all for your kind comments! I , of course, think Bean is the cutest around, but I am quite biased.

atyourcervix~ Ha! I had the pox when I was 5, I even remember when my teacher told me. CindyLou had the vaccine, so she had no ill effect. I'm sure your 4 year old will have someone to have a pox party with soon!

mammadocFP~ Thanks for the formula, we used some hydrocortisone and some talc, and it seemed to work well. That and the benadryl. I love benadryl.

kario~ Yes, having the ear infection was miserable! Luckily, it is gone now! No vaccine for the Bean, I'm sure he won't mind one less needle :)

gingerb~ Yes, CindyLou has had the vaccine, but we were wondering if she might not get a mild case anyway. So far, so good.

It's not that I don't expect patients to be frustrated when I have to cancel their appointments, for whatever reason (even though people no show to their appointments with me without so much as a phone call, but I digress). What bothers me is the sense of entitlement of certain patients which leads them to demand immediate accomodation of their own needs, regardless of my schedule or ability to accomodate them, simply because they may actually have to *pay* for a *service* that I am providing them. Heaven forbid.

anon 3/27~ *Hatred* for those in poverty? Really? You want to go there? If you read my post you would have picked up on the fact that these people "in poverty" as you say, have no qualms spending $500 bucks on a Wii, or on their drugs, cigarettes, latest cell phone, 300 channels of digital cable, what have you, but are unwilling (not unable) to pay for their basic medical care. In my definition, this does not constitute "poverty."

Sadly when these folks work the system right, they can get the "free medical card" and "free = more" and "free = of little value." They deserve my "ire" when they *demand* that I overbook my office appointments (thus making me run late, and other, upstanding citizens that pay for their own medical care get forced to wait) simply because their "free" medical card runs out before I have an open rescheduling spot for a routine exam. Sorry, but I have little sympathy for that situation. Especially in light of the fact that these people can still go to the health department and get a "free" pap smear...they just don't want to, because, wait for it, they have to *WAIT TOO LONG* to get it.

But sure, I *hate* people in "poverty" so much, I do charity health care in my office, screening paps, colposcopy, breast exams, up to and including surgeries like hysterectomies for absolutely no charge (not a penny). I do it gladly, because some people really cannot afford the care that they need. My vent has little to do with wealth or poverty... it has to do with the sense of entitlement that some people have. This attitude crosses the lines of wealth, class, race, and even gender, and that, dear anonymous sniper, is what is deserving of my "ire."

lady braidwater~ Hi and welcome! Thank you for reading. Thanks so much for the advice, it gets hard to see the situation the way that it is when we are standing in the middle of it! I know that my little ones will be all grown up too soon, I don't want to miss it. I fear I will have to slow down soon, or other things are going to start to unravel. I will definitely hang in there...what else could I do? :)