One of the first things I learned as a new mother was that doctors don't have all the answers, but you should certainly ask everything that occurs to you, never apologize for feeling bothersome, and keep their office on speed dial.
Nothing is more important than your child and, if they have children of their own, they should understand the occasion for first timers to be especially nervous and paranoid.
Since O had me at the pediatrician's more than most kids, I learned all of the above quickly and without apology. As a result, when I had my little guy, I figured myself a pro when it came to dealing with doctors and the always unexpected symptom.
However, as the horror that was 2008 came to an end, my son had his 18 month check-up on New Year's Eve, replete with Polio, Hep A, and Tetanus vaccinations.
Happy as I was to welcome in a new, hopefully better year, I had to have known that 2008 would give me a big kick in the butt on its way out. And it did, thanks to Joseph getting hold of a razor from my travel bag and nearly slicing the tip of his finger off right as we were trying to get the kids in the bath.
The blood poured out like something out of a cartoon and it took calling our angel neighbors/volunteer paramedics to finally stop the bloodworks.
Needless to say, he never got his bath....which would also be the occasion I would normally check on the vaccination spots.
The next morning, after I checked his wound, I began the process of getting him ready for the day when I discovered that he had apparently been lifting weights all night.
His bicep was ENORMOUS.
Still reeling from the previous night, I panicked when I realized that it was a holiday and that I'd have to resort to calling the on call doctor. Just as I was about to pick up the phone, however, my husband suddenly remembered that one of the doctors, the nice young man who had first inspected Joseph in the hospital, had actually given us his cell phone with the invitation to "call anytime".
I had completely forgotten about the offer, though we had brought Joseph to see him every check-up after, as I like to have a doctor know us as a family.
I quickly dialed his number as I watched Joseph wince from his tender, swollen arm.
And here's what happened:
Me: Hi, Doctor..., this is One Maid a Milking and you see my son Joseph through the practice. I'm sorry to bother you on the holiday, but I think he's had a reaction to his vaccination.....
Doctor: How did you get this number?? (hiss, hiss)
Me: (Immediately recognizing I'd made a mistake) Oh, I apologize. I should have called the on call....
Doctor: Yes, yes! You call the on call doctor....I'm at the hospital. (hiss, bark, growl)
Me: Right. Again, I apologize. My mistake.
Doctor: Yes. And don't call this number again.
2 years ago