Doctor-Mom Fails


We seem to be stuck in an endless cycle of GI bug and/or upper respiratory illness and/or medical crisis of some kind or another. Every night this week has had major disruptions with one or more of us hacking, or puking, or both. And I’m just not handling it very well.

Thursday, Babyboy was going on day four of fevers, coughing and vomiting. I auscultated his lungs, and they sounded clear. Still, I wondered… Fevers, coughing, vomiting… What if my kid has pneumonia?

But, what if we bring him the pediatrician and they say it’s just a virus? That’s embarrassing. I pride myself on only showing up at the pedi when something’s really wrong, and to date, we’ve got a good track record on this. It’s usually a raging otitis media or strep that brings us in.

When he was 100.2 in the afternoon, laying on the couch STILL not eating, Hubby and Nana and I all decided enough was enough, and we called the pedi. Hubby brought him in, and they said:

“It’s just a virus.”

Then Thursday overnight, Hubby got the fevers/ chills/ nausea thing I had had Tuesday night. He was flat out in bed and I was on Babyboy detail.

By yesterday, Friday, I was an exhausted, congested, cranky mess. I was struggling through my morning clinic schedule when I got a panicked phone call from Hubby: Babygirl had shoved a small foam piece of a toy up her nose. I could barely hear Hubby as she was screaming  loudly and inconsolably:


Babyboy was hacking and gagging in the background as well. I tried to direct Hubby:

“Figure out which side is plugged and put your finger over the other side…”

But Hubby was so flustered and the din was so loud, he couldn’t hear a word I was saying. The level of panic was reaching a point where I just said “Hon, hang up and take her to the local emergency room.”

But, just then, Nana saved the day. He had placed a call to her first, and she had rushed over. She took the phone from him and reassured me: “You used to do this all the time, hon. With beans.”

She expertly calmed Babygirl and then made her simply blow the thing out into a tissue. Done.

Ugh. The long and short of all of it is: I know that I have not been at my personal best this week, to say the least.

So, I apologize to the several patients who asked for tests that were not indicated, and to whom I was uncharacteristically short. I’m usually much NICER when I decline to put my name on a test that’s not necessary.

I also apologize to the few patients for whom I made prescribing errors. Thanks goodness nothing harmful (forgot to sign controlled Rx; sent Rx to wrong pharmacy; refilled an old prior medication instead of the current one; ordered too low a dose of an antibiotic) and all caught.

To the colleagues who got cranky responses from me when I was asked to: see their patient in followup for them/ help them with computer issues/ cover precepting/ add-on to my schedule, I am sorry. One colleague (and good friend) walked up to me Friday and ordered:

“Stop sending emails. Just stop. Don’t email when you’re in a bad mood.” She is so right, and I have to re-learn this lesson every few months or so.

Today is Saturday. Babyboy was still up all hours coughing. I’m still congested. Hubby’s stomach is not back to normal. Babygirl is sniffling. But, we’re all okay, it’s small potatoes. These are recoverable illnesses, thank God. There will come a week where we look back and say, Hey, no one needed medical intervention this week!


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