Generally I have a lot of love for doctors, indeed most medical staff. I have felt very well supported by both specialist teams and also from my GP surgery. My previous GP surgery was about as much use as a chocolate teapot and the Out of Hours doctors range from rather nervous to a bit hopeless in my experience, but generally my surgery have demonstrated much that is brilliant about the NHS. The GPs have been very positive in supporting my mental health, and in the main have been very sensible about Wriggles. There however nearly always is a duff one. Today we got him.
Wriggles has a cough again. A cough that is full of mucus and dried blood and that is causing her to be a blimming nightmare to get any fluids or medication in. We have been up through the nights and been reliant on our trusty Ventolin, which while usually does bugger all, now she is a bit older, is quite good for semi-emergency use at home, before having to bother the doctors. That and vomiting are the only things keeping us home, as the coughing fits have a nasty habit of inducing dusky colour changes and labouring her breathing as well as clearly causing acute and prolonged distress. So our little inhaler friend has been living within arms reach and being used fairly frequently. As this has been ongoing for at least 48 hours and the use is moderately frequent, I want a second, well first opinion from a trained doctor rather than the cobbled wisdom of previous admissions and common sense from my head. Plus, it has been drummed into me to seek regular medical advice should we be in the position of using it regularly especially if combined with other factors like a temperature (check!) and potential for dehydration (check!).
The GP now looked at me as if I was mad.
Wriggles was doing her infuriating trick of looking the picture of health if as white as a sheet, whilst twenty minutes earlier she was teeming with mucus and screaming in pain. At the time of making the appointment hours earlier she was refusing all drinks and had not urinated for some long hours. Now, she just wanted to creatively rearrange the paperwork on his desk.
He admitted she was well on the way to being dehydrated as she was a borderline case now but was very chipper about the whole thing, as he did a test to determine how hydrated she was or wasn't. He was boggled that she is not on solids: "And does she, you know, actually grow?"
And then, after describing the coughing and chesty episodes that had plagued the last days he seemed perplexed about administering Ventolin to open up her airways, which are narrow and easily clogged. I had explained that not giving her anything leads to breathing difficulties. He didn't seem to understand still.
GP: And what if you didn't give her ventolin?
Me: [trying to work out if he is asking a strick question] I haven't actually tried that at home yet. But from experience, generally an emergency admission to resus following respiratory distress needing oxygen, nebulisers and sometimes IV fluids and continual monitering as her heartrate becomes erratic. When it has been held off in a controlled environment like hospital, her breathing becomes worse and worse and she becomes tired, disorientated and takes even less fluids if possible and will still need either a bronchodilator inhaler, nebuliser or oxygen in the short term after delaying it. There is a reason why we have been prescribed it and told to use it when a virus or respiratory infection is present!
He nods and leans forward in a conspiratorial manner. "Is she your first child?" he asks in an almost pitying voice.
I could have lobbed the Duplo brick Wriggles had at his head.