My daughter Jane, 10, has been sick. She came home from school last Tuesday with a low-grade fever and then on Wednesday, when she was still congested and miserable, I took her to the Minute Clinic, thinking she had a sinus infection.
We've never seen the same nurse practitioner twice at the Minute Clinic and the one we had on Wednesday seemed very...new. She took a very long time and was about the refer us to the hospital for a chest x-ray, saying she suspected pneumonia, when I told her that I would be glad to follow up with my regular doctor but that I knew Jane wasn't extremely sick. I've SEEN Jane when she is extremely sick and this was more like a cold. I told the nurse I suspected a sinus infection--based on my extensive medical training as a mother of two--and she gave us a prescription for antibiotics. She did not do a strep test because she said that Jane's throat wasn't red.
I should have insisted. I remember thinking that I probably wouldn't even fill the prescription for the antibiotics because I didn't have a lot of confidence in the nurse practitioner's competence and I should probably take Jane to her regular doctor. But then I thought if it WAS strep, better to get Jane on the antibiotics.
Jane spent a miserable week, sometimes spiking a fever. When, after five days on the antibiotics, she was still running a fever of 101 degrees, I called, made an appointment for her at her regular pediatrician, took her in and received the official diagnosis of...you guessed it...strep throat.
(The fourth bout of strep throat since January. My theory is that there is an asymptomatic carrier in her class because there are only 16 kids in her class and SOMEONE ALWAYS HAS STREP.)
AND, the doctor spoke sharply to me about the wisdom of taking children to those "doc-in-a-box" places, which exist mainly to hand out prescriptions for antibiotics. He said the antibiotics for the sinus infection were not enough to knock out the strep infection.
Which I didn't know, despite my extensive medical training as a mother of two.
So, basically, because I didn't listen to my instincts regarding the incompetent nurse practitioner and take Jane to her real pediatrician, Jane got to suffer an entire week with an illness that could have been cured by the proper dosage of antibiotics in about two days. Her doctor --the real doctor with the actual relationship with her--was completely exasperated with me and said, "You seem to have very good parenting instincts. Perhaps you should listen to them."
Then my daughter Ana (13) had to fill out an application to be included in an academically-based school club. She is very scholarly and has remarkable grades and this is a good fit for her. The application read like a mini-résumé, which, for some reason, kind of set my teeth on edge. There were all sorts of questions about leadership roles and community service and achievement awards, etc. --as if just surviving middle school with her sense of humor intact wasn't enough of a challenge,
Anyway, I strongly urged her not to pad her answers --not to put down anything but her big achievements like achieving high honors in every grading period since she started middle school and her belts earned in Tae Kwon Do. I told her that her grades spoke for themselves and clearly, her primary job was not assembling activities to put on her résumé, but rather, to learn to balance school, life as a new teenager, and dreaming. That the most important thing was to believe that who she is, without fluff, was ENOUGH.
Yeah, I was really wrong.
(I don't know how many times I have to learn that the world doesn't work the way I THINK IT SHOULD. I wish that I could learn this lesson over and over and over again (since apparently, that's what it's going to take) without it adversely affecting people I love and want to support.)
Ana was not accepted into the club AND when we followed up to find out why, the coordinating teacher told us that she should have put even the smallest things down and let the judges decide if they were relevant. She should have put down the small fundraisers she championed for the animal shelter (lemonade stands and the mass production of Puff Puff Pals, which she sold for $2 a piece). She should have listed all the times she was the leader in a class project. The more the better.
|So cute, the Puff Puff pals!|
I'm back on Facebook, after a two-and-a-half week hiatus. I missed it and obviously, I need more contact with normal people because the people who live in my head are decidedly not normal. You can find me here if you are interested.