Thursday, July 31, 2014

Of Vomit & Barium

Our two adorable children figured out the sick role very quickly.  They know when they are sick that I'm going to dote on them and that all responsibility pretty much goes out the window.  They also happen to be a little bit enamored with our family doctor.  Yes, I agree that he's pretty great.  I mean, why else would we take them there?  But herein lies the problem.

As children, they don't really have the ability to understand when we NEED to go to the doctor for an illness or boo-boo.  Mayzie is a cry-er.  She cries every time she gets bumped even a little bit.  I soothe her, and she calms down while typically telling me "I'm ok" through her tears.  Annika on the other hand, is a complainer.  She'll complain about things hurting and directly ask if we can go see our doctor.

This leads me to my story about Annika.  Earlier in the summer, she was attending camp at her school.  She was vomiting at camp fairly regularly, in part I thought to get to come home, though I'm not sure she's that conniving yet.  So she missed some days of camp and we went about our lives like normal, because she was acting completely normal.  And then camp ended, and she was still vomiting.  It was getting to be about 4-5 times a day.  I was concerned.  So we made an appointment to see the doctor.  He told us it was probably just nerves, but to come back if it didn't fade away in the next 2 weeks.

Luckily, we had our annual check-up appointments exactly 2 weeks later.  Lucky, because the vomiting didn't stop.  Andy said I was making too big a deal about it, but the doctor had me worried and I really hated to see my baby puking all the time.  So the doctor looked at her, and wrote us a referral to go see a gastro doctor where they would do an upper-GI on her.

Cut to 2 days later, when I'm running around the hospital from building to building trying to figure out where the heck we are supposed to be because the lady on the phone just rambled it all off to me while I was trying to keep my kids quiet enough so that I could hear her while they were swimming.  (Hmm, I wonder why I couldn't hear the details?)  4 offices later, we finally found the right place.  They took a blood sample from Annika, for which she got a stuffed animal for being such a good patient.  Then they took her into a gigantic x-ray room.  There was a window so Mayzie and I could watch the whole thing.  They had her drink barium and we could watch it go down into her belly.  They then had her run around for a minute and then step back onto the machine so they could see the barium emptying into her small intestine.

Mayzie loved watching the whole thing and kept repeating, "Mama, look, I can see Annikas GUTS." Annika actually asked the technician if she could take the barium home with her because she liked the taste--apparently a first for him ever.  Then the doctor came in and said everything looks great.

So what does that mean exactly?  Does this mean that I completely over-reacted and shouldn't have been concerned at all?  Does it mean my kid has nerves that make her puke?  If that's the case, does that mean we need to get her counseling or something?

And then, magically, the vomiting stopped.  She hasn't puked once since the barium-extravaganza.
And now I feel like the overly worried mom who can't tell the difference between serious and non-emergent medical issues.

What would you have done?

In other news, Annika lost her first tooth this week.


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