Today I was scrolling through various news websites, catching up on what's going on in the world when I came across an article titled "Worst case of Chickenpox". As a parent, I find myself clicking on articles like this frequently. I feel I need to know about how bad these infections can be so that if it ever (touch wood) happened to Lily, then I would have some basic concept of what to do and how to help.
The child, age 2, was covered head to toe in chickenpox to the point where I thought it looked like meningitis. Reading on, it described how he had needed emergency treatment for the infection and was spending time in the hospital, something I never thought really happened for this. Reading on, though, I found one piece of the story that really annoyed me. It turns out that the mother had taken her child to the doctors a couple of days previously but was told that her reason did not warrant a visit to the GP...by the RECEPTIONIST!
I found my blood boiling and my mouth ranting at a computer screen. How is a receptionist qualified enough to state what is worth the doctor seeing or not? What medical training do they have? I the also started considering the opposite. As a parent, do I sometimes need to hear that?
I'm sure there are countless times as a parent that I have rushed my child to the doctor for something that seems so life threatening at the time, but turns out to be absolutely nothing. When it comes to Lily's health, I've always worked off the phrase "better safe than sorry", but with our NHS stretched to breaking point, is this really a sensible, sustainable approach. Should I be trying to help Lily more at home with bed rest, liquids and so on when she is ill or seek the doctor's advice? The only time I haven't run to the doctor is when Lily contracted conjunctivitis. I remembered reading that there wasn't really anything a doctor could do and that you should just keep the eyes clean which showed to work brilliantly.
It's a subject which I have always debated with myself and other mums and we all seem to think that we should try and do more for our children before we rush to the doctor, but it is the panic and shock of seeing our children ill which shakes us. I'm sure for me, it's this shock that sends me straight to the doctor, looking for definitive answers of what ahs caused the problem but most of all, how to cure it.